THE GREAT MAMBINO – a name so chosen in honor of two of the greatest athletic titans of our time. At first glance, the Mamba and the Bambino have little in common; one grew up a poor white kid on the streets of early 20th century Baltimore, learning the game of baseball from a Catholic school teacher while being raised in reform school. The other was a son of a professional basketball player, with a privileged upbringing that was split between Italy and the Philadelphia suburbs. Oh, and he was black.
But they were both teenage phenoms, recognized on the playgrounds for skills that far dwarfed the other juveniles around them. For these men, this situation would not become uncommon throughout their lives.
Soon, each blossomed into legends – destroyers of records and caretakers of championships. Both had insatiable appetites – for competition, for victory and for glory. Both were as flawed as they were talented, with their personal lives sometimes eclipsing their mammoth accomplishments. At this point, the only thing that separates them is that the Bambino is a storied legend; a man whose existence fits into mythical archetypes, whose career is used by scholars, writers and mortal men the world over to describe things much bigger than any home run hit or pitch thrown. The Mamba is all those things – but just not yet.
Much like that short examination of those two sporting greats, the purpose of this blog is to put into focus the events of the sporting world, through the eyes of a fan spanning different leagues and time periods, and tying it together into a neat little package. We’re not here to revolutionize statistical analysis, or uncover the biggest scandals in sports. No, we’ll leave that to the professionals. What we’re here to do is to shed light on a part of the story you may have missed, and give it to you in a way that’ll keep you engaged, entertained and hopefully, more informed than when you started. If you finished a post on MAMBINO and thought, “Damn, that was dry”, then we failed.
Will this blog reach the zeniths of perfection so achieved by the Bambino and the Mamba? In an ideal world, yes. Realistically – this is another example of the world wide interweb being used as a vanity project gone horribly wrong. That all being said, we spend more time focusing on sports than you do, combing box scores and game recaps and strangely, finding meaning and purpose within them. We care more than you do, about the exploits of men who we have never met, in occupations and businesses we have no connection to. We are like Bill Simmons, except funnier, browner and unfortunately, poorer. Ultimately no one’s opinions on sports really matter – they ain’t saving lives on the 50 yard line. But sometimes we think ours are so good that they could resuscitate a dead body if they really needed to. That might not have made sense, but hey – it’s our blog, handle it.
Welcome to THE GREAT MAMBINO. Enjoy.