Back in the day all of my friends were Mickey Mantle fans. We didn't know about how he drank and how he abused his body and hurt the team by not taking care of himself. It seemed that everybody loved Mickey. Except for me.
My Dad was a big time Mets fan. He hated the Yankees but he still took me to the game all the time because I loved the team. He never liked Mantle. But he was a big Roger Maris fan.
You see he told me Maris was a working mans hero. He went out and did the job. He was very successful even when his own fans hated him because he beat out the golden boy for the home run title. Because he beat the great Babe Ruth's record. He was what was an ordinary talented guy who reached greatness in one unforgettable season. He was sort of the underdog. So my Dad rooted for him. So did I. It was the beginning of my rooting for the scruffy Yankees and not the classy Yankees. The Bad Asses and the Assholes. Billy Martin. Johnny Elllis. Thurman. Sweet Lou. Ricky Henderson. Jim Leyritz. David Wells.
Still and all everybody loved the Mick.