mickey mantle yankees home run derby
Syndication: The Oklahoman

MLB’s 2023 Home Run Derby will take place on Monday night in Seattle at T-Mobile Park. Pete Alonso is the only New York player who will be participating. We’ve seen a number of Mets and Yankees players take part over the years, but what did the older players like Mickey Mantle have?

While the current general style of the Home Run Derby didn’t come around until 1985, an older version inspired it.

There was a 1960 TV series called Home Run Derby that involved a bunch of MLB legends going head-to-head for nine innings to see who could hit the most homers during that time. The TV show had 26 episodes, which were recorded in December 1959 and aired from January to July 1960.

Mantle was joined by other MLB greats, such as Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Ernie Banks, Harmon Killebrew, Gil Hodges, and more. The Commerce Comet appeared in five contests, finishing with a 4-1 record. And thanks to the glory that is YouTube, we’re able to watch them.

I found all five on the good ol’ interwebs. Here they are (each about 25 minutes long) for your viewing pleasure before this year’s Derby happens.

Mickey Mantle vs. Willie Mays

Mickey Mantle vs. Ernie Banks

Mickey Mantle vs. Jackie Jensen

Harmon Killebrew vs. Mickey Mantle

Mickey Mantle vs. Jackie Jensen

Mantle ended with 44 total dingers, the most of anyone in the competition. The only opposing hitter he lost to was Killebrew, who beat Mantle 9-8 in episode four.

If you’d like to see some of the other matchups, 25 of the 26 episodes are on this YouTube playlist. And even if you don’t have time to do it now, I’d suggest bookmarking this for winter. It’s a nice way to pass the time when you’re bored.

You can reach Matt Musico at matt.musico@xlmedia.com. You can follow him on Twitter: @mmusico8.

Matt Musico is an editor for ESNY. He’s been writing about baseball and the Mets for the past decade. His work has been featured on numberFire, MetsMerized Online, Bleacher Report, and Yahoo! Sports.