❰Epub❯ ➞ Mickey and Willie Author Allen Barra – Motyourdrive.co.uk

Mickey and Willie chapter 1 Mickey and Willie , meaning Mickey and Willie , genre Mickey and Willie , book cover Mickey and Willie , flies Mickey and Willie , Mickey and Willie fe4a2f6ee76aa Acclaimed Sportswriter Allen Barra Exposes The Uncanny Parallels And Lifelong Friendship Between Two Of The Greatest Baseball Players Ever To Take The Field Culturally, Mickey Mantle And Willie Mays Were Light Years Apart Yet They Were Nearly The Same Age And Almost The Same Size, And They Came To New York At The Same Time They Possessed Virtually The Same Talents And Played The Same Position They Were Both Products Of Generations Of Baseball Playing Families, For Whom The Game Was The Only Escape From A Lifetime Of Brutal Manual Labor Both Were Nearly Crushed By The Weight Of The Outsized Expectations Placed On Them, First By Their Families And Later By America Both Lived Secret Lives Far Different From Those Their Fans Knew What Their Fans Also Didn T Know Was That The Two Men Shared A Close Personal Friendship And That Each Was The Only Man Who Could Truly Understand The Other S Experience


10 thoughts on “Mickey and Willie

  1. says:

    Before I review Mickey and Willie I feel it s necessary to give some feedback so you know where I m coming from Firstly, I ve always believed in my opinion Willie Mays is the greatest all around player in history My opinion not looking to start a debate Secondly I am a Mets fan and therefore it s my duty to hate the Yankees LOL That being said, however, there are certain Yankees that ya just gotta love Jeter, Mariano, Reggie, Yogi And Yes, of course, THE MICK I looked fwd to reading this book While I know a good deal about both Mickey and Willie, I hoped to learn even However, while there were some enjoyable tidbits, I could have learned the same information with some online research This book started out enjoyable but quickly turned into the author s one man crusade to lambast Willie Mays.Early on, I was sure this book would be 5 stars The I read, it dropped 4 stars 3 stars 2 Toward the end, this book was outright pi ing me off So angered I skimmed the last 8 10 pages.There were some interesting tidbits I enjoyed learning little things I had never known how Willie got his name, the fact that Mickey first wore 6 However, this book quickly turned into nothing but a slam on Willie Mays.It is fairly obvious that the author is a Yankee fan If things didn t end well for the Yankees the 1961 World Series, for example , the author quickly makes excuses.Yes, we hold athletes up as heroes, idols, especially in the day when Mickey and Willie played They were flawless faultless GODS Of course, that s not true No one is perfect, ballplayers included And this naturally holds true to Mays and Mantle However, the author clearly holds these men to a double standard Mickey s numerous issues excessive drinking, alcoholism, womanizing, skirt chasing, being bad with money, infidelity is all summed up nice and neat by alluding to the fact that Mickey was simply a country boy from Oklahoma, thrown into the media spotlight of NY, forced to live up to the hype of being the next Joe DiMaggio Sure, Mickey messed up but it wasn t his fault He was a na ve country boy living in the big city.However, Willie Mays is criticized, scrutinized, condemned and crucified for every little thing he did The double standard was appalling and disgusting Mickey s actions are explained away and excused Willie gets ripped a new one for his.In one scene, the author is telling about Willie s acceptance speech into the HOF The author goes so far as to quote excerpts from the speech and then put in parenthesis why what Willie was saying was wrong.Per the author, Willie had an easy go out of it Mickey battled for everything he got Willie was coddled by the Giants, Mickey was taken advantage of by the Yankees Mickey was pushed by Yankee managers Casey, Yogi, Ralph Houk to always do better Giants managers all had to kiss Willie s a Mickey left baseball not overly wealthy cause he gave away his money to friends he was an easy target and people took advantage of him Willie left the game without much money well, simply cause he spent too much Mickey constantly played hurt Willie sat out with mysterious illnesses At one point, Mr, Barra even ridicules Willie Mays for who he dedicated his autobiography to Why didn t he dedicate to his father Why didn t he dedicate to his coach And so onI consider myself a very well informed Baseball fan Yet, I ve never heard or read ANYWHERE some of the things in