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The Legend of Mickey Tussler

(Mickey Tussler #1)

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  167 ratings  ·  64 reviews
Seventeen-year-old Mickey Tussler is recruited to play for a minor league affiliate of the Boston Braves. Arthur Murphy swears Mickey has the greatest arm he has ever seen, that anybody has ever seen.  And it might be true.  But Mickey's autism is prohibitive.  It keeps him sealed off from a world he scarcely understands.  Lost both in the memory of his former life with an ...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published April 29th 2008 by St. Martin's Press
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Average rating 3.95  · 
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Scott Gill
Nov 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had this student a few years ago, we’ll call him Johnny, and he was autistic. Johnny stumbled around human relationships; emotions and humor and all the things that separate us from automatons meant little to him. Johnny; however, was a history buff, a factual savant, especially with World War 2. He’d roll off the names of admirals and ship captains of the Pacific Fleet like they were his uncles. He’d rattle on about detailed conversations of Colonels and Privates as if he’d squatted with them ...more
Chrissy (The Every Free Chance Reader)
Did I enjoy this book: I really enjoyed this book. I read it every free chance I had. It was endearing, sweet, and totally engrossing.

The scene was set beautifully by Mr. Nappi. I was there...I could smell the dirt of the infield. I could smell the grass of the outfield. I could smell the summer breeze. I could see the crowd and the players. I was there. It was a reading experience that I rarely have, but Mr. Nappi put me in the game.

Mickey is such an amazing individual as is Arthur Murphy for
Mar 08, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: sports
Launched with an intriguing premise (an autistic savant becomes a minor-league baseball pitching phenomenon), I wanted to like this book more, particularly given the many favorable reviews. But – in light of its execution – it could not rise above "OK to good" for me. I feel like I am being unduly harsh, because I liked the book. What I found most frustrating was that my list of gripes (some fair, some individualized, and down right quirky) drowned out what, otherwise, was a pretty fast, enterta ...more
Paige Bradish
May 25, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviwed
I received The Legend of Mickey Tussler from the author for my honest review.

When I was first asked to read and review I was a little skeptical because although I do love baseball it’s not my favorite topic to read about all the time. But after reading the synopsis and learning about the main character Mickey who has autism but still wants to be a baseball store. His story is very inspiring.

We meet Mickey while he is still living on his farm with his mother and his abusive father. Immediately I
Kristi Bernard
Walter Murphy was out scouting for a baseball player the war didn't take. Unfortunately he is stuck driving long hours because no one else wants to do it. Walter Dennison, the owner of the minor-league-affiliate Brewers, was putting this responsibility on him. His days of being a top player had long since past. During a drive on a lonely dirt road Walter crashes his car. When he stumbles across a farm he witnesses a perfect throw. The young man throwing apples into a basket is Mickey Tussler. He ...more
Hilary (HilyBee)
Jan 22, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Both of these novels are incredibly impressive and moving. Mickey Tussler is an icon for autism, people with disabilities, and baseball fans. Frank Nappi created a story so incredibly believable, I still think the character is a real baseball pitcher for the Brewers in 1948 and 49. (I actually looked it up to make sure he wasn't.) Frank created settings that were very controversial from the late '40s - in book 1, people who didn't understand an autistic man; in book 2 - integrating baseball team ...more
Jun 18, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: autism
fine story, disappointing ending, but horrible writing. this dude apparently thinks that if he busts out his thesaurus four times per sentence it will make his writing good. it does not.
Sep 30, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: baseball, blog, own-a-copy
Good baseball fiction book. Full review can be found here:
May 09, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A heart warming story about baseball

