Giveaway and Guest Post by Frank Nappi, author of The Legend of Mickey Tussler and Sophomore Campaign

Publisher: Sky Pony Press

Publish Date: April 1, 2012

The Legend of Mickey Tussler Synopsis: In the late 1940s, the minor league Milwaukee Brewers are foundering yet again and manager Arthur Murphy is desperate. When he sees seventeen-year old Mickey Tussler throwing apples into a barrel, he knows he has found the next pitching phenom. But not everyone is so hopeful. Mickey’s autism—a disorder still not truly understood even today—has alienated the boy from the world, and he is berated by other players and fans. Mickey faces immense trials in the harsh and competitive world of baseball while coping with the challenges inherent to his disorder. An honest and knowledgeable book about overcoming adversity, and the basis for the television movie A Mile in His Shoes, Mickey’s powerful story shows that with support and determination anyone can be triumphant, even when the odds are stacked against him. 

Buy Links:  Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kindle / Nook

Sophomore Campaign Synopsis: It’s 1949 and eighteen-year-old pitching phenom Mickey Tussler is back with the rejuvenated minor league Brewers in the sequel to The Legend of Mickey Tussler (the basis for the television movie A Mile in His Shoes). Despite Mickey’s proclamation that he will never play baseball again after last season’s violent conclusion, his manager—and now surrogate father—Arthur Murphy cajoles the emotionally fragile, socially awkward boy with autism into giving it another shot. Mickey reluctantly returns to the field and must once again cope with the violence and hatred around him. When a young African American player joins the team, the entire team is subjected to racial threats and episodes of violence, one of which Mickey witnesses firsthand. Struggling to understand such ugliness and hatred, and fearful of reprisal should he tell anyone about what he has seen, the boy’s performance on the field suffers. Mickey now must deal with a side of human nature he scarcely comprehends.

Buy Links:  Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kindle / Nook

Author Bio: Frank Nappi has taught high school English and Creative Writing for over twenty years. His debut novel, Echoes From The Infantry, received national attention, including MWSA's silver medal for outstanding fiction. His follow-up novel, The Legend of Mickey Tussler, garnered rave reviews as well, including a movie adaptation of the touching story "A Mile in His Shoes" starring Dean Cain and Luke Schroder. Frank continues to produce quality work, including Sophomore Campaign, the intriguing sequel to the much heralded original story, and is presently at work on a third installment of the unique series. Frank lives on Long Island with his wife Julia and their two sons, Nicholas and Anthony.

Guest Post: Naturally, when one considers the topic of prejudice in sports, what comes to mind is Jackie Robinson and the watershed event of the breaking of the color barrier in 1945. While Robinson’s foray into the world of professional baseball initiated the integration of black and white in professional baseball and of course all sports, it was not a panacea for racial unrest by any means. Many folks remained mired in the ignorance of traditional beliefs and refused to acquiesce to the new reality that was dawning all around them. Consequently, athletes like Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Bob Gibson and a host of many other African American sports figures  were subjected to an array of racial threats and ruthless invectives and at times outright violence.  This continued for years.

While this ugliness was indeed unfortunate, it has engendered within a new generation of sports fans a true appreciation for the talents of all athletes, regardless of race, religion and most recently, sexual orientation. Most sports fans recognize the tremendous void that would exist in sports lore in the absence of some of these superior athletes. Today, when we view our athletes, it seems as though the focus is solely on production on the playing field -- not on the color of an athletes skin or by what name he calls God. If any prejudice exists today, it is rooted in harmless rivalries between ardent followers of one team as opposed to another.

It seems as though we are more and more mindful of the indiscretions of the past and have made a concerted effort not to repeat them. In addition, the resiliency of many of these athletes and their ability to persevere in the face of such adversity has become an inspiration to all people, regardless of the personal obstacles they face.

This sensitivity to those who must face prejudice is what imbues the Mickey Tussler series with such universal, human appeal. The first book establishes my protagonist, Mickey Tussler, as a sincere, pure of heart young man who must face public scrutiny and at times excoriation due to his Aspergers. We’ve all read books such as Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men, or seen movies such as Rain Man,  in which an unenlightened society treats those with conditions like Aspergers with indifference and condescension at best and overt contempt at worst. That mentality is only exacerbated in the traditionally politically incorrect environment of the locker room.  Mickey is subjected to all of the usual hazing associated with the “new kid in town.” His hat is hidden, socks destroyed, and his shoes are nailed to the floor. In addition to this abuse, he must endure a daily barrage of insults and invectives, all at the hands of teammates and opponents alike who are either scared of or intimidated by the boy’s incomprehensible talent.  Fortunately for Mickey, there are a couple of good guys to look out for him, including Arthur Murphy, the doddering assistant coach Farley Matheson, and Mickey’s locker mate Pee Wee McGinty. The book follows the fortunes of the team and their new teammate Mickey, who continues to have a fair amount of trouble adjusting to his new situation while away from the routine and comforts of life back home.

In Sophomore Campaign, the sequel to The Legend of Mickey Tussler, Mickey must still face adversity tied to  ignorance and intolerance, but he must also learn to deal with a different kind of prejudice - racism. Lester Sledge, former Negro League stand-out and new teammate of Mickey's, is besieged by an ruthless, myopic society that is just not ready to see an African American in the baseball limelight -- even if it is just the minor leagues. Together, Mickey and Lester, with the help of Arthur Murphy, fight against a reluctant community that loves baseball but is unwilling to accept the change ushered in by Jackie Robinson just a couple of years before.

Giveaway Information: There is one (1) paperback of The Legend of Mickey Tussler and one (1) paperback of Sophomore Campaign to one (1) winner with a U.S. mailing address. Enter by leaving a comment on this post with your email address.

Winner will be chosen at random on January 25, 2013 - so enter as soon as possible. Thanks and good luck! 


  1. Star, thanks for sharing this special guest post from Frank on prejudice in the sports world. What a different angle to take with it in light of his main character's autism.

    1. You are very welcome! I hope readers will take away an important message from this.

  2. Star,

    Thank you for this spotlight on my Mickey Tussler series and for posting my "guest blog." Thank you!


  3. Interesting books.


  4. Thanks for featuring these wonderful books. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  5. these baseball books are compelling and fascinating. thanks. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com


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