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Phantom of the Bullpen
by Allen White

Overview


"Phantom of the Bullpen" is a powerful true story about the life of Max Mangum and his lifelong dream of pitching in the major leagues. In a way, this is a tragic story. For most of his life, he had the stuff to be a major league pitcher. His fastball sizzled at over 100 miles per hour. He had the pinpoint control of a laser-guided missile. And he had a love for baseball that is tough to match. He also had something else. Max suffered with paranoid schizophrenia. Throughout this book, author Allen White explores one man's truly fascinating life – his talents, his pain, and everything in between. As Allen seeks to learn more about Max and his past, he discovers quite a bit about himself along the way.

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Description


"Phantom of the Bullpen" is a powerful true story about the life of Max Mangum and his lifelong dream of pitching in the major leagues. In a way, this is a tragic story. For most of his life, he had the stuff to be a major league pitcher. His fastball sizzled at over 100 miles per hour. He had the pinpoint control of a laser-guided missile. And he had a love for baseball that is tough to match. He also had something else. Max suffered with paranoid schizophrenia. Throughout this book, author Allen White explores one man's truly fascinating life – his talents, his pain, and everything in between. As Allen seeks to learn more about Max and his past, he discovers quite a bit about himself along the way. Despite an arm like no other, Max never had a chance to break into the big leagues. Mental illness, and its immense burden, was far too much to overcome. Schizophrenia took away so many opportunities, but it never stopped Max from working on his game and perfecting his skills. As Allen got to know Max, he became inspired to go back to college to get a degree so he could teach and coach. Much of this story is about Allen using a short version of "Phantom of the Bullpen" to teach many facets of language arts to his middle school students. It is also about his journey and efforts to find out more about Max's past. And he did. Max Mangum's unfathomable skill at throwing a baseball for such a long period of time is worthy of recognition. That may be the whole reason for writing this story. His dedication to his craft and his perseverance against invisible odds is worthy of recognition, too. Those two things could be more important than his blazing fastball. No. Not really. It's all about the heater.

Read more

About the author


Allen White is the author of Phantom of the Bullpen. He was born in 1955 in Madison, West Virginia. Adopted by his maternal grandparents at birth, he was raised in Y&O Coal Camp near Van in Boone County. When Allen was in third grade, his grandfather died of a massive heart attack while shoveling snow from the driveway. One month after his 14th birthday, during his 8th grade year, he and his grandmother moved to Zebulon, a small town twenty miles east of Raleigh, North Carolina. She died in January of his senior year in 1973. Now anchorless, he started drifting and almost didn’t graduate. After squandering a chance to play college baseball in the fall of 1973, Allen drifted even further. He gravitated to all the wrong things for the next ten years. Stunned that anyone would still have him, he was married in June of 1983. The marriage produced two beautiful children. Allen’s son Jameson was born in October of 1984 and his daughter Taylor in August of 1988. After a little more than twenty-one years, he and his wife divorced in 2004. Directly related to Allen’s chance encounter with the main character in Phantom of the Bullpen in 1991, he tried college again in 1993. He graduated from North Carolina State University in 1996 with a Bachelor of Science degree in middle school education for Language Arts and Social Studies. At his graduation ceremony, Allen received the Charles W. Harper, Jr. Outstanding Future Educator Award. Twenty years behind on a 4-year plan, he finally became the teacher and coach he had always wanted to be. Allen retired from teaching in 2017 after twenty years of having the best job on the planet.

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Book details

Genre:BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY

Subgenre:Sports

Language:English

Pages:196

Format:Paperback

eBook ISBN:9781667841403

Paperback ISBN:9781667841397


Overview


"Phantom of the Bullpen" is a powerful true story about the life of Max Mangum and his lifelong dream of pitching in the major leagues. In a way, this is a tragic story. For most of his life, he had the stuff to be a major league pitcher. His fastball sizzled at over 100 miles per hour. He had the pinpoint control of a laser-guided missile. And he had a love for baseball that is tough to match. He also had something else. Max suffered with paranoid schizophrenia. Throughout this book, author Allen White explores one man's truly fascinating life – his talents, his pain, and everything in between. As Allen seeks to learn more about Max and his past, he discovers quite a bit about himself along the way.

