In The Classic Mantle, acclaimed sportswriter Buzz Bissinger tells the story of Mickey Mantle's unforgettable career. Mantle has long been considered one of baseball's most memorable figures--playing his entire 18-year baseball career for the New York Yankees (1951û68), winning 3 American League MVP titles, playing in 20 All-Star games, and winning 7 World Series. Today, more than 40 years after his retirement, he still holds 6 World Series records, including most home runs (18). Bissinger goes beyond the ...
In The Classic Mantle, acclaimed sportswriter Buzz Bissinger tells the story of Mickey Mantle's unforgettable career. Mantle has long been considered one of baseball's most memorable figures--playing his entire 18-year baseball career for the New York Yankees (1951û68), winning 3 American League MVP titles, playing in 20 All-Star games, and winning 7 World Series. Today, more than 40 years after his retirement, he still holds 6 World Series records, including most home runs (18). Bissinger goes beyond the statistics to bring Mantle to life, and stunning photographs by Marvin E. Newman make this book a fitting tribute to Mantle's career and his lasting impact on the sport of baseball.
Buzz Bissinger is the author of Friday Night Lights, Three Nights in August, A Prayer for the City, and Father’s Day. In 1987 he won a Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting while at the Philadelphia Inquirer. He is a contributing editor to Vanity Fair and lives in Philadelphia. Marvin E. Newman’s work has been exhibited at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Museum of Modern Art. He has authored or coauthored eight books on photography and contributed to Abrams’ Yankee Colors: The Glory Years of the Mantle Era. He lives in New Jersey
Award-winning journalist and bestselling author H. G. ("Buzz") Bissinger has an undeniable knack for capturing the rhythms of life in big cities and small towns alike. While working as a reporter for The Philadelphia Inquirer, he and two colleagues shared a 1987 Pulitzer Prize for their six-part investigative series on corruption in the city's court system. A year later, reports of "the winningest high school football team in Texas history" led Bissinger to the economically depressed and racially divided town of Odessa, where he followed the team in question, the mighty Permian Panthers, on their quest for the state championship. Upon its publication in 1990, Friday Night Lights became an instant classic -- a cautionary tale about the dangers of sports obsession that remains required reading in many American high schools. It was filmed in 2004 and inspired a critically acclaimed television show.
Bissinger shines at "immersion journalism." Granted unlimited access in the mid-'90s to then-mayor of Philadelphia Ed Rendell, he crafted a superb behind-the-scenes account of Rendell's uphill struggle to rescue the decaying city from economic decline. Published in 1998, A Prayer for the City became a New York Times Notable Book of the year. Then, in 2005, he parlayed his relationship with Cards manager Tony La Russa into the bestseller Three Nights in August, an intriguing view of major-league baseball filtered through the lens of a three-game series between the rival Cubs and Cardinals.
In addition to his bestselling nonfiction, Bissinger has produced in-depth articles for a variety of publications -- most notably Vanity Fair, where he works as a contributing editor. Among his best-known pieces are an exposé of Stephen Glass, the disgraced New Republic reporter fired for journalistic fraud; a probing profile of the merciless, mercurial radio shock jock Don Imus; and a poignant story about the life and death of the great thoroughbred racehorse Barbaro.
Good To Know
Some fascinating outtakes and fun facts from our interview with Bissinger:
"One of the inspirations for my becoming a writer was the baseball board game Strat-O-Matic. I started playing it as a kid when I was ten or eleven. The game featured individual cards for every player in the major leagues. The results were incredibly realistic and after each game I would sit down at my typewriter and type up a game story as if I was writing for the New York Times."
"My grandmother got her law degree from Syracuse University in roughly 1911 and later co-founded with her husband an investment banking firm on Wall Street known as Lebenthal & Co. My parents worked at the firm and so did my uncle. As for my grandmother, she worked at Lebenthal until her early nineties."
"I am the father of twin sons that were born in Philadelphia at Pennsylvania Hospital in 1983. They were 13 weeks premature. Gerry weighed 1 pound 14 ounces, and Zachary 1 pound 11 ounces. They were the first male twins to ever survive at Pennsylvania Hospital. They are thriving today. Talk about miracles."
"I am 5'6" and desperately wish I was taller."
In 1998, Vanity Fair published Bissinger's article "Shattered Glass," an exposé of the career of disgraced New Republic writer Stephen Glass, who was fired for journalistic fraud. The article was later adapted for the 2003 film of the same name.
Bissinger admits to having an "abiding hatred" for the blog-o-sphere. In April, 2008, he appeared on Bob Costas's television series Costas Now and launched an angry tirade against Will Leitch, creator of the sports blog "Deadspin."