Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Last Boy Mickey Mantle

I bought this book a couple of weeks ago and finally found some time to read it.  I am about half way through it.  Baseball as a game and as a business was certainly much different in the 1950s than it is today.  Back then the owners had the upper hand since there was a reserve clause.  Every player had to fight for a raise after every year and could not declare free agency.  It was certainly difficult for Mickey who was born in Commerce, Oklahoma to play in New York.   Despite his many injuries he really could smack the ball.  The author Jane Leavy devoted much time to a home run that he hit in Griffith Stadium in Washington, DC that supposedly traveled 565 feet.  Sadly the Mick's drinking problem lead to his early passing at age 64.

From 1958-1961 I rooted for the Yankees since there was no National League baseball in NYC back then.  The book brought back memories on how the Yankees dominated baseball in that era.  When I pick up the book again I will read about the historic 1961 season where Maris and Mantle aimed at Babe Ruth's 60 home runs without steroids.  I highly recommend this book to younger baseball fans so they could learn about Mickey Mantle's impact in that earlier era.

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