Everyone has a past, it is a fact of life. In that past, people have deep dark secrets that are buried within for various reasons. Sometimes its family trauma, emotional or physical trauma or a combination of all of them. For ex-Yankee John Malangone, his lifelong secret effected every day of his life from the time he was a young boy.
Lets start out by saying John Malangone was a career minor leaguer, so the term ex-Yankee in the title is by definition a bit of a stretch. This book gives you a lot of background information of Malangone. From his upbringing in New York, through some family drama and secrets that helped shape the man we are reading about, it gives you a real sense of how his mind works. It is the way that mind of his worked that probably kept Mangalone from reaching his true potential as a player.
Basically suffering from some sort of ADD/ADHD/schizophrenia that would not have necessarily been diagnosed at that time it effected almost every aspect of his life. Compounding this with early childhood trauma and you get a real mess of a man who does not always conform to what society needed him to be in order to succeed. That is especially true in his climbing the ladder through the Yankees farm system. He never quite fit the Yankees image as to what the expected if you were a Yankee.
The story as a whole is somewhat sad. It is truly a story of wasted opportunity and not necessarily realizing he was doing it at the time. The book is well written, but does show a different era of New York in the 1930’s and 40’s. It shows John crossing paths with gangsters, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle and countless other Yankee Hall of Famers. In the end, childhood family secrets haunted John, basically effected every aspect of his life and took him over 50 years to finally lay them to rest.
To me this is more a life biography versus a baseball one. It does have the baseball theme to it, but really the Demons of his personal life overshadow the baseball story. The story when you finish it leaves you feeling sorry for the life John Malangone suffered through. He had so much promise that went unfulfilled, and suffered for so many decades due to the secrets he held inside.
If you are looking for a true baseball biography this may not be a book for you. If you are looking for a good biography that tackles some real life issues, this is your book. It draws you in with the baseball hook, but keeps you interested with the human aspect.
You can get this book from the nice folks at Jarndyce & Jarndyce Press
If you are the fan of any baseball team, then at least once you have had a horrid season. The type of season that no matter what you do you can just not shake the memory. For fans of the 29 other teams in the league, they can take some pride in the fact that they are not the all-time worst…….hey that honor has to go to someone, right? Well, congratulations New York Mets fans, the honor is all yours. The proud owners of 120 losses in their inaugural season in 1962, the New York Mets set a new record for futility that has yet to be broken over 50 years later. Now there is a book that allows you to relieve the highlights, or low-lights, depending on how you look at it, of that first season.
There is a whole series of the “Tales From the Dugout of….” books available for various teams out there right now. They all follow the same basic premise of highlighting a certain team or season to the delight of that team’s fans. They are targeted to a very specific market and may not appeal to all baseball fans.
This specific book from Janet Paskin allows readers to look at the Mets 1962 season. Each chapter highlights specific moments in the season that were of historical significance. It also takes a look at player performances and antics during the season, on and off the field. The final piece of the book takes a where are they now approach and tells the reader what happened to the individual players after 1962.
Unfortunately, these are the same old stories you would hear as fans about the 1962 New York Mets. I am sure its very hard to come up with new material about a single season more than a half century later. While historical for it being the Mets first season and the record-setting loss total, nothing really historical happened within baseball. There was nothing groundbreaking that would make it a season to be remembered for all time.
If you are a Mets fan, the stories in this book you have probably heard 100 times before. That being said you will probably enjoy reading them for the 101st time. If you are not a Mets fan, this will have a hard time holding your interest, unless you really enjoy stories of ineptitude on the baseball diamond.
You can pick up this book from the nice folks at Sports Publishing