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Mickey Mantle shown on the back 'front page' of the New York "Daily News” newspaper, April 18, 1953.

The TIME Vault: 1955

LIFE Magazine—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images -- Mickey Mantle on the cover of LIFE magazine, July 30, 1965, with the headline "Mantle's Misery." Mantle's last few years as a player were not the best of times. His post-baseball life was also wracked with hardships, including liver failure and the death of his son Billy. In his prime, though, Mantle was a wonder to behold on the diamond, a rare combination of speed, power, grace, and grit.