Jane Leavy, who wrote the acclaimed Sandy Koufax biography, is currently researching her next project, a biography of Mickey Mantle. Originally, her latest book was going to be about Willie-Mickey-and the Duke, but, due to several factors–including the fact that for all of the ink spilled on Mantle there hasn’t ever really been a great book about him–it is now a Mickey book. That doesn’t mean that Mays and Snider won’t still figure prominently in the narrative though. Currently, Leavy is interested in hearing from anyone with any recollections or memories of all three players. In particular, she’d love to find someone who saw Mays play stickball in the streets of Harlem, and anyone who was a Willie-guy and would make the case that he he was the best of the three.
As far as Mantle goes, Leavy wrote me in a recent e-mail:
“These are the dates of major interest in Mantle’s career that I will focus on. I would want to speak to anyone who attended any of the following games or who has a particular memory associated with these events. I am also looking for anyone who saw him at The Claridge Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City. Needless-to-say any fabulous Mantle anecdotes are welcome. I set up a new e-mail address where I can be contacted. It is: BaseballJaneDC@aol.com.”
March 26, 1951—spring training game at Bovard Field at USC
April 17, 1951—major league debut
May 1, 1951—first major league home run
October 5, 1951—Injures knee in Game two of the 1951 World Series
October 6, 1951—Hospitalized at Lennox Hill in NYC
October 2, 1952—appears on “I’ve Got A Secret”
April 17,1953—first “tape measure home run” at Griffith Stadium in DC
May 17, 1953—appears on “What’s My Line
May 13, 1955—hits three home runs
June 5, 1955—Comisky Park home run off Billy Pierce
May 30, 1956—hits ball off Yankee Stadium facade off Pedro Ramos
Sept. 30, 1956—beats Ted Williams for batting title to win Triple Crown
October 8, 1956—catch preserves Larsen’s perfect World Series game
December 28, 1956—appears on “The Bob Hope Show”
May 16, 1957—The Copacabana brawl
Sept. 10, 1960—Tiger Stadium home run off Paul Foytack
Sept. 29, 1961—admitted to hospital with hip infection
October 8, 1961—plays game four of the World Series with blood seeping through his uniform.
May18, 1962-collapses in the first baseline trying to beat out a grounder to short in the bottom of the ninth.
May 22, 1963—hits ball off Yankee Stadium facade off Bill Fischer
Sept. 1, 1963—Hang-over home run in Baltimore
October 15, 1964—hits his 17th World Series home run off Barney Schultz in the ninth inning of game three of 1964 World Series.
Sept. 18, 1965—Mickey Mantle Day at Yankee Stadium
Sept. 20, 1968—last home run
Sept. 28, 1968—last at bat
March 1, 1969—Announces his retirement
June 8, 1969-Mickey Mantle Day at Yankee Stadium.
April 9, 1970—appears on Dick Cavett show
May 12, 1970—appears on Mike Douglass show
May 5, 1971—appears on Tonight Show with Johnny Carson
August 10, 1974—inducted into Hall of Fame
June 15, 1977—appears on Dinah Shore talk show
February 2, 1983—Banished from baseball because of his affiliation with The Claridge Hotel and Casino.
April-May, 1983—appears on CBS Sunday Morning
August 20, 1985—appears on Late Night with David Letterman
October 20, 1988—interview with Bob Costas
December 29, 1989—Billy Martin funeral
October 21, 1991—interview with Bob Costas
January 7, 1994—Enters the Betty Ford Clinic
March 12, 1994—Billy Mantle dies at age 36
June 8, 1995—Receives a liver transplant
July 28, 1995—Last press conference
August 13, 1995—Dies at age 63
December 20, 2000—Mickey Mantle Jr. dies at age 47
If you know of anyone who may be able to help out, please pass this along. I know Leavy sure would appreciate it.