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Felix Mantilla
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Felix Mantilla
Felix Mantilla
Ultimate Mets Database popularity ranking: 386 of 974 players
Mantilla
Felix Lamela Mantilla
Born: July 29, 1934 at Isabela, P.R.
Throws: Right Bats: Right
Height: 6.00 Weight: 170

Felix Mantilla was the most popular Ultimate Mets Database daily lookup on December 25, 2012, April 26, 2013, and December 22, 2013.

3b ss 2b

First Mets game: April 11, 1962
Last Mets game: September 30, 1962





Share your memories of Felix Mantilla

HERE IS WHAT OTHER METS FANS HAVE TO SAY:

Alan
January 11, 2002
Felix was a key member of the Milwaukee Braves 57-58 NL champs.....best player Mets had in 62

rich edwards
March 16, 2002
Felix made the throwing error that was the beginning of the end for Harvey Haddix after pitching 12 perfect innings. Even in 1959 the Mets were already part of his destiny.

rich edwards
April 2, 2002
J. Eckert , you're right it was Felix who hit the ball. In all fairness to Mantilla he did hit 30 homers. In 1964, the Green Monster had its effect on a lot of players. (I hope I got that right at least.)

Mike
May 26, 2002
I met Felix when I was 10 years old. I didn't even know he was a baseball player. I was very good friends with his son, Jose. This is when he lived in Allston, Massachsetts and played for the Red Sox. Now I am in my 40s and wish I could find a way to contact him, or his son Jose. He took me to many of the games at Fenway and I met the entire team one day. I hope all is well with him and his family.

Tim
February 3, 2003
Felix had a problem on balls hit to his left or right, he sometimes would break left for a ball hit to his right and visa versa. The end result was many hits given up by pitchers that should have been routine outs. Mantilla was the best player the Mets had in 1962. If it wasn't for him and Ashburn, nobody would have hit over .270. Woodling hit around .273 but in limited at bats.

Jose Mantilla II
April 29, 2003
I call Felix "Grandaddy" because that's what he is to me. It is crazy for me to read or hear about my grandfather's playing days. When I talk with his teammates like Hank or Uecker, they often tell me that he was one of the greatest that they ever played with. I've heard: "One of the only guys who could play any position other than pitcher or catcher at any time," and "one of the first guys to slide head first." I'd also like to point out that not only did he hit 30 homers for the Sox, but he also led the team in RBIs, which is amazing considering one of the greatest men to pick up a bat, Yaz, was his teammate. To Mike, Jose is my father and I'm sure he'd love to talk to you if and only if he remembered you. Members of my family have received weird e-mails recently from people who claim to have been close to our family in the past. E-mail me and we'll chat. If anyone knows how to get any videos of my grandfathers old games please e-mail me. I would like to talk to you.

Choo Choo
November 16, 2004
In the Midler/Devito movie "Ruthless People", Felix is listed in the credits with the crew as 'utility infielder'. Dwight Gooden is also listed as 'best pitcher' after 'best boy'. Producer must have been a Mets fan.

Feat Fan
February 25, 2007
In today's economy, Mantilla would be worth 3m+ per year. Could play all infield and outfield positions and he could hit. Fenway aided his stats (30 home runs in 64 92 ribbies in 65) Would have liked to have had him here longer than just the one year. Called it quits at a relatively young age in '66 after a year in Houston. One of those players that was under the radar but versatile and productive.

Jose Antonio Mantilla
March 5, 2008
I've never seen him but he is part of my family and in Isabela he has a park named after him.

Jim Eckert
August 31, 2011
On his 1958 Topps baseball card, when he was a Milwaukee Brave, was the comment "Fans call Felix 'The Cat" because of his graceful fielding". But I just thought it was more likely because at the time there was a comic book character called Felix the Cat. But in a Sport Magazine article from around 1965 (titled Mantilla Arrives!) a player is quoted as saying he got the nickname from how he looks - he said something like - hey, just look at his FACE, that's why he's called "The Cat"!

He merited the Sport Magazine article (Mantilla Arrives!) because his best years of 1964-65 came as a feel-good Cinderella surprise story to the baseball world. It was somewhat shocking that this rail thin former utility man listed at 6 foot 160 pounds and a long time .220 type hitter for the Braves was banging out 30 homers in 1964 (35 total in 8 previous seasons), then driving in almost 100 runs in 1965. It seemed a success story out of almost nowhere, except we fans knew he was around and thought we knew enough about him to know he just couldn't be doing these things, but he was! But players themselves interviewed seemed of the attitude that he had always had it in him and that he finally decided to put it all together.

As to his time on the Mets in 1962, according to the article, he seemed to have little regard for Casey Stengel. When asked about Stengel, he'd shake his head and just say "that man!", apparently thinking him a bit crazy for the moves he made, and the ways he would move him around in the lineup.

The man directly after Mantilla alphabetically on the complete list of major league players was a fairly well known hitter, and Felix nearly kept pace with him those 64/65 seasons in HR's (48 to 54) and RBI (156 to 157).









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