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Yanks Top O’s, Mantle Breaks Foot

June 5, 1963 - Mickey Mantle suffered a broken bone in his left foot today when he crashed into the center field fence chasing a fly ball in the sixth inning at Baltimore’s Memorial Stadium. He will be out of action at least a month. The loss of Mantle was a sad note to a victorious day for the world champions. They defeated the Orioles, 4-3, to regain first place and drop the Orioles to second. Roger Maris hit his 200th major league homer and scored the winning run. Mantle was injured when Brooks Robinson hit a high fly that just cleared the center field fence for a home run, tying the score at 3-3 in the sixth. Thinking he could reach the ball, Mantle jumped high while running toward the 8-foot wire barrier. As he came down, his left foot was caught in the mesh wiring and twisted so that he broke the third metatarsal bone. Mantle lay immobile on the ground and had to be carried from the field on a stretcher. Later, at Baltimore’s Union Memorial Hospital, X-rays showed the extent of the injury. The Yankees came away from the contest with a dim view of the quality of the Baltimore fan in defeat. They were shocked when, at the close of the game, a great cheer heralded the public announcement that Mantle had suffered a broken foot. “I can’t believe what I heard!” Clete Boyer exclaimed to newsmen while seated on a locker-room stool. “Let ‘em boo me, or Blanchard, or Tresh — but not that guy over there. To cheer a player’s injury, that’s too much!” The New York third baseman gestured across the clubhouse to where Mantle had just hobbled in on a set of crutches. “I didn’t know I was close to the fence,” Mantle explained. “I reached up for the ball and stepped into the fence. My spikes caught in the wire about a foot off the ground as I came down.” Yankee manager Ralph Houk criticized the inner-perimeter wire fence on which Mantle’s foot had been impaled. He also condemned the action of a bottle-throwing fan. “That’s the first time I’ve ever seen a fan wind up and take dead aim on an umpire with a bottle,” Houk remarked. “That’s very serious. If he hits [Joe] Paparella, he can kill him or cost him an eye. They should’ve got that guy.”


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