New Book Renews Debate: Who Was Greater, DiMag or Mick?

Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle at spring training camp in 1951.

Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle at spring training, 1951, DiMag’s last season, Mick’s rookie year.

 

Since 1951, Joe DiMaggio‘s last season and Mickey Mantle‘s rookie year, fans have been debating which of the two New York Yankee icons was the greater ballplayer.

Until his death in 1999, four years after Mantle’s passing, DiMaggio had a contractual deal at every appearance that he would be introduced as “the greatest living ballplayer,” even in the presence of Mick, Ted Williams, Hank Aaron and others.

But a new book, DiMag & Mick: Sibling Rivals, Yankee Blood Brothers, has produced a retrospective on baseball’s legends, in particular DiMaggio and Mantle.

“If you could magically teleport him to today’s game,’’ says John Thorn, the official historian of Major League Baseball, about DiMaggio, “he would not be the same player. In 1969 he was voted baseball’s greatest living player. Today we would find that hilarious, considering that Ted Williams and Willie Mays were alive at the time.”

What makes this re-assessment possible, says author Tony Castro, is the evolution of analytics in baseball, particularly defensive metrics in this case.

“There is this image of the Yankee Clipper sailing so gracefully in the outfield that he never had to dive for a ball,” says Thorn. “But the reality is that his contemporaries recorded more putouts.

“There is a trend toward baseball analytics now and the more you apply them, the more you chip away at the DiMaggio myth,” continued Thorn, elaborating on DiMaggio who would have turned 100 last year. “On his 100th birthday you can still call him an all-time great but he was not the peerless center fielder he was made out to be.”

On the other hand, says Thorn, under sabermetrics, Mickey Mantle “looks great” and possibly closer to Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig in a different era.

“Their reality is closer to the myth,” says Thorn. “They were all greater players than DiMaggio in my estimation.”

‘Tony Castro’s really fantastic book, DiMag & Mick’

Best-selling author Peter Golenbock, someone I’ve always considered baseball’s historian-in-residence, wrote a glowing recommendation that’s on the dust jacket of ‘DiMag & Mick’ and here again is incredibly kind in his thoughts from his Facebook page. Thank you, Peter.

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‘DiMag & Mick’ Redefines DiMaggio-Mantle Relationship

“There have been a number of wonderful books about Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle but none are as good as this one.  I thought I knew everything there was to know about these two Yankee legends.  Boy, was I wrong!  Tony Castro has given us a great piece of sports journalism. Many of the intimate details found in DiMag & Mick are simply jaw-dropping.”

                                      Peter Golenbock, author of Dynasty: The New York Yankees 1949-1964 


“In the genre of biography, it’s rare these days to read a brand new story.  It seems that every story worth telling has been told many times over.  However, with his latest work, Tony Castro gives us a compelling and completely new account of the friendship – as complicated as it is misunderstood – between two of the greatest heroes of the sports world, Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle.  This is not only an informative and vastly researched book, it’s also quite moving… and, I dare say, a lot of fun.  I enjoyed it immensely.” 

J. Randy Taraborrelli, New York Times best-selling author 


“For all their valor on the field, Joe and Mickey were complicated people off it.  Tony Castro breaks that down in this revealing book about two American legends and what made them tick.”

                                                           Marty Appelauthor of Pinstripe Empire

 


 

“Tony’s work illustrates the human side of the athlete. His diligence into the deeper life off the field shows that our heroes also have feelings and are more than just that homerun or double in the gap. It’s refreshing to gain the access into all aspects of their lives to see what really build these men into the immortals that they truly became.”

–Andrew Vilacky, Safe at Home Ballpark Collectibles, Cooperstown, NY

 


 

DiMAG & MICK is a fulfilling book that will satisfy any baseball fans need for a look inside the real lives of these legends. Being a friend of Mickey’s for over 25 years, Tony has done an amazing job capturing not just the ballplayer, but also the man.”

