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MLB Prospects: This Date in MLB Prospect Debuts (April 17): Mickey Mantle, 1951

Mike Rosenbaum@GoldenSombreroMLB Prospects Lead WriterApril 17, 2012

The Mick was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1978
The Mick was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1978

Every morning, I will look back at a memorable MLB debut made on this specific date using information provided by Baseball Reference’s MLB Play Index.  

On this date, April 17, 1951, Mickey Mantle made his major league debut for the New York Yankees in a 5-0 win over the Boston Red Sox.

Batting third and playing right field—with Phil Rizzuto batting second and Joe DiMaggio fourth—Mantle was 1-for-4 on the afternoon with a run scored and an RBI.  Needless to say, Mantle would become one of the greatest players in baseball history, playing for the Yankees from 1951 to 1968.

Here is a brief statistical overview of The Mick's tremendous career by looking back at how many times he led the league in a specific category:

Runs: 1954 (129), 1956 (132), 1957 (121), 1958 (127), and 1960 (119)

3B: 1955 (11)

HR: 1955 (37), 1956 (52), 1958 (42), 1960 (40)

RBI: 1956 (130)

BB: 1955 (113), 1957 (146), 1958 (129), 1961 (126), 1962 (122)

BA: 1956 (.353)

OBP: 1955 (.431), 1962 (.486), 1964 (.423)

SLG: 1955 (.611), 1956 (.705), 1961 (.687), 1962 (.605)

OPS: 1952 (.924), 1955 (1.042), 1956 (1.169), 1960 (.957), 1962 (1.091), 1964 (1.015)

OPS+: 1955 (180), 1956 (210), 1958 (188), 1959 (151), 1960 (164), 1961 (206), 1962 (196), 1964 (178)

TB: 1956 (376), 1958 (307), 1960 (294)

Accolades: 16-time All Star, three-time AL MVP, Hall of Fame inductee (1974)

Did You Know?

On September 26, 1954, the last day of the regular season, Mantle started at shortstop for the Yankees, recording two putouts and four assists.  He was 1-for-2 at the plate that afternoon with three walks, which brought his season average to an even .300.

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