Saturday, June 27, 2009

BEING MICKEY MANTLE.........And Other Useless Baseball Stories.

So I was watching "Rescue Me" the other night while putting clean sheets on the bed and they were showing a video on the screen of an old sick looking man giving a speech.....something about doing good things for others.....I was half hardily watching but he looked somewhat familiar....Yesterday me and the Boss were discussing the episode and he informs me that the man in the tape was none other then Mickey Mantle giving a speech after receiving his new liver...kidney...whatever it was he had replaced.......Can you hear the lack of enthusiasm in my voice.........and in this household that means only one thing......The "Sue meets Mickey Mantle" story that is a classic.... It was a long time ago down here in Atlanta and Oxford Books was having a Mr. Mantle book signing.....I became very excited....not that I'm a baseball fan but it was getting close to being the Boss' birthday and being a big fan of Mickey and the Yankees I had bought him a huge lithograph and I thought how wonderful I can have him sign it with a big "Happy Birthday John.....the Mick".....So the day of the signing I drive down to Buckhead and preceded to wait in line for over 3 hours.....I purchased 2 books because they were allowing you to get 2 signatures....Now let me stop right here and say that this was way before they started charging for autographs and limiting what you could have signed....I was not the only one in line with something other then just a book....I felt obligated to purchase the second book but thought for the purchase price I would get the picture signed instead......WRONG......I finally get up to bat and I'm standing in front of .......Oh My Gosh......Mickey Mantle.....and I start to gush....."husband is a huge fan....birthday....please if your are so kind.....sign...his name is John.....what an honor".....the whole spiel......and what do I get back......First of all he was sitting behind a desk looking very bored in a tacky velour jogging suit.....This should have been my first clue......The man says nothing.....That's right...I'm pouring out my guts to this guy and he's just staring me down....Not one word....Not a "Gee I would love to but I can't"...."You seem like a nice lady but it's gonna cost ya"....or I would have even taken a
"Lady go drop dead in that corner"......I was humiliated...He said nothing just a nasty stare.....So what to do......Well, Sue never gets mad at anything......well almost never...this was the exception...This threw me over the edge....I looked him right in the eye and said "Your not going to speak...your not going to say anything to me.".........That's right...he said nothing......... the man could have been a deaf mute for all I knew.............So I picked up the picture....did I say it was very large......took his two books directly back to the cash register for a refund.........and as I was leaving the table I did manage to say....for all behind me in line to hear that he was a real "Ass"....of course I was more specific......the two books were promptly returned....refund issued and I was pretty well pissed off for the rest of the day.....and I think the Boss still has that damn picture....... May Mickey rest in peace......
and if he took these with him I hope he had them both autographed......

And of course if we talk about the Mickey encounter can Ted Williams be far behind..... It was 1978 and I was working the customer service counter at the Sears store in Broward County Florida.....when up walked a lady with some complaint about the sporting goods department....she was pretty heated and she wasn't buying what I was one point in the conversation she stopped and announced......"Do You Know Who I Am???"........not even giving me a chance to guess.....she says..."I'm Ted Williams daughter"......Okay....So in return with that look on my face that I have perfected over the years........that "she can't be that stupid look".....and said
"Oh, I'm sorry I'm not into sports".......Now here I am 28 years old with a 3 year old daughter....I know nothing of sports....sporting goods or for that matter Ted Williams......when I got home that day the husband was mortified.....How could I make such a's Ted Williams for Pete's Sake.....I can report that I really pissed off his daughter and years later while at a baseball card show father and daughter brought me back a real live signed ball with Mr Williams name on it.....just for me....I also will forever know that he was called the Splendid Splinter and the ball.......I sold it on E-Bay for a pretty penny..........So much for Baseball....


Kathleen Grace said...

You go girl! I don't know why people revere guys that can play a game like they were the second coming. I am not into sports of any kind (although I enjoyed playing on a community softball team in my 20's),and I'm not impressed by guys who are jerks in every other area of their lives but can sell tickets. Last month while I was working one of my co-workers came in with Detroit redwings junk to hang up and I asked her why she was doing that. "Is it still hockey season?" Lol, it was the playoffs that week.

Confessions of a Plate Addict said...

Oh, Sue! I love your stories! I am no fan of baseball, since I quit cheering for the Braves during the strike years ago. I may try out the new G Braves, since they might not be spoiled rotten snobs...yet! lol Hope you are having a great weekend...hugs...Debbie

Lisa Pogue said...

OMG, I LOVE this story, you really made my day!! What a great post! I had an experience with Bret Saberhagen with the KC Royals I'll never forget, but it sure doesn't top your stories with Mickey and Ted's daughter. Hopefully Ted was nothing like his daughter. She climbed her way thru life like that I'm sure. Ted seemed like such a nice man, hopefully he was. Maybe he just made his daughter a witch....err whatever...

Salmagundi said...

I laughed out loud as you can really tell a story. Unbelievable that you had two bad encounters with sports icons. I'm fuming around here today about all the Michael Jackson stuff on TV - his musical genius does not negate the way he apparently lived his life - let's pray for his children and move on. There, sorry, you received my little MJ outburst. Have a great weekend. Sally

Anonymous said...

Mantle was an alcoholic who received a liver transplant, but it was too late, he died a year later. That could have explained his behavior. Drunk. No excuses-- he had every bit of help that money could buy, and he refused it all. I would have walked out too.

Jewel Sauls said...

Sue, That is so funny! The only sports I follow is my alma mater - Carolina. And even then I don't follow baseball. Pro sports are so boring to me. I would have been dumb about Ted Williams' daughter too!!!! Glad you made some money on their card.