this book elsewhere Willie Mays was rude to reporters, cold, moody, mean to fans, refused to sign autographs Willie was booed and hated in San Francisco.Willie comes off not as the man who played Baseball with a childlike enthusiasm but rather as a bitter old man even when he was 30 Mays resents everyone and everything around him from teammates to the city of San Francisco to reporters to managers to family Supposedly, he even hated Hank Aaron when it became clear Aaron would break Ruth s record and not Willie Per the author, Mays once called Aaron, a dumb ni er Willie also comes off resentful of Mickey s baseball cards and memorabilia selling for than his own.Willie Mays is represented as a combination of the WORST of every hated ballplayer to ever play He s Pete Rose Ty Cobb Barry Bonds Roger Clemens Raffy Palmeiro all rolled into one.As Willie gets older and his stats obviously decline, the author seems to rejoice in Willie s deteriorating numbers I could almost picture the author cackling with an evil snicker Yet, on the flipside, when the author talks about Mickey s declining numbers as his career wound down, Mr Barra does not hesitate to justify it by citing Mickey s age and history of injuries It s as if Mickey s number declined cause the poor ol country boy drank too much and didn t take care of himself Aww, shucks Willie s numbers declined GOOD Another aspect of this book that I found annoying was the author lambasting Willie over and over and over and over for not speaking out during the Civil Rights struggle in the 1960 s Yes, retired Jackie Robinson did As well as other athletes Bill Russell, Muhammad Ali and Curt Flood However, 99.9% of black Ballplayers during the 60 s also did not speak out against racism Did Hank Aaron Reggie Jackson Frank Robinson Bob Gibson Willie Davis Vide Blue Maury Wills Lou Brock Willie McCovey And so on No, they didn t Yet the author constantly ridicules, scorns and disparages Mays for doing the same thing practically every other player did.There are also numerous factual errors as well as bad journalism 1 The author claims that the Brooklyn Dodgers won the 1st 2 games of the 1955 World Series Incorrect the Yankees did 2 The author goes on a rant about Maury Wills winning the MVP 1962 3 The author mentions a game Willie Mays played in against the Houston Colts They were NOT the Houston Colts but rather the Colt 45 s later renamed the Astros 4 The author turns this into an op ed piece and not a novel He consistently questions MVP selection, saying it s appalling Mays and mantle did not win Well, any true Baseball fan realizes what an MVP award truly is Right or wrong, the award does NOT go to the best player but the most VALUABLE player 5 The author makes no mention of Duke Snider Yes, this novel is about Mantle and Mays but how in the world can you discuss 1950 s Baseball in New York and fail to mention The Duke along with Willie and Mickey 6 The author, throughout the book, will make reference to things Willie did he didn t show up to a certain function, he was never close to his adopted son, etc. The author writes, Why Willie did that was never explained Well, Mr Barra, if you re writing a book about Willie Mays shouldn t it be your job as the author to find out the reason why 7 Toward the end the author insinuates that Commerce OK Mickey s birthplace and Fairfield, AL Willie s birthplace are almost gone from the map, ghost towns The author mentions that in 2010, the population of Commerce was barely over 2000 Well, quick research will show that 90 years ago, in 1920, the population was only 2600 So, really, the town has not nearly dried up The population has only dwindled by roughly 400 people in almost a centuryOne point I wanted to read about Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays Yet, for some reason, Mr Barra continually threw in things about himself, shameless little plugs on other books he s written When Mickey Mantle died, I want to know about it where, why, who was at his bedside, did he suffer, last words, local reaction, etc Instead, we get told about Mickey s passing from the author s personal point of view I was on my way to interview Herschel Walker when Mickey Mantle died WHO GIVES A S where YOU were.I was sure this would be a 5 star rating at the outset Then in dropped to 4 Then 3 I was sure I d give it at least 2 However, this book will get just 1 star And for me, that is rare Only 1 other review I ve done has gotten 1 star I only give 1 star to books I cant finish, unreadable If I finish a novel even if it s bad I still give it 1 star But not this time.