–Tom Catal, Mickey Mantle Museum, Cooperstown, NY

 


 

“For one thrilling summer and fall, two baseball giants — Joe DiMaggio, a flickering but still brilliant star at the end of a legendary career — and Mickey Mantle, an ascendant comet in his rookie season — played together for the New York Yankees, baseball’s most storied franchise. In DIMAG & MICK: Sibling Rivals, Yankee Blood Brothers, award-winning journalist Tony Castro takes the reader beyond the field and the locker room and into the lives, loves, and heartbreaks of two of America’s greatest sports stars and cultural icons, during a time when America seemed innocent and full of promise. DIMAG & MICK is a must-read for sports fans, for Yankees followers, for students of American history.”

— Ruben Castaneda, author of ‘S Street Rising: Crack, Murder, and Redemption in D.C.’


“Tony Castro resurrects ­­­­­­––warts and all­­––the Hall-of-Fame careers and personal lives of legendary Yankee greats Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle From Mantle’s baptism in New York’s glamorous and seductive nightlife to DiMaggio’s graceful feats on the field and publicly stoic departure from baseball, Castro has produced a remarkable work of journalism.”

— Dale Tafoya, author of ‘Bash Brothers: A Legacy Subpoenaed’

New Book Reveals Mickey Mantle’s True Love

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Young lovers Holly Brooke and Mickey Mantle out on the town in Manhattan in 1951, his rookie season chronicled in the new book DiMag & Mick. (Mickey Mantle Museum, Cooperstown, NY)

 

MICKEY MANTLE FANS, memorize the name Holly Brooke.

In the new book DiMag & Mick, author Tony Castro  reveals that the Yankees’ switch-hitting icon proposed to New York actress Holly Brooke in his 1951 rookie season and that they carried on an affair for years even after he married his high school sweetheart to please his dying father.

For decades, sportswriters and authors tried unsuccessfully to interview Brooke — and were never even able to track her down.

But Castro, the author of the critically acclaimed biography Mickey Mantle: America’s Prodigal Son, not only found the elusive Holly Brooke but interviewed her exhaustively about her relationship with Mick and her recollection of Mantle’s time in New York — including the friendship he shared with Joe DiMaggio but which few others knew about.

DiMag & Mick, in book stores March 15 from Lyons Press, is available for pre-orders at Amazon.com.

The New Web Site for ‘DiMag & Mick’

Check out the new web site for my book ‘DiMag & Mick’ that will be in book stores March 16,  http://www.dimagmick.com

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‘DiMag & Mick’ Now the No. 1 New Book Release in America

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http://www.amazon.com/DiMag-Mick-Sibling-Rivals-Brothers/dp/1630761249/ref=zg_bs_2447_39

‘DiMag & Mick’ Book Release Countdown: 2 Days

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Grant and Isabel Hayes of Dallas: “Picking up a copy of our cousin’s book! Can’t wait to read it Tony! Also check out tonycastro.com for more great reads!”

‘DiMag & Mick’ Release Countdown: 3 Days

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‘DiMAG & MICK: Sibling Rivals, Yankee Blood Brothers’
They were the legends of the greatest team in the greatest era of the game at the greatest time in America – Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle – and it seems that forever they have been depicted as bitter enemies fighting over who was the greatest New York Yankee.

But ‘DiMag & Mick’ reveals for the first time that the two sports legends shared a lifelong private friendship that began in 1951 – the final season of DiMaggio’s glorious career and Mantle’s rookie year – amid a turbulent climate that created the public feud that, in fact, never existed… http://www.amazon.com/DiMag-Mick-Sibling-Rivals-Brothers/dp/1630761249/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

 

Catch Mickey Mantle’s Home Run Ball

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Copyright, Tony Castro. This animated graphic was created by author Tony Castro for The Official Web Site for Mickey Mantle: America’s Prodigal Son (Brassey’s Books, 2002)

 

Joe DiMaggio Born 101 Years Ago Today

 

Joe DiMaggio, whose 56 consecutive game hitting record will never be broken, was on this day — November 25, 1914 — 101 years ago. Happy Birthday, Joltin’ Joe!

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