I grew up idolizing Mickey Mantle.
I found this to be a very sad book indeed. I knew Mickey had his problems but I never realized how deep they ran. I've read biographies of other great New York ballplayers (DiMaggio, Mays, Snider, Maris) and it seems that the common theme with them all is a deep unhappiness. I think it should give us all pause for thought when we just assume being a baseball superstar in New York is all fun and laughs.
For those into the Yankees and the hero worshiping of Mickey Mantle, this book is a wake up call. Ms. Leavy shows us the way Mantle really was towards the end of his life and it is not a pretty picture. A story of (even for him) wasted talent, a flawed man who, at times, had the understanding that he had to change. Thoroughly researched, it chronicles Mickey's early life and how some unfortunate events shaped the man.
I never saw or noticed the Mick in his prime. Only after the Life magazine article detailing his many injuries and the pain. I became a Micky Mantle fan for life. This biography spares nothing, telling us about the alcohol, the womanizing, the injuries, the child abuse (inflicted on the Mick), the generosity, the humbleness. I cried when he died. I cried all over again. A must read for anyone who grew up a Micky Mantle fan.
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