By Kelly Eisenhauer
The adage is, “You can’t judge a book by its cover.” Or maybe, “Don’t judge a book by its dust cover.” In any event, when it comes to collecting books on Mickey Mantle, front covers and/or dust jackets are usually very important.
A professionally designed cover or jacket usually is an indicator as to how much time, money, and promotional work the publisher has put into the project.
As a collector of books that focus on Mickey, I can tell you there are several things that I deem to be very important. I look at the quality of the photographs used in the book, the amount of color used in the production, and the quality of the paper, that is used in the printing process. My favorite books are those that use photos of Mickey that I have never seen before. So many books use the same photos over and over and I am always a little bit disappointed when this occurs. Yes, it is true that I would still buy the book, even if none of the above criteria were met, but it doesn’t hurt if the publisher goes the extra mile. As for the adage, “A picture is worth a thousand words,” I wholeheartedly agree.
In this edition of “The Complete Mickey Mantle Collectibles Guide,” I’ll be highlighting all of the Mickey Mantle biographies known to exist. I’ll also be including books that were written about Mickey by himself or with the help of others. Books that include him on the cover by name or with his picture will also be included. This is a mammoth undertaking that has over 100 entries and SCD space limitations will require that it be done in multiple sections.
1. Mickey Mantle – The Yankee Years – The Classic Photography of Ozzie Sweet – 1998, Tuff Stuff Books, hardcover
If you like a book filled with obscure photos of Mickey Mantle, this is definitely the bible. Famed photographer Ozzie Sweet covers Mickey’s career beginning in 1951 as a 20-year-old through his last year with the Yankees in 1968. Many of Sweet’s Mantle photos, measuring 11½-by-9½ inches, ended up on the covers of Sport magazine. His photography is second to none. Also included in the book are photos of Mickey’s teammates Roger Maris, Yogi Berra, Whitey Ford, Billy Martin and Joe DiMaggio. Casey Stengel, Mickey’s manager from 1951 to 1960, is also photographed several times throughout the book. In short, the vibrant color and unique photographs make this a must-have for any fan of “The Mick.” (Photo No. 929)
2. Legends of the Field – The Classic Sports Photography of Ozzie Sweet – 1993, Viking Studio Book, hardcover
As its book jacket reveals, this book is a stunning collection of color photos that immortalize some of the major figures from the world of sport. Ozzie Sweet fills the book with a collection of 230 photos in an 113/4-by-9½-inch format. With a beautiful, color photo of Mickey on the jacket’s front cover, the book also includes some of the finest photographs from the world of baseball, football, boxing and hockey. Portraits of Mantle, Roberto Clemente, Pete Rose, Ted Williams, Willie Mays, Sandy Koufax, Jim Brown, Paul Hornung, Rocky Marciano, Bobby Hull, Bobby Oor, Bob Cousy and others are all represented. The focal point of this book deals with photos of athletes who made their name from the late 1940s through the 1960s. It’s another must-have book for Mantle fans and baseball fans alike. (Photo No. 930)
3. Le Baseball par l’image Mickey Mantle – R.S. Gravel, Dessin Jean A. L’Africain – L’Imprinterie L’Art Graphique, Inc. – 1953 – hardcover
Le Baeball par l’image is one of the most difficult Mantle books to find. Written totally in French and gracing an illustrated picture of Mickey on the front cover, the book is filled with illustrations and proper ways to play the game of baseball. The book addresses all facets of the game from choosing the right equipment to proper ways of hitting, running, sliding, fielding, and throwing. Because of the book being written in French-Canadian, the book has no ISBN number. (Photo No. 931)
4. The Mickey Mantle Story by Mickey Mantle as told to Ben Epstein – 1953, Henry Holt and Co., hardcover
Written in 1953, The Mickey Mantle Story tells us how Mickey’s dad, “Mutt” reared his son to be a Major League Baseball player. It tells how the left-handed Mutt and Grandpa Charlie, a right-hander, would throw countless pitches to Mickey so that he could sharpen his switch-hitting skills. Mickey then talks about growing up in Oklahoma and then “Taking the Yankee Pledge.” The book is loaded with black-and-white pictures from his early days with the Yankees. There are photos of the Mantle family, as well as pictures of Mickey and Merlyn on their wedding day in December of 1951. Overall, it’s a great book that focuses on Mick at the beginning of his Hall of Fame career. (Photo No. 932)
5. Baseball’s Most Valuable Players by George Vecsey – 1966, Random House, hardcover
With Mickey on the front cover, author George Vecsey writes about players who meant the most to their teams. Players include Willie Mays, Mantle, Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams, Yogi Berra, Stan Musial and many others. Vecsey’s write-up of Mickey includes 14 pages of text that starts from manager Casey Stengel’s earliest recollections of the then up-and-coming shortstop from Commerce. Mantle’s three MVP years of 1956, 1957 and 1962 are emphasized as well as the many injuries that he sustained throughout his career.
