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Mantle Signs 1964 Contract with DiMaggio on Hand

Feb. 27, 1964 - Mickey Mantle, who in his first year as a professional ballplayer received $1,100, today signed his second $100,000 contract as a New York Yankee. At the ceremony were general manager Ralph Houk, manager Yogi Berra, Whitey Ford, and Joe DiMaggio, who retired in 1951 after his third straight year as a $100,000 player.

Houk made it clear that, although the injury-plagued Mantle had been able to play in only 65 games last year, the Yankees never had considered offering him less. “When I visited Mickey in the hospital following his knee operation last October,” said Houk, “I asked him what he thought he ought to get. He said, ‘I don’t really know. I didn’t have much of a year, so I haven’t got much of a sales talk. The club always has treated me fairly, so I’ll take anything that’s offered.’ I told him that I had already talked it over with Mr. [Dan] Topping [president and co-owner], and I assured him he had nothing further to worry about.”

Houk explained management’s position: “Despite the crippling injury suffered by Mickey in Baltimore on June 5, when he fractured a bone in his left food, Yankee management feels that a player who has done so much on the field and has developed such solid fan support should not be penalized. Mantle is a real inspiration to our club and a tremendous asset to baseball.”

As for his physical status, Mantle, looking trim and fit, said he was confident that on opening day he would be able to play as well as ever. Mantle, in his 65 games last season, batted .314 and hit 15 home runs. On Aug. 4, appearing as pinch hitter in his first time at bat after an absence of 62 consecutive games, he slammed an electrifying game-tying homer deep into the left-field stands at Yankee Stadium.



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