Mickey Mantle sounds like a real jerk. Glad you returned the books!!!

Some of my husband's fellow re-enactors are forming a Victorian baseball team and trying to get him involved. He says he will not do it and I am begging. There is already so much on the "honeydew" list.

:D Jewel

Cathy said...

Great stories, Sue. I like your style.

Rue said...

But you're forgetting another key part of the Ted Williams story. Not only did we get you the signed baseball, but we had waited in line (much like you had for Mickey Mantle) and the whole time in front of us was this schlub who kept talking about how he was going to have him sign with his entire name... yada, yada, yada... it will be worth more, etc. Well, when we get up to the table somehow the balls got switched around and when I get it back from being signed I look at it and think: "What the hell is this?" Alas, he had signed *our* ball: "Theodore Samuel Williams"

Oh, one more thing-- at the time when his daughter came in to Sears to complain... he had a partnership with Sears where he had lent his name to products in the sporting goods department. That's what made it even funnier that you didn't know who he was-- it would be like somebody at K-Mart not knowing who Martha Stewart is!

Dan Gliubizzi said...

Hi Sue, Good story telling!
I read it and all the comments. I am amused and amazed at how men "think differently" than women.
Most men do not care if you kick your dog during the week, if you are needed to play second base on Saturday. Personal behaviors do not always interfere with giving credit for skills and talents in a males eyes.

Few remember or even know of Billie Holiday's crazy life.
Fortunately it is her voice that has endured, as it will be with Michael Jackson.
I am NOT a sports fan, but no boy (who is now my age) will forget the "Home Run" summer of Maris and Mantle.
I regret that you met the tired and old Mickey Mantle,
but it can not tarnish "Mickey Mantle"
We could have long conversations about faded glory and fade beauty.

I am sure that your husband winces at the thought of the sweet vacation that an ebay sale of those two autographed books would have paid for!
Thanks for the link to the blog

Linda O'Neill said...

HA! had me laughing, Sue. Great stories! Poo on Baseball!:)

KBeau said...

Sue, you absolutely have the best stories about dealing with people in a public setting. I still love the one about the service guy watching "Girls Gone Wild" while you were waiting on your car. That was your story, wasn't it?

Susie Q said...

I LOVE you Sue. Truly. You are my kinda girl. I have always heard Mickey was just ass.
Some are, some aren't and some have bad days but I hear he was always that way. I guess he forgot who helped make him a star, a millionaire...the fans. Maybe this is why I so enjoy the minor leagues. These guys are not yet spoiled! They love the fans and the kids and make the sport fun again.

I know that so many hate Pete Rose and yes. The betting on th egame was despicable. But he was a super player and did some amazing things on the field. I met him once when I was 8 and I will never forget how sweet he was to me. met him again when I was 48 and he was really friendly and kind. The very next week my brother met him and he was quite surly. God only knows what makes some of these guys tick. *shrug*
Met Jim Palmer and wow. he was so, so sweet and dang. Good looking too! Met Johnny Bench, who was the hero of my youth and he has always been a sweetie.
That is it pretty much for my baseball memories...: )

I love the way you spin a yarn..: )


Laura @ the shorehouse. said...

Hahahahaha...good for you! I hate when people are too big for their (velour pantsuit) britches! Did Mickey hear you? 'Cause if he did, I may literally LMAO.

If it restores your faith in old timer Yankees...I met Yogi Berra and his wife in Vegas once and he was lovely (he stopped to ask me for directions. Ha!). But then again, he's a Jersey boy now, so that explains it. ;-)

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

I DO have an autographed photo of Mickey Mantle! He was my idol when I was a pre-teen watching him play on the Yankees.

His life was a mess ...infidelity, alcoholism ...who knows what else? As a farm boy from Oklahoma who made it big in sports, the lures of celebrity and money was probably too much. It seems to be a common story in sports, and entertainment, doesn't it?
But when I was 12 he meant the world to me.

Later on in life my 12 year old son loved Dave Winfield who also playing on the Yankees at that time in his career. He wrote a book about his life and was having an autograph session at a local B&N. I waited online for a couple of hours and finally got his autograph on the book for my son. He even posed for a photograph as he signed it! He was very cordial. My regret? I felt bad I didn't let my son skip school for the day so he could have met his hero. That still bothers me.

heydn62 said...

Found this blog by googling "oxford books" "Mickey Mantle". Just saw something on the news about a new book about him coming out and it made me wonder if there was anything on the internet about the day I spent waiting in line to get his book signed as well. I waited what seems like most of the day (probably actually about 3 hours) with my 2 books. If I recall, he was about an hour late getting there, he was drunk, and he didn't stay very long at all. I just saw the velour jogging suit as it was stumbling out the door. Didn't realize it was him until somebody said "he just left". The story I heard is that even though he was late, he didn't want to stay past the agreed upon time that he was to leave. Big disappointment and really made it impossible to like him anymore.

It was the same year that Hank Aaron had a book signing there as well. Aaron stayed until everyone got their book signed. I recently gave that book to my son, who is 13 and now a big baseball fan himself.

Needless to say, I never bothered to read Mantle's book. I returned both of them the next day because the day he was there, the line to return the books looked like it would have taken the rest of the day to get through.

Anyway, it was fun to read your post. Now I know someone else remembers the day we got stiffed by the mick.

Sue said...

I am so glad to know that this didn't just happen to me....The man was a real A$$....nothing more to say. Thanks for writing.