(Photo No. 933)
6. Mickey Mantle of the Yankees by Gene Schoor – 1958, G.P. Putnam’s Son, hardcover
This book traces Mickey’s days at home with his mother and father. It reveals how he got his name, Mickey, and tells numerous stories of Mickey playing beside DiMaggio, Phil Rizzuto, Hank Bauer and his other teammates under the tutelage of “The Ol’ Perfessor,” Casey Stengel. The front cover has a full-body illustration of Mickey completing a left-handed swing. Another variation has a photo of Mickey on the dust jacket that was used for the illustration in the first variation. (Photo Nos. 934, 935)
7. The Mickey Mantle Album by Howard Liss – 1966, Hawthorn Books, hardcover
With two distinct and different covers, this book is filled with black-and-white pictures of Mickey from his beginning days through the 1966 season. One version shows a drawing of Mickey on the cover with a golden-brown background. The second version shows a blank green front cover with a green jacket and two pictures of Mickey swinging and hitting. Photos include pictures of his family, including photos of Mickey and his three brothers, Larry, Ray and Roy. A wedding photo of Mickey and Merlyn is also shown, plus pictures of Mickey in his Yankee uniform. (Photo Nos. 936, 937)
8. Mickey Mantle: Mister Yankee by Al Silverman – 1963, G.P. Putnam’s Sons, hardcover
With only a handful of photos, Mickey Mantle-Mr. Yankee covers Mick’s career from days of boos, not booze, to his days as a leader of the Yankees. Chapters cover his move from shortstop to center, his expressway to the Yankees, which began in Phoenix in 1950 to his days of playing with pain and injuries. The dust jacket shows a color photo of him with his bat on his left shoulder. (Photo No. 938)
9. Mickey Mantle – America’s Prodigal Son by Tony Castro – 2002, Brassey’s, hardcover
Mickey Mantle-America’s Prodigal Son is one of the best Mantle books every written. Author Tony Castro tells all in this book. He talks about Mickey’s womanizing, his relationship with New York show girl Holly Brooke, his battle against alcoholism, and how the town of Commerce actually had mixed feelings about Mickey during his playing days. There is even a story about Mickey taking Mickey Jr. into a bar at age 3. If you want the inside scoop without anything being “sugarcoated,” this is the book. It’s a grand slam for Tony Castro. (Photo No. 939)
10. Mickey Mantle is Going to Heaven by Fritz Peterson – 2009, Outskirts Press, soft cover
This book was written by Mantle’s teammate, Fritz Peterson. Even though there is only one chapter that focuses on Peterson’s relationship with Mickey, it does reveal how Mickey accepted God as his Lord and Savior. Peterson, a Born-Again Christian, talks about counseling his former teammates and how he tried to get Thurman Munson to accept the Lord, as well.
The book has its lighter side, too. It reveals many of the practical jokes that were pulled in the Yankee clubhouse. In fact, some of them are hilarious, especially those involving teammate Jerry Kenney.
Peterson also talks in great detail about his highly publicized wife swapping with teammate Mike Kekich in 1973. Overall, it is a good read and reveals the personal side of players who just so happened to wear the pinstripes in the late 1960s through the 1970s. (Photo No. 940)
11. Mickey Mantle – Stories and Memorabilia From a Lifetime with The Mick – by Mickey Herskowitz with Danny and David Mantle – 2006, Harry N. Abrams, hardcover
This is great book that features many color and black-and-white photos from the Mantle family personal collection. Shown throughout the book are numerous pictures of Mickey and his family and while at work with the New York Yankees. What makes this book different from the scores of Mantle biographies is the fact that it includes 10 removable reproductions of Mick’s memorabilia. Included are copies of his 1949 Independence Class-D contract, a love letter he wrote to Merlyn in 1951, a publicity questionnaire filled out by Mickey in May of 1950, his lifetime APBP membership card, an autographed photo of Mickey sitting on the dugout steps, a 1962 Batting Tips booklet distributed by the Alvern Co. in 1962, a scorecard from August 4, 1963, in which Mickey hit a seventh-inning home run, a note from Billy Martin, a letter from President Nixon, and an annotated manuscript from The Mick written in 1985. Overall, it’s a unique book that focuses on some of Mick’s personal memorabilia. (Photo No. 941)
12. Mickey Mantle – Rookie in Pinstripes by Fred Gluekstein – 2008 – Universe Books – hardcover
Author Fred Glueckstein takes us back in time to 1951 when Mickey was being touted as the next Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig or Joe Dimaggio. Most fans know that Mickey was given uniform No. 6 to fall in line with the retired Nos. 3, 4 and 5, but it wasn’t going to be that easy. Glueckstein talks about the pressure that was on the 19-year-old rookie. Pressure that was put on him by the New York media, pressure put on him by his father, pressure of playing in the big city, and pressure that he put on himself.
The book talks about his first at bat on Opening Day of 1951, in which he hit a broken bat, ground ball to second baseman Bobby Doerr of the Red Sox, to his at bat in the sixth inning in which he lashed a single between short and third into left field to score Jackie Jensen for his first hit and RBI as a Yankee.
The book gives detailed accounts of his growing up in Oklahoma, his first date with Merlyn , and his trip to Phoenix for his first spring training in 1950. The book is very informative and has some neat, but fairly common photos of Mickey with his mother, father, brothers and sister. Other photos include Mickey with manager George Selkirk in Kansas City, a team photo of Barney Barnett’s 1947 Baxter Spring Whiz Kids, and a picture of Mickey on a stretcher after nearly colliding with teammate Joe DiMaggio in Game Two of the 1951 World Series. It’s a great book that reveals some of the not-so-well-known details of his rise and fall and rise again to glory in 1951. (Photo No. 942)
13. The Education of a Baseball Player by Mickey Mantle – 1967, Simon and Schuster, hardcover
The book tells of Mickey’s earliest recollections of growing up in a small village called white Bird, Okla. Mick recalls getting the best Christmas present of all time, which was a Marty Marion full-size professional baseball glove that cost $22. It talks about his adolescent years of playing in the Pee Wee League, the Gabby Street League, and the Ban Johnson League. From those small town leagues it was onto Baxter Springs, where Mickey started to make a name for himself.
The book jacket of the book shows a picture of Mickey in his Yankee pinstripe uniform holding his Rawlings fielding glove. (Photo No. 943)
A Japanese version was also printed in 1976 with a different cover. The Japanese version shows a picture of Mickey and his son at spring training in 1963. (Photo No. 944)
A paperback version was printed in September 1967. It shows Mickey in a follow through left-handed swing, which looks like it was one of Mickey’s 536 home runs. (Photo No. 945)
14. Mickey Mantle – Before The Glory by John Hall – 2005, Leathers Publishing, hardcover
A grand slam of a book by John Hall. This book is loaded with never-before-published Mantle family photos and traces the lineage of the Mantle family from England to Missouri. Unique photos of Mickey’s grandfather Charlie taken in 1893, Mickey’s father Elven or “Mutt,” taken when Mickey was only five or six months old, and a thorough examination of the Mantle family tree make up a great part of the book.
