Saturday, February 6, 2010

The Yankee Shrine

Change is often good, or so it’s said. In my case, it is. For instance my Yankee Wall has changed, so much so, I now call it my Yankee Shrine. The new additions are ones that I would like to share with you, my Heavener bloggers.

See, I’ve had several pictures on my previously-named Yankee Wall. They included photos of mostly Mickey Mantle. My “new” Yankee Shrine includes mostly more photos of Mickey Mantle. Get the idea that Mantle was my favorite Yankee. Well, the fact he was from Oklahoma had a little to do with my bias. I’ve never been to Commerce, OK to see if there’s a sign signifying the town as Mantle’s home. The closest I’ve been is probably Commerce, TX. Not really. It’s somewhere near Miami, OK, I think. Okay, I don’t really know where it is. He’s still my favorite Yankee player. Oh, back to the Shrine.

From left to right, it has photos of Mantle, along with Joe DiMaggio and Ted Williams pictured together, one of Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, and another of Gehrig the day he gave his “I consider myself to be the luckiest person on earth” speech, surrounding a large framed center-piece 1956 Life magazine cover of Mantle given to me my by step-daughter Tammi. Above those photos is a Yankees insignia. Over to the next wall, which is connected to the first one by a Yankees pennant in the corner, are several more photos of, you guessed it, Mantle. First it is a picture of Mickey holding a baseball in his right hand, below that is a framed menu from Mickey’s restaurant in Oklahoma City, Mickey Mantle’s Steakhouse, located in the Bricktown area. Next to them is an autographed one of me and Mickey, an unopened package of Upper Deck baseball cards, 100-count, and a glass-cased baseball signed by Mickey, a center-piece picture of the original Yankee Stadium outside Gates 3-4-5, again given to me by Tammi, below that is an American flag presented to me at Dad’s funeral in 2002. Next to the picture of Yankee Stadium is a framed copy of a Longview News-Journal column about my dad I wrote on Father’s Day in June of 1995, an autographed picture of Mickey to dad, above another picture of Mickey, shown with Yogi Berra and Whitey Ford. Below all that are two embroidery-hooped towels from a Yankees game Cynthia and I attended … not at Yankee Stadium, though. It was a game against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. If you’re interested, I’ve still never been to Yankee Stadium, the old nor the new one.

However, if my Heavener bloggers are interested, donations will be accepted so we can travel to New York for a live game.

• • •

For those of you that may be wondering, a Northeastern Oklahoma State University graduate will sing the National Anthem at Sunday’s Super Bowl XVIV on CBS, and it’s not me, Jim Patterson nor John “Sarge” Locke. Give up? It’ll be Carrie Underwood.

Underwood achieved national fame when she won the fourth American Idol singing competition in 2005. Today she is a four-time Grammy Award winner, the 2009 Academy of Country Music Entertainer of the Year and a three-time Country Music Association and ACM Female Vocalist of the Year.

She is the first country artist to ever record 11 consecutive No. 1 singles and her 11 million U.S. album sales are the most for any winner of American Idol.

Underwood returned to NSU after her American Idol victory and graduated magna cum laude in Mass Communication in 2006. She was also named Outstanding Senior for 2006 and inducted into the NSU Hall of Fame.


At February 6, 2010 at 8:02 PM , Blogger Jim Patterson said...

That is a great shrine, John. I don't think I could sleep with an unopened package of baseball cards in the house, though. I rounded up 7 cents (Mantle's number) to help you get on your way to Yankee Stadium. That should get you out to the city limits of Tyler. From there, you're on your own, but wait, more donations may be on the way.

At February 6, 2010 at 10:29 PM , Blogger Kathy Bain Dunn said...

John, I want to add a Heavener tidbit to your Mantle lore. Mickey Mantle's sister, Barbara, has lived in Del City for many years. She was a secretary at Del City HIgh School. Her children attended Townsend Elementary where I taught years ago. One of Barbara's daughters, Cindy, moved to Poteau and raised her family there. Cindy's son Matt would be a great-nephew to Mickey Mantle. And here is the Heavener connection - Matt married Jerry and Donna Johnston's daughter Jeana. Mickey's mother moved up to live in Del City with Barbara, and all of us were so in awe when Mrs. Mantle would call the school or come to PTA. She and Barbara both were/are great people and great friends.

I like your shrine. Harry is a collector of sports memorabilia - a fun hobby with a lot of treasures!

At February 9, 2010 at 7:42 AM , Blogger colin said...

John, I don't have a Yankee Room, I call mine the Braves Corner. It keeps moving around though. It started out as the Boston Room, and then I had to move it to a place I called the Milwaukee Room, and now it is just the Braves Corner. I don't know how to put pictures on the blog or I would show you my Braves stars such as Babe Ruth, Warren Spahn, Eddie Matthews, and that other guy that hit more homers than Babe did.
(just kidding of course)


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