Mickey Mantle retired on March 1, 1969.
Mantle made his announcement at a press conference just before his New York Yankees opened Spring Training, saying that:
I can’t play anymore. I don’t hit the ball when I need to, I can’t steal when I need to. I can’t score from second when I need to.
Mantle had traveled to Fort Lauderdale in February, torn about whether he would try to go through training camp and begin his 19th season, or just hang up his spikes.
After a conversation with Yankees officials, Mantle walked away.
It was the conclusion that most fans feared headed into the offseason after a 1968 campaign in which The Mick played in 144 games but saw his batting average bottom out at .237. His 18 home runs represented the third time in his final six seasons that he failed to reach 20.
The Yankees wasted little time in celebrating their hero and future Hall of Famer, retiring his famed number 7 in a ceremony at Yankee Stadium on June 8, 1969, which had been declared as Mickey Mantle Day by New York City mayor John Lindsay.