Maybe it doesn’t have the same ring to it as Mike in the late 80’s and early 90’s, but any kid growing up in the 50’s and 60’s wanted to be like Mickey Mantle – the baseball player. As a player, he was a 3 time MVP, a Triple Crown winner, and hit 18 home runs in the World Series. He was also the best switch hitter of all time who hit a mammoth 565 foot homeroom!
However, off the field, he led a pretty destructive life. Alcohol and a party time lifestyle took a toll on Mickey Mantle. His constant drinking led to liver problems, cancer, and eventually death. One of his most famous quotes was “God gave me everything and I blew it. For the kids out there, don’t be like me!” How did he change?
What or who is responsible for the new perspective? Bobby Richardson. This 11 year veteran and mediocre player on the field, was a true Hall of Famer off the field and in Mickey Mantle’s life. For 11 years, Bobby continued to be Mickey’s best friend, loving him for his good qualities and his bad, while also continue to pray with him and for him regardless of whether Mickey believed or not. On his death bed in 1995, Mickey said, “I am trusting Christ’s death for me to take me to heaven.”
After he quit drinking, he was able to be brutally honest with himself and the world. Richardson took this opportunity to be the best friend Mickey Mantle could have asked for.
What does the Bible say about Friendship and never giving up? Our friends have a big influence on us.
Proverbs 13:20 He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.
1 Corinthians 15:33 Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.