Mantle Series Part 8

Part VIII: Mickey’s Records (The Audio Kind)

By Kelly Eisenhauer

It’s hard to imagine how popular Mickey Mantle was during his playing days. Being compared to Joe DiMaggio one day and Babe Ruth the next, Mantle was always in the public eye. He appeared on countless television shows and magazine covers, appeared on milk cartons throughout the country and was even featured in two full-length motion pictures. His image was used in hundreds of advertisements ranging from Bow-Wow Dog Food to Timex wristwatches. He even had a hit record, “I Love Mickey,” with Teresa Brewer in 1956. And speaking of records – the vinyl kind – that is the subject of this installment of “Mickey Mantle: The Complete Collectibles Guide.”

Mantle was no stranger to the media. It can be said that Mickey had made more television appearances than a lot of professional actors. In the recording world, Mickey was no Elvis, but as near as I can tell, his face was on more records than any other baseball player.


In the midst of a world championship and Triple Crown season in 1956, Mantle was sitting on the top of the world. After receiving many offers to do this and to do that, Mickey decided to team up with a 25-year-old singer from Ohio named Teresa Brewer to record, “I Love Mickey,” on Coral records. With Mantle actually appearing with Brewer on the recording, the record today remains one of the most collectible of Teresa Brewer’s records. Without sounding too much like Casey Kasem, the record only peaked at position No. 87. It was a modest hit, but is one that people still seek today. In fact, it is still on my downstairs jukebox. The song, “I Love Mickey,” also appeared on Brewer’s 1957 album, “Miss Music.” The album is on Coral records and is designated as CRL-57179.

I Love Mickey – Coral Records
Written by Teresa Brewer, Ruth Roberts and Bill Katz in 1956, the song, “I Love Mickey,” was released in two different formats. The first release was a 45 rpm that featured an orange Coral Records label. On the right side of the label, record number 9-61700 is printed with the reference number 100445. The length of the song was one minute and 45 seconds. This orange label release is known as the “ regular” or “common” 45 rpm. The flip side or back side features the Teresa Brewer release, “Keep Your Cotton Pickin’ Paddies Offa My Heart.” It features the same record number 9-61700, but has a different reference number of 100446. Depending on condition, the “I Love Mickey” single is valued around $20-$25. (Photo Nos. 451-452)

Also released in the same 45 rpm format was a blue-label edition on the same Coral record label. This powder-blue edition was marked as “Not For Sale.” This meant that the record was a promotional copy intended to be sent to radio stations for airplay. The label has the same information, but does have the record number listed on the left side. It is designated as record number 9-61700, with a reference number of 45-100445. Also appearing on the blue label and not the orange label are the words “Willow Music Corp.” The flip side has the same song, “Keep Your Cotton Pickin’ Paddies Offa My Heart.” The value of the blue, promotional record in Excellent condition is around $100. (Photo Nos. 453-454)

The second format release of “I Love Mickey” was in the form of a 78 rpm. These hard vinyl releases were intended to be played by consumers at home on their phonograph and remain a very desirable collectible for record collectors, as well as Mantle collectors. The 78 rpm featured an orange Coral label and was designated as record number 61700 with reference number 100445. This release is valued around $75.

Also released in the 78 rpm format was a special Canadian edition that was printed using a dark maroon label with the words “Pressed in Canada” at the bottom of the label. The same record number of 61700 and reference number 100445 appear on this edition as well. Values for the Canadian release are slightly higher than the USA version. The value is around $100. (Photo Nos. 455-456)

The Willow Music Corp. also issued sheet music for the song, “I Love Mickey.” It had a 50-cent price tag and showed a picture of Brewer and Mantle in the recording studio. Facsimile signatures of the two stars are also found on the front cover. (Photo No. 457)
A black-and-white pin button was also given to those who purchased the sheet music. Collectors should take note that both the pin/button and the sheet music have been reprinted in the 1980s and are often sold as vintage. The original, vintage, 13/4-inch pin/button featured a black-and-white picture of Brewer and Mantle with their names and “I Love Mickey” printed in black. The reprints featured the same photo, but had Mantle and Brewer’s name with “I Love Mickey” printed in red. Original pins are valued around $75, while the reprints are worth about $5. (Photo No. 458)

