Mickey and Willie: Mantle and Mays, the Parallel Lives of Baseball's Golden Age

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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.

  • Author: Allen Barra
  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Published: April, 2014
  • Dimensions: 5.2 x 1.1 x 8 inches
Player Biography

Willie Mays, the “Say Hey Kid,” excelled in all phases of the game with a boyish enthusiasm and infectious exuberance. His staggering career statistics totaled 3,283 hits and 660 home runs. “You used to think if the score was 5-0, he’d hit a five run homer,” recalled Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson. The New York Giants superstar earned National League Rookie of the Year honors in 1951 and two N.L. Most Valuable Player awards (1954 and 1965). He accumulated 12 Gold Glove awards and played in a record-tying 24 All-Star games. His catch of Vic Wertz’s deep fly ball in the 1954 World Series remains one of baseball’s most memorable moments.

“You’re going to be a great player, kid,” said Jackie Robinson to Mickey Mantle after the 1952 World Series. Mantle was a star from the start; his talent and boyish good looks earned him iconic status. Despite a series of devastating injuries, Mantle accumulated a long list of impressive accomplishments, finishing his 18-year career with 536 home runs and a .298 batting average. When healthy, Mantle was an excellent defensive outfielder – lightning-fast, with a strong and accurate arm. The switch-hitter won three Most Valuable Player awards and a Triple Crown, contributing to 12 pennants and seven World Series titles for the New York Yankees, while establishing numerous Fall Classic records.

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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.

  • Author: Allen Barra
  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Published: April, 2014
  • Dimensions: 5.2 x 1.1 x 8 inches
Player Biography

Willie Mays, the “Say Hey Kid,” excelled in all phases of the game with a boyish enthusiasm and infectious exuberance. His staggering career statistics totaled 3,283 hits and 660 home runs. “You used to think if the score was 5-0, he’d hit a five run homer,” recalled Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson. The New York Giants superstar earned National League Rookie of the Year honors in 1951 and two N.L. Most Valuable Player awards (1954 and 1965). He accumulated 12 Gold Glove awards and played in a record-tying 24 All-Star games. His catch of Vic Wertz’s deep fly ball in the 1954 World Series remains one of baseball’s most memorable moments.

“You’re going to be a great player, kid,” said Jackie Robinson to Mickey Mantle after the 1952 World Series. Mantle was a star from the start; his talent and boyish good looks earned him iconic status. Despite a series of devastating injuries, Mantle accumulated a long list of impressive accomplishments, finishing his 18-year career with 536 home runs and a .298 batting average. When healthy, Mantle was an excellent defensive outfielder – lightning-fast, with a strong and accurate arm. The switch-hitter won three Most Valuable Player awards and a Triple Crown, contributing to 12 pennants and seven World Series titles for the New York Yankees, while establishing numerous Fall Classic records.

Men's Jerseys

JERSEY SIZE 40 44 48 52 56 60
Size Equivalent S M L XL 2XL 3XL 4XL
Chest 34 - 36" 38 - 40" 42 - 44" 46 - 48" 50 - 52" 54 - 56" 58 - 60"
Waist 28 - 30" 32 - 34" 36 - 38" 40 - 42" 44 - 46" 48 - 50" 52 - 54"
Hip 34 - 36" 38 - 40" 42 - 44" 46 - 48" 50 - 52" 54 - 56" 58 - 60"