A Hero All His Life: Merlyn, Mickey Jr., David, and Dan Mantle : A Memoir by the Mantle Family

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9780060183639: A Hero All His Life: Merlyn, Mickey Jr., David, and Dan Mantle : A Memoir by the Mantle Family

Mickey Mantle's wife and sons chronicle the life and times of the great baseball hero, offering a personal and candid portrait of his career, the effects of fame on the family, his alcoholism and infidelities, and his final battle with cancer. 100,000 first printing. $85,000 ad/promo. Tour.

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From Booklist:

It only looked like the American Dream. When Commerce, Oklahoma, native Mickey Mantle, heir apparent to Joe DiMaggio, arrived in New York in 1951, Yankee manager Casey Stengel cautioned the press, "Go easy on the kid. He's never seen concrete." The press took Casey's advice, but the Mick didn't. Beginning with an introduction written by Mantle shortly before his death in 1995 and including contributions from Mantle's wife, Merlyn, and his three living sons, this memoir tells the whole sad story of an American hero's perpetual adolescence and the devastating effects it had on his family. Mickey's alcoholism--barely manageable in his playing years, out of control after--extended eventually to the entire family: Mick, Merlyn, and all four sons did time at the Betty Ford Center. We hear all the grisly details about the boozing and brawling and womanizing first from a contrite Mick and then from an ironic Merlyn and the shell-shocked boys. Somehow, though, this account never grates like a whiny talk-show confessional-- Oprah Does the Mantles. What saves it is the stereotype-shattering voice of Merlyn, whose weary irony encompasses both love and anger. Her backstage voiceover, set against the dying Mick's genuine bafflement at how he could have screwed up something that looked so good, should echo in the ears of every American sports star. Bill Ott

From Publishers Weekly:

A poignant tribute to Mickey Mantle, the famed Yankee star who died of cancer last summer at age 64 following a failed liver transplant, this reminiscence presents alternating chapters by his widow and three of his sons; the fourth, 36-year-old Billy, died in 1994. The couple, both from the same small Oklahoma town, were married in 1951 and moved to New York City, a milieu that overwhelmed them. In due course they both developed serious drinking problems. The ballplayer was almost always on the road, either playing baseball or starring on the lecture circuit. He became an open womanizer, in two instances engaging in long-term affairs his wife was aware of. As the Mantle sons grew up, they became their father's drinking partners. All of them developed alcohol and/or drug addictions and were treated at the Betty Ford Clinic. Mickey is quoted here as saying he was a poor husband and father, an assessment readers will consider accurate, but his family expresses only love for him and recalls the qualities that endeared him to them. Photos not seen by PW. $85,000 ad/promo; simultaneous HarperAudio; author tour.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Dan Mantle; David Mantle; Merlyn Mantle; Mickey E. Mantle
Published by U.S.A.: Harpercollins (1996)
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