Even as Mickey Mantle struggled with liver cancer, former teammate and fellow Yankee legend Joe DiMaggio could not get over his grudge against Mantle, according to an excerpt from Dr. Rock Postiano and John Postiano's new book Dinner with DiMaggio.
“As Mickey Mantle was dying of cancer, I thought Joe would relent. It didn’t happen,” they write. “Joe never forgave Mantle for replacing him in center field and not taking his advice about how to conduct himself as a Yankee. Despite getting updates on Mickey’s condition, which was bad and worsening, Joe would not soften.”
The excerpt also recounts an awkward elevator ride with DiMaggio and Mantle in 1994 in which neither man seemed to want to be the first to say hello.
DiMaggio, who played for the Yankees from 1936 to 1951, died in 1999. Dr. Rock Positano developed a friendship with DiMaggio after meeting him 1990 to help treat a heel injury sustained by the Hall of Famer.
The excerpt also said that DiMaggio declined all press requests after Mantle's death.
“Even at a posthumous Mickey Mantle Day at the Stadium, Joe did nothing more than show up,” they write.