Nick's Reviews > The Last Boy: Mickey Mantle and the End of America's Childhood

The Last Boy by Jane Leavy
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Dec 12, 10

bookshelves: baseball, biography, non-fiction
Read in December, 2010

One of the first books I remember reading was a kid's biography of Mickey Mantle, probably written in the late 1950s. The Dodgers and Giants had left New York, and the Yankees were for a few years the only game in town. My father stuck with Duke Snider and the Dodgers, but I switched to the Yankees. I mostly identified with Yogi Berra, perhaps because he was Italian-American and read comic books like me, but what boy who loved baseball didn't admire Mickey Mantle in those days? I remember sitting in the bleachers at Yankee Stadium so I could watch him play center (Yogi was in left field). Who knew all the pain he played through in those days? Until I read this book, I didn't realize how excruciating his emotional pain must have been, more so than the hurting knee and shoulder, or how much pain he inflicted on his wife and children. This is a shocking book, and a complex one. If you value your idols, maybe you should pass it by. If you want to understand an iconic athlete as a human being, read it, it's a masterpiece.
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