Another item that was distributed on a very limited basis was a promotional 8-by-10 of Mickey and Teresa Brewer. It was the same photo that appeared on the sheet music. The photo was also used to produce the “I Love Mickey” pin. The photo is very rare and is worth between $300-$500. (Photo No. 459)

Two trade publications were produced that featured both Mantle and Brewer on the front cover. In 1956, a German trade magazine called Tuney Tunes and an American trade publication called Rock and Roll Songs both featured write-ups about the song, “I Love Mickey.” The magazines are valued in the $100-$150 range in Excellent condition. (Photo Nos. 460-461)


My Favorite Hits – RCA Victor
In 1958, RCA Victor released a 331/3 rpm album called, “My Favorite Hits Mickey Mantle.” The album was designated as LPM-1704. The front cover of the album is what truly makes this a Mantle collectible. Dressed in his home pinstripe Yankees uniform, Mickey is shown in a left-handed batting stance at Yankee Stadium. The back of the album includes a write-up of Mickey explaining his selections for the album. Mickey’s 12 favorites were as follows: “Begin the Beguine” – Artie Shaw; “Home on the Range” – Vaughn Monroe; “Tennessee Waltz” – Eddy Arnold; “That Old Black Magic – Glenn Miller; “Remember Me?” – Hal Kemp; “I’ll Never Smile Again” – Tommy Dorsey; “Come Rain or Come Shine” – Tony Martin; “Love Letters” – Hugo Winterhalter; “Solitude” – Duke Ellington; “Stormy Weather” – Billy Butterfield; “The Last Round-up” – Sons of the Pioneers; and “Lullaby of Birdland” – Ralph Flanagan. The album is fairly common and is worth around $100 in Excellent condition. (Photo Nos. 462-463)

Auravision by Sports Champions Inc. – Columbia Records
There is a lot of controversy surrounding the two different Mickey Mantle Auravision records. I have heard that a short-print record that shows Mickey with the bleachers in the background was printed in 1962 and that the common blue-sky version was printed in 1964. I believe this to be a common misconception. I tend to believe that both records were made in 1964. And for some unknown reason, the “bleacher” record and the Willie Mays record were short printed. (Photo No. 464)

Both Mantle record backs have Mick’s statistical data through and including the 1963 season. They both also have a copyright date of 1962. It is this author’s belief that a copyright was applied for and granted to Sports Champion Records in 1962, but production didn’t start until 1964. So, it is my belief that both records were printed in 1964, with the backs of both having only one small difference. The “blue sky” version contains an orange strip across the middle of the card. It serves as a separation line between the biographical write-up of Mickey and his career stats up to and including 1963. The “bleacher” version does not have that orange strip. (Photo No. 465)

As for the fronts of the record cards, the “bleacher” record shows Mickey dressed in his home pinstripes with the Yankee Stadium bleachers in the background. The Sports Champion record logo is located in the upper right corner with the words, “33 RPM” located in the upper left corner. The record has a green border and measures 6½-by-6½ inches. In order to be played on a phonograph, the center hole had to be displaced. Records with holes in the center are worth considerably less than an unused, Near-Mint condition one. When played, the record featured a 5-minute interview with Mickey by Marty Glickman. Values for the “bleacher” version are typically in the $100-$150 range, depending on condition. (Photo No. 466)

The “blue sky” Auravision record was released in 1964. The photo shows Mickey with an all blue-sky background. Dressed in his home pinstripes, Mickey is holding a bat in his right hand after a follow through left-handed swing. With “33- 1/3 RPM” in the upper left corner, this differs from the “33 RPM” that was on the “bleacher” version. The Sports Champion record logo is also located in the upper-right corner. Values for the “blue sky” Mantle are in the $20 range, since large hoards have been found over the years. Other players in the set include Roger Maris, Sandy Koufax, Bob Allison, Ernie Banks, Ken Boyer, Rocky Colavito, Don Drysdale, Whitey Ford, Jim Gentile, Al Kaline, Willie Mays, Bill Mazeroski, Frank Robinson, Warren Spahn and Pete Ward. (Photo No. 467)

The distribution of the Auravision records can partly be traced to Yoo-Hoo, where the company shipped six records at a time in a Yoo-Hoo envelope, which is pictured. Good Humor ice cream was also said to be a distributor. (Photo Nos. 468-469)