Read more

Description


"Phantom of the Bullpen" is a powerful true story about the life of Max Mangum and his lifelong dream of pitching in the major leagues. In a way, this is a tragic story. For most of his life, he had the stuff to be a major league pitcher. His fastball sizzled at over 100 miles per hour. He had the pinpoint control of a laser-guided missile. And he had a love for baseball that is tough to match. He also had something else. Max suffered with paranoid schizophrenia. Throughout this book, author Allen White explores one man's truly fascinating life – his talents, his pain, and everything in between. As Allen seeks to learn more about Max and his past, he discovers quite a bit about himself along the way. Despite an arm like no other, Max never had a chance to break into the big leagues. Mental illness, and its immense burden, was far too much to overcome. Schizophrenia took away so many opportunities, but it never stopped Max from working on his game and perfecting his skills. As Allen got to know Max, he became inspired to go back to college to get a degree so he could teach and coach. Much of this story is about Allen using a short version of "Phantom of the Bullpen" to teach many facets of language arts to his middle school students. It is also about his journey and efforts to find out more about Max's past. And he did. Max Mangum's unfathomable skill at throwing a baseball for such a long period of time is worthy of recognition. That may be the whole reason for writing this story. His dedication to his craft and his perseverance against invisible odds is worthy of recognition, too. Those two things could be more important than his blazing fastball. No. Not really. It's all about the heater.

Read more

About the author


Allen White is the author of Phantom of the Bullpen. He was born in 1955 in Madison, West Virginia. Adopted by his maternal grandparents at birth, he was raised in Y&O Coal Camp near Van in Boone County. When Allen was in third grade, his grandfather died of a massive heart attack while shoveling snow from the driveway. One month after his 14th birthday, during his 8th grade year, he and his grandmother moved to Zebulon, a small town twenty miles east of Raleigh, North Carolina. She died in January of his senior year in 1973. Now anchorless, he started drifting and almost didn’t graduate. After squandering a chance to play college baseball in the fall of 1973, Allen drifted even further. He gravitated to all the wrong things for the next ten years. Stunned that anyone would still have him, he was married in June of 1983. The marriage produced two beautiful children. Allen’s son Jameson was born in October of 1984 and his daughter Taylor in August of 1988. After a little more than twenty-one years, he and his wife divorced in 2004. Directly related to Allen’s chance encounter with the main character in Phantom of the Bullpen in 1991, he tried college again in 1993. He graduated from North Carolina State University in 1996 with a Bachelor of Science degree in middle school education for Language Arts and Social Studies. At his graduation ceremony, Allen received the Charles W. Harper, Jr. Outstanding Future Educator Award. Twenty years behind on a 4-year plan, he finally became the teacher and coach he had always wanted to be. Allen retired from teaching in 2017 after twenty years of having the best job on the planet.

