BEDFORD, N.Y. -- Tom Molito lived every baby boomer's dream: becoming friends with Yankee great Mickey Mantle.
Molito discusses his friendship with the Hall of Famer as well as Mantle's career in his new book "Mickey Mantle: Inside and Outside The Lines," which was released in April. Molito will be doing an event at the Pound Ridge Library on Saturday at 3 p.m.
"Mickey Mantle was the number one sports idol in America in the 1950s and 1960s," Molito said. "Everybody idolized him."
Molito first met Mantle when his production company was doing a show on members of the 500 homers club. They got Mantle to host the show and Molito and Mantle hit it off. Molito wrote Mantle's farewell speech when Mantle knew he was dying in 1995.
"There are millions of kids who would give their right arm to meet him," Molitio said. "It's still mind-boggling to me because he was Mickey Mante."
The book also discusses Mantle as a baseball player. Molito said no one ran faste or hit the ball harder than Mantle, saying he was a combination of Mark McGwire and Rickey Henderson.
"He was very humble," Molito said. "He was loved by his teammates. If he had stayed healthy, he could've been the greatest ballplayer of all time. He had so many injuries, he didn't take care of himself."
Mantle became a household name as every American started owning televisions and the Yankees were always featured as the game of the week.
"He was just like Elvis," Molito said. "He was one of the first stars of this new medium."
Molito said his earliest memories of Mantle are a photo of the 1952 New York Yankees.
"Here was this fresh-faced blue eyed blonde hair kid," Molito said. "Even in the bleachers at Yankee Stadium, he stood out. He was almost like a superhero."
Molito also throws in some other facts about Mantle including that he hated Christmas, loved country music and his favorite movie was "The Last Picture Show."
To purchase Molito's book, click here.
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