That Holler Guy – United Artists
In 1959, United Artists released an album and a 45 rpm that featured stories told by sports announcer and former St. Louis Cardinal Joe Garagiola. The front cover pictured Garagiola with Yankee legends Mickey Mantle and Yogi Berra and Cardinals greats Stan Musial and Ken Boyer. The back cover has short write-ups and pictures of Casey Stengel, Gil Hodges, Leo Durocher, Toots Shore, Yogi and Stan the Man. The album is designated as UAL 3032 and is a 33 rpm. United Artists also released a mini version in the format of a 45 rpm. The layout of photographs is slightly different than the album version. Both records are worth between $100-$150, depending on condition. (Photo Nos. 470-472)

National Father’s Day Committee – A Day to Remember
This 12-inch recording featured short essays on the theme “Integrity Starts in the Home.” Recorded by the National Father’s Day Committee, which consisted of Mantle, Billy Graham, Ronald Reagan, Charles and Mark Van Doren, Ed Sullivan and others, the album was produced by NFDC of 50 East 42nd Street, New York. With a picture of Mantle on the front cover, the title of the album was “Words To Remember.” The album dates back to the mid-1950s. (Photo Nos. 473-474)

1964 Support USA Campaign
This 12-inch 331/3 rpm release was a public service album that featured short 50-second, 30-second and 10-second public service announcements that were intended for radio station airplay. The album also featured public service tracks from Johnny Carson. The recording was a Public Service Program of the Advertising Council and was designated as album P4LM-9427. (Photo No. 475)

USO is There … Only If You Care
In another public service album that was issued to radio stations around the country, this USO recording includes public service tracks by Helen Hayes, Bob Hope and Mantle. The D’arcy Advertising Co. Inc. in New York produced the album. It was also part of the Public Service Campaign of the Advertising Council. The record dates back to the 1960s. (Photo No. 476)

Mickey Mantle Greatest Sports Thrill
Produced by the United States Air Force, this 14-minute and 30-second recording was made as another public service. Usually this type of recording was made to air on the Armed Forces Radio Networks. The content has Mantle being interviewed by Harry Wismer and was in the 331/3 rpm format. The album was not intended for commercial purposes. (Photo No. 477)


Hitting – Audio Sports Incorporated
In 1972, Audio Sports Inc. of Los Angeles produced and manufactured a Mantle record and booklet on hitting. The record and booklet featured two color pictures of Mickey. The front one showed him in a follow through, right-handed batting stance, while the back showed him in a right-handed batting stance at home plate. (Photo Nos. 478-479)

Inside the booklet, photo 1 shows Mickey talking about a good batting stance, while photo 2 explains the importance of keeping your elbows away from the body while holding your bat high and straight. (Photo No. 480)

In photos 3 and 4, Mick talks about crowding the plate and also standing on the outside of the plate. (Photo No. 481)

In photo 5, three shots show Mickey swinging in a full level arch around the body, while photo 6 explains the idea of snapping the bat into the ball at the final instant. (Photo No. 482)

In photo 7, a close-up photo shows Mickey’s cocked wrists, with photo 8 showing Mickey pulling the bat back, if the pitch looks right. (Photo No. 483)

In photo 9, Mickey stresses the idea of putting weight on the back foot and then in photo 10, he stresses swinging with a level arch. (Photo No. 484)

Photos 11 and 12 show Mickey stressing the importance of not breaking your wrists and choking up on the bat in a hit-and-run situation. (Photo No. 485)

Finally, Mick addresses two important steps in bunting. The first is sliding your right hand to the trademark and secondly, if drag bunting, slide your rear foot closer to the plate. All of the photos inside the booklet are black and white and show Mickey in his Yankee pinstripe uniform. (Photo No. 486). The album itself is a red translucent plastic. The instructional record is very rare and is part of a series of records made to teach the fundamentals of the game. (Photo No. 487)

There is also a quote from “The Mick” that states, “Confidence is as important as ability. Work equally hard at both.” (Photo No. 488)

The Story of Mickey Mantle and His Batting Tips – as told to Phil Rizzuto
In 1961, Champion Records released a 45 rpm record with Phil Rizzuto interviewing Mantle. The interview with Mickey was on side A and designated as C-100. The interview took place during the summer of 1961, while Mickey and Roger Maris were battling it out for the home run championship in the year that Ruth’s single-season home run record of 60 would fall. Maris would end up with 61 in 1961 and his record would last an amazing 37 years. (Photo No. 489)

Side B features, “The Story of Roger Maris and his Batting Tips as Told to Phil Rizzuto.” It is also designated as record C-100. (Photo No. 490)

A Day to Remember – June 8, 1969
I can remember watching these ceremonies on WPIX, Channel 11. It was the day that the Yankees officially retired Mickey Mantle’s No. 7. Before video recorders were invented, I decided to record the ceremonies on reel-to-reel tape, so that I could replay the events whenever I wished.

