Customer Reviews: The Mets: A 50th Anniversary Celebration
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on December 9, 2012
I've only read the first 30 pages of this book, but other than a great introduction by Ron Darling, so far it's a real loser. First of all, the authors completely miss the point about why the early Mets were "loveable losers". While the players may not have been thrilled to be characterized that way, the fans were just happy to have National League baseball back in NY, so they forgave and accepted the losing and the poor play. In addition, a lot of those fans found it easier to identify with the Mets than with the corporate image of the Yankees. By dismissing the fans' cheering for the team as nothing more than sarcasm, the authors demonstrate their ignorance regarding the fans of the early, admittedly inept, Mets. They also imply that the reporters who helped promote the "lovable loser" image did so sarcastically. The truth is, they were just looking for a story to write, so they reported on what they saw and what they heard, mostly from Casey Stengel, who realized that he had to put on a good show to compensate for the poor quality of the on-the-field product. Again I must say that I've only read the first 30 pages, but so far it seems that the authors should have spent more time talking to some of those early fans, and less time copying and pasting paragraphs from the Daily News's coverage of the '62 team. In addition, there are grammatical and spelling mistakes that most third graders wouldn't make (Just one example: Page 28, paragraph 3, they use the word "through" when they clearly meant "threw". I would expect better from two supposedly educated and literate writers.) They also have a lot of their "facts" wrong. While still on page 28, we're reading about the Mets' first season (1962), during which the authors refer to the Pirates as defending world champions. The Pirates had won the World Series in 1960, not 1961. In 1962, the Yankees were the defending champs, having defeated Frd Hutchinson's Cincinnati Reds in 5 games in the 1961 Series. Less time spent paying homage to Yankee tradition would also be nice. (This is supposed to be a book about the Mets, not about Mantle, Maris, and Ruth, as great as they were.) If you want to read an accurate, informative book about the Mets and their history, I recommend Mathew Silverman's "Mets Essential". ADDED COMMENTS DECEMBER 18, 2012: I'm up to page 68 and I'm amazed how many more errors it contains. This may be a fun book with some good pictures (none that you couldn't see elsewhere) but if you weren't there and you wanted an ACCURATE history of the Mets, this is definitely not for you. Briefly; page 45, Tug was a lefty, not a righty. page 46, Koosman led the I.L. in strikeouts in 1967, not 1968 (he pitched for the Mets and almost won Rookie of the Year in 1968); page 47, some misleading language confuses the reader - are we discussing Gentry or Ryan?; page 50, Mets were 73-89 in 1968, not 78-89 (they would have had to have played an extra 5 games instead of the standard 162); page 62, Kranepool, not Swoboda, got the game-winning hit in the opening game of the big series vs the Cubs; page 63, they trailed by 9 1/2 games on August 13, not August 19; page 65, Clete Boyer was a great-field-average hitting third baseman, not a "slugger"; page 66, the quote was "Who's Ron Gaspar", not "Bring on Ron Gaspar". And I'm not even bothering to point out the grammatical errors anymore. Is this trivial? Maybe. But if you're going to write a history book, even a sports history book, shouldn't you check your facts so that the people reading it get the right info?
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VINE VOICEon October 29, 2011
This 50th anniversary celebration of the New York Mets captures all of the franchise's highs and lows in 320 pages and 250 photographs. The photographs alone make this book a keeper, but the team history, written by Daily News sportswriters Andy Martino and Anthony McCarron, is surprisingly thorough, honest (warts and all) and entertaining. This is not a sugar-coated history.

The Mets own two world championships in 50 years, and decades of disappointment. Co-author Martino writes, "The Mets' history is rife with human drama and fascinating characters." Co-author McCarron adds, "The Mets always provided good theater even during some mirthless, pathetic years."

Indeed, scandals, controversies, drugs, collapses, finger pointing, unrealized potential, underachievement, big egos, disastrous trades as well as clubhouse and front office problems have kept the Mets in the headlines. This book reminds Mets fans of all of them.

Of course, there are the championship teams--the '69 Mets and the '86 Mets, the '62 Mets (portrayed in the media as lovable losers, although losing 120 games wasn't a joke to any of the players), the '73 Mets, who lost in the World Series to the Oakland A's and the 2000 Mets, losers of the Subway Series to the New York Yankees.

The 1969 Mets featured Tom Seaver, the club's first bona fide star, along with a pitching staff of Nolan Ryan, Jerry Koosman, Gary Gentry and Tug McGraw. Their upset of the highly touted Baltimore Orioles, 4 games to 1, is one of the greatest World Series upsets in history. Koosman credited Manager Gil Hodges for the team's success.

The 1986 Mets of Doc Gooden, Darryl Strawberry, Keith Hernandez and Gary Carter were labeled boisterous, boastful and belligerent. Others called them boorish louts. Although the team won 108 regular season games and the World Series, its flame burned out quickly and they never reached the World Series again. Drug use by star players and the discarding of key clubhouse characters created fundamental long-term problems for the organization.

After detailing the club's rocky history, the authors conclude "Despite long periods of failure that bookend a year or two of winning, the team has never failed to be interesting. Whether cloaked in scandal or basking in victory, the Mets have always entertained."

Like the Mets, this 50th anniversary book entertains. It's definitely a book for any die-hard Mets fan's library.
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on December 5, 2011
If the newspapers are the "first draft of history," then this is a second draft. This book draws on the reportage of the New York Daily News to produce a review of the fifty-year history of the New York Mets. The authors are current Daily News reporters who had full use of the newspaper archives, and the copious photographs are from the Daily News archives.

This book is not an analytical history: those looking for an encompassing narrative or an attempt to draw conclusions from the flow of time will not find it here. What this is is fairly straightforward reportage, much like one would find in a newspaper article. The book is broad but not deep.

Broad it is. Over 300 pages of text and photos, lots of photos. The text is collected decade by decade, and is strictly chronological. The highs and low are chronicled, with special attention to those magical seasons of 1969, 1973, 1986, and 2000, when the Mets reached the World Series.

If you are a Mets fan you will find all of your favorites here. The highs and lows are covered. Even if you are not a Mets fan, this is a handsome volume filled with some terrific photography. Five stars for Mets fans, four stars for the general public.
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on October 7, 2011
I have been a fan of the Mets for some years, and purchased this book at Amazon as a tribute to their good years. It's a beautifully bound pictorial showing of some of their star players and what they had accomplished. I have it prominent;y displayed, not just because I am a Mets fan, but because it is beautifully done.
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on August 22, 2012
This book displays some memorable pictures..It contains a lot of information. A wonderful collectors item to be passed down through the generations..
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on January 6, 2013
The book was a Christmas gift for my husband, who is a great Mets fan. He loved it; it was timely and well written.
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on July 11, 2015
Memories.......just wonderful memories
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