Throughout the history of sports, athletes have been looked upon as heroes. The idolatry of athletics in America has been socially constructed. Adolescents often dream about one day becoming a professional athlete. Athletes are viewed as having the best of both worlds: play the game they love and getting paid large amounts of money for doing it. The path many athletes often undergo to achieve professional success is never easy. The choices they make along the way are the ones that establish them as a hero.
[...] “Having tested Mantle through a decade of boos and indifference, New York was finally ready to accept him as its hero. For Mantle, this newfound popularity was an important crossing of a personal threshold the acceptance of himself” (Castro 205). Society had a hand in developing Mantle into a hero. He was a man who came from nothing and was living out the American dream, rags to riches. Every young boy and man growing up dreamt of achieving the same kind of success that Mickey did. [...]
[...] The perception of an athlete being a hero should go deeper than that. Actions that occur off camera and out of the public eye may or may not be something to perceive as heroic. Pete Rose was a player many kids looked up to. He was until he disgraced the game of baseball by gambling. Performance enhancing drugs have been an issue with famous baseball players, like Barry Bonds, especially lately. The concept of professional athletes being heroes can sometimes teach the naïve, youth of society that results are the only things that matter. [...]
[...] During the 1961 season, Mickey contracted a bad case of the flu. Mickey decided to go to visit a doctor a reporter recommended to him. The doctor administered a vitamin shot into Mickey's hip. He had a horrible reaction and doctors had to drill a hole in his hip to drain fluid from his infection. Mickey didn't let the infection stop him from playing, especially since the Yankees had made it to the World Series. During the first inning of game four, he reopened his wound while catching a fly ball. [...]
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