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A consumer's guide to the best and worst of sports media and merchandise. Ground rules: If it can be read, played, heard, observed, worn, viewed, dialed or downloaded, it's in play here.

October 05, 1998|EARL GUSTKEY

What: "Mickey Mantle's Greatest Hits."

Author: David S. Nuttall.

Publisher: S.P.I. Books.

Price: $14.95.

Speaking of home runs . . . this is the ultimate statistical, home run-by-home run look at Mickey Mantle's Yankee career, from homer No. 1 off Randy Gumpert on May 1, 1951, to No. 536 off Jim Lonborg, Sept. 20, 1968.

If this is your bag, you'll no doubt need to know that Mantle's first Yankee home run came 31 years to the day Babe Ruth hit his first Yankee home run.

They're all here, all 536 of 'em, listed by date, the opponent, the pitcher, who won and the attendance.

But after No. 536, on page 236, comes the best part: The appendices, wherein you find such nuggets as Mantle's park-by-park homer totals (he had four in Anaheim).

There's also a ranking of Mantle's longest home runs at Yankee Stadium, to left, center and right.

And on the ranking of Mantle's greatest hits, 100 homers estimated at over 420 feet, we find USC was the site of Moonshot I.

It was March 28, 1951. The Yankees were playing an exhibition game against USC and Mantle's blast was computed at from 580 to 610 feet. It sailed high over a 400-foot sign and cleared the width of an adjoining football practice field.

Nuttall is at his best describing the pain Mantle played with--six knee surgeries alone--for most of his 18 years. Mantle's greatest achievement, the author concludes, may have been fashioning a Hall of Fame career while filling entire file cabinets with his medical records.

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