  2. says:

    There have been many bios written about Willie Mays and Mickey Mantle but Allen Barra, the author of this one had a great idea since the two were so often compared why not write a bio about the both of them, comparing their upbringings, their playing careers, and their retirement years These were two of baseballs most iconic payers, heroes to millions of boys growing up during the 50ies and 60ies and it becomes very clear early in this book that Barra was one of those boys So it came as no surprise reading about the amazing accomplishments they both performed on the field and while it s also clear that while on some level , Barra still views both Mickey and Willie as heroes, both these men had a serious dark side and Barra pulls no punches in discussing and exploring these flaws It s a well researched book and I admire the work Barra put into but I have to admit to finding it a quite depressing read That being said, I d still recommend it to any fan of baseball It is definitely a tale worth reading


  3. says:

    Really enjoyed reading this book Barra does a good job of writing in an integrated fashion, jumping back and forth between the lives of Mantle and Mays highlights his subtitle of parallel their lives were The book isn t in depth as it could be, but what was fascinating to me what seeing Barra alternate his perspective, from the moments when he was writing purely as a biographer, to the times as a journalist and asking tough questions and making honest conclusions, to the times when he was just remarking and remembering as a fan I didn t grow up watching Mantle and Mays, but I grew up loving baseball and baseball statistics, in which Mantle and Mays always loomed large The book is imperfect as a dual biography, but for any fan of baseball, particularly baseball s history, the book should be an enjoyable read.


  4. says:

    Since my dad was a big Mickey Mantle fan as a kid he was someone I always liked as well This was a great book that told me a lot about both of these guys I never knew about It was say Mays wasn t awarded MVPs Great book overall.


  5. says:

    Geez Not enough primary sources Barra basically read every other biography of Mantle and Mays and strung them together Which saves me from having to read them, for which I should be thankful, but I wish he had added of his own memories.


  6. says:

    An interesting overview and comparison of Mays and Mantle career Really not much new material as so much has been published about the 2 players The parallel lives approach is the strong part of the the book Wished the author had expanded on some of his experiences with the two players.Many of the footnotes could easily have been in the text and that would have aided the flow of the story.


  7. says:

    Great detail and trivia I hadn t known about the two superstars of my childhood Willie Mays and Mickey Mantle I saw Willie Mays play in the Polo Grounds my favorite player, and Mickey Mantle play at Yankee Stadium.


  8. says:

    Just like watching Willie play.


  9. says:

    Three stars for general interest four stars for a niche audience If you enjoy baseball and also like biographies, this may be a winner for you.As for me, I found myself wishing I had read separate biographies of each of these players before tackling one that compares the two The first third of the book was very slow going for me, because the narrative flips from one to the other frequently, and during their growing up years I found myself becoming confused now wait a second, which one has the horse There was so much minutiae and I had a hard time keeping track.That said, the story has a certain elegance I like the fact that it breaks apart stereotypes Willie Mays grew up in the Jim Crow south, but his family was part of the Black middle class, urban folks with a degree of sophistication Pictures of him as a youngster show a well developed, well nourished child wearing a nice suit Mantle, on the other hand, grew up in a very poor mining community in Oklahoma Had baseball not permitted him to escape Commerce, Oklahoma, he would likely have had to go into the mines as well.Mantle was diagnosed early in life with osteomyelitis, and nearly had to have his leg amputated Though he was able to save the leg and go on to run like lightning on the field, he was booed by New York fans who were convinced he had dodged the draft His agent and manager both spread the word that he had been declared unfit to serve because of his condition, but the fans saw the man run and, in the parlance of the time, believed his sick leg story to be a lot of hooey.Mays tried to avoid the draft by pointing out correctly that he had eleven dependents, but they made him serve anyway However, he was never placed in harm s way, and spent his tenure in the armed forces playing ball for a military team When he returned to the professional field, he was already in shape, just as if he d been off playing winter ball for a year or so.This middle portion of the book is very interesting and has a photograph section that can actually be seen on an e reader, a definite bonus I enjoyed reading about their professional lives, and since they start far away from one another and grow gradually closer until they are together, the transitions are buttery smooth.The end portion of the book is a let down, although since it discusses their careers and bodies in decline, it is probably inevitable I felt it could have done with some pruning, but those who hang onto every individual statistic will enjoy the charts and comparisons.To me, however, trying to decide which athlete is better is specious Who cares They are both legends They both deserve to be remembered well There is no contest, as far as I am concerned Seeing how they struggled financially once they could no longer play was really a sad thing, and a good reminder of why star athletes earn every penny they make By their late 30 s they will be deemed old men, and most of their lives will still be in front of them Not everyone can become a coach, a manager, or an announcer There aren t enough of those positions, and many athletes aren t gifted as writers, speakers, or teachers They know what to do, but it s muscle memory, and when it s gone, it s gone.Barra s research is mostly comprised of secondary sources he has a few brief interviews, but his perpetual insistence on badgering Mays over his abstinence from the Civil Rights struggle got him cut off time after time Mays was a reticent person, and it struck me once again that Black athletes have put up with such double standards nobody climbs all over a Caucasian player who simply isn t political and prefers to keep his thoughts to himself Yet Mays hears about it all the time, and his biographer here is as bad as any of them.I appreciated his references to what he says are the best biographies of each man individually those are now on my to read list.Meanwhile, I recommend this book to die hard baseball enthusiasts who already know a little something about Mays and Mantle individually.


