Since it’s only a short time until pitchers and catchers report, February 11th to be exact here’s one for the baseball fans, and although I’m a huge baseball stat nerd and fan, I admit I just happened across the world-famous New York Yankee’s homesite while traveling through Oklahoma.
Since it’s only a short time until pitchers and catchers report, February 11th to be exact here’s one for the baseball fans, and although I’m a huge baseball stat nerd and fan, I admit I just happened across the world-famous New York Yankee’s homesite while traveling through Oklahoma. Mickey Mantle’s childhood home is located 3 hours from the lake area, shortly across the Missouri border south of Joplin, in Commerce, Oklahoma.
The modest whiteboard house where Mantle was raised is deceiving as to how the young man turned into an international sports celebrity.
Mickey Mantle played for the New York Yankees for 18 years and through seven World Series championships. The son of a zinc miner and former semi-pro baseball player, the baseball star was born in 1931 in Spavinaw, Oklahoma before the family moved to Commerce when Mickey was three years old. The house itself is not much of a museum, except for the remaining broken window where Mickey hit a line drive into his childhood home. But the novelty is the metal barn/shed on the property, where visitors stop to take photos of the faded tin building that served as a backstop for the future star, where the undisputed king of switch-hitting spent hours with his dad and grandpa learning to hit both sides of the plate with tennis balls.
Next, stop by the Mickey Mantle Statue while in town on your journey for all things related to the pro. Mantle’s sculpture sits at the entrance of the slugger’s alma mater, Commerce High School. The nine-foot tall bronze sculpture oversees the baseball field that is his namesake. Dr. Nick Calcagno, the artist, was an award-winning sculptor and teacher at nearby NE Oklahoma A&M University. Around town, Mickey is still known as the “Commerce Comet” where he was signed to a $140 per week contract with the New York Yankees after completing a semi-pro stint in South Missouri.
There is one last stop related to the all-star baseball player a few miles up Route 66, back into Joplin. Joe Becker Stadium was host to Mantle, as well as Whitey Herzog, and Coach Ty Cobb back when the Joplin Miners, a minor league affiliate of the Yankees, was headquartered there. Mantle’s mark is still all over the stadium, including a large mural of the man himself. A renovation in 2015 preserved the stadium as the home of MINK league baseball’s Joplin Outlaws for the greater four-state area.
Mickey Mantle’s Childhood Home Corner of C Street and Quincy Commerce, Oklahoma