David James Duncan’s A Mickey Mantle Koan Reader Response
This essay was by far my favorite essay I’ve ever read. It really hit home with me because I have a brother that I am super close to and we spent a lot of our time as kids playing any sort of ball. I believe Duncan’s heartwarming essay was to alert people about the concept of searching for happiness in “the finer things” when for the most part; happiness can come from the simplest things. This was something that really hit home for me because I was raised by a family that discouraged possession and encouraged enjoying what we already had. This has been something that’s stuck true with me till this day and I’m beyond grateful for that. The main thing that really grabbed my attention from this essay was the bond that David has with his brother Duncan. His admiration for his brother was really inspiring and gave me an instant connection to the story. Following his brother’s death, he receives a signed baseball from Mickie Mantle (his boyhood idol) and David is crushed at the thought of it. David continues through his life never fully being able to harness his emotions over the idea of his dead brother never being able to see the precious ball that was his. The ball itself represents “the good life” or “the finer things” and David’s perspective is completely focused on the fact that his brother will never see that ball that he would have loved. One day he finally comes to the realization that the ball signed by Mickie Mantle was simply that, a ball. Duncan loved playing catch with his brother immensely more than a dumb ball signed by Mickie Mantle. This truly brought tears to my eyes as I read it because I have that connection with my brother and there is just nothing else like it. I truly feel for David Duncan.