Exclusive excerpt from ‘The Last Boy’: Mickey Mantle struggled to deal with son Billy’s illness

In this exclusive excerpt from Jane Leavy’s new book, “The Last Boy: Mickey Mantle and the End of America’s Childhood,” the author takes you on a bumpy ride  with  an American hero. Atlantic City, April 1983 In the backseat of a limousine, I made Mickey Mantle cry. We were headed to the airport in Philadelphia for his next flight in a life of endless flights. “Still looks like winter up here,” he said, peering at the world through another smoked glass window. “I always thought Atlantic City was right by New York. Someone told me it’s right on the Mason-Dixon Line.” Disorientation was the inevitable consequence of a life long divided into road trips and home stands. And that hadn’t changed, except that now the destinations weren’t always big league. He figured he was making ten to twelve appearances a year, gigs that paid a minimum of $5,000; he wouldn’t take less. Still, he worried that he was pricing himself out of the market. They only pay so much to lead an apple harvest parade. The Claridge was planning a couple of card shows with Whitey, Billy, and Rog, his three favorites, maybe Willie and The Duke, too, and there was talk of an autobiography. “To get even with Bouton,” he said. He got to thinking about how much things had changed, which led to a discussion of women in the locker room, an indignity he was spared by retiring before people like me barged in. He grinned. “I told… [Read full story]

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