“A compelling tale that will touch the hearts of fans of the game everywhere.” - Ferguson Jenkins, Chicago Cubs Hall of Fame Pitcher. Also another quote that represents this book well is “The Legend of Mickey Tussler reaches the heart the way Alex Rodriguez reaches the bleachers.” - Bill Madden, New York Daily. You have kind of have to be a baseball fan to understand this quote from Bill Madden.
Arthur Murphy, an ex MLB player who played for the Braves, is
Brett Meyer
Oct 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The book The Legend of Mickey Tussler is about an autistic kid who is discovered on a farm by a Milwaukee Brewers scout. The Milwaukee Brewers were a struggling team that was always last in the standings and they needed good players as soon as possible. The Milwaukee Brewers scout came across a kid that was throwing apples against a barrel at a farm and he wanted him to be on the team. He recruited this kid whose name was Mickey Tussler. Mickey Tussler goes and tries out for the Brewers and he s ...more
Tyler Torkelson
May 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read the book The Legend of Mickey Tussler by Frank Nappi. This book is about a manager for the Milwaukee Brewers named Arthur Murphy and his search for finding new and better players. His car was having problems and he finds himself stopping at a farm to use their phone. While he was at the farm he saw the farmers son Mickey throwing apples into a bucket and is impressed with how the kid is throwing. There is only one twist Mickey has Autism so his dad does not like the idea of him going to t ...more
Sep 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I bought (a signed copy of) this book at the baseball Hall of Fame two years ago. My only regret is that I didn't wait until the off-season when I'm craving baseball to read it! I never write reviews, but this is a book created for the baseball fan. It's a great story in general, but it was the baseball that had me hooked.

If you're not in love with the game of baseball, you might lose interest quickly. But I strongly feel that it was written for the diehard baseball fan, even if the story itsel
May 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Sports fans
The Legend of Mickey Tussler is a must read book for any young sports enthusiast. This novel is about a seventeen year old boy named Mickey who in his free time, enjoys launching apples in his back yard at an old wine barrel. He has accuracy mixed with power in the arm from the heavens as some people call it. This book is taking place in the 1940's, around this same time the Triple A team for the Milwaukee Brewers were in dire need of a pitcher because they were struggling with it. The team mana ...more
Mar 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars.
Equal parts "The Natural" and Clare Bee's Chip Hilton series, "Mickey Tessler" is the story of a 17 year old autistic savant who (somehow) learned to pitch by throwing apples on the farm. The book is set in the late 1940s and does a wonderful job of evoking that era. But for the same reason, I would hesitate to recommend it as a YA book, due to the slow pace and the unlikely plot. I found several errors, both grammatical and spelling, and a good editor would have been very useful in ti
Jim Krotzman
The Legend of Mickey Tussler by Frank Nappi was not as predictable as I first thought. The story of a baseball pitcher who also is autistic could have had more and different examples of autism. The similes seemed stale although the dialogue seemed real enough. One pet peeve of mine is the spelling of the past tense of to lead. The author committed this error several times. The past tense of to lead is "led," not lead. ...more
Jonathan Winters
Wonderful baseball scenes sprinkled between truly compelling drama. Mickey's character is truly memorable. This one has a lot to offer. Finished it in two nights. The ending was not what I expected, which is why I liked it so much. I will be reading the next two books in the series for sure, as I am now a big Mickey fan. ...more
Sep 28, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
If not for a really unsatisfying ending, I'd have given this book a 4. But it was a decent read. ...more
Jeff Wells
Jan 15, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyable sports fiction with meaningful story about autism and the underdog. The movie (A Mile in His Shoes) setting is changed from 1940’s to 2000’s, and is streaming and on dvd.
Harold Titus
Apr 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
What elevates “The Legend of Mickey Tussler” by Frank Nappi from the status of good baseball story to excellent work of fiction is the author’s use of baseball as a metaphor for human aspirations and relationships. Mr. Nappi’s story has its villains and its beloved, vulnerable characters and an assortment of individuals capable to displaying varied degrees of empathy when their individual needs and ambitions are not interfered with. Failure is determined sometimes -- like a broken-bat single or ...more
Nicole Smith
Apr 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Frank Nappi's The Legend of Mickey Tussler discusses the adversities faced by Mickey Tussler with his life at home in Indiana and with a minor league baseball team, The Brewers. Since Mickey Tussler has a type of autism called Aspergers characters throughout the book believe that Mickey is not capable of doing things other kids his age can.
Some things you have to know before reading the book are about Aspergers and the effects of Aspergers. Asperger's is a form of autism which usually makes ch
Samantha Goldberg
Apr 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
The Legend of Mickey Tussler.Frank Nappi. New York, NY: Sky Pony Press, 2008. 292 pp.

