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DiMag & Mick

Sibling Rivals, Yankee Blood Brothers

Tony Castro

DiMag & Mick is a portrait of DiMaggio and Mantle as the old and young exemplars of what was a more confident, masterful age not only in baseball but in the country where they were held up as cultural heroes over two generations, symbolic of an America celebrating its recent triumph over Nazism and ever-curious about the new age of color television, rocket ships, and technology. Tony Castro shows DiMag and Mick as fathers and sons, rebels and heroes, and reveals the rite of passage of two men who would go down in baseball immortality – DiMaggio as he reluctantly prepares to leave the spotlight of adoration and hero-worship for glitzy world of Marilyn’s exploding Hollywood celebrity, and Mantle in his awkward attempt to leave his country roots of Dust Bowl Oklahoma for the big city exposure and expectations of greatness being placed on him. Yankee legend and glory holds a special magic all its own, and Castro examines the heart and soul of that mystique, especially the bond of the players themselves and how that came to breed and spread the perception that there was any animosity between DiMaggio and Mantle – two polarizing personalities who drove many teammates away from one and galvanized their friendship with the other. « less more »
Globe Pequot Press / Lyons Press
Pages: 296Size: 6 1/4 x 9 3/8
978-1-63076-124-0 • Hardback • March 2016 • $24.95 • (£15.95)
978-1-63076-125-7 • eBook • March 2016 • $14.99 • (£9.95)
Tony Castro is the author of the critically acclaimed and best-selling Mickey Mantle: America’s Prodigal Son that has been hailed by The New York Times as the best biography about the Hall of Fame baseball legend. He is also the author of the landmark civil rights history Chicano Power: The Emergence of Mexican America. Castro was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University where he did graduate work on American Studies and comparative literature — studying under Homeric scholar and translator Robert Fitzgerald and Mexican Nobel laureate Octavio Paz. As a journalist, Castro was a prize-winning columnist and political writer whose work has included covering American presidential campaigns since 1964, reporting on civil wars in Central America and traveling with his Chicano activist friend Carlos Guerra to Cuba in the late 1960s where they met with Fidel Castro. Castro’s reporting has appeared in The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the Dallas Morning News and The Texas Observer. He was a columnist at the Los Angeles Herald Examiner for the late legendary editor Jim Bellows. A native of Waco, Texas, Castro is a graduate of Baylor University and was also a fellow at the Washington Journalism Center. Castro lives in Los Angeles with his wife Renee LaSalle and Jeter, their black Labrador retriever. Their two grown sons, Trey and Ryan, also reside in Southern California.
This is a dream of a book. Castro, author of perhaps the best biography of Mickey Mantle, America's Prodigal Son, takes on the myth that in 1951, Joe DiMaggio, in his last season, snubbed the rookie who would replace him in center field for baseball's greatest dynasty. Castro offers a revisionist history of the friendship of the two Yankee greats. Castro reveals a fascinating bond where others, over the decades, found no relationship at all.
Chicago Tribune

"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 and Mick are simply jaw-dropping."
---- Peter Golenbock, author of
Dynasty: The New York Yankees 1949-1946 and 7: the Mickey Mantle Novel

"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 Appel, author of Pinstripe Empire: The New York Yankees From Before the Babe to After the Boss

“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
Bash Brothers: A Legacy Subpoenaed

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.

The on-field heroics and off-field lives of Mickey Mantle and Joe DiMaggio have been well-documented. (And in Mantle’s case, in another wonderful book by Tony Castro.) In DiMag & Mick, Castro offers a fascinating look at the one season that the two Yankee greats played together, and how their lives intersected in both baseball and their respective social circles. It’s a fresh take on two men who have been written about many, many times before.

Kevin Tankersley, Senior Lecturer in Journalism, Public Relations & New Media at Baylor University

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

In DiMag & Mick, Tony Castro offers a revisionist history that turns out to be the real history and has found a fascinating relationship where others had seen no relationship at all. Your knowledge of the Yankees from the DiMaggio through the Mantle years isn’t complete until you’ve read this book.

Allen Barra, author of
Mickey and Willie: The Parallel Lives of the Golden Age of Baseball

“Tony Castro’s honest and powerful memoir captures the essential American story of the struggle for cultural assimilation. The very best stories are written in blood, and in Castro’s finely woven personal narrative, the reader can almost feel his heart beating.” - Bob Vickrey, columnist for the Waco Tribune-Herald

“Readers who step into Tony’s Time Machine, The Prince of South Waco, are in for a thrilling, lyrical ride, a true tale of romantic woes and raucous rebellion that will break readers’ hearts,” writes Preston Kirk, the former United Press International reporter who covered Texas.

This is a dream of a book. Castro, author of perhaps the best biography of Mickey Mantle, 'America's Prodigal Son,' takes on the myth that in 1951, Joe DiMaggio, in his last season, snubbed the rookie who would replace him in center field for baseball's greatest dynasty. Castro offers a revisionist history of the friendship of the two Yankee greats. Castro reveals a fascinating bond where others, over the decades, found no relationship at all. He also puts a fresh perspective on the fame of both Joe and the Mick, quoting Hollywood journalist James Bacon: 'Joe and Mickey had more in common with Frank Sinatra, John Wayne and the idols of celebrity than they did with the life into which they were born … It's what came with what they did so wonderfully well with the inevitability of their success.'
Castro has a fine eye for the revealing detail. Near the end of Mantle's career at a Mickey Mantle Day at Yankee Stadium, DiMaggio, looking splendid in late middle age, 'walked with his customary grace from the dugout on to the field.' Then, as he waved to the cheering crowd, the Yankee Clipper noticed Mickey's mother, Lovell, standing off, almost ignored, to one side. DiMaggio unexpectedly cupper her elbow in his hand and escorted to where all the players and dignitaries were lined up along the infield grass.'
But DiMaggio's dignity gave way to scorn a few minutes later when he saw Robert F. Kennedy in the Yankees dugout: 'DiMaggio despised both Bobby Kennedy and his brother … for their romantic involvement with Marilyn Monroe.' Snubbing Kennedy, 'DiMaggio turned his attention to Mickey and the fans there to honor him. 'I'm proud,' he announced, 'to introduce the man who succeeded me in center field in 1951.''
DiMag & Mick grants us insight into Mantle, quoting from interviews and letters of Holly Brooke, Mickey's secret girlfriend in the 1950s. The late Ms. Brooke's memories of Mickey should temper our own recollections: 'Mickey just wouldn't tell a lie. He would try not to hurt anybody. I don't know how many people you can say that about.'
Chicago Tribune