Feb 08, 1983: Mickey Mantle suspended
Submitted by BTGrimes on Fri, 02/08/2013 - 9:00am
Mantle out... sort of
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - Baseball Commissioner Bowie Kuhn wasn't messing around. On this date in 1983 he banished one of the icons of the sport from having any official position in Major League Baseball. On the day Mickey Mantle was named Director of Promotions for the Claridge Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City he was informed he had to give up his part-time coaching job with the Yankees. Ever accommodating, the former Yankee great said he understood, "I don't blame him. He did what he thinks is right or he wouldn't have done it."
There was a precedent for what Kuhn did. Four years earlier he did the same to baseball great Willie Mays after he accepted a position as a greeter for Bally's Park Place Casino in Atlantic City. According to the Associated Press (AP), Kuhn said about Mantle, "His situation is like Willie Mays. Baseball and casino employment are inconsistent." The Commissioner's office made a point of saying that Mantle would be able to play in old-timer's games and make appearances for the Yankees since those aren't "official" positions in the game.
Mantle acknowledged that Bowie Kuhn tried to talk him out of taking the casino job by saying, why not do commercials like Reggie Jackson for Panasonic or Joe DiMaggio for Mr. Coffee. Mantle said, "I've been out of baseball 14 years and I don't have Panasonic and Mr. Coffee knocking at my door."
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