The response attributed to the Mick is indeed a real one, as detailed by Mantle biographer Jane Leavy:
In 1973, when the Yankees celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of the House That Ruth Built, the public relations department sent a questionnaire to former players.
[Yankees publicity director] Marty Appel, who crafted the questionnaire, and received and edited the infamous reply (substituting [Mantle’s ninth-inning home run that won
Game 3of the 1964 World Series for the Yankees]), gave the original document to Barry Halper, the minority team owner and memorabilia maven who would later sell his vast collection for more than $30 million.The X-ratedwriting sample circulated through the baseball underground for years before emerging into the LED glare of the World Wide Web. Appel was appalled. Mantle was just trying to shock the Yankees’ straitlaced PR chief,Bob Fishel, he said.
Absent Mantle’s impeccable 1930s Palmer Method penmanship, the asterisks, and the appellation, it’s just another example of locker room crude. The self-mocking touches turn it into something altogether different and far more
interesting — a send-upof Yankee grandiosity and a self-knowing appraisal. Who knew he had a sense of irony?
“That may be the best thing I’ve ever heard about him,” said Robert Pinsky, the bard of Red Sox partisans, and the former poet laureate of the United States. “He’s saying, ‘I am not going to be your