Why I Read It: A review for Amazon Vine, and I'm always in for another baseball book.
Summary: The 1969 Mets. The Amazin' Mets. The Miracle Mets.
My Thoughts: Sadly, the Mets dynasty was gone by the time I started watching baseball. I was born in '71, and the Mets had given way to the Reds as the major National League power by the time I could say "Jim Rice."
But what a team it was! It's incredible to think of having Tom Seaver and Jerry Koosman at the front of the rotation with Tug McGraw and - oh, you know - Nolan Ryan, out in the bullpen. Holy cow...
The lineup was not full of Hall of Famers by any means, but it was filled with characters and B+ players who somehow came together to have the best years of their careers. And there were so many different storylines and themes to what happened that year. Woodstock. The moon landing. The Vietnam War and its many attendant protests. What a pivotal moment in American history.
There was, too, the right man for the job at the time, Manager Gil Hodges. Already a baseball hero in the city, he took the reins of the team in time to steer them to their first championship, dragging them out of the depths of...Metdom.
There is a great sadness at the end of the book, as the Mets moment is symbolic of a last burst of positivity for a city about to enter a great decline. By the middle of the 1970s, the city would be bankrupt, even on fire in places. The 1969 Mets hearken back to a simpler time - one replete with its own problems, like turbulent themes around racism and such - but a time of hope, when the impossible was possible. The author weaves in player memories with fan memories, the thoughts of kids who carried off pieces of World Series champion turf, and the children of the stars themselves. This was a World Series victory for all, and the author writes it that way.