Searching For the Mickey Mantle Bowling Center

   I recently came across this photo of a cigarette lighter from the Mickey Mantle Bowling Center. My curiosity got the best of me, and I spent the better part of the morning finding out what I could about Mickey Mantle's long gone business venture.

   The bowling center opened in the mid 1950s, in a development at the corner of Harry Hines and Mockingbird Lane called Exchange Park.  In the 1950s, Exchange Park was a very modern and glamorous mixed used development that housed the headquarters of Braniff Airlines along with numerous commercial interests, including Mantle's Bowling Center.  Exchange Park still exists today, but mainly as offices for UT Southwester Medical Center and Chase Bank.

Exchange Park, at the Corner of Harry Hines and Mockingbird, in it's heyday 
   The Mickey Mantle Bowling Center became part of a New York Yankees contract dispute in 1959. The Yankees wanted Mantle to take a significant payout, despite hitting 42 Home Runs the previous year.  Mantle said he would not take a cut, but deserved a raise. He publicly stated he would be more than happy to stay in Dallas and run his bowling alley rather than accept the pay cut. 

Photo Courtesy of @BSMile via Twitter

Matchbook from Mickey Mantle Bowling Center

Mug given to those who bowled a perfect game

    The Bowling Center lasted only a few years as did his chain of restaurants that Mantle tried to run  in the late 60s. Mickey Mantle's Country Cookin' original location at 3561 Marvin D Love Freeway is long gone, but there still exists numerous pieces of memorabilia from his failed restaurant venture.         Mantle also lent his name to a development at Cedar Creek Lake.  Willowwood and Arbolado developments still exist today, but few remember Mickey Mantle's involvement. 

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