Mickey Mantle & Joe DiMaggio Collide During the 1951 World Series UPI press photo

Mickey Mantle - The Knee Injury That Altered History, 1951 World Series


From: - credit below -


“In the fifth inning of game 2 of the 1951 World Series the fate of three of New York’s Hall of Fame centerfielder’s came together. Rookie Willie Mays of the Giants lofted a fly ball to right-centerfield where Joe DiMaggio, playing center in his last year, and rookie Mickey Mantle playing right field, in his 98th major league game converged on the ball. Casey Stengel had told Mantle before the game, “The dago’s heel is hurtin’. Go for everything.” The past and the future converged on a routine fly ball.

Mutt Mantle, Mickey’s dad, and a group of friends had made the long trip from Commerce, Oklahoma to the “Big Apple” for the occasion, the hometown hero’s first World Series. Imagine Mutt watching what is about to unfold. The ball is dropping, Joe’s coming, Mickey’s charging. Mantle would tell Jane Leavy, in her book The Last Boy, “I was running as hard as I could. At that point in time, I could outrun anybody. I ran over to catch it as Casey had told me to. Just as I was getting ready to put my glove up, I heard him say, ‘I got it.’ Well shit, you don’t want to run into Joe DiMaggio in center field in Yankee Stadium, I slammed on my brakes.”

Embedded in the outfield was six-inch round depression, a drain. The cover was made of thin plywood with a rubber coating. According to a former Yankee groundskeeper, “It was wedged in there, below-ground. You had to hit it with your heel, wedge it down real tight. If it wasn’t, a player could trip on it.”

From the visiting dugout Al Dark tracked the flight of the ball. “All of a sudden, Mickey throws on the brakes and his legs went out from under him. Then he couldn’t get up and it didn’t look like he wanted to get up.”

Mantle was motionless, his right leg folded beneath him, the injured knee bent upward at an ugly angle. His left leg extends upward toward the sky. After catching the ball, DiMaggio turns toward Mantle, lying curled in an almost fetal position, kneels beside him, whispering words of reassurance, resting his hand on Mantle’s shoulder “They’re coming with the stretcher kid.” Mantle said it was their first conversation of the year.”

This even would alter the course of Mantle’s career and would sometimes explain his distant relationship for the rest of Mantle and Joe D’s lives.


This photo is a later-issued 1958-62 example that was made off the original negative by United Press International featuring an image taken in 1951 Mantle's rookie season. "Collapse in the Field" Mickey Mantle collapses at the feet of Joe DiMaggio who is about to catch Willie Mays' long fly to center field in the top of the 5th, in the 2nd game of the 1951 World Series at Yankee Stadium. 


Original paper caption and UPI stampings on the back of the photo.  This is the first time that we’ve ever seen a period image of this tragic event come up for sale! Historical!!!


Another article about “the play”


Item: 10974

Price: $495.00
Mickey Mantle & Joe DiMaggio Collide During the 1951 World Series UPI press photo