I will never forget this day 27 years ago when Mickey Mantle passed away at the age of 63. Growing up in New Jersey in the late fifties and early sixties Mantle was more than a star, more than an icon, he was a constant—a force of nature binding together the scattered remnants of the big bang.
If you were a kid in those days, who liked baseball, Mantle was everything—the best slugger with the best smile and the best name—the best baseball player period. He was always there, and we never knew a world without him. His presence was transcendent, and it seemed it would never change. Summers were endless, playing ball was ceaseless. And Mickey Mantle’s roughed elegance was timeless.
I thought about all of this the day the Mick died, but most of all I thought about how much he meant to my childhood, and it brought tears to my eyes as the hero of my youth would now be left only to my memories.
I have been a writer all my life and recently started blogging. I have published two books. My latest book is a coming-of-age novel entitled Mickey Mantle's Last Home Run which follows the exploits of a fifteen-year-old playing baseball back in 1968. It is a book about the friendship of a black kid and a white kid trying to navigate teenage life in that tumultuous time when our country seemed to be coming apart.
My first book, Grandpa Gordy’s Greatest World Series Games, is geared to middle-grade readers. In it, Grandpa Gordy, a retired sportswriter, relates his versions of the great games of our national pastime in a hilarious and entertaining fashion.
My love of baseball shows through in my books as I try to convey many of life’s lessons in an enjoyable lighthearted way.
I grew up writing and playing baseball in the New Jersey suburbs of New York City. I majored in English at Montclair State University where I studied Steinbeck, Dylan, and Berra.
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