On Aug. 9, 1969, Columbia Records released the audio recordings of that day in a record titled, “A Day to Remember.” It was given to all fans in attendance on Old-Timer’s Day at Yankee Stadium. The record included featured Yankees broadcasters Frank Messer and Mel Allen. Besides Mickey’s famous retirement speech, Joe DiMaggio presented Mickey with a plaque that was later placed in Monument Park. The 331/3 rpm recording also came with a very colorful jacket that showed Mickey in six different poses. The photos showed Mickey at the microphone delivering the “retirement” speech mentioned earlier, and two pictures of Mickey with the Yankee Clipper, Joe DiMaggio. Other photos showed Whitey Ford presenting Mickey with his famous No. 7 jersey, Mickey with Yankees President Mike Burke and Mickey being driven around Yankee Stadium in a Yankees golf cart. The Mick received a 10-minute standing ovation before the fans were asked to quiet down.

The record is designated as CSM-1020, with reference number ZTV 147618. The back photo on the dust sleeve shows Mickey dressed in coat and tie with his arms wide open at the Mickey Mantle Day festivities. It is worth about $20. (Photo Nos. 491-493)

Mantle at the Mic
In the 1950s, Mantle played the role of interviewer. In a 331/3 rpm record distributed by National Time Sales, Mantle interviewed Yogi Berra, Bob Turley, Solly Hemus and Lew Burdette. Side A was 10 minutes in length and featured excerpts from those interviews. The record was designated as K8OU-3931. (Photo Nos. 494-495)

On side B, Mickey interviews Hall of Fame pitcher Warren Spahn for 10 minutes. The record is designated as K8OU-3930. (Photo No. 496)

Baseball in the Great Yankee Tradition
Produced exclusively for the New York Yankees by Columbia Special Products, this 331/3 rpm 7-inch recording features interviews from Mantle, Ralph Houk, Mel Stottleymre, Elston Howard, Joe Pepitone, Tom Tresh, Frank Crosetti and Jerry Coleman. The record also includes the theme music from “Here Comes The Yankees,” by Sid Bass and his Orchestra. The theme song was used for television and radio broadcasts in the 1960s. The record’s designated number was CSM 548. (Photo No. 497)

The dust jacket is what truly makes this a Mantle and Yankee collectible. The front cover features eight circular color photos of the before-mentioned Yankee players. The reverse of the dust jacket features a photo of an official American League Joe Cronin baseball with autographs of the above players. The record was distributed in the mid-1960s. (Photo Nos. 498-499)

All-Star Tips, Baseball’s Greatest Players

Released by Steady Records in 1973, All-Star Tips features interviews with Mantle, Willie Mays, Roger Maris, Al Kaline, Whitey Ford, Sandy Koufax, Bill Mazeroski, Pete Ward, Ken Boyer, Jim Gentile, Frank Robinson and Don Drysdale by Marty Glickman. The Mantle interview was 5 minutes and 23 seconds in length and was the first interview on Side B. The front album cover shows paintings of three generic players and Willie Mays in a New York Mets uniform. (Photo No. 500) The backside of the album features 12 photo “cards” with a short blurb of each player. (Photo No. 501) The album’s designated number is S-131 and was an ARTREF Production. Also shown are the album’s label and the individual close-up of the Mickey Mantle card. (Photo Nos. 502-503)

UPI Great Moments in Sports
Made in 1976, this Great Moments in Sports card was part of a set that featured various athletes from various sports. Mantle is shown in a 1964 home run swing at Yankee Stadium. The reverse of the card had a short biographical write-up about Mickey and contained the various World Series records that Mantle holds. A small translucent record was glued to the back of all the cards, while a special record player was needed to play the recordings. The only identifiable marking on the record/card are the words, United Press International, which appears under the Mantle photograph on the front of the card. (Photo Nos. 504-505)

