In the 1950’s no baseball team was as successful as the New York Yankees – Just ask five-time World Series Winning baseball player, Irv Noren.
Irv recalls the impact an All-Star player like Mickey Mantle could have on his adoring fans in this episode of In My Day. In 1954, Irv and Mickey took a cross-country road trip along Route 66. “We were driving down and there were some kids playing in this field right along the street there and so I said ‘let’s stop and have some fun with them.’” Irv and Mickey whipped out some baseballs from the trunk and asked the kids if they wanted to play a little ball? The children didn’t recognize the famous Yankees, so imagine their surprise when Mickey started hitting balls 400 feet over buildings and beyond the trees. Eventually, Irv and Mickey fessed up to the kids, revealing their true identities. “So, Mickey’s out there showing his drivers license to these kids, that he’s Mickey Mantle.”
Even today, 63 years later, Irv still gets a kick out of considering how amazed the kids’ families must have been when they ran home to tell their parents the story of their chance encounter with THE Mickey Mantle.
Perhaps the greatest lesson Irv learned from his years in baseball is to always treat each opportunity in life with respect. “Every time you come to bat that means something. I don’t care if the score is 10-0…. Just make that at-bat, make it mean something. And that’s a recipe for life.”