Wednesday, July 22, 2020

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

Review of
A Hero All His Life: A Memoir by the Mantle Family, by Merlyn, Mickey Jr., David, and Dan Mantle ISBN 0060183632

Five out of five stars
The side of Mickey Mantle hidden for so long
 One of the most gifted athletes of his generation, the other side of Mickey Mantle was rarely mentioned until the bombshell book, “Ball Four” by Jim Bouton. For the first time, that book publicly revealed the drinking, womanizing, and partying until late hours by Mickey Mantle and his friends. In this book, his family reveals his absence from their world and how it affected them. Mickey, his wife and all four of their boys spent time in the Betty Ford Clinic to receive treatment for substance abuse.
 His wife Merlyn, Mickey Jr., David, and Dan Mantle all write sections about Mickey and their personal experiences with drugs and alcohol. It is a very frank expression of their lives and relationships with Mickey. In many ways they support what was a fundamental premise of the Bouton book, that as good as he was, Mantle possibly could have been the best of all time had he taken care of himself and drank less.
 If Mantle had not suffered the leg injury that hobbled him, it is likely that he would have been the best of all time, even with the drinking. When batting left-handed, he was once clocked at going from home to first in 3.1 seconds, the fastest time ever recorded. An amazing athlete, Mantle was correct when he said in a press conference to announce his medical condition that he is a role model on what not to do. Leading your children down a path of substance abuse is a tragic event, this book details this issue, even though the Mantle boys go to great lengths not to blame their father for their issues with chemical dependency.

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