Other pictures include “Mutt” in the mines, Mickey on the high school basketball team, Harold Youngman and Mickey on a hunting trip, and the normal Independence and Joplin team photos. As Mickey’s wife, Merlyn, was quoted as saying, “This is the best account of the early life of my husband.” The front cover of the book shows a high school photo of Mickey, Mickey with his brothers and sister, Barbara, after a long day of fishing, and a close-up of Mickey wearing his Yankees cap with a Baxter Springs uniform. (Photo No. 946)
15. Mickey Mantle – Baseball Legends Series by Mark and Neil Gallagher – 1991, Chelsea House, hardcover
This children’s literature book starts by talking about an injury that Mickey suffered in Baltimore of 1963. After being on the disabled list for nearly eight weeks, Mickey came back to hit a game-winning pinch-hit home run that gave the Yankees an 11-10 win over the same Baltimore Orioles. The Gallaghers then talk about Mickey’s mammoth 600-foot home run at the University of Southern Cal, his rise through the minor leagues, his 565-foot home run at Washinton’s Griffith Stadium in 1953, his amazing Triple Crown season of 1956, and the incredible home run race with teammate Roger Maris in 1961. The book is loaded with quality black-and-white photos and features a color painting by Dan O’Leary on the front cover. The book is part of a series that features 33 different Baseball Legends, including Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, Lou Gehrig, Yogi Berra, Jackie Robinson, Ted Williams, Ty Cobb and more. (Photo No. 947)
16. Letters To Mickey with Mickey Mantle’s Last Letter to his Fans by Friends and Fans of Mantle – 1995, Harper Collins, hardcover
The book is what it says it is. It is a book that is made up of the letters that Mickey received during his illness in 1994 and 1995. Some of the more prominent letters are from President Bill Clinton and CNN’s Larry King. The bulk of the letters, however, are from “blue collar” America, the fans of Mantle. Written by young and old alike, the book reveals the just how much he meant to his fans. Also included on the book’s first page is a letter from Mickey to his fans. He took the time to thank all of them for their support and warned them against alcohol abuse. He also asked his fans to become organ donors and join his team, The Mantle Foundation.
One side note to add was the fact that all proceeds and royalties from the sale of the book went to the Mickey Mantle Foundation, which would earmark those monies to people who were in need of help. (Photo No. 948)
17. Mickey Mantle – My Favorite Summer 1956 by Mickey Mantle and Phil Pepe – 1991, Doubleday, hardcover
With Billy Martin’s death still on his mind as the book was being written, the first page of Mick’s book, My Favorite Summer 1956, was dedicated to his longtime friend.
Pepe’s book focuses on Mickey’s best year of his career; the year he won the Triple Crown. Mick also reveals that 1956 was not his favorite team or the most fun he ever had, nor was it the best team he ever played on. Those distinctions went to the 1951 and 1961 New York Yankees. The reason why Mick chose 1956 as his favorite summer was because it was the first time in his career that he felt that he accomplished the things that had been predicted of him.
In the book, Mick talks about the pennant-winning season, the days he used to ride the subway to Yankee Stadium from the St. Moritz Hotel, dinner and cocktails at Toot Shore’s with Jackie Gleason, Elizabeth Taylor, and the list goes on and on. The book ends with Mick talking about the old days and how much fun he had carousing with his teammates. The book is a classic that has a personal touch in Mickey’s own words with the excellent writing of Pepe. (Photo No. 949)
18. Mickey Mantle Bobby Bragan Big League Baseball Book – Instructions by Mantle, Bragan, Ken Johnson, Ken Silvestri, Maury Wills, and Felip Alou – Promotional Book by Rawlings, 1971, Slinging Sam, softcover.
This 32-page book features in-depth looks at Mantle and Milwaukee Braves manager Bobby Bragan. Filled with instructions from the above players, the book is filled with illustrations and techniques on how to develop the proper attitude, desire, and ability levels while playing Little League level all the way up to the Professional level. A special section of the book deals with hitting hints from Mickey as well as the importance of learning how to switch-hit. The back cover has a photo of Mickey, dressed in coat and tie, trying on a new Rawlings fielder’s glove. (Photo No. 950)
19. Mickey Mantle’s Greatest Hits – Dramatic Hightlights of a Legendary Career by David S. Nuttall – 1998, S.P.I. Books, softcover.
If you ever wondered on what date did Mickey hit a certain home run or who the opponent was when Mickey jogged around the bases, or better yet, how about the names of the pitchers who gave up each of those 536 career home runs hit by Mantle, this book has it all. Nuttall traced every home run ever hit by Mantle starting on May 1, 1951, when Randy Gumpert served up No. 1 and ending with Mick’s last blast against Jim Lonborg on September 20, 1968, at Yankee Stadium. Nuttall tells us whether it was from the right or left side of the plate; the attendance, the final score, the count was, how many men were on base, and more. The author even adds his own comments about the impact of all those homers. If you are into statistics, the book is a home run. (Photo No. 951)
20. Baseball Hall of Famers – Mickey Mantle by Howard Weinstein – 2004, The Rosen Publishing Co., hardcover
Weinstein traces Mickey’s roots beginning at home where Mick’s dad, Mutt, spends countless hours pitching to young Mickey and teaching him the art of switch-hitting. Pictures of Mickey at home with his parents, brothers, and sister are shown in the first chapter. Weinstein talks about Mick’s rise to fame while playing in Baxter Springs, Okla., and getting signed by Yankee scout Tom Greenwade.
