“I would like you to take good care of Mickey when he goes all the way to the Yankees. He’s going to get a lot of attention and there will be people making him offers but I wish you would handle him. He can use all of your advice.”
True to Mutt’s concern, Mickey was beset by agents and somehow got tangled up with two at one time. It took legal action by the club to straighten out the mess. Tommy Henrich asked him if he had obtained a lawyer to represent him in his transactions:
“ “No, I didn’t have to, they had a lawyer up in their room.”
An opportunistic agent named Alan Savitt waylaid Mantle in the lobby of the Concourse Plaza Hotel his first week in New York, promising $50,000 in endorsements, to be split fifty-fifty. Short of cash, Savitt soon sold a 25 percent interest in Mantle futures to a showgirl names Holly Brooke, who introduced the rookie to scotch and the art of picking up a check.
Teammates tried to warn him off the deal-and the girl that came with it, but Mantle was stubborn. Later he would admit, “Boy I’m sorry I didn’t listen.”
The Yankees clinched the pennant in Philadelphia on September 28th, the same day the Giants tied the Dodgers for first place in the National League. Mutt, his brother Emmett, and his pals Turk Miller and Trucky Compton drove east for the World Series. Mutt’s son showed them the town. In The Mick, Mantle described his father’s parochial confusion upon seeing the statute of Atlas in front of Rockefeller Center: “Shoot the Statue of Liberty’s smaller than I thought.”
The Oklahoma boys didn’t know how much money it cost to go to the movies; they didn’t know where to get off the subway for the ballpark (and ended up walking three miles). They sure didn’t know how to hold their big-city liquor; riding the train, pressed between New York City straphangers, Compton threw up in the hat of an unlucky passenger.
But Mutt knew trouble when he saw it.
Her name was Holly Brooke, Mantle introduced her to his father as “his very good friend.” He recounted the conversation in The Mick;
“Maybe she winked at me. I don’t know. But Dad knew something was up-and he didn’t like it a bit. Later he took me aside.
“ “Mickey you do the right thing and marry your own kind.”
“ “It’s not what you think, Dad.”
“ “Maybe not but Merlyn is a sweet gal and you know she loves you.”
“ “Yeah, I know."
“ “The point is, she’s good. Just what you need to keep your head straight.”
“ “I know.”
“ “Well, then, after the Series you better get on home and marry her.”
“I half turned from him, nodding silently. There was nothing more to discuss."
Merlyn, told Jane Leavy, in her book The Last Boy “She was older. She had a kid almost as old as Mick. She more or less got in with this attorney, Mutt saw the situation. He knew it was trouble. Mick could be easily swayed.”
While Brooke trysted with him in major and minor league cities, Merlyn was back in Oklahoma wearing his engagement ring and receiving love letters on Yankee letterhead.