46 years ago, Mickey Mantle got a spot in Monument Park -- which was in play in center field
46 years ago, the Yankees, and more specifically, Joe DiMaggio dedicated a spot in Yankee Stadium's Monument Park to Mickey Mantle. You can check out the moment in the video above.
It probably comes as no surprise that a three-time AL MVP, seven-time World Series winner and center fielder that all great center fielders will forever be compared to was inducted into the Yankees' famed park on that day. But what may be a surprise to some readers was that back then, from 1932-1973, Monument Park was actually located IN center field. Yes, it was in play. You can see the Miller Huggins, Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth monuments behind Roger Maris in the below photo from 1961. They were about 461 feet from home plate:
And here's another photo of the park from September of that year:
Mantle's plaque was placed on the center-field wall right behind the three memorials. Former Yankees manager Casey Stengel was said to have yelled at Huggins, Ruth or Gehrig to throw the ball back in when hitters reached that area of the ballpark.
In the mid-1970s, Yankee Stadium was remodeled and Monument Park actually became its own "park" -- enclosed and off the field of play. Mantle is now one of six people with a monument at the new Yankee Stadium. So today, we'll send him some congratulations with one of his many, I-have-no-idea-how-far-that-home-run-went home runs: