GIL HODGES - The Brooklyn Bums, the Miracle Mets, and the Extraordinary Life of a Baseball Legend
GIL HODGES - The Brooklyn Bums, the Miracle Mets, and the Extraordinary Life of a Baseball Legend.
By Tom Clavin & Danny Peary Published by New American Library 2012
During this Mets 50th Anniversary year, I’m very glad to see a new book about Gil Hodges published. Because of his achievements as a player and manager, as well as his solid character, I believe Gil Hodges deserves to be in the Baseball Hall of Fame. During the Golden Era of the 1950s, Hodges was the Brooklyn Dodgers’ powerful first baseman who helped drive his team to six pennants and a thrilling World Series victory. Fans never booed the beloved home run hitter from Indiana who married a Brooklyn girl. Following the Dodgers to Los Angeles in 1958, Hodges joined the original Mets team in 1962 and finished his playing career with the Mets. In 1968, he took over the manager’s spot on their bench. Under his management, the Mets went from a last place team to World Champions in 1969.
"Imagine A Mets Perfect Season" Written by Howie Karpin & forward by David Wright. Triumph Books, 2011, $16.95 softcover.
With a title like this -- it's hard to ignore the focus of this book. This new book is a game by game analysis of the greatest wins in Mets history. The chapters in the book are divided into the months of the baseball season. Each month features various Mets games throughout the years.
Author Howie Karpin is a 30 year plus sports writer veteran who has been based in the New York area for many years. He wrote a Yankees historical book that was released several years ago.
As a longtime Mets fan, I loved skimming through the book to