Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Mantle's Family Agrees to Hold Public Service

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Mantle's Family Agrees to Hold Public Service

Article excerpt

The baseball world is focusing on Dallas today to say goodbye to Mickey Mantle in a funeral service that his family couldn't keep private because of the Hall of Famer's many fans.

Thousands are expected to attend the public service at at Lovers Lane United Methodist Church. Mantle's family preferred to keep it closed, but instead will hold a separate, private wake the same day.

The former New York Yankees slugger died Sunday of cancer. He was 63.

Bobby Richardson, a lay minister who was with the family in the final hours of his former teammate, will officiate at the service. NBC broadcaster Bob Costas will give the eulogy.

Teammates Whitey Ford, Moose Skowron, Hank Bauer, Johnny Blanchard, Yogi Berra and Bobby Murcer will serve as pallbearers. Ford, Skowron, Bauer and Blanchard visited Mantle last week in the hospital.

Country singer Roy Clark will sing "Yesterday When I Was Young," according to his spokeswoman, Carol Anderson. She said Clark and Mantle had been friends for 35 years, and Mantle had requested many years ago that Clark perform the song at his funeral.

"They want it to be respectful, and they're hoping it doesn't turn into a spectacle because Mickey never did like those kinds of things," longtime Mantle friend Roy True said of the family's wishes. "They would have held an entirely private service, but they know that Mickey was a shared personality."

Among the dignitaries expected to attend are Texas Governor George W. Bush, New York Governor George Pataki, American League President Gene Budig and former AL President Bobby Brown.

The sanctuary at the church seats 1,500, but two other areas will be set up to handle the mourners who will watch the service on TV, a church official said.

An area will be reserved for Yankee teammates, other ballplayers and dignitaries, said Gayle Baxley, a spokeswoman at the church where Mantle supported an outreach program for runaways and homeless youth called Promise House. …

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