Fifty Years of Highs and Lows from New York's Most Agonizingly Amazin' Team
Written By: Matthew Silverman
Published By: Taylor Trade Publishing
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
Those who read this site know that I am a huge fan of the New York Mets. Thus, I know the art of suffering through the agony of defeat, a lesson well-learned by any Mets fan. That's why, when the Mets have a halfway decent year, we show so much enthusiasm. Why go through all this suffering? Well, for some reason, us Mets fans are incredibly loyal. So loyal, in fact, that some of us have been known to write books about our favorite team, like Matthew Silverman, whose Best Mets: Fifty Years of Highs and Lows from New York's Most Agonizingly Amazin' Team is only one of many.
I received Best Mets as a gift and I couldn't wait to crack it open. What better time than during Spring Training. Silverman starts us off with a brief history of the club, featuring its amazing beginnings and the highs and lows of the team up to the year 2012. The summary is just the preface of the book. This book is more than a history of the team - it features some of the greatest and worst of the New York Mets.
Silverman first offers up his opinion of the top fifty New York Mets over the years and a brief description of their history with the team to back up his opinions. He then gives us the top five best Mets teams and who could argue that the 1969 team was the best of the best. He even includes some honorable mentions. The best part about this section is that Silverman not only gives us his reasoning behind the order he has chosen, but some distinctive things about that particular year's teams, the events taking place outside the stadium that year, the top movie, top album, Hall of Fame inductees and the price of box seats at the time. Of course, what would a book be like if it only listed the best and never discussed the worst. Thus, Silverman also delves into some of the worst Mets teams in the club's history.
Silverman then defines the best games, dividing them into games played during the season and those played during the post-season. He also gives us a look at the other end of the spectrum by showing us the worst the team has produced...or not produced as the case may be. In addition to all of the best lists are lists of great announcers, activities at the Mets stadiums, the best minor league teams, best Mets bars, etc. And to top it all off, Silverman gives us some background on some of the people in Mets history, like the grounds crew manager, the cowbell man and more.
Once I started reading this book, I began smiling. Best Mets is a book written by a true Mets fan, one who can remember the small, seemingly insignificant players and events, along with the big events in the club's history. I found myself openly agreeing and disagreeing with Silverman's opinion of things. (Sure, Mike Piazza was a great hitter, but to put him in the same league as Gary Carter, one of the best defensive catchers the Mets ever had, is just wrong.) When reading the book around other Mets fans, I found myself sharing and discussing their opinions on the matter. I laughed at events I remembered in my history watching and listening to the team play. I cringed at some of the seasons I wish I could forget.
Best Mets is a fun look at the best and the worst of a team with more ups and downs than your best rollercoaster written by a fan who has stuck with them through thick and thin. Fans of the New York Mets will love reading this book and discussing it with other Mets fans, even if he did leave out one of the best books about Mets from his list (Amazin' by Peter Golenbock). Best Mets should definitely be on any Mets fan's must read book list.