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Review:
Mickey Mantle:
The American Dream Comes To Life®
The Deluxe Lost Stories Edition

 
Sports Collectors Digest, July 23, 1999
Tale of the Tape - David Craft

Mantle doubleheader
video is a grand slam
'American Dream' comes to life in interviews

    Something old, something new. Something borrowed, something blue.
    That's one way to describe the "wedding" of two one-hour interview programs spotlighting the life and career of Mickey Mantle.
    "Mickey Mantle: The American Dream Comes to Life®," was released on home video in 1988. But now a second full hour of Mantle's on-camera recollections – titled "The Lost Stories" – has been added to the original program and issued as one two-hour gem.
    "The Mick" borrows heavily from his days in the navy blue pinstripes of the New York Yankees. His stories range from the outright funny ("shooting the mule") to the endearing (his remembrances of Jackie Robinson and teammate Roger Maris). Many if not most Mantle fans purchased the first video when it came out. But even they would do well to consider rebuying it just to get the extra hour. It's that good.
    The new two-hour tape coincides with the 25th anniversary of Mantle's induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. I was eager to see what the producers added to the original video, but I was concerned that it would be weaker material that perhaps should have stayed on the cutting room floor. After all, the second hour of recollections come from the same interview session as the original video. That was a dozen years ago.
    I was also leery that the new hour might even be padded with outtakes of Mantle flubbing his lines. Who needs it? Too often, that kind of blooper just isn't that funny – and certainly not after repeated viewings.
    But not only does the second hour stand alone as a wonderful collection of Mantle stories, it even includes Paul Simon's music video of "Me and Julio" that features brief appearances by Mantle and football guru John Madden. The decision to release "The Lost Stories" backs up the producers' claim that the new footage was "chosen to complement and complete the original program."
    One reason that the video works so well, apart from the fact that Mantle was a wonderful storyteller, is that there is no narrator and no quick shots of the interviewer. In fact, viewers won't even hear the interviewer's questions. The entire two-hour program is Mickey Mantle, up close and personal at his Dallas home with shelves of memorabilia behind him. A wealth of film footage and still shots covering nearly all aspects of his life and career add another strong visual element to the program.
    The only quibble I have with the video, and it is a minor one, stems from the original hour. In it, Mantle recalls the time that he, manager Casey Stengel, and several other baseball stars appeared before the Senate Anti-Trust Committee in 1958 to offer their views on possible legislation affecting baseball.
    A nervous Mantle delivered one of the all-time great one-liners after Stengel had rambled for an hour or more. The film clip, complete with the audio, is a classic. But instead of getting to hear the entire audio track, the video shows portions of the black and white clip while we hear Mantle 30 years later tell the story and deliver the punch line.
    The actual "film-with-audio" clip was funnier. Waves of laughter from hundreds of people in attendance filled the committee room that day.
    Aside from that, the producers have mined a rich vein of baseball lore from a ballplayer whose career spanned the swan song of Joe D to the 31-win season of Tiger ace Denny McLain. If you liked the original one-hour video, you'll get to see and hear Mantle deliver more than 20 different stories in the second hour. If you don't have the original one-hour video, then adding this new two-hour version to your video collection is a no-brainer.
    Here are teasers to some of the stories Mantle relates in the second hour:
  • His "called shot" in the 1964 World Series
  • A defensive play involving base runner Jackie Robinson in '52
  • A friendly card game gone awry
  • Gallows humor on a passenger flight during a major thunderstorm over the Great Lakes
  • The "hangover home run"
  • Coming to the rescue of a paying customer at his restaurant
  • The $400 cab ride to Pittsburgh
  • Norm Cash's question to Mick during a "basebrawl"
    The special edition of "Mickey Mantle: The American Dream Comes to Life®" retails for $39.95 plus $4.95 for shipping and handling.) The press release that came with the review copy said that, for a limited time, $10 would be taken off the basic price. That may or may not still be valid when you read this.) [Note: The $29.95 special price has been extended indefinitely.]
    There are several ways to order the video:
    (1) Phone:  1-800-THE MICK (1-800-843-6425)
    (2) Fax: 415-346-0594
    (3) Internet: www.themick.com
    (4) Mail (check or money order): Baseball Legend Video, 1253 Vallejo St., San Francisco, CA 94109-2120.
    Though some of the stories Mantle shares with viewers are ones that have appeared in various books (including "The Mick," an autobiography published in 1985), this two-hour video is a real treat for Mantle/Yankees fans and baseball video collectors in general. It's two hours of a warm and funny Mickey Mantle on your TV screen, "tellin' like it was."

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We highly recommend Mickey's Videography Program:
Mickey Mantle: The American Dream Comes To Life
®
The Deluxe Lost Stories Edition
(2 hours)
Now on DVD with nearly 200 on-screen pages of bonus features!
"The best baseball program ever made!" - USA Today, The Washington Post, The NY Daily News, Newsday, The Los Angeles Times, The TODAY Show, ESPN, Larry King Live...


Click Here for Details!

We also recommend the second Videography Program
in the Comes To Life® Program Series:

John Madden: The American Dream
Comes To Life® (1 hour)
Now on DVD! The original program in its entirety - not one frame has been omitted.
"60 delightful minutes - A must!" - USA Today, The Washington Post, The Oakland Tribune, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Sacramento Bee, The TODAY Show, ESPN...


Click Here for Details!

 

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