The book then follows Mickey from Independence to the Bronx, describes Mick’s first date with Merlyn Johnson, and includes the ups and downs of Mick’s rookie season. Photos include Mickey playing shortstop, social functions with Mr. and Mrs. Billy Martin and Yogi Berra, Mickey’s four boys at home with Merlyn, and an illustration of when Mickey hit a 570-foot home run at Yankee Stadium, which struck the facade on May 30, 1956. A rare in-session photo of Mickey with songwriter and singer Teresa Brewer is also shown while recording the memorable hit, “I Love Mickey.” The book follows him right up until the end when he lost his battle to liver cancer. (Photo No. 952)
21. A Hero All His Life – by Merlyn, Mickey Jr., David and Danny Mantle, with Mickey Herskowitz – 1996, Harper Collins, hardcover
This book is a very candid look at Mickey’s life from the viewpoint of his wife Merlyn, and his sons, Mickey Jr., David and Danny. Honest and sometimes even brutal, Mick’s wife tells everything you probably don’t want to hear about the great No. 7. In the first chapter, a chapter that was written before Mick’s passing, Mickey talks about his drinking and how he was killing himself and how he almost killed Merlyn as well. Admitting that he was an alcoholic wasn’t easy for Mickey to talk about. In fact, it was this reason that Mickey hated writing books. He couldn’t understand why he was so revered. Mick talked about how his thirst for alcohol went from steady to almost nonstop. He also acknowledges how he would black out and his memory would become a blur. In the same passage, Mick revealed that if he had one wish, he would go back and find the 20 or 25-year-old Mickey Charles Mantle and talk sense to him. This was all written after Mickey faced his problem head on and entered and completed his stay at the Betty Ford Center.
In the same chapter, Mick also talks about walking out on Merlyn in 1988. He called it the dumbest and hardest thing he ever did. As Mick explained, “I just couldn’t deal with this guilt at home any longer.” All those women; all the drinking; all the pain that he had caused his family was becoming unbearable.
In other chapters, Merlyn talks about meeting Mickey for the first time and how they ended up dating. Loves letters from Mickey are also published that show the soft, shy guy that she had fallen in love with.
Other softer moments included Mickey buying her a $2,500 mink stole in the 1950s, a diamond and sapphire charm, and a new house in Dallas.
Stories of Mickey and his teammates are also included in the text, as well as some facts and tidbits that were never printed before Merlyn told them.
In 1962, Merlyn talks about how much fun the family had during the shooting of “That Touch of Mink.” Mickey and Roger were paid $25,000 for three days of work.
Most of the book focuses on her undying love for Mickey and how she was willing to overlook his countless affairs. With fights and drinking becoming an everyday occurrence for both Merlyn and Mickey, a separation became imminent. It’s a great book that sometimes leaves me wondering why Mickey was so loved. (Photo No. 953)
22. Biography* Mickey Mantle by Phil Berger – 1998, Park Lane Press, hardcover
Author Phil Berger tells the life story of Mantle just as Peter Graves or Harry Smith would do on the A&E television series. Starting with his humble beginnings in Oklahoma and following Mickey through his days in the minors, Berger traces Mickey’s footsteps all the way to life after baseball, when he battled alcoholism and eventually lost his life to liver cancer. The book features a beautiful front cover/ dust jacket color picture of Mickey circa 1956. (Photo No. 954)
23. Sports Illustrated Presents – Mantle Remembered by Robert W. Creamer – 1995, Time Warner, hardcover
Broken down into three specific time periods, Sports Illustrated focuses on Mickey’s “Early Years, The Prime,” and “The Later Years.” Using excerpts from the pages of Sports Illustrated articles, the book is filled with high-gloss black-and-white photos and original text from Creamer.
In the “Early Years,” Mantle is faced with the mammoth task of replacing Yankee legend Joe DiMaggio. The period also covers Mickey through his Triple Crown season of 1956. In “The Prime,” Creamer covers Mickey from 1957 through 1964, Mick’s last World Series. Also covered during this period are the great years of the M&M Boys 1960-62.
“The Later Years” talks about the decline and fall of the New York Yankees, Willie Mays and Mick’s new job in Atlantic City, and that famous cover story of Mickey called, “Time in a Bottle” by Mickey and author Jill Lieber.
The book leaves us with a photo of the final Sports Illustrated cover of Mickey with only the Sports Illustrated logo. It was only the second time in Sports Illustrated long run, where an individual’s photo appeared only with the SI logo, free of any words or text. The only other time that SI did this was for its first issue with Eddie Mathews gracing the cover on Aug. 16, 1954. (Photo No. 955)
24. Mickey Mantle: An Appreciation by Mickey Herskowitz – 1995, William Morrow Co., hardcover.
Herskowitz offers a unique look at Mickey by telling little anecdotes and vignettes about his interviews with the great No. 7. The author talks about Mickey’s days as a first base coach, when Bobby Murcer asked him what the sign was. Mick responded by saying, “I don’t know what yours is, but mine is Libra.” Other stories tell us what Mickey experienced while at the Betty Ford Center in California and how he was forced to wake everyone up at 5:45 a.m. each morning, and then clean tables after lunch.
“I kind of enjoyed that,” confessed Mickey in an interview. It made him feel good inside.
Other stories include how Mick felt when his business adventures went awry, and how he trusted the decisions of attorney Roy True, who helped Mickey get back on his feet after the Country Cooking Restaurant, Dallas Bowling Alley, and the Mantle /Namath Employment Agency went belly up.
One final story involved Mickey going to Disneyland to pose for photographs with several of the Disney characters. When Mickey and Minnie lined up in the middle of the photo, the photographer motioned with his hand and said, “Goofy, move a little to the right.”
Obligingly, with Mickey not knowing that Goofy was in the crowd, moved his head and shoulders over a few inches. “Uh, I didn’t mean you, Mr. Mantle. I was talking to the guy behind you. Mickey looked up, and there was Goofy, eight foot tall with long, furry ears.