Read more

Book Reviews

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Bryan
Phantom of the Bullpen Phantom of the Bullpen is the true story of two baseball players crossing paths as each clings to a past that is slipping away. In this debut novel, Allen White narrates his lifetime of struggles as a talented athlete and pays tribute to Max Mangum, an unlikely character with a phenomenal gift, hampered by a social label that derailed a Hall of Fame career. First approached by Max to ‘show his stuff’ at the Durham Athletic Park, White is unimpressed by the stranger, believing “grandpa” is wasting his time before a Senior League game. White is sure he is going to chase overthrown pitches and dig some out of the dirt. Behind the bullpen plate only minutes before he’s to pitch a game, White discovers “Boxcar Willie” is throwing in the range of 90 miles-per-hour with impeccable control. And with no overthrows and nothing in the dirt! ‘Who is this guy?’ White said, his hand hurting after a half-dozen or so pitches. During his game, White looks for the stranger he compares to Grandpa Walton; the old geezer is gone, his disappearance as mysterious as his appearance. Max’s brief stint in the bullpen inspires questions for the author, only to find an unexpected answer, making White wonder “What if?” and perhaps, “Why?” White’s quest becomes his debut novel, Phantom of the Bullpen, a literary work crossing genres he calls a biography, yet elements of autobiography, comedy, mystery, detective, and a little philosophy and psychology, find their way into this easy-read, told by the author in a folksy manner, all the while entertaining from cover to cover. Phantom of the Bullpen is a prize-winner to everyone who knows the author, and a bestseller to anyone who has ever known a ‘what-if’ athlete with phenomenal ability, yet crippled by something out of his or her control, or maybe just a bad decision. Read more
carolyn
Phantom of the Bullpen Phantom of the Bullpen is not your ordinary book about baseball. It is a heartwarming read about Allen White , the author and Max Mangum a 60+ gentleman with paranoid schizophrenia . They both shared a love and addiction for baseball. I was soon reading and turning the pages quickly to learn the outcome of Allen and Mr. Max. As in life and baseball, one bad pitch can change the game quickly! Mr. White is a giant of a man and looks like he could be very tough but his compassionate and love for Mr. Max showed his “marshmallow heart”. As a Nation, we have advanced in many areas but we still need improvement dealing with mental health. It is so simple watching Allen and Mr. Max’s relationship grow; it shows those with disabilities just want to be accepted and given a chance. Thank you Allen White for giving Mr. Max Mangum a chance and writing Phantom of the Bullpen. Read more
Esther
Phantom of the bullpen I loved this book “to the Max” ! Allen has a way of expressing himself with great humor. I felt as tho we were in a conversation with each other. I could tell that he was rooting for Max, not only for Max’s sake , but for the sake of the game and everyone of us who loves baseball. Allen has had a very different life than most of us and I feel this gives him an edge. He is a super writer and I cannot wait to read his next book! Read more
Norwood
Phantom of the Bullpen Allen White’s Phantom of the Bullpen captured the thrill which he very clearly felt at having found something he thought not possible and his and Max Mangum’s love for the game of baseball. Allen’s knowledge of the game and his own expertise and experiences inform the reader’s understanding of Allen’s determination to tell Max’s story , a man’s desire and devotion to prove himself to the major leagues in the only way he knew how. But, not just any man, a man in his sixties, way past his prime, who could throw accurately and at speeds exceeding what most younger pitchers were able to approach; a man whose mind was diminished and whose desires had become an obsession. Allen White’s own life was filled with obstacles to success from his earliest days in the small Boone County, West Virginia coal mining community of Van, where he first learned to love baseball to high school and college days in North Carolina. Allen has succeeded in telling an exciting story of his discovery of Max Mangum with a powerful look through his own eyes and experiences. While the book reports to us the story of Max and his life-long drive to prove himself to the elite in the game of baseball, it also gives us a glimpse of the author’s drive and ambition and success at teaching young people and instilling in them lessons learned throughout his own life. The Pnantom of the Bullpen may very well, more honestly, be about Max Mangum’s obsession to become a part of a major league baseball team, and another, metaphorical bullpen, where the author, himself, has overcome obstacles, some thrust in his way and others of his own making. Allen White has provided us an entertaining story of Max Mangum’s life-long, unrealized obsession and an autobiographical look at his own efforts to show his academic students and student athletes , as well as his own children, how to succeed and how and why to avoid some of the barriers to success he had to face. This is definitely a book worth reading. Read more
cindy
Phantom of the Bullpen Very interesting read. Max had a dream that wasn’t fulfilled - or in some ways was it? Never know what you can learn with acts of compassion and kindness can do for another person and I believe for the author too. Read more
Angie
Great read! I believe Max Mangum would be proud of this book. It’s obvious Max had a profound influence on the author’s life. Anyone who plays or follows baseball will love this book, but it’s about more than just baseball. I can see this book becoming a movie one day. Read more
Chris
A Baseball Legend that Could Have Been Allen White’s, I’m going to call it, “memoir,” Phantom of the Bullpen tells the story of his chance initial encounter with Max Mangum. The infrastructure for the book is his continuing encounters over the years with same. The meat on the bones, however, is the story for most of the subsequent thirty years of writing the book you’re reading and what’s going on in his own life that generally affects that process. It's a story of two parallel quests of perseverance to follow a dream that soon is derailed but goes on anyway, in one case obsessively, the other more casually. Both are motivated by a love of baseball. An “old geezer” Max Mangum approaches White as White is about to warm up to pitch a game in his rec league. He importunes White to catch a few of his pitches., the first of which “hit the palm of my hand in excess of eighty-five miles per hour.” Next, “I put my glove low on the inside corner….and said, “Bring it on Pops.” The old guy fired seven or eight more fastballs my way that I didn’t have to move a muscle to catch.” After some more deadly accurate “smokers,” White has to start his own game, and Mangum fades away. White tries to find the identity and possible baseball history of “the phantom” to no avail. He decides anyway to write of the encounter and pitch the story to Hardball magazine; hence the genesis of “Phantom of the Bullpen.” Eventually, he meets Mangum again, then again and again over the years, and learns his story and the fatal flaw that has kept him from a Big League career. Along the way, we learn of White’s own love of and connection to baseball, including his high school career as a pitcher and his own fantasy of becoming a professional pitcher. We also learn a good deal about White’s personal life that has only a tangential connection to baseball. Phantom of the Bullpen is a baseball book, full of allusions to players, teams, and games, as well as baseball terminology. It also is peppered with as many light profanities as a baseball game is with expectoration. This may put off some readers; otherwise, White’s breezy style and regular wisecracking will surely appeal to “guys” who enjoy spending three hours watching a game with their pals and a few cold ones. Chris Brockman Read more
Mark
Phantom of the Bullpen pre-review Here’s a quick pre-review from a harsh critic. Now, some guys know how to spin a yarn. And other guys have something interesting to say. Precious few have both. I know his work well enough to say with confidence that first-time author Allen White is one of the few. Again, this is a pre-review. Meaning, I haven't read the book yet. I just ordered it today. But I have read other stuff that flowed from his pen. Including a few excerpts from this book. His writing is entertaining to read on at least a couple of different levels. And it has heart. So, while I haven't read his book yet, I will. And that right soon. I can't wait to see where it leads. I’ll be back here to let y’all know more about it. Read more
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