As we all know this year is technically the 50th anniversaryof the birth of our beloved Mets. Yes they didn’t truly exist until April 10th 1962 when Roger Craig threw out the first pitch ( and was tagged with the Mets first loss) in Mets history, and yes the franchise will officially acknowledge their 50 years of existence next season amidst a ton of hoopla (and hopefully a competitive team).
In honor of the Mets first 50 years on this planet, the Daily News has put “The Mets: A 50th Anniversary Celebration“. It is a joint collaboration between Daily News beat writers Anthony McCarron ( an admitted Mets fan) and Andy Martino. The foreword is eloquently written by former Metspitcher- and current color commentator, Ron Darling, and is worth the price of the book alone.
Martino and McCarron painstakingly retell the history of the Mets decade by decade. They peel back the myths and legends of the early Mets to show that players such as Marv Thronberry hated the perception of being clowns ( Marvelous Marv was once considered the heir apparent to Mickey Mantle when he was a player in the Yankees system) or that Casey Stengel was extremely bitter towards the Yankees after he was fired.
McCarron and Martino not only exploited the vast archives of old Mets stories by previous sports writers such as Lupica, Breslin, Klappishand Young, but they also use both iconic photographs as well as never before published pictures of the team.
This book covers it all, from their inception in 1962 right up to the Omar Minayaand Jerry Manuel’s termination last year. There are insights from the ’69 season as well as ’86. The midnight massacre is looked at in depth as the ’92 ” Worst Team Money Can Buy” team and the 2000 Subway Series.
Yes the book covers the collapses that were the ’07 and ’08 seasons, Yes it covers the Vince Coleman firecracker incident, bothDwight and Darryl’s run ins with the law and substance abuse. Yes it details the cold war between Steve Phillips and Bobby Valentine – but these are crucial back stories of our team.
The book is a must buy for Metsfans, even if you are not a fan of the authors work with the Daily News, they give an unflinchingly unbiased history of the team we have rooted in our DNA.
And with that said…. HERE COMES THE INFAMY !!!!!
Mets alumni celebrating a birthday today includes:
Spot starter/middle reliever from the putrid ’79 Mets team, Andy Hassler is 60 (1951). I still say google a picture of Andy – Mike Pelfrey looks like he could be his palm licking younger brother !
Second baseman/shortstop from ’09-’10, Alex Cora is 36 (1975). I know Cora wasn’t exactly the second coming of Wally Backman or Rey Ordonez( more like Rey Sanchez), but he was not brought in to be a everyday player. Unfortunately with the injury to Jose Reyes and the ineffectiveness of Luis Castillo pushed Cora into a starting capacity.
The New York Mets traded outfielder, Art Shamsky, middle reliever, Rich Folkers and minor league pitching prospects, Jim Bibby and Charlie Hudson to the St. Louis Cardinals for back up first baseman, Jim Beauchamp, middle relievers, Harry Parker, Chuck Taylor and minor league middle infielder, Tom Coulter on October 18, 1971.At the time it looked as if the Metshad gotten the better part of this trade. But Jim Bibby developed into a very good pitcher, even throwing no hitters with both the Rangers and the Pirates.
Mo Vaughn has been inspired to write an autobiography. The working title is “Chewing the Fat – The Mo Vaughn Story” !!!