Just know that if this happened in today’s climate, all hell would break loose.
In a new memoir, Diane Shah — who was the 1st female sports columnist for a major daily newspaper and longtime sports reporter — recalled a moment with Yankee legend Mickey Mantle in 1970 while he was a first-base coach for the team.
It started out with Shah writing in “A Farewell to Arms, Legs, and Jockstraps: A Sportswriter’s Memoir” that she asked Mantle how long he had been married. “Too long,” he answered.
The things took a drastic turn as mantle made a move to woo her into having sex.
“Then he reached inside his jacket and pulled out a greeting card. He handed it to me. The front showed a picture of flowers, and I assumed this was a card he intended to give his wife. I opened it. Inside, it said, ‘Wanna f - - k?’ He grinned.”
Shah continues, “I stared at the card. Had he bought this specially for me, or was this something he did all the time? I suddenly felt bad, but I wasn’t sure if it was for me or for him. I closed the card and — without a word — handed it back.”
Naturally, the sexual harassment didn’t stop there. Soon after revealing that he liked to hunt and fish in the offseason, Shah followed up with asking him what he liked to hunt, only to receive “a naughty euphemism for a woman’s genitals.”
Despite the encounter, she ended up at dinner with mantle and his friends later that night.
“As the evening wore on and Mantle kept drinking, he became tipsy and, at one point, nearly fell off his chair,” she writes. “Later, as we walked along Central Park South, he tripped on the curb at Sixth Avenue and — for one fleeting moment — oh, God — there was my hero, lying in the gutter. Mantle scrambled to his feet. ‘New shoes,’ he mumbled.”
Shah’s book, A Farewell to Arms, Legs, and Jockstraps: A Sportswriter’s Memoir, is out Tuesday from Red Lightning Books.