POUND RIDGE, N.Y. -- Saw Mill Club's Member Spotlight introduces Tom Molito, whose new book Mickey Mantle: Inside and Outside the Lines details his personal experiences with one of the 20th century's greatest icons.
- Name: Tom Molito
- Hometown: Pound Ridge
- Years at SMC: 10
- Interests at SMC: Aerobics exercises and weight lifting
Imagine having the chance to not only meet, but become friends with your childhood hero. Tom Molito, a Northern Westchester resident for over 40 years, was able to do just that. Through a 'too good to be true' series of events, Molito went from being just another boy in the bleachers idolizing the great Mickey Mantle to, 30 years later, helping the legendary Yankee draft his farewell speech. In his book, Mickey Mantle: Inside and Outside the Lines, Molito shares his experiences with Mantle in what he describes as "a love letter, warts and all."
Molito first met Mantle while producing a documentary on the 500 Homerun Club and the two became fast friends. From double date dinners to nights on the town, Molito began recording the duo's adventures for his memory's sake. It wasn't until after Mantle's death in 1995 that Molito, on the ceaseless urging of friends and family, decided to write a book.
"He was a humble guy and, may be the most beloved baseball player of that generation. When Mickey came up, everything stopped and you watched."
"The fact that it was written by a fan and baby boomer is what makes this book unique," said Molito. "In hearing my adventures, readers see what it would feel like to suddenly become friends with your childhood idol."
The 184 page book is broken into two parts: examining Mantle the man, and Mantle the player. The former contains anecdotes and stories from Molito's adventures, while the latter views the slugger's Hall of Fame statistics in a modern context. The findings, Molito says, are astonishing."Using modern stats such as on base percentage, wins above replacement and others, we see Mantle's numbers to be even better than we originally thought," he said.
For baby boomers and baseball fans alike, the book gives insight into one of television's first true stars. "He was the first national sports hero who people saw on TV," said Molito. "He was part of people’s family."
The book, which contains a forward by longtime Mantle friend and Hall of Fame country singer, Charlie Daniels, is available on Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, Black Rose Writing and at local bookstores.
For more information on Molito and the book, visit Mickey Mantle: Inside and Outside the Lines' Facebook page.