By Mike Steffanos
101 Reasons to Love the Mets
Author: David Green
Hardcover, 120 pages, Stewart, Tabori & Chang
David Green's 101 Reasons to Love the Mets is the latest in a series of books the author has written. Previous volumes in the series offered the same 101 reasons to love the Red Sox, Cubs and Giants. As is true of all of these types of series, the books are written to a formula. Often such efforts produce works of mediocrity, but that is fortunately not the case with this little gem.
I liked this book a lot, but I have to say one thing before I get into why. This book could have been better if actually written by someone who roots for and loves the New York Metropolitan baseball club. This is clearly not the case, as evidenced by the author's strange choices for some of his reasons.
Case in point, reason #31, "The Ryan Express." Nolan Ryan may have played here at the start of his career, but certainly isn't associated with the Mets in any positive way for Mets fans. Ditto with Garrett Morris' Chico Escuela character from the original SNY, the Seaver trade, Sidd Finch, losing the infamous "pigeon" game, and the not yet open Citi Field. A more accurate title would have been "101 Mets-related things to write mini-essays about from someone who has researched the Mets." Of course, that would have been hard to fit on the cover.
Still, Mr. Green did his research well enough to hit many better notes with his choices, and what really makes this book shine are the photographs that adorn every page. When it comes down to it, they are the stars of the book.
The photographs are simply wonderful. Well chosen and beautifully rendered, they combine with an elegant graphic layout to make this book visually stunning all the way through. I've spent hours enjoying all of them and reliving the memories that they evoke. Some particular favorites are of Bob Murphy from his farewell night, Gary Carter tagging out Jim Rice in the '86 Series, Dave Mlicki in the ninth inning of his 1-hitter vs. the Yankees, and Endy's catch against the Cardinals.
The book itself is a work of art. Printed on quality paper to show off the photographs to best advantage, it is bound with the quality that book lovers appreciate and don't often find anymore. You can be confident that you'll be enjoying 101 Reasons to Love the Mets for years to come.
Despite my already mentioned quibbles with some of the choices, the photos and the priceless memories they evoke make this book literally a must-have for Mets fans. With the hardcover currently selling for about 10 bucks on Amazon, it's a no-brainer. Buy it.
Buy 101 Reasons to Love the Mets from our Amazon.com store