Over all it’s a great read that is filled with serious and funny stories. The dust jacket features a large blowup of the front and back of Mick’s 1958 Topps card. (Photo No. 956)
25. The Last Hero – The Life of Mickey Mantle by David Falkner – 1995, Simon & Schuster, hardcover
Faulkner’s book is more than just a history of Mickey growing up in Commerce, Okla., and rising to superstar status in New York City. He fills us in with behind-the-scene stories of how shy and “green” Mickey was when he first arrived, and how the real-life Roy Hobbs was welcomed into the Yankee organization by teammates Hank Bauer, ‘Moose” Skowron and others. Faulkner interviews teammates who tell tales of how Mickey hated the fact that he never had any privacy and could never go unnoticed wherever he went. Stories of Mickey’s drinking and womanizing also fill the book.
Personal stories of how Mickey would help out his teammates like Joe Pepitone, who was going through a divorce at the time. Mantle opened his hotel doors to “Peppy” for nearly a month to help him in a time of need.
Faulkner also writes about how Mickey quickly became “King of the World” in the world of sports memorabilia and card shows through the help of his agent and “girl friend,” Greer Johnson. With her help and business know-how, Mickey straightened up his act and became a professional and was making up to $50,000 a day signing autographs.
Another story shows Mickey as a humanitarian after completing his stay at the Betty Ford Center. One night while having dinner with Bob Costas, Mickey had his dinner “wrapped to go.” As Costas would tell, Mick took his doggie bag and walked over to a cardboard box with a homeless man inside and handed him his dinner. The man thanked Mickey, as he had done many times before. It was just an act of kindness that Mick may not have done if he had still been on the bottle. Mickey was a hero all the way up to the end. (Photo No. 957)
26. All My Octobers by Mantle and Mickey Herskowitz – 1994, Harper Collins, hardcover and softcover
As I said earlier, who said that you can’t judge a book by its cover? The cover or dust jacket shows a beautiful colorized photo of Mickey from the early 1950s with a backdrop of the Yankee Stadium stands and facade. It’s simply a beautiful cover that will catch the attention of every Mickey Mantle fan.
With Mickey playing in 12 World Series, author Mickey Herskowitz interviews Mick and a lot of his teammates, who would join him every October in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., at Mickey’s “Week of Dreams” fantasy baseball camp. With contributions from Hank Bauer, Moose Skowron, Enos Slaughter, Yogi Berra, Johnny Blanchard, Tom Tresh, Jake Gibbs, Ron Guidry, Bobby Murcer and Catfish Hunter, the book relives some of the memorable moments from each of those 12 World Series, seven of which were won by Mickey and The New York Yankees.
Mick starts off by telling what it was like playing next to Joe DiMaggio in 1951. Mick also describes his season-ending injury, when he caught his right shoe on the rubber cover of the right field sprinkler head. Other highlights include his Triple Crown season and Don Larsen’s perfecto in 1956 against Brooklyn in Game 5, defeating the Reds in 1961, and the final World Series championship of Mickey’s career in 1962. A paperback version of the book was also printed. The front cover is basically the same with small variations. (Photo Nos. 958, 959) u
35. The Mick by Mickey Mantle with Herb Gluck – Copyright 1985 – Library of Congress Catalog Number – 85-2000- Doubleday and Company – hard and soft cover
Herb Gluck has written one of the two best Mickey Mantle biographies ever written. I say one of the two best because Tony Castro’s book, America’s Prodical Son , has to be right at the top as well. The Mick, is Mickey’s true story in his own words. Starting with his early days in Commerce and his intense love of his mother and father and ending with Mick’s reflection of his two biggest thrills, having his number 7 retired on Mickey Mantle Day and being inducted into the Hall of Fame with teammate Whitey Ford, Mick tells his about his beginning days with Merlyn, and how he felt when he got the word from his Mother that his father had passed away at the age of 39.
There are funny times as well. Mick tells about when he and Billy Martin went duck hunting and almost got arrested by the Oklahoma Game Commission. Stories of Mick’s drinking and going on benders that lasted, in some cases, nearly 2 days, are also told. He also admits to how he mentally abused his wife by not letting Merlyn know his whereabouts and “whoabouts.” In fact, the book is dedicated to Meryln, who put up with him for thirty-three years (as of publication date.)
Another story tells how he finagled a day off from practice by telling Casey Stengel that he had a shoulder injury. Unbeknownst to Casey of what Mickey was planning, he excused Mickey only to find that he and Whitey Ford had planned a day on the golf course. The story didn’t stop there, however. General Manager George Weiss found out about the plot and caught the two in the act. Asking Mick how the shoulder was, Mick replied by telling Weiss, “It doesn’t hurt when I’m swinging the golf club, but I can’t get my arm up over my head.”
And while Mickey was telling Weiss his situation, he was caught with his arms over his head. After seeing what Mickey had done, Weiss slammed the golf pin into the hole and stormed off the course. It’s a great book that definitely should be in every Mantle collection. The book was published in hard cover, and has two different variations of the paperback edition. (Photo Nos. 969, 970) (photos 41,42,)
36. The Quality of Courage by Mickey Mantle and (Robert Creamer) – Copyright 1964 – Library of Congress Catalog Number – 64-23591- Doubleday and Company, Inc.. – hard bound and soft cover
Quality of Courage is a book that tells youngsters one of the traits that Mickey admires the most in a human being. Sighting stories from the lives of players such as Ted Williams, Joe DiMaggio, Roy Campanella, Ralph Houk, Whitey Ford, Willie Mays, etc., Mickey tells their heroic stories and acts of bravery that made an impact on the teams for which they played.