The Legend of Mickey Tusslerby Frank Nappi was recently assigned to my high school English class. The main character is a nineteen year old boy with Asperger's named Mickey. Asperger's is a high-functioning form of autism. A common misperception about Asperger's is that those with it are completely disabled. This popular opinion is proven false in Frank Nappi's novel. Mickey overcomes adversity and makes for an
Melissa T
This review was first posted on Melissa's Midnight Musings. I'm also hosting a giveaway on my blog right now for a set of the two books in this series. You can enter for your chance to win here:

The Legend of Mickey Tussler has a little bit of everything for everyone, which makes it enjoyable for a broad range of people. There's a little bit of romance, jealousy, rivalry, sportsmanship, friendship and the list could go on.

My experience with stories rooted
Susan Ashcraft
Jun 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
In 1948, Arthur Murphy, manager of the minor league baseball team the Milwaukee Brewers, has been sent out on the road to find some new talent. When he comes across 17 year old Mickey Tussler throwing crab-apples into a barrel with fantastic speed and accuracy, he believes he has found the man. He quickly realizes that while Mickey might have the best arm he has seen in all his years of baseball, Mickey's not quite like everyone else. Murph's not worried though. He thinks that Mickey's ability w ...more
Ron Kaplan
Jun 22, 2010 rated it liked it
I don t ordinarily read baseball fiction aimed at the young adult demographic. Most are simply rehashes of the same story: young athlete, usually a star, faces adversity in the form of another player on his own team or a health crises or another at-home situation; learns valuable lessons, yada-yada-yada; and comes away victorious on the field and off.[return][return]The Legend of Mickey Tussler is a different kettle of fish.[return][return]Set in the minor leagues in the late 1940s, it tells the ...more
Leyla Akdogan
Apr 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Leyla Akdogan 4-22-11
Book Review
The Legend Of Mickey Tussler. Frank Nappi. New York: Sky Pony, 2008. 1-292.
Below is a review of the novel, The Legend of Mickey Tussler by Frank Nappi. Recently, I read the novel in my English class. I’m an 11th grade student who read this book and was blown away by this book; I think the author did a great job. This novel is fiction. The novel is about a young autistic baseball player named Mickey Tussler who has difficulty adjusting to the new
Sydney Kaplan
Apr 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I am not a big reader, I often start books and get bored and never finish. The Legend of Mickey Tussler by Frank Nappi is the first book I have finished in more than a year. This book is about a boy, Mickey, who has Aspergers, which is a form of autism. However at the time the story takes place autism wasn't a well known condition. Mickey is found and recruited by Arthur Murphy, a minor league baseball coach. The book follows him through the challenges and thrills he faces playing for the Brewer ...more
Ruth Hill
Jan 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013-reads
First of all, I do not like baseball. I chose to read this book because it was about autism and sounded good. Some of the portions of the book did not interest me, but the descriptions of baseball games are not overly involved. I think if you only have a simple understanding of the game (like I do), you should basically be able to follow the story.

I was drawn to this book long before I read it. I always love to read about people overcoming disabilities. Yes, this is fiction, but it reads like a
Samantha Feldman
The Legend of Mickey Tussler. Frank Nappi.

I’ve always found it hard to attach myself to a book. A critic of sorts I seem to be almost impervious to an author’s personal touch. It takes a lot to help me get through the first couple of chapters of any book without loosing interest and becoming frustrated with the author’s choices, such as chapter length and the style of writing. However, this was not the case with Frank Nappi’s The Legend of Mickey Tussler. Through Frank Nappi’s vivid description
Apr 15, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It’s 1948, and Arthur Murphy, the manager of the old Milwaukee Brewers minor league baseball team, accidentally discovers pitching phenom Mickey Tussler, a 17 year-old farm boy. Mickey is throwing apples at a blazing speed when Murphy spots the kid’s talent, and quickly envisions the future of his pitching rotation. But Mickey has Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of autism, and Murphy has to learn how to communicate with him. Of course the bigger obstacle is removing the kid from the clutches of his ...more
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Frank Nappi has taught high school English and Creative Writing for over twenty years. His debut novel, ECHOES FROM THE INFANTRY, received national attention, including MWSA's silver medal for outstanding fiction. His follow-up novel, THE LEGEND OF MICKEY TUSSLER, garnered rave reviews as well, including a movie adaptation of the touching story "A Mile in His Shoes" starring Dean Cain and Luke Sch ...more

Other books in the series

Mickey Tussler (3 books)
  • Sophomore Campaign (Mickey Tussler, #2)
  • Welcome to the Show (Mickey Tussler, #3)

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