How to Hit! by Mickey Mantle
In 1973, the Reserve Life Insurance Co. of Dallas issued an advertising premium foldout with record called, “How To Hit!” The cardboard folder included a blue “EVATONE” sound sheet that was 331/3 rpm. (Photo Nos. 506-507)

  • On page 1 of the foldout booklet, Mantle is shown discussing the selection of the proper bat and batting grip. (Photo No. 508)
  • Page two shows pictures of Mickey explaining the proper batting stance and over-striding while hitting. (Photo No. 509)
  • On the third page, two pictures show Mickey teaching youngsters to keep their head still. (Photo No. 510)
  • The fourth page shows a series of pictures where Mickey is stressing the importance of a level swing and bunting. (Photo No. 511)
  • On the reverse side of the booklet, a page is dedicated to Mick’s career statistics, with photo. (Photo No. 512)
  • A Reserve Life fact sheet is also part of the booklet, as it gives a history of the company. (Photo No. 513)
  • A final page shows a letter from Mickey with a picture. The letter is closed with “Your friend, Mickey Mantle, Vice President – Special Markets. It is also signed with a facsimile signature. (Photo No. 514)
  • Mickey Mantle worked as the director of public relations for the Dallas Reserve Life Co. It was a common response for the company to send these records and autographed cards to fans requesting Mickey’s autograph in the 1970s through the 1980s. (Photo No. 515)


1957 New York Chapter Baseball Writer’s Association of America
At its 34th annual dinner held at the Waldorf Astoria, a recording of the events was made by the IND.O. PRO Recording Co. Mantle’s voice is on the recording, which was made on Feb. 3, 1957. The 331/3 rpm album was given to members of the Writers Association and distributed in a very limited basis. (Photo No. 516)

The Deafness Research Foundation
In the 1950s, the National Deafness Foundation released an album of public service announcements. The album featured mostly 30 and 60-second announcements from celebrities such as Art Linkletter, Phil Rizzuto, Mickey Mantle, Gary Moore, Bing Crosby, Lowell Thomas and more. The Mantle PSA was cut No. 8 and lasted 60 seconds. The album was 331/3 rpm and was designated as record JDP 100B with reference No. XTV104672. The album was issued to radio stations across the country. (Photo No. 517)

Salk Institute Building Fund
This was another public service announcement album that featured 60, 30 and 15-second spots. Done to promote the Salk Building Fund, various athletes participated in the recordings. Notables included stars such as Mantle, Roger Maris, Mel Allen, Ted Kluszewski, Floyd Patterson, Gil Hodges and Eddie Arcaro. The album was to air during the weeks of June 1 through June 15, 1962. The album was designated as EBC-62-NF-8503. Mantle did two recordings that were 30 seconds and 15 seconds in length. The album was distributed to radio stations across the country and was sponsored by the National Foundation of the March of Dimes. (Photo No. 518)

1989 Mickey Mantle Talking Baseball Kit
In 1989, the Collector Marketing Corp. of New York marketed a 20-card Mickey Mantle boxed set. Inside the box that featured a painted illustration of Mantle were the 20 cards, a dark-blue vinyl collector’s album to hold those cards, and a phonograph picture record called the Mickey Mantle Talking Baseball Card. The collector’s album featured an embossed facsimile signature in white of Mickey Mantle. Major League Baseball officially licensed the kit. Pictured are the front and back of the Mickey Mantle Baseball Card Kit and both sides of the Mickey Mantle Talking Baseball Card, which features Mickey in two different poses. The record is a 33 rpm. (Photo Nos. 519-522)

The Mighty Mickey Mantle
Although this one didn’t make the Billboard Top 100, Shorty Warren and his Western Rangers released a single 45 rpm on Gametime Records called, “The Mighty Mickey Mantle.” Released in the 1950s, the recording was designated as 45-101. The flip side contained the song, “Somebody Broke My Ding Dong,” a forerunner to Chuck Berry’s classic hit, “My Ding-A-Ling.” The Side B single is designated as 45-102. (Photos No. 523-524)

Sheet music for The Mighty Mickey Mantle also exists. (Photo No. 525)