When he talked about Whitey, Mickey was impressed with the cool and calm manner that he always seem to possess. With Roy Campanella, it was how he over came that horrific automobile accident, which led to his life in a wheel chair and being paralyzed from the neck down. With Mays, it was the way he played the game, always giving it his all. And for Mickey, it was playing day in and day out with all those injuries. There was a lesson to be learned after reading this book. The message was simply use the power of courage to guide yourself through life. The hardbound version features a colorful left-handed action shot of Mickey batting. The softbound cover shows a colorful illustration of Mickey in his road Yankee uniform.
In 1999, the book was reprinted and featured Robert Creamer’s name as a co-author for the first time. Creamer actually started working on this book with Mickey in 1963 and was never given a byline by the publisher. Creamer tells us that the idea for the book dates back to John F. Kennedy’s Profiles in Courage, which had been a success a few years earlier. Creamer’s reprint features a very dark photo of a two seemed fastball grip on a baseball. (Photo Nos. 971, 972, 973) (photos 43,44,45)
37. Grand Slam by Jim Bunning, Whitey Ford, Mickey Mantle, and Willie Mays – Copyright 1965 – LLibrary of Congress Catalog Number – 65-19270- The Viking Press, Inc. – hard cover.
Grand Slam is a book that features Four Hall of Fame authors. The book offers their expertise on what they feel are the essentials in the developing of a solid ballplayer. Jim Bunning offers his commentary on pitching as well as Whitey Ford. Willie and Mickey offer two different approaches on the topic of hitting. With Mays being the better pure hitter and emphasizing the importance of running as well, Mickey focused purely on “power” hitting. The Mick pays homage to his father for teaching how to switch hit and also thanks teammate Bob Turley for all of his help in telling Mickey when to expect a fast ball while batting. Mickey also discusses the importance of how to drag bunt and how to “square around” properly when attempting to sacrifice bunt. The book is filled will lots of great advice for young fans, that still is applicable today. (Photo No. 974) (photo 46)
38. Memories of The Mick by Maury Allen and Photography by Bob Olen – Copyright 1997- ISBN 0-87833-958-2- Taylor Publishing Company – hard cover.
A tip of the Yankee hat to Allen and Olen on this one! Using vintage and not so common photographs of Mickey is what makes this book a winner. Starting with Mickey’s locker room photo of him boning his bat with his Rawlings glove on his left knee, the author and photographer include many fresh shots of Mickey that were very rarely used in any publications.
Allen begins his book with a Mantle interview from the 1995 New York Writers Dinner, where the three famous outfielders of Gotham assembled for the first time in their “Dapper Dan” tuxedos. With camera flashes lighting the room for nearly fifteen minutes, the threesome would never be together again. In fact, it would also be Mickey’s last visit to New York.
Allen tells of a young Mantle filling out his first rookie questionnaire for New York Herald Tribune sports writer Harold Rosenthal. That letter, which would be worth tens of thousands of dollars, now resides in the Oklahoma sports Hall of fame. Stories of Mickey being signed by Tom Greenwade and his first spring camp in Phoenix, Arizona, fill us in about Mickey’s background. From there, stories of Mickey fill the book, most of which have become etched in our minds. One advantage that Maury Allen utilizes is the fact that he covered the Yankees and reveals a lot of things that he observed first hand, which makes the book worthwhile reading about the Great Number Seven. Allen also shares stories of how Mickey and Billy Martin would love to play jokes on teammate Phil Rizzuto by filling Scooter’s glove, locker, or pants with everything from caterpillars, dead mice, fake snakes to half-eaten hotdogs. One other story that caught this author’s attention was the July 8,1958, testimony of Casey Stengel at the United States Senate subcommittee hearings, when the “Ol’Perfessor” was asked his views on Antitrust legislation. Stengel proceeded to fill the courtroom with non-stop laughter after filling the air with his patented “Stengelese,” which made him a hero on the evening news. The story didn’t end there, however. When Mick was asked for his views, he quickly retorted that his views were just about the same as Casey’s. It’s a great book with lots of great, large formatted black and white photos of Mantle. (Photo No. 975) (photo 47)
39. Tales From the Yankee Dugout by Ken McMillan – Copyright 2001 – ISBN 1-58261-061-4 – Sports Publishing Inc.. – soft cover.
McMillian’s book has a great cover. It shows a photo of Mickey, Yogi, Whitey, Joe D. and Casey wearing their home Yankee pinstripes in the Yankee dugout. The book is filled with funny stories and anecdotes from Yankee stars of the past including Mantle, Ruth, Munson, Maris, Mattingly, and others. The book also features twenty plus caricatures including Mickey by sports illustrator Robert Jackson.
One such story involving Mickey was when he received a very strange autograph request. Back in 1962 while on the way to the All-Star game in a taxicab, a fan noticed Mickey and asked if he would autograph his trophy cabinet. Mick got out of the taxi and signed the guy’s trophy cabinet. Yes, a trophy cabinet. Not that many of us can brag about having one of these. (Photo No. 976) (photo 48)
40. The Baseball Life of Mickey Mantle by John Devaney – Copyright 1969- Catalog Number TK 1105- Scholastic Book Services – soft cover.
This made for junior high and high school students book covers the basics of Mickey’s storied baseball career with the New York Yankees. Starting with Mickey’s days at home, Devaney writes about how Mickey was raised to play baseball by his father Mutt and Uncle Charlie. From there it becomes the typical Mantle biography that covers his acceleration from Joplin, Mo, to the big club in 1951. Devaney adds a few not so well known stories of Mickey, as well. One of the more humorous anecdotes was when Yogi Berrra’s son, Timmy, lightly tapped Mickey on his knee. After getting Mick’s attention, a very young Timmy says to Mickey, “You stink.” Mickey broke out into laughter. (Photo No. 977) (photo 49)
41. Mickey Mantle – The Indespensable Yankee – by Dick Schaap – Copyright 1961- Sport Magazine Library No. 5 – Bartholomew House, Inc.- soft cover.
