Marty Appel was the Public Relations Director for the New York Yankees from 1973 to 1977. After resigning as the PR Director in 1977, he began a sports management company and later worked with World Team Tennis and Billie Jean King. Later on in his career he won an Emmy as the executive producer of Yankee telecasts. He has written 18 books including collaborations with Baseball Commissioner Bowie Kuhn and Tom Seaver.
BW: I know Mantle lived a wild life, what was the weirdest thing you ever saw or read in Mickey Mantle's mail?
MA: I always found it amusing that people would send him bar mitzvah invitations, as though they expected him to attend.
BW: I read that you originally got your job with the Yankees by writing to Bob Fischel, the then PR Director, what do you think stood out in your letter that intrigued them to hire you?
MA: When I wrote to Bob Fishel, it was at a time when young people were pulling away from baseball, turning to football. So I think he liked that I was young, a big fan, knew my stuff, and wanted to come into the industry. He wasn't getting many letters like that.
BW: What are some of your memories of George Steinbrenner?
MA: He brought a will to win that we hadn't experienced under previous ownership, and made each of us feel that by working harder, we would contribute to the team's success. We had never felt that before, and it soon started to look true!
BW: What do you consider some of your most valuable traits that have made you successful?
MA: I took time to read a lot—tried to read everything written about us; writers liked it when you knew what they had written. I recognized suburban media as just as important. I knew the team's history and wove it into each game's development. And I made certain to keep in daily touch with the manager and maintain a close relationship with him.
BW: Did you ever regret leaving the Yankees?
MA: I miss the travel and the friendships you form on the road, but it's a job for a younger person who can work without a day off from February-October, and all those nights. Not an easy task!