Am sitting in Borders, a copy of Jane Leavy’s new Mantle biography, The Last Boy, by my side.
As a guy who writes these things for a living, I’m addicted to other biographies–especially other sports bios. Leavy’s last book, Koufax, was excellent, so I’m intrigued to see what she does with this one. When I first heard she was doing Mantle, my reaction was, “Really?” I mean, the guy has been written about sooooooooo much, what’s left to say? We know he was talented. We know he defined an era. We know he drank and had mucho sex.
And yet, that’s what great biographers (and she’s certainly great) do. They take a subject and bring their own take to it. Leavy’s Mantle isn’t someone else’s Mantle, just as my Roger Clemens wasn’t someone else’s Roger Clemens.
And, if you want my Roger Clemens, I know a place that has 23,202 copies available …