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MANTLE: SEVEN VIEWS OF GENIUS
In all the hours he has spent watching baseball, nothing impressed Artist Robert Riger as deeply as the consistency and rhythm of Mickey Mantle's power. These sketches are a tribute to greatness
Power and precision are highlighted as Mantle leans heavily into a pitch. Mickey's powerful arm, shoulder, back and leg muscles all combine in one smooth flawless motion as he brings his bat around in a level arc to the ball's flight.
Take-off after successful swing shows Mantle flipping bat and taking first step from home plate. Fastest man in baseball going down the first base line, Mickey has been clocked at 3.2 seconds batting lefty and 3.3 hitting right-handed.
Digging in on the base paths with his head down and his arms pumping, Mantle resembles a dash-man exploding out of starting blocks. Possessing quick reactions and a perfect sliding technique, Mickey is always a threat to take the extra base.
Follow-through takes him halfway round in his powerful swing. He ends up with legs spread wide and eyes following flight of ball. The force of this swing has pulled Mickey's bat all the way around his body in a full, muscle-testing circle.
Throwing with one of the strongest arms in the major leagues, Mantle rarely allows runners to advance an extra base on him. With his wide range in center field, Mickey's defensive abilities are the less spectacular equal of his offensive genius.
Bunting left-handed, Mantle's feet are off the ground as he starts toward first base in the same motion. Because of his great speed, Mickey will sometimes gamble for a base hit by skillfully dragging a precisely placed bunt past the pitcher.
Leaning casually on bat in characteristic pose, Mantle studies his teammates in batting cage. The biggest attraction in baseball today, Mickey is watched by everyone, players and fans alike, when his turn comes to take his practice swings.
...all ranks pay [homage] to the hero of the day.... Hear the shouts in the street! The people cannot see him enough. They delight in a man. Here is a head and a trunk! What a front, what eyes, Atlantean shoulders, and the whole carriage heroic, with equal inward force to guide the great machine!