The Last Hero: The Life of Mickey Mantle

David Falkner, Author Simon & Schuster $23.5 (255p) ISBN 978-0-684-81424-7
Mantle, who played for the New York Yankees from 1951 to 1968, was in large part responsible for the 10 pennants the team won during those years. One of the best switch-hitters of all time, he was most famed for his ``tape-measure'' home runs, one of which may have gone 565 feet, and for his willingness to play when injured and in pain. Raised in rural Oklahoma, Mantle (1931-1995) was greeted skeptically by baseball fans when he arrived in the majors because he was 4-F in the draft owing to osteomyelitis and did not fight in Korea. But the disapproval turned to love and, when his career ended, he was the darling of the fans. Mantle's personal life was far less successful: he was an alcoholic and a womanizer and paid little attention to his wife and five sons, all of whom also developed problems with alcohol. Additionally, he was unsuccessful in business when his playing days were over. Falkner (The Last Yankee) is deeply sympathetic toward Mantle and convincingly suggests that he may be a tragic figure. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 12/04/1995
Release date: 12/01/1995
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 280 pages - 978-1-4391-8122-5
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