Plenty of books have been produced on the life and career of Mickey Mantle but never before has one of his most avid fans and collectors chronicled the Hall of Famer’s life through an extensive collection of authentic memorabilia.
Author Steven Lane has been collecting Mantle memorabilia for over 60 years. He not only owns the best collection of Mantle memorabilia around, he’s also the author of the hardcover book that will be available this fall that shows it all off.
Mickey Mantle: A Life In Memorabilia acts as a museum tour through Mantle’s life. It includes items from Lane’s extensive and valuable collection as well as stories from Mantle’s 18-year career.
“This book is as close as one can get to these artifacts without actually holding them,” Lane says.
Like millions of other Mantle fans, Lane followed his every at bat, fielding gem, and even injuries. He became a lawyer in 1979 and, over time, was able to accumulate many one-of-a-kind museum quality items tracing Mantle’s entire life. The book is his attempt to share his collection with other Mantle fans.
“From March to October I’d put my nickel, dime or quarter into a corner vending machine or go to the local grocery store, deli or candy store and buy a wax pack. Open the pack, eat the gum, and go through the cards, praying that after I saw Mike De la Hoz and Choo Choo Coleman, the payoff would be a Mickey Mantle card at the bottom of the stack. I was the only kid in second grade in PS 199 in Brooklyn who could say, spell and explain osteomyelitis, a bone disease that Mantle had as a child.” – Steven Lane
The book includes images of Mantle’s 535th home run ball “grooved” for him by pitcher Denny McLain, a game-used glove from 1963 that’s on loan to the Yankees Museum and the first ball signed by Mantle as a teenager in 1949.
He also owns some personal items like Mantle’s fourth grade class photo.
Mantle’s sons, Danny and David both approved of the project and lent messages of support.
The book is priced at $29.99 and is available for pre-order now on TheMickeyMantle.com. It’s expected to be ready for shipping in late November or early December.