To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Mickey Mantle's 1956 triple crown year as well as the 75th anniversary of his birth "Mickey Mantle: STORIES AND MEMORABILIA FROM A LIFETIME WITH THE MICK" by award-winning sports columnist Mickey Herskowitz and the sons of Mantle, Danny and David, (Abrams: Stewart, Tabori & Chang, $35.00, 175 pages) is now out there - the first illustrated biography of one of the greatest baseball players of all time.
This is a book to buy, to keep, to savor. It is one that features more than 100 color and black-and-white illustrations and most noteworthy -10 removable facsimile reproductions of rare Mantle memorabilia including his minor league contract 1949 signed by Mantle and his father, a publicity form questionnaire May 1950 filled out in Mantle's own hand, an autographed photo.
The quality of all the visuals as well as the writing and re-telling of stories collected over the years focused on the "Mick" is moving and special. The book is highly recommended.
Another highly recommended book is "The Blind Side" by Michael Lewis (Norton, $24.95, 299 pages). The #1 bestselling author of "Moneyball" is at it again with his story of Michael Oher, destined to one day be a NFL multi-millionaire. We travel with Lewis through a journey and understanding. Oher, one of 13 children, father unknown, his own name unknown, his mother a crack addict is how we begin. The book's narrative arc sweeps us along on the ride of a young man who until 2004 had never even touched a football and never ever played left tackle - to a moment in time where his size, strength and agility made him into a lottery-like treasure in the world of football. "The Blind Side" is a terrific and engrossing read.
"Perfect Once Removed" by Phillip Hoose (Walker and Company, $19.95, 176 pages) is timed to the 50th anniversary of the Don Larsen perfect game, October 8, 1956. It is a memoir of the author, then nine years old, whose whole life changed from that event.
"Lute! The Seasons of My Life" by Lute Olson and David Fisher (Thomas Dunne Books/ St. Martin's Press, $24.95, 304 pages) is an engaging and well written memoir about the Arizona basketball head coach legend.