What’s a typical day like in spring training for Mickey Mantle? Dick Schaap takes us back to 1961, when the New York Yankees were honing their skills in St. Petersburg, Florida, and Mickey was the Yanks biggest star. Schaap also writes about how Mickey in 1951 was the most publicized rookie in baseball history and how every step of Mickey’s was described on radio and how every accomplishment was reported in the morning tabloids. Schaap tells how difficult it was writing about Mickey on a daily basis because most of the superlative adjectives used to describe Mick’s play were used up in a few short weeks. Scaap’s writing is smooth and gives us added dimensions on just how good Mickey was. With the book being written in 1961, Schaap’s last sentence of the book asks his readers a rhetorical thought by writing, “ How good will Mantle be is totally up to him.” (Photo No. 978) (photo 50)
42. Triple Crown Winners by Howard Liss – Copyright 1969- Library of Congress Catalog Number – 78-81391- Julian Messner, A Division of Simon and Schuster, Inc.- hard cover.
Will professional baseball ever have another Triple Crown winner again? That’s a good question to ponder. With Carl Yastrzemski being the last of the big time hitters to capture the prestigious award in 1967, Albert Pujols of the St. Louis Cardinals and the Yankees’ mark Teixeira gave it the old college try this past season. For Pujols, it was a season that saw him finish first in homers, second in batting average at .327, and third in RBI with 135. Teixeira had a 2009 that saw him tied for the lead in homeruns with 39, first in RBI with 122, and placing 31st in the American League with a .292 batting average. For both of these players, it was oh, so close, but no cigar.
Howard Liss writes about the 6 players, who captured the coveted award that represents the epitome of excellence in batting. The six players are Lou Gehrig, “Ducky” Medick, Ted Williams, Mickey Mantle, Frank Robinson, and Yaz.
As for Mickey, his magical year was 1956. Liss starts his Mantle entry with the importance of switch-hitting as taught by Mickey’s dad and Uncle Charlie and writes about how the “tape-measure “ homerun became part of Mickey’s trademark. The front cover shows six illustrations of all the Triple Crown Winners. (Photo No. 979) (photo 51)
43. Mickey Mantle Day in Amsterdam by Jim Labate – Copyright 1999 – ISBN-0-9662100-7-7- Mohawk River Press – soft bound.
This fictional narrative represents a dream that all Mickey Mantle fans would love to experience. The year was 1963 when the author, a 12 year-old boy, and his dad, happened to be driving by and decided to give the motorist a helping hand. The motorist happened to be Mickey Mantle. With Mickey’s car in need of help, the boy’s father told Mickey that the car needed to be towed to the local garage and that his friend would have it repaired first thing in the morning. The next problem was where was Mickey going to spend the night? Needing a place to stay, the boy and father asked Mickey if wanted to stay the night at their house and Mickey accepted. From that point on Mickey’s adventure begins in Amsterdam, New York. The book has no pictures, but does have a handful or black and white illustrations, which are exceptionally well done. It also contains a homily for Mickey by former teammate Bobby Richardson. (Photo No. 980) (photo 52)
44. The Illustrated History of Mickey Mantle by Gene Schoor – Copyright 1996 – ISBN- 0-1867-0305- 9- Carroll and Graf Publishers, Inc. – hard bound.
By now, all Mantle biographies pretty much look the same. The all seem to have the same stories, the same pictures, and the same everything. Schoor’s book is different. First of all, the book is filled with nearly 200 plus black and white and color photographs, some of which are used for the first time in print. Secondly, the quality of the photography is very evident as Schoor and his producers went to great lengths to do this project right. Yes, the book does start, as do most biographies, with Mickey’s childhood and how he was born to play baseball. Yes, Tom Greenwade is also mentioned as the scout who signed Mickey the moment he graduated from Commerce High School.
Schoor goes a bit further by telling the reader some of the inside stories of what Mickey experienced when he first came to New York in 1951. Mickey also tells first hand stories as they really happened. He talks about how fortunate he was to have Hank Bauer and Johnny Hopp as him roommates and how he looked at Bauer as his second Dad.
In fact, it was Bauer who taught Mickey how to dress, what clothes to buy, where to shop, and even advised him to discard the famous cardboard suitcase that made the trip with Mickey from Commerce to New York City.
Other stories include some of Mantle’s business ventures, his contract negotiations with George Weiss, all those nagging injuries, and the storied home-run derby season of 1961. The season of 1966 is also dissected, as it marked the first time since 1912 that the Yankees finished dead last.
Schoor ends his book with Mick’s last moments with Merlyn by his side and a last day visit from Mick’s teammates- Whitey Ford, Johnny Blanchard, Bobby Richardson, Moose Skowron, and Bauer. This book is a keeper! (Photo No. 981) (photo 53)
45. Mays, Mantle, Snider – A Celebration by Donal Honig – Copyright 1987- ISBN-0—2-551200-5 – MacMillion Publishing Company- hard bound.
In the 1950’s, the most prestigious baseball position in New York was centerfield. It was a time like no other and the Empire State had 3 of the all time greats patrolling the number 8 position in Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, and Duke Snider. These 3 greats all gave their fans bragging rights as to who was the best.
For the Brooklyn Dodgers fans, it was Snider. For New York Giant fans it was definitely Willie Mays and for the Bronx Bombers, it was definitely The Mick. It was a special and electrifying era, when all 3 had many moments of glory sharing the headlines in the tabloids of New York.
Baseball historian and author Donald Honig thoroughly examines the history and background of the 3 Hall of Famers. In his smooth writing style, Honig confesses that baseball history has been kinder to Mantle and Mays, as it was to Snider. Even though the debates on the street corners and bar rooms are long over, there are some fans that still like to reminisce, even today. They were 3 great outfielders and 3 unique individuals and I guess a case could be made for any one of them. Honig also supplements his writing with many unique photographs of the threesome. (Photo No. 982) (photo 54)
46. October 1964 by David Halberstam – Copyright 1994- ISBN- 0-679-41560-2- Villard Books – hard bound.
For some reason, the 1964 World Series was special to me. As an 8 year old, I guess it is the first Series that I can fully remember. I can remember running home from elementary school on those October afternoons in record setting time. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if I broke the 4-minute mile or so it seemed. Yes, these games were played in the afternoon and during the regular season; they even played doubleheaders on Sunday afternoons. This World Series was being billed as the battle of the Boyer Brothers. Ken played third base for the Cardinals, while his younger brother Clete played third for the Yanks.
