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Marty Appel is an American public relations executive and author. He was born in Brooklyn, NY and was brought up a Yankees fan (same as my dad). He grew up idolizing Mickey Mantle, and later joined the “Bobby Richardson” fan club because he wanted “his own guy.”

Appel graduated from SUNY Oneonta in 1970 with a degree in political science. You may ask yourself, how did he get involved in sports? While in high school, he was a by-lined reporter for the local newspaper in Rockland County, NY. He also wrote a page news feature in addition to his sports reporting. His interest in communications grew as he was serving as a sports editor and then editor-in-chief, for school newspapers. Later on, he became the editor of the campus newspaper in college. Appel also had the pleasure of being educated by the man considered to be the founder of the PR profession, Edward Bernays.

While a student, he kicked off his career by writing a letter to the Yankees Public Relations director at the time, Bob Fishel. In 1967, Fishel hired him to answer Mickey Mantle’s fan mail because it was not getting answered. That’s how it all started. It was a major break for him and it opened the doors wide open for the 19-year-old.

He went right from college to the New York Yankees. Marty had the chance to interact with one of the most iconic sports figures of all-time. His name was Mickey Mantle. He was starstruck, and he couldn’t believe the fact that Mickey Mantle even knew who he was. The Mick liked Marty, and he would even hand him all his gift certificates he recieved when he did radio interviews, such as $10 off Thom McAn shoes. He stayed good friends with Mantle until he passed away, and he claims that the “awe” factor never fully went away. 

At 21, he was named Assistant Director of Public Relations. In 1973, Marty was named PR Director of the team, which was at the same time that George Steinbrenner was taking over ownership of the ball club. After Bob Fishel left, Steinbrenner made his first hire and gave Appel the top job available. He wound up being only the third in the franchise’s history, and the youngest ever in baseball. Of course there were ups and downs, and a lot of pressure working under The Boss, but it made all those people under him better and tougher. (more…)

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