By Mike Steffanos
Mets by the Numbers: A Complete Team History of the Amazin' Mets by Uniform Number
Authors: Jon Springer and Matthew Silverman
Paperback, 304 pages, Skyhorse Publishing
I always try to be objective when I'm reviewing a book or a DVD. It occurs to me that someone might purchase them based at least partially on what I say, so I take the responsibility seriously.
Therefore, I have to admit that I have never been more predisposed to like a book before I even read it than with Jon Springer and Matthew Silverman's Mets by the Numbers. Discovering Springer's web site from which the book takes its name years ago has led to countless pleasant hours surfing it. As someone who has followed this team from the late 60s, exploring the history of each uniform number and the players who wore them brings back countless memories.
For instance, the guy who wears number 5 currently is a pretty fair player, as were Jon Olerud, '69 hero Ed Charles and the underrated Steve Henderson. But did you know current Mets coach Sandy Alomar, Sr. wore that number as a player for a few weeks in 1967? It was also one of five numbers worn by utility man Jeff McKnight -- who came close to warranting his own numerical web site as the all-time Mets champ in accumulating uni numbers.
As much as I enjoyed the web site, I was curious how Springer and coauthor Matthew Silverman would translate this into a book. The answer they came up with, mixing the history of the uniform numbers with some fun tidbits of history on the individual players, was a perfect solution.
The resulting book is simply a must-have for Mets fans. I enjoy pulling it out at odd times and losing myself in its pleasures as I have done previously with the web site. I honestly can't think of a Mets-related book that I have enjoyed more.
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