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Mandel, Brett H. 1969-

MANDEL, Brett H. 1969-

PERSONAL: Born May 10, 1969, in Philadelphia, PA; son of Stephan (a manufacturer's representative) and Sharyn (a secretary; maiden name, Weissman; present surname, Dershovitz) Mandel; married Laura Weinbaum. Ethnicity: "White." Education: Hamilton College, B.A. (magna cum laude), 1991; University of Pennsylvania, M.B.A., 1993. Politics: Democrat. Religion: Jewish. Hobbies and other interests: Sports, politics.

ADDRESSES: Home—2303 Lombard St., Philadelphia, PA 19146. Office—Office of the City Controller, 12th Floor MSB, 1401 Arch St., Philadelphia, PA 19102; fax: 215-686-3832. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER: Philadelphia Independent Charter Commission, Philadelphia, PA, assistant policy director, 1992-94; Pennsylvania Economy League, Philadelphia, policy analyst and project manager, 1994-96; City of Philadelphia, began as assistant city controller, became director of financial and policy analysis, 1996—. Professional baseball player with Ogden Raptors, Ogden UT, 1994; also player with Philadelphia Comets baseball team and Delaware Valley Men's Hockey League; guest on media programs. Greater Philadelphia Regional Review Advisory Board, member; City Center Residents' Association, board member; Friends of Fitler Square, member; Big Brothers/Big Sisters, member.

MEMBER: National Writers Union, Phi Beta Kappa.

AWARDS, HONORS: Special Project Award, National Association of Local Government Auditors, 1999, for Philadelphia: A New Urban Direction.

WRITINGS:

Minor Players, Major Dreams, University of Nebraska Press (Lincoln, NE), 1997.

(With Kevin J. Babyak, Jonathan A. Saidel, and David A. Volpe) Philadelphia: A New Urban Direction, Saint Joseph's University Press (Philadelphia, PA), 1999.

Is This Heaven? The Magic of the Field of Dreams, Rowman & Littlefield (Lanham, MD), 2002.

Contributor to periodicals, including Public Integrity.

SIDELIGHTS: Brett H. Mandel once told CA: "The idea that launched whatever writing career I have came to me as an inspiration to mix my love of baseball and desire to do more than play in a Sunday League with my need to find a job since my then-current job was ending. I came up with the idea to convince a minor league team to sign me to a player's contract for a season, so I could write a book on the minor league experience and tell the inside story of the young men who were chasing their dreams in the minor leagues. After ten months of phone calls and hard work, I was able to convince the Ogden Raptors of the Pioneer Rookie League to accept the idea and let me on board for their inaugural season. I really enjoyed the freedom to express my thoughts in a book format and hope I was able to convey everything I experienced to readers.

"My experience writing my first book and writing about minor-league baseball probably does not describe the usual writing process. I typed away on a laptop computer while enduring fifteen-hour road trips on the team bus. One happy side effect was that the other players allowed me to spread across two seats so I could have enough elbow room. When not typing on the bus, I typed away in front of a television tuned into Headline News. I found that it was just enough distraction to give me a break whenever I wanted to look up, but enough repetition that I could tune it out when I needed to work. I was pretty much manic about the need to put something on paper (or on disk, I guess) and religiously typed for at least two hours each day for the seventy-seven days of the season. At the end of the season, I had over 400 pages of single-spaced text that I spent three months crafting into a story—again, with Headline News as background. Try it. Not only does it provide neutral background noise, but you'll never be more up on current events."

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