Denny McLain’s 1968 Parting Gift To Mickey Mantle

Toward the end of the 1968 season — after Denny McLain had won his 30th game — the New York Yankees visited Tiger Stadium to play the Tigers.

Mickey Mantle was just a few games away from retirement and tied with Jimmie Foxx with 534 career home runs.  Growing up, McLain was a big fan of Mantle’s — in fact, he idolized him.  With a 6-1 lead and no one on base, McLain grooved fastballs right over the plate as a parting gift to his hero. 

A few pitches later, Mantle parked one in the seats for the second-from-last home run of his career.  In a rare act of kindness by McLain, Mantle surpassed Foxx on the all-time home run list at 535.

Below is footage of Mantle telling the endearing story.


3 replies on “Denny McLain’s 1968 Parting Gift To Mickey Mantle

  • DL Harris

    I was at this game with my dad. What a great memory. I was 13 years old at the time. Now forty-one years later, I’ve been able to get some details about this game from the internet. Thanks for providing a forum to make some comments.

  • Kevin Springer

    I was there too! A 9 year old second baseman from Livonia with Dick McAuliffe as my hero. I got a piece of turf from around 2nd base the night they won the pennant. Tiger Stadium had the best hot dogs the world has ever known.

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