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Fun with OOTP: Can Mickey Mantle’s Wild Card team continue its Cinderella run?

After upsetting the top-seeded 1939 team, The Mick’s 1957 squad takes aim at another Joe DiMaggio-led group

Mickey Mantle Holding Ball from 1000th Hit

The Round of 16 in our All-Time Yankees Fantasy Showdown continues with two matchups in our Mantle region.

For the uninitiated, we’re using Out of the Park Baseball 21 to stage a simulated tournament between the Yankees’ best teams to see who reigns supreme. You can check out summaries of first-round action here, here, and here.

To the action:

(4) 1950 vs. (8) 1957

In the first round, Mickey Mantle’s 1957 team, which didn’t win the World Series in real life and thus entered the tournament as a wild card, upset top-seeded 1939, led by MVP vintage Joe DiMaggio. In this round, they’d be matched up with another DiMaggio edition of the franchise in the 1950 squad, which fended off 2019 in the prior round.

Game One was all Whitey Ford, who guided ’57 to a 3-0 victory with eight shutout innings. Right fielder Hank Bauer took Allie Reynolds deep in the second inning to open the scoring and Tony Kubek, playing left in this game, added a two-run double in the fourth to round out the scoring.

Game Two was more of a slugfest, but ’57 came out on top again, 10-6, backed by a two-home run performance by first baseman Bill “Moose” Skowron, as well as dingers by shortstop Gil McDougald and Mantle, who had three hits and drove in two on the day. The game was tied 5-5 entering the eight inning, but catcher Yogi Berra hit an RBI double off reliever Joe Page to put ’57 up for good. A pair of two-out RBI hits from Enos Slaughter and Bobby Richardson plated two more that inning to give ’57 some breathing room.

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The underdog ’57 team kept their foot on the gas in Game Three, pulling out an 8-6 win. They were down 3-1 entering the bottom of the fifth, but scored four off ’50 starter Eddie Lopat, with Mantle’s two-run double with the bases loaded serving as the crucial blow.

Down 3-0 in the series, 1950 lashed out in Game Four, romping to a 15-8 win. DiMaggio had four hits, including a homer, and drove in two. Designated hitter Cliff Mapes had four RBI and infielders Johnny Hopp and Jerry Coleman each had three.

But Whitey Ford once again befuddled 1950, hurling another eight shutout innings en route to a 2-0 series-clinching victory for 1957. Gil McDougald, whose two-run homer in the third inning provided the only scoring on the day, was named series MVP. Over the course of the five games, the shortstop hit .364 with two home runs and four RBI. But the honor easily could’ve gone to Mantle (.368, 1 HR, 5 RBI), Berra (.400, 1 HR, 5 RBI) or Ford (2-0, 16 IP, 0.00 ERA).

1957 wins 4-1.

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(2) 1953 vs. (3) 1928

Mickey Mantle was once again in action in this series, with his 1953 squad taking on the 1928 team of Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig.

Fifty-three jumped out to a 1-0 series lead with a 9-4 victory in the opening contest. Shortstop Phil Rizzuto and right fielder Hank Bauer led the way offensively, with each contributing two hits and two RBI. The big bats of ’28 made some noise, though, with Ruth notching two hits and two RBI and Gehrig going 3-4 with two runs scored and another batted in.

Game Two provided redemption for ’28, as they won 5-4. Four consecutive two-out hits in the first inning saw them plate three runs and they never surrendered that lead, backed by a five-inning shutout performance from starter Herb Pennock.

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But ’53 punched back hard in Game Three, walloping ’28 by a score of 14-3. Hank Bauer continued his scintillating start to the series, going 4-6 with a home run and five RBI (which game him nine driven in over the first three games).

The pendulum swung once more in Game Four, however, with 1928 pulling out a close 3-1 win to knot the series again. But a 10-1 thrashing by 1953 in Game Five appeared to lock the pendulum in place. Every member of the ’53 lineup contributed to the 16-hit performance and starter Vic Raschi tossed seven innings of one-run ball to secure his second win of the series.

The battering continued in Game Six, as 1953 closed out the series with a 12-5 victory. Left fielder Gene Woodling went 3-4 with a grand slam and drove in seven on the day. Hank Bauer, who hit .500 over the six games with a homer and nine RBI, was named series MVP.

1953 wins 4-2.

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