Most people know of July as being in summer, but it’s also smack in the middle of Mount Rushmore season per the world of sports talk.
And in Mount Rushmore season, there might not be a team in pro sports that has a more challenging time identifying its top four players in franchise history than the New York Yankees. There’s bound to be a player or fanbase that feels left out by the argument. This week, it’s Mickey Mantle fans.
During the Yankees game against the Los Angeles Angels Monday night, the YES Network broadcast brought up Joe DiMaggio on the anniversary of his 56-game hitting streak being snapped in 1941. After citing DiMaggio in their memorable moments segment, Yankees play-by-play voice Michael Kay casually broached the hot-button Mount Rushmore topic.
Michael Kay: “We always play these games, Yankee Mount Rushmore…It’s gotta be Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio and then who’s the fourth guy? There’s a lot of people to choose.” pic.twitter.com/cV19pIpxjI
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) July 18, 2023
“We always play these games, Yankee Mount Rushmore. Joe’s on that mountain,” Kay said of DiMaggio. “I think the only thing you argue about is the fourth guy…it’s gotta be Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio, and then who’s gonna be the fourth guy? There’s a lot of people to choose. Yogi, Mantle, Rivera, Jeter, we can go on for a while, Whitey.”
After the video was shared on social media, most of the replies and quote-tweets argued Mickey Mantle was the easy answer. The Twitter commentary represents a small percentage of Yankees fans, but Mantle supporters seemed stunned that the Hall of Fame centerfielder wouldn’t be automatically on the team’s Mount Rushmore.
Mantle would probably receive the most votes because he’s uber-popular with older Yankees fans, and the younger fanbase can point to his WAR. But it would be wrong to act like a case can’t be made for Yogi Berra or Mariano Rivera. Kay’s Mount Rushmore discussion was no insult to Mantle and his fans. Although somewhere in Saratoga, NY, the ultimate Mickey Mantle fan, Mike Francesa, is undoubtedly shaking his head at his hero being snubbed.