Sports stars come and go, but sometimes a man seems made for the moment. In “A Season in the Sun” by Randy Roberts and Johnny Smith recalls Mickey Mantle’s finest season (1956), both on the field and in acclaim. That year, Mantle led the league in batting average, runs batted in, and homers (challenging Ruth’s record)—a rare triple crown. Mantel was a hit in the press as well—a golden boy from the heartland, he seemed to affirm good-old American values. The image was strained—given to late-night partying and nagged by injuries, Mantle often struggled to report to the baseball diamond. In 1956, tho’, it all came to together for him. Author Roberts and Smith detail both Mantle’s exploits on the field and the PR machine that sold his country boy image to a war-weary nation. Even die hard Red Sox fans should find this an engaging read.
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