In times like these, a book about Casey Stengel is just what our nation needs. And Marty Appel has delivered. Casey Stengel: Baseball’s Greatest Character is a wonderful romp through our collective field of dreams, from the medieval days of the sport to the modern era.
Appel demonstrates convincingly that Stengel was no clown. He could speak clearly and grammatically when he chose to do so, he was an insightful student and teacher of baseball, he understood how to connect with others, he was a sophisticated investor who accumulated wealth, and he was a loving husband to his wife for decades ... Stengel is unquestionably one of baseball’s most significant characters, and Appel is the perfect fit to chronicle his life. One of the more skilled biographies baseball fans could hope to find.
...a workaday account that fails to improve on the rich Stengel literature. Appel, a former public relations director for the Yankees, approaches the work of the biographer the way an official scorer approaches a ballgame: dispassionately noting every event, with little to differentiate the mundane from the miraculous. Appel adds to the historical record details from an unpublished memoir by Stengel’s wife, Edna, but as she would be the first to admit, her husband was most alive when he was on the diamond.