An Exchange Between Mickey Mantle and Joe Pepitone in 1965

The Life issue of July 30, 1965, features Mickey Mantle on the cover. The magazine’s feature on Mantle includes this scene in the Yankee clubhouse:

Pepitone walks in, bragging about the balls he has hit in batting practice. Mantle turns on him: “You think that if everyone on this club is batting .195 and you’re batting .200 that’s all right, huh?” he asks.

“Sure,” answers Pepitone, “I got to think about myself—it’s the only way I’m going to make my money.”

“Well, you keep batting .200 and you’ll make a lot of money Jody,” says Mantle caustically, and Pepitone shuts up.

This exchange says a lot about why the long Yankee dynasty ended in 1965.

Published in: Uncategorized on July 20, 2013 at 9:49 am  Comments (2)  
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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Interestingly, the day that issue hit the newsstands, Pepitone was batting .265 and Mantle only .247; Pepitone played in the all-star game (striking out as a pinch-hitter) and Mantle was selected but did not play (likely due to injury).

    Then again, Mantle might well have been trying to caution Joe away from the high-impact nightlife style that helped limit Mantle’s career and make Pepitone’s such a huge disappointment. Too bad Joe didn’t listen; that was his final All-Star season…

  2. I worked at Wrigley Field five years later. I asked several people who had been in both leagues and seen them both, who they thought was a better player, Mickey Mantle or Hank Aaron (this was before he broke the home run record).
    Every one except one told me they thought Mickey Mantle was the superior player.
    The one was Joe Pepitone. At the time I thought that was surprising since he and Mick had been teammates. I guess not.

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