Allen Barra is the author of INVENTING WYATT EARP, THE LAST COACH and YOGI BERRA, as well as several essay collections. He is a regular contributor to such publications as the Wall Street Journal, Daily Beast and Salon.
Culturally, Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays were light-years apart. Yet they were nearly the same age and almost the same size, and they came to New York at the same time. They were both products of generations of baseball-playing families, for whom the game was the only escape from a lifetime of brutal manual labor. These two men shared a close personal friendship, and each was the only man who could truly understand the other's experience.