On March 1, 1969 — New York Yankees legend Mickey Mantle announces his retirement. Mantle, who slumped to a .237 batting average in 1968, finishes his 18-season career with 536 home runs and a .298 average, numbers that would have certainly been higher if not for persistent knee injuries. The Yankees offer Mantle a coaching position on manager Ralph Houk’s staff. Mantle was an idol to millions, known for his remarkable power and speed and his everyman personality. While “The Mick” patrolled center field and batted clean-up between 1951 and 1968, the Yankees won 12 American League pennants and seven World Series.