MICKEY MANTLE: 1931-1995

Leonardo da Vinci stood on one end of the stage, Mickey Mantle on the other. The Mick seemed a little out of place in the company of Da Vinci, Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, Laura Ingalls Wilder and Mahatma Gandhi, but this was my son's third-grade class biography project, titled Who Am I?, and an understanding teacher had allowed him to portray his favorite baseball player, a preference passed down like DNA from both his mother and his father. "I was born in Spavinaw, Oklahoma, in 1931," said this child born in New York City in 1986, "and my father named me...

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