Tuesday, July 7, 2009

New Munson Biography by Marty Appel

Today sees the release of Munson: The Life and Death of a Yankee Captain, by Marty Appel. Munson is an in-depth biography of the former captain by the man who helped him write his autobiography. As Appel reports, Munson was reluctant to include much about his personal life when he and Marty undertook the original project. This biography was Appel's chance to delve a little deeper into aspects of Munson's life he was not comfortable sharing himself.

That is not to say, however, that the book focuses solely on his personal life. Munson's life is narrated in the context of his athletic career (including his exploits from childhood on). By the end of the book, you will know Munson very intimately.

In many ways this book is not just about Munson's life and time in New York, it is also about the Yankees during the Munson era. If you're interested in what the transition was like from corporate control (CBS still owned the Yankees in the early years of Munson's tenure) to that of The Boss, you should definitely read the book.

The only thing I would caution is that the book is very detailed when it comes to Munson's career. So if all you care about is what the '78 Yankees were like, or Appel's account of the plane crash, you may find it slow going when reading about Munson's college baseball career at Kent State or the April slumps of his first couple years with the Yanks. But if you're interested in Munson's life, and in getting a sense of the Yankees as an organization in the early Steinbrenner days, this is a worthwhile read.

What I found most interesting is that Munson, a man who didn't talk to the press much and wasn't really one for autographs, was such a beloved figure in New York. It tells you a lot about the way he played the game. You'll get a great sense of what kind of player and person Munson was from Appel's new biography.


Anonymous said...

NY fans have always had a place in their hearts for stoics (Munson, DiMaggio, Gehrig, Mariano) that the showboaters (Reggie, Reggie, Reggie) could never measure up to.

Quinn said...

i swear to god my middle name is thurman.. for munson. by the way went to citi field last night. it is a really nice stadium. i sat behind the left field wall in mannywood. and got to walk around the whole field, its beautiful. it makes me think what would yankee stadium be like if they put that much effort into it.

JeterIsGod said...

Lookin forward to reading this. Growing up in the 80s and 90s I didnt know much about him. Really became interested after seeing "The Bronx is Burning" and hearing stories/clips from his playing days.

Fernando Alejandro said...

Marty Appel worked for the Yankees in those days as the PR Director, and knew Munson personally. I think its cool that he did as much research as he did and interviewed a lot of his family members for the book. He could have easily tried to just recall his own experience with him and fill the rest with highlights from his career. Appel does his leg work on this one.

She-Fan said...

I was sent a copy and am finishing it now. You're right about the details of Munson's career; they do slow things down. But I'm enjoying the more in-depth look at Munson's personality.