  10. says:

    This book opens with the first sentence in the introduction I didn t cry when my father died, but I held back tears on August 13, 1995, when I heard that Mickey Mantle was gone This was not an inspiring sentence for me and was rather a crude awakening sports stars are people that most people do not know personally like Rock Stars, Movie Stars, Famous Poets, Authors etc I felt this opening was rather cold and barren From the git go after reading this opening sentence I believed this book would be a tough read for me An odd item however to consider based on the opening sentence in the Introduction is the dedication of the book Dedicated To My Father Alfred Barra Who Loved Mickey but worshipped Willie I am torn on this book the first 300 pages was for me too much going back on forth on the comparison of the ballplayers lives growing up As I continued to struggle through these pages I believed and that this book could have been at least 125 pages less than what it was a book dedicated to each with maybe a chapter for a reflection on those similarities on the other Mickey and Willie were good friends on and off the field of play this is apparent This friendship lasted from their early adulthood lives and careers to the death of Mickey in 1995 Willie still speaks kindly today of his old friend as best I could tell by the way the author wrote the story Part of the difficulty in this book were the many upon many upon many footnotes in pages all through the book The last page of the book has what looked to me to be the largest footnote of all I simply skipped all the footnotes after I reached page 50, I expect books on sports to tell a story absent footnotes reserved for books of History or Academia Considering this is a sports book and nothing the historical context of the same remains in sports and to me this is not History both gentlemen were sports stars Yes, it was also their job but at the end of the day their job was a game.I was not impressed with the Author s reference to the many ball players such as Willie that were drafted in the early 1950 s and then coddled by the U.S Army to play ball many other boys did not have this luxury during the Korean War One ball player referenced at least 10 times in this book is Ted Williams a ball player that served in two wars and lost 5 years of MLB statistics to boot A U.S Marine Pilot who first flew Pursuit Planes during the Second World War he moved up to Jets during the Korean conflict All the time the Author writes of the coddled players and for all the times he references Ted Williams he never combines the contrast for a moment Another point I simply disliked.By far the last 100 pages maybe 90 of the book were the best for me The Author had a professional relationship to some degree with both Mantle and Mays and other sports stars this still in my opinion does not attribute a reason to the opening line in the introductory section The NBA and NFL get honorary mentions in this book and he doesn t give any honorary mention to the NHL Even for the time frame where the NFL was just gaining gas in the early 1960 s the NHL had quite a storied history of sport in its own right long before the NBA and NFL came into existence Howie Morenz was to the NHL what Babe Ruth was to MLB.Simply too difficult a read the final 100 pages cannot in my mind make up for the 480 of detail that leaves the reader confused I simply give this book 2 stars rounding down from 2.5 as the main interest for the majority of people in my opinion will be in the last 90 100 pages This book was simply too long.


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