Monday, November 10, 2008

Mickey Mantle: Rookie in Pinstripes


Fred Glueckstein
iUniverse (2008)
ISBN 9780595469215
Reviewed by Dr. Michael Philliber for Reader Views (8/08)

Most people have heard of the great ball player Mickey Mantle, but few know the story of his rapid rise from obscurity to distinction, and the hurdles he had to overcome to get there and stay there. Fred Glueckstein has masterfully captured part of the famous baseball player's life in his short book "Mickey Mantle: Rookie in Pinstripes." This book, written for young adults, will be enjoyed by anyone desiring to learn about Mantle's early years, and how he rose from out of the Depression and Dust Bowl to the 1951 World Series.
Though Glueckstein could have written a full biography of Mantle's life, he has intelligently limited his scope to the baseball star's rookie year with the New York Yankees, and all that led up to that formative time. By narrowing his range, Glueckstein has been able to both focus his attention to the important parts of Mantle's early years in Oklahoma, Kansas and his first year with the Yankees, and to provide young adults an easily readable book that will inspire their desire to succeed and never give up.
"Mickey Mantle: Rookie in Pinstripes" is the story of a young Oklahoma boy whose father and grandfather worked hard in the zinc and lead mines by day, and then at night poured themselves into helping Mickey become a superb switch hitter, able to hit solid homeruns from either the left or right side of home plate. This is the story of a young man who learned that he had a serious bone disease while in high school, and yet never let it stop him. This is a story of a developing success that failed and then overcame his failure to soar high in baseball history. This is a story of a father's encouraging drive and a son's determined love.
In this nicely-bound, well-edited book, "Mickey Mantle: Rookie in Pinstripes," Glueckstein has pulled together loads of batting averages and other important statistics for the baseball fanatic. And yet the author has also woven in the personal side which makes the story come alive before the reader's eyes. Everything from snippets of personal dialogues, to snatches from his personal letters to his future wife, Merlyn Johnson, the humanness of a Major League Baseball star comes out.
If the reader is looking for an easy, inspiring, well-written book that will encourage both younger and older, then I recommend "Mickey Mantle: Rookie in Pinstripes," by Fred Glueckstein.

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