Mickey Mantle’s life story heading to Broadway

Mike Oz
Big League Stew

It seems only fitting that for his next act, New York Yankee great Mickey Mantle is going to one of the other places in New York City as revered as Yankee Stadium — Broadway.

Mantle, it was announced on Friday, will be the focus of a Broadway play that's being produced by two of his sons, Danny and David.

The announcement — made on BroadwayWorld.com — came on the very day that Mantle announced his retirement from baseball 44 years ago. Regarded as one of baseball's greatest players and New York sports' most esteemed icons, Mantle starred for the Yankees in the '50s and '60s, winning seven World Series rings, a Triple Crown and three MVPs. From Broadway World's report:

Danny and David Mantle have teamed up with award-winning writer/producer David Leaf ("The Night James Brown Saved Boston," "The U.S. Vs. John Lennon" and "Beautiful Dreamer: Brian Wilson & The Story of SMILE") to bring the man they are proud to call "Dad" to the stage. With Leaf on board, the group will next be meeting with potential creative team members as their Broadway plans shape up ...

As a boy, Leaf saw Mantle play at Yankee Stadium; as a young reporter, he interviewed "The Mick" at Old-Timers Day. Leaf explains: "Mickey Mantle was my first hero. The lessons we learned from this Achilles in pinstripes, from his home-run swings and his go-for-broke misses on and off the field--- is clearly an epic tale, one that I've always wanted to explore. I'm thrilled that Danny and David Mantle are sharing their deepest memories of their dad and entrusting me to bring him to life, flaws and all, on the stage."

For as much success as he had on the field, Mantle lived hard off of it. He was an alcoholic and a ladies man, the head of a dysfunctional family who eventually sought to exorcise his personal demons before dying of cancer in 1995.

Says Danny Mantle, who was among the members of the Mantle family to pen the 1996 memoir, "A Hero All His LIfe:"

"There has been so much written about my dad over the years. When my brother and I met David Leaf, we felt we could work with him to finally tell the real story of who our dad was as a man. Late in his life, dad spoke openly about what he felt were his shortcomings when it came to our family. The truth is, he gave so much more to all of us than what he, or anyone else, gave him credit for. Now is our chance."

OK, enough of the serious stuff. Here's a question: Who should play The Mick?

Someone at Broadway World already suggested Thomas Jane reprise his role from "61*." I look at photos of Mantle and see a bit of Simon Baker (who you know from "The Mentalist").

Any other great ideas out there?

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