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Okla. City Plans Mantle Statue

March 24, 1998

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ A larger than life-size statue of New York Yankee great Mickey Mantle will be unveiled as part of opening day ceremonies next month at Oklahoma City’s new baseball stadium.

The Oklahoma Redhawks, a Triple A farm club of the Texas Rangers, said Tuesday they commissioned artist Blair Buswell to design the statue of Mantle.

Mantle died of cancer in 1995. The baseball legend from Commerce played for the New York Yankees from 1951 to 1968 and was inducted into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame in 1974. Many of his records still stand: 536 homers, 1,509 RBIs in 2,401 games and a .298 batting average.

The statue features Mantle in a left-handed, full-swing pose. It is 7 feet, 6 inches tall and would measure 9 feet if Mantle were standing straight. It will be placed on a granite base standing 3 feet tall. Mantle’s accomplishments will be listed on the base.

The statue will be in a plaza in front of the Southwestern Bell Bricktown Ballpark’s third base entrance.

Mantle’s family and Yankee teammates and friends including Bobby Murcer, Bobby Brown, Tony Kubek, Yogi Berra, Ralph Houk, Enos Slaughter, Ralph Terry, Bobby Richardson and Tom Tresh are scheduled to attend the dedication.

Others who will participate in the April 16 ceremony include Oklahoma baseball greats Warren Spahn, Ferguson Jenkins, Jim Gentile and Mickey Tettleton.

The Yankee players who attend the ceremony will have their handprints and signatures cast in stone and placed around the base of the statue.

A rendering of Mantle in full swing with his signature over his playing number seven will be on the end of each row of seats in the ballpark.

The $32 million ballpark is nearing completion in Bricktown, a warehouse district of restaurants and shops on the eastern edge of downtown.

The street in front of the stadium has been renamed Mickey Mantle Drive.

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