I can remember Mickey hitting his homerun against Barney Schultz in Game 3. That homerun would break Babe Ruth’s record for most World Series homeruns. I can also remember Mickey hitting two other World Series homers in Games 6 and 7. I can remember the stern look of Hall of Famer pitcher Bob Gibson and thinking how intimidating this guy was. And finally I can remember the Yanks not winning the World Series. They would lose in 7 games and it would be the last time the Yanks would make the big stage until 1976.
This is where David Halberstam comes in. The author dissects the Fall Classic of 1964 with a ginsu knife. It was a time when the Yankees boasted names like Mantle, Maris, and Ford, while the Cardinals had names like Gibson, Curt Flood, Bill White, Lou Brock.
October 1964 gives us the behind the scene dope on the 1964 Yankee and Cardinal teams, the managerial changes that would take place after the season was over, and how the Yankee dynasty was beginning to crumble. In fact, that crumble might have already started back in 1963, when the Los Angeles Dodgers swept the Yanks in 4 games. The Yanks were getting old, while the Cardinals were young and built for speed. Could this really be the end of the line for the Yanks? As time would tell, it would be.
Even though the book is about the 1964 World Series, its players, and its managers, Mickey Mantle is its main character. (Photo No. 983) (photo 55)
47. Minnie and The Mick by Bob Vanderberg – Copyright 1996 – ISBN-1-888698-02-0- Diamond Communications, Inc. – hard bound.
Before the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox rivalry, there was a rivalry between the Yankees and another team. That team happened to be the Sox of a different color- The Chicago White Sox. For the Yankees it was Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra, Allie Reynolds, Moose Skowron, Roger Maris, and for the White Sox it was Minnie Minosa, Luis Aparicio, Early Wynn, Hoyt Wilhelm, Nellie Fox, and others. Vanderburg looks at the games of the fabled Yankee teams versus the White Sox teams from 1951 to 1964. As the White sox General Manager said, “Anytime we’d beat the Yankees one game, it was like beating somebody else three.” During these 14 years, the Yankees would win 12 pennants and 7 World Series while the White Sox would win one pennant in 1959.
With a double entendre title like this, it’s a “gotta have it” book. (Photo No. 984) (photo 56)
48. How to Star in Baseball by Herman Masin – Copyright 1960- Scholastic Books Inc.. Tab Books- soft bound.
With a picture of Mickey Mantle batting left-handed on the front cover, this Little League approved booklet offers helpful tips that are guaranteed to improve your game. Written for Little Leaguers, the scholastic book offer tips on catching, batting, running, playing the infield, playing the outfield, and team defense. Loaded with small photos that stress positioning and techniques, the booklet offers no tips from The Mick. (Photo No. 985) (photo 57)
49. Mickey Mantle by Sam Hasegawa – Copyright 1974- Creative Education – ISBN-0-87191-375-5- hard bound.
Filled with colorful illustrations of Mickey by artist Harold Henriksen, this 31-page book was written as part of the Superstars series. The “short” story of Mickey starts with Mickey playing baseball in the dustbowls of Commerce, Oklahoma and continuing his climb through the minor leagues. In the spring of 1951, it was on to Phoenix, Arizona, and then on to join Casey and The New York Yankees.
While in New York, Hasegawa talks about all the pressure that was on Mickey as the press was heralding Mickey as the next successor to Ruth, Gehrig, and DiMaggio.
The book tells of Mick’s frustration as he was striking out quite frequently and then follows his rise to stardom as Mickey captured the MVP and Triple Crown in 1956. The author talks about Mickey’s love for manager Ralph Houk and how Mick said,”He was the best thing that ever happened to me as a ballplayer.” Color illustrations show Mickey with Roger Maris in 1961, and Joe DiMaggio at Mickey Mantle Day in 1968. The book is very basic, but gives the younger people an idea of just how good Mickey Mantle was. (Photo No. 986) (photo 58)
50. Beckett Great Sports Heroes: Mickey Mantle – by Dr.. James Beckett – Copyright 1995 – ISBN-0-876-37982-X- hard bound.
Written as a tribute to Mickey Mantle, Dr. Beckett traces Mickey’s career from the beginning to the end. Filled with a compilation of stories from noted authors such as Maury Allen, Harold Rosenthal, and others.
The book starts with a reflection of The Mick’s mythic persona that captured generations of Mick’s fans both young and old.
Loaded with black and white and colored photographs, the book shows pictures of Mickey wearing number 6, playing the infield in a Yankees uniform, posing with Casey in 1951, in the Yankees’ locker room, and standing on the porch of his house with his father “Mutt.”
Other pictures show Mickey with Ted Williams and Mickey posing with Casey Stengel and Whitey Ford on August 12, 1974, the day he was inducted into The National Baseball Hall of Fame. Also pictured are some of Mickey’s most valuable baseball cards along with a comprehensive card checklist and price guide.
As an added supplement, Beckett includes some of the best sports art that showcases Mickey. At least 15 different drawings are included near the end of the book. A comic section of Mickey’s career is also included called, Yankee Doodle Dandy.”
Finally, a special chapter includes all the Beckett Card Monthly covers and artwork that featured stories of Mickey inside or on the front cover. Noted sports artist Jerry Hirsch’s work appears many times throughout this section. It’s a must have for Mantle collectors. (Photo No. 987) (photo 59)
Continued in additional entries