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Book Review: 101 Reasons to Love the Mets

Mike SteffanosSunday, April 20, 2008
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.

101 Reasons to Love the Mets 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.

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About Mike: I was the original writer on this web site, actually its only writer for the first 15 months of existence. Although I am grateful for the excellent contributions of my fellow writers here, I have no plans of stepping back into strictly an editorial role. I started this thing in the first place because I love to write and I love the Mets, and blogging here keeps me somewhat sane. If you haven't had enough already, more bio info can be found here.

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Comments (7)

Thanks for the review. I had been on the fence regarding this, know I think I'll take the plunge.

You probably had the same reservations I had about the topics, but those essays really aren't the value in the book. Most are literally one paragraph. This one was all about the visuals, and they were great.

Chico Escuela was memorable for me, I grew up a big Saturday Night Live, SC TV, Dave Allen, and Benny Hill fan. Morris' line " Baseball been berry berry good to me" was clasic. Had Nolan harnessed his stuff with the Mets how different would Mets history be? With him, Seaver, and Koos as the top three, say through 77, I wonder what their records and team success would have been? I still like Endy's catch and it would have been the series difference had the Mets hit in the 9th. Oh well that is what baseball is......fond memories.

I loved the original SNY, too, LJ. Chico was memorable for SNY, but not for the Mets since he was fictional.

Don't forget Matlack. Seaver, Koosman, Ryan, Matlack. What a rotation that could have been.

Duh... Make that the original SNL.

I enjoyed going down memory lane woth "101 Reasons to Love the Mets." I started attending games at Shea in 1964 as a young child. I only have two quibbles with the book- one factual and one personal. Factual- On page 39 "The Shoe Polish Incident," the photo mislabels Donn Clendenon (uniform #22) as Cleon Jones (#21). Personal- In the late 1970's, my sister and I attended many Met games to watch them lose. I still loved the Mets for their history, my sister loved them for Lee Mazzilli. He was the heart and soul of that team. She called him "Legs" Mazzilli because of the way he worn his pants nice and tight! Author David Green should make it "102 Reasons" and place Mazz in the next edition.

Peter - I remember when Mazz was a sex symbol and the guy the Mets built their marketing around. As I said in the review, this book would have been better if someone who really loved the Mets had written the text.

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