Pearlman: A Q&A with Marty Appel

From Jeff Pearlman at on November 29, 2012, with SABR member Marty Appel:

In my world, Marty Appel is legend.

Back in 1973, when he was a mere 24-years old, Marty was hired as the PR director of the New York Yankees. Let me repeat that: Marty Appel was the PR director for the Yankees—when he was 24. Hell, when I was 24 I was writing about fashion for The Tennessean. My best friend was waiting tables. My other best friend was a bouncer. Twenty-four. Crazy.

Marty held the position until 1977—meaning he was center stage for the craziness of George Steinbrenner and Billy Martin, the signing of Catfish Hunter, the prime of Thurman Munson. In the ensuing 3 1/2 decades has enjoyed a truly breathtaking career. Marty is the author of (Jesus Christ!) 18 books, including two of my all-time favorites—Munson and Pinstripe Empire. He runs one of the most respected public relations agencies around, and is known throughout the sports literary world as a true class act. He also seems to appear on about 8,543 Yankeeography episodes per hour. With good reason—the man knows his stuff.

Here, Marty talks about the highs of answering Mickey Mantle’s mail and the nightmare of Thurman Munson’s death; he explains what makes Derek Jeter special and why Eddie Murray and Eddie Murphy confuse him.

You can visit Marty’s website here, and follow him on Twitter here.

Now pitching for the Quaz—Marty Appel …

JEFF PEARLMAN: Marty, you’ve written, I believe 18 books. You’ve also done public relations for a ton of other books. You also, I’m guessing, read books. And books. And books. My question for you—are we in a dead (or near-dead) business? Are books going the way of print newspapers and magazines? Can we—and it—be saved? And, if so, how? Dear Lord, how …

MARTY APPEL: No one is going to be able to stop the move toward electronic reading, but it doesn’t mean the end for books, magazine,, newspapers. In fact, the early versions of books online—in Kindle and Nook form—are pretty good, actually sort of fun, and since I read books on my iPhone, it’s terrific to always have one in my pocket, to read even while I’m waiting for the subway. My theory on newspapers is that a reader will be developed which seamlessly opens to “New York Times” size and collapses back into your pocket.  Once that happens, we’re back to the format we like, save on the disposal of 3-4 million newspapers a day in New York alone, and find everything—ads, stories etc., in familiar form. That’s a good thing to look forward to. The thirst for knowledge isn’t going away, it will always be fed.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: November 30, 2012. Last Updated: November 30, 2012.