Faith and Fear in Flushing
Author: Greg W. Prince
Published By: Skyhorse Publishing
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
I first discovered Faith and Fear in Flushing while searching Amazon.com for links for my Subway Series article. Prior to that, I had never heard of this book written by a dedicated Mets fan for other Mets fans. When the book came up again on another completely unrelated search, I knew I was fated to read it.
Written by Greg W. Prince, co-author of a blog of the same name, with a forward by his partner Jason Fry, Faith and Fear in Flushing discusses the ups and downs of being a Mets fan as only a dedicated Mets fans could. Price became a fan at the tender age of seven when the Mets (also at the age of seven as an organization) were on the rise, heading to their first playoff contention and eventually winning their first World Series. Price would soon learn just how precious the good times in a Mets fanís life are Ė how close we could come toward victory and how far we could go towards utter disgraceful and agonizing deplorability.
I could definitely relate to the contents of this book. I was born too late to witness the 1969 victory and was too young to savor the 1973 attempt that ended sadly on the side of the Oakland Athletics, but I have been a New York Mets fan all my life. My experience began when the Mets were downright horrible, reached new heights in the mid-1980s when we came so close and finally attained the goal of a World Series win, stood pat throughout the mediocre years to follow, got exciting again at the close of the 90s into the year 2000 when we would come out on the wrong end of the ultimate Subway Series, got frustrating over the past decade and yet, here I am, still a dedicated Mets fan. So, I can understand the love and frustration, the highs and the lows and the utter dedication that goes into being a Mets fan.
Greg W. Prince finds a way to tell this story of his journey as a Mets fan with humor and lots of heart, both tools a must for the staying power of a Mets fan. If you canít laugh at and love the experience, then you might actually lose it and defect, rooting for that team in the Bronx that shall not be named. He begins at the beginning with his discovery of the Mets and why he loves baseball, then moves forward with funny tales of his dedication to his team through the lean years and how he found the love of his life, who of course, must be a Mets fan as well (which helps when you are such a dedicated fan that you are subject to loud and sometimes x-rated outbursts of anguish when the team isnít playing all that well) and the friends and co-fans he met along the way. Prince completes the journey with a somber discussion of the last day at Shea and a heartfelt goodbye to that magical stadium we both grew up with.
The Afterword of the book features an interview Prince did with Gary Cohen, the voice of the Mets, first on the radio at WFAN and again on television at SNY. In the interview, they discuss how being a fan of baseball, particularly Mets baseball, led to Cohenís calling as sports announcer and how his dreams came true when he landed a job as a Mets announcer. They also discussed the new type of fan, an extremely different fan that has developed over the years (fans that I find to be less inclined to enjoy all the game entails and more inclined to be obnoxious and rather rude the more the years progress, by the way). And finally, the two discussed the final moments of the last day at Shea and what it meant to them.
I found this to be a perfect way to end the book. It signifies the end of an eraÖa somber moment in any longstanding Mets fanÖand a look toward the future as a new era dawns at Citi Field. Will it be just as memorable as those moments filled with joy and tears at Shea? One never knows, but one thingís for sure: Greg W. Prince will be watching and so will I. After reading Faith and Fear in Flushing, I find myself wondering why I had never found myself visiting the blog by Prince and Fry. I canít wait to start.