Great Sports Moments of the Century
Made in 1976 by Fleetwood Records, this 12-inch album features play-by-play action, highlights, anecdotes, interviews and stories as they actually happened. Narrated by Curt Gowdy, the album does mention Mickey Mantle. The front cover of the album also contains illustrations of athletes from various sports. Mickey is shown in bottom in the middle area. The recording was designated as FMS 1018. (Photo No. 526)

When You Were Mickey Mantle and I was Stan the Man
Here’s another 45 rpm that Casey Kasem never had the pleasure of playing on American Top 40. This recording was printed on the Inglewood Record label in Nashville, Tenn. Ken Carlysle, co-wrote and sang the song, “When You Were Mickey Mantle and I Was Stan the Man.” The designated number was NR-133222 and actually was the B side of the release. The flip side or side A in this case, was another Ken Carlysle release called “Mexico! Mexico!” It has the same release number as was previously stated. (Photo Nos. 527-528)

Yankee Stadium: The Sound of a Half Century
In 1973, Fleetwood Records issued “Yankee Stadium: The Sound of a Half Century” narrated by “The Voice of the Yankees,” Mel Allen. The record featured historical events from 1923-73. Although Mantle’s voice is not heard on the recording, his accomplishments are mentioned numerous times. The cover of the album shows illustrations of Yankee greats Mantle, Ruth, Gehrig and DiMaggio. The 331/3 rpm record is 71/8 inches square and is designated as FCLP 3073. (Photo Nos. 529-530)


Willie, Mickey and the Duke – Talking Baseball
In 1981, singer Terry Cashman released a 45 rpm of one of baseball’s all-time greatest songs. Titled, “Talking Baseball – Willie, Mickey, and The Duke,” the song was released on Lifesong Records and was designated as Lifesong 45086. The dust jacket features a view of the three center fielder’s backs walking in from center field. The flip side features Cashman’s song called “Baseball – America’s National Pastime.” (Photo No. 531)

A promotional 45 rpm also exists. This was distributed to radio stations throughout the country and was designated as record LS 45086. (Photo No. 532) The flip side of the promotional release is the same, “ Baseball – America’s National Pastime,” and is designated as LS45087. (Photo No. 533)

Interesting to note, that dust jacket for the first and second printing of the 45 rpm edition has changed. The second printing edition shows a baseball diamond with players and has the title and artist in large bold print. The backside features the “Ol’ Professor,” Casey Stengel, gazing into his “crystal (base) ball. (Photo Nos. 534-535)

The 45 rpm was later reproduced on Collectables Records and has a designation of COL.3569-A. (Photo No. 536)
Later, Cashman began customizing songs for other major league teams. Mickey was also in the title of the Yankees release called, “The Bambino and The Clipper, and The Mick.” It is designated as LS45097 Y. It was also produced on the Lifesong Record label.

Willie, Mickey and the Duke – Signature Series L
P
Also produced in 1981, Lifesong Records and Cashman released a special 12-inch version of Willie, Mickey and The Duke that was serial numbered. The record designated number was SSLS-8135 and contained reproductions of the three authentic signatures on the second side. The front cover showed a color photo of the threesome walking in from center field with title and artist in bold print. The back cover used the same color photo without any printing. (Photo Nos. 537-540)

Inside the Signature Series release were numerous mailers and items. The first item featured a special poster of Willie, Mickey, and The Duke that stated: “1,603 Home Runs – What A Record?” (Photo No. 541)

Also included were mailers to purchase more 45 rpms at $2 each and Signature Series Albums at $9.95 each, plus $1 postage. An order form and certificate of authenticity of ownership were also included. (Photo Nos. 542-545)

About the Author
Kelly R. Eisenhauer of Lehighton, Pa., has been a fan and collector of Mickey Mantle memorabilia for more than 40 years. He supplied photography for the HBO documentary “Mantle, The Definitive Story” and is featured in Richard Wolfe’s current book, For Yankee Fans Only – Vol. 2. Eisenhauer owns and operates his own Mickey Mantle webpage at www.hofmemories.com. Anyone with questions or comments can reach him at mrike@ptd.net.

Many of the photographs from this multi-part series, including a remarkable number of one-of-a-kind pieces, came from the Mickey Mantle Collection of B.S. Alpert.