Mantle played for the New York Yankees as a center fielder and first baseman, from 1951 through 1968. Mantle was one of the best players and sluggers, and is regarded by many to be the greatest switch hitter in baseball history. Mantle was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1974 and was elected to the Major League Baseball All-Century Team in 1999. Mantle was arguably the greatest offensive threat of any center fielder in baseball history. He has the highest career OPS+ of any center fielder and he had the highest stolen base percentage in history at the time of his retirement. In addition, compared to the four other center fielders on the all-century team, he had the lowest career rate of grounding into double plays (by far) and he had the highest World Series offensive production. He also had an excellent 0.984 fielding percentage.
Mantle was noted for his ability to hit for both average and power, especially tape-measure home runs. He hit 536 MLB career home runs, batted .300 or more ten times, and is the career leader (tied with Jim Thome) in walk-off home runs, with a combined thirteen, twelve in the regular season and one in the postseason. Mantle won the Triple Crown in 1956, leading the major leagues in batting average, home runs, and runs batted in(RBI). He was an All-Star for 16 seasons, playing in 16 of the 20 All-Star Games that were played. He was an American League (AL) Most Valuable Player (MVP) three times and a Gold Glove winner once. Mantle appeared in 12 World Series including 7 championships, and holds World Series records for the most home runs (18), RBIs (40), extra-base hits (26), runs (42), walks (43), and total bases (123).