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A Year in Mudville: An Oral History of Casey Stengel and the Original Mets Paperback – November 29, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

David Bagdade is an author and musician from Indianapolis. Working as a freelance writer, he has contributed dozens of features and reviews to publications such as Country Standard Time, the Independent Music Guide, Bluegrass Music News, Bluegrass Music Profiles and The Portrait. Mr. Bagdade’s first book is “A Year In Mudville – An Oral History of Casey Stengel and the Original Mets,” a narrative-driven look at the 1962 New York Mets, widely regarded as the worst baseball team of all time. This work examines how and why the team was created, the people involved with the first season (not only players, but officials, broadcasters and fans), and why the Original Mets are such a fascinating topic more than four decades after their debut season. As with any oral history, “A Year in Mudville” depends heavily on the actual words of the participants and offers a compelling look at a legendary collection of characters and events. Mr. Bagdade is also an accomplished performer and recording artist. He has recently released a new CD, “Rocky Shores of Home,” a collection of original and traditional Celtic music performed on various stringed instruments.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 418 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (November 29, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1456342452
  • ISBN-13: 978-1456342456
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #519,083 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

David Bagdade has written for years on subjects ranging from antiques to music to copyright issues, and he is a lifelong baseball fan. His work has appeared in The DePaul Journal of Law & Technology, The Tackle Box, Country Standard Time, Bluegrass Music News and Bluegrass Music Profiles. A Year in Mudville is his first full-length book. Raised in Chicago on the White Sox, David now lives in Indianapolis.

The catalyst behind David's desire to write A Year in Mudville was a Sports Illustrated article celebrating the Mets' thirty-year anniversary in 1992. The article showed that there is something inherently compelling about a team which loses seventy-five percent of its games but has more personality than the last four Yankees Series-winning teams put together. After all, this was a ball club consisting entirely of spare parts, of castoffs no other teams wanted, but which was, at the same time, the result of such a monumental effort to bring the franchise into existence in the first place. Of course, the more jaded and cynical among those who know David may suggest that a sustained diet of White Sox and Cubs baseball during his lifetime (not to mention plenty of astoundingly bad Bears and Bulls teams) has bred in him a natural sympathy with losers, and maybe they're right. But as Jimmy Breslin so aptly pointed out, can any red-blooded American honestly say he doesn't love a team that loses 120 games in a single season? Certainly, there were hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of New Yorkers that year who would have agreed.

Therefore, A Year in Mudville is a tribute to those players and fans who lived through that memorable year. As an oral history, it is based heavily on the words of those who were actually there and witnessed the events, and it is the result of eight years of research as well as interviews with players, fans and journalists who covered the team.

David is also a professional musician, performing bluegrass and Celtic music on a variety of stringed instruments. He has released two recent albums, Rocky Shores of Home and History in My Hands, on Fortnight Records. Information on these releases can be found at www.mandodave.com.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By wpullis on January 3, 2011
Format: Paperback
A Year in Mudville is very entertaining and well written.

It is totally accurate(I know as I lived through this era),unlike
other books about the early New York Mets which tend to dwell
on "legends" and mere nostalgia.

If you are a baseball fan of any team, you will love it!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Coach Leisure on February 19, 2011
Format: Paperback
I got this book from a friend of mine who knew only of my love of reading in general and baseball history books in particular. Though not a Met or Yankee fan, I still found the book quite enjoyable, as I believe, any true baseball history fan would.

However, if you or someone in your circle, is a New York baseball fan, this would be an excellent book. The author does a great job of telling the story of how National League baseball returned to New York by using newspaper accounts and actual interviews conducted by the author with seemingly anyone and everyone who was involved in the process. Players, coaches, opposing players and coaches, newspaper men, front office employees, attorneys, owners, fans, etc... No stone was left unturned and the result is an extremely detailed account of the events as they happened. The author clears up rumors, misconceptions and just general tales that have taken on a life of their own through time. I've read a ton of baseball books, but there was a tremendous amount of stories and accounts about the early Mets that I had never heard or had clarified due to the author's exhaustive efforts. Having said all that, however, Yankee fans will be satisfied as well (and how can they not be with characters like Casey Stengel and George Weiss, etc... involved?)

The same can also be said for Brooklyn Dodger fans and New York Giant fans. Just tons of information, well told.

Nice Job!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Alan G. Johnson on March 23, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
David Bagdade's book is an excellent history of the early years of the New York Mets. There are many books that retell the legends,fact or fiction,but David's book explores the stories in greater detail. Everyone knows about Marvelous Marv's baserunning blunder,the balls that dropped in between fielders and Choo Choo Coleman's Interview with Ralph Kiner on "Kiners Corner". Mr. Bagdade goes beyond the myths by interviewing the participants and gets the real stories. He also covers the years after 1962 in great detail and leaves the reader wanting even more. It is by far the lengthiest history that I've read and I recommend it highly to any fan that thinks he has heard all of the stories. I guarantee that you will learn more than you thought you knew. Amazin'!
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