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Neil Best leaves no stone unturned in the world of sports media.

RIP, Mickey Mantle’s

4. MICKEY MANTLECenterfield, 1951-68Through the years, there was

4. MICKEY MANTLE
Centerfield, 1951-68
Through the years, there was more emphasis on how good Mantle could have been had he not been injured at the end of his rookie season and had he taken better care of himself. Still, a recent book looked at his career through the prism of modern statistical analysis and it showed that he was more dominant than people thought when he was a 20-time All-Star, Triple Crown winner and three-time MVP who hit a record 18 World Series home runs. (Credit: AP)

It would be a stretch to call Mickey Mantle’s a more recent generation’s Toots Shor’s. The restaurant on Central Park South that opened in 1988 and was named for The Mick never quite turned into an iconic hangout of that magnitude.

But it had its moments – some of them sordid – especially in the early years, many of them recounted in a 2007 book by restaurant founder Bill Liederman. In those days, Mantle himself could be seen there and the place had cachet.

In truth it was a minor miracle – and a testament to the power of the Mantle brand – that the joint lasted as long as it did before closing this past week, unable to pay its bills and moving on to the great sports hangout in the sky, where Toots surely remains the genial host, with Mickey holding court at a back table.
 

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