Arts & Entertainment

Yankee Historian Marty Appel Writes Definitive Bio of Baseball’s Greatest Character, Casey Stengel

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TAPintoSPF editor John Mooney (left) hands plaque honoring "King" Kelly, baseball's first superstar, at the Irish American Basball Hall of Fame ceremony in 2011
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Marty Appel discusses "Casey Stengel" earlier this month with Brian Kenny, host of 'MLB Now' on the MLB Network. Credits: Screenshot of MLB Network video
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For the fourth consecutive year, Marty Appel participates in the pre-game reports at Yankee Stadium on Opening Day with 1010 WINS reporter Juliet Papa. Credits: Photo via Marty Appel's Facebook page
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Marty Appel joins the Yankees' voices of radio broadcasting John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman in the press box to discuss "Casey Stengel" during the game. Credits: Photo via Marty Appel's Facebook Profile
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NEW YORK, NY – New York Yankees historian and former publicity director Marty Appel, author of the acclaimed Pinstripe Empire and New York Times best seller, Munson: The Life and Death of a Yankee Captain, has released CASEY STENGEL: Baseball’s Greatest Character (Doubleday; March 28, 2017; $27.95), an intimate portrait and definitive account of a baseball icon.

There was nobody like Casey before him… and certainly no one like him since. For more than 50 years, Casey Stengel lived baseball. First as the only person in history to play for or manage all of the New York teams, including the Brooklyn Dodgers, and New York Giants, Yankees, and Mets.

As a player, Stengel was no slouch, he competed against a “Who's Who” of Cooperstown’s finest, including Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, and Christy Mathewson. However, it was as a manager that he made his biggest mark on the game. He revolutionized the role of manager in New York and beyond, all while winning an astounding 10 pennants and seven World Series Championships -- including five consecutive titles with the Yankees (1949-53).

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While he benefited from having talented players, managing relationships with the key stars of the Stengel dynasty era was complicated. His dugout included the aloof superstar Joe DiMaggio, who was weary of Stengel, the talented but fun-loving Mickey Mantle and Whitey Ford, and wild child Billy Martin. They were forever scheming to break his curfews. Through it all, Stengel was, for an astonishing five decades, a hilarious and beloved face of baseball.

Yet for a man who spent so much of his life in the limelight, Stengel still remains an enigma. In his new biography, author Appel paints an intimate portrait of a private man who was larger than life and remains the embodiment of the national pastime. The book features fresh reporting drawn from a treasure trove of a never-before-published research and source material, including a previously unpublished memoir by Casey’s wife, Edna. Stengel’s definitive biography is a must-read for every baseball fanatic’s library.

“People always ask what was the most difficult part of this project. For the audio book, it was reading ‘the Stengelese’,” Appel quipped, referring to the manager’s famed double-talking.

“The most fun part was discovering long lost anecdotes included in the newspapers where Stengel played as a minor leaguer. They’ve recently been digitized and made suddenly made available through the internet,” Appel explained. “Modern technology has uncovered information that was buried for almost a century.”

Lately, Appel has been making the rounds to promote his latest work.

On Thursday, he visited Books & Greetings in Northvale.  On June 17, he’ll travel to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown and then fly out to the West Coast, where he will do a book signing on June 21st in Glendale, California, where Casey Stengel and his wife lived for 50 years. Later this summer, he will make a presentation at the Smithsonian in Washington on August 14 and is finalizing plans with the Mets to do a signing at CitiField.  

“It’s flattering anytime that I am referred to as Yankee historian,” Appel said. “I’m always happy to talk about the Yankees. It is my passion and something I am very proud of.”

Marty Appel was the youngest PR director in baseball history when George Steinbrenner elevated him to the New York Yankees post in 1973. He worked for the team for ten seasons, beginning in 1968, and followed it by producing its games on WPIX television. He later founded his own successful public relations firm. Appel is the author of 23 books. He resides in New York City with his wife, Lourdes, and has two grown children, Brian and Deborah.

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