An absolute treasure for fans and historians; for the fans who might expect alot of the same clips and stills and are thrilled to see something "new"; for the historians who can enjoy the high quality of the previously seen and (believed to be) first time viewing of the content.
It's always great to watch a non-overdubbed kinescope and here we have one from '52 with the Voice of The Yankees calling a MM base hit. (I could watch these undoctored clips for days on end...HBO, what do you think?...).
Besides the rare clips we have a chance to enjoy rarely seen Mantle relatives, and famous co-workers such as Bill "Moose" Skowron, Joe Pepitone, and Phil Linz, who are not as visible as some other teammates in similiar packages, in well-produced interview segments.
I was particularly touched by a 1968 (his final year) press conference including a young fan; and what was possibly his very last public statement in 1995.
The viewer/fan might find this documentary remarkably "frank", in comparison with other works which glorify the Mick without mention of his long, sad personal decline, although some of the stills of the dissipated Mantle are somewhat disturbing. I think this necessary, though mildly depressing theme could have actually been balanced with some *on-field* shortcomings - I refer to the 1959 to 1960 fall from grace when he was roundly booed - his batting average dropping 61, then 80 points in two years; an insightful segment could have been wrought in regard to the infamous "bonehead" of August, '60 when Mickey, thinking it was two outs, not one, did not run hard to first base, and caused Roger Maris to get into a double-play break up resulting in an injury which left him with 39 homers and Mantle 40. My idea is that Mick wanted Roger to break Ruth's record the next year because of this situation. There is no mention of the Mantle late '60 to '64 "Comeback".
Another lesser-discussed chapter (not explored here) is his serious shoulder injury in the '57 Series, which permanently affected his uppercut from the left side.
Yes, and it looks like the author also missed a chance to expound on that "lost" season. Not talkin' about '53 or '63, which left a huge gap statistically. It was that 1966 season, that summer, ten years after, when the Mick, coming up to age 35, had a June-July explosion of power, which really has remained unrivaled to this day. Hitting monsterous home-runs in bunches, it only stopped when another miserable injury sidelined him. The round-trippers slowed, but enough energy was sustained for him to end the season at .288 (the previous season was .255). To me, this a very important element of the Legend. Although, I gotta believe, that Mick didn't realy notice. The Yankees finished 10th that year.
I've been a Mantle fan since the '50s and have read many books, essays, and articles on this legend, and I can say that this DVD, despite a few missing pieces which could really have put it in orbit, belongs on the same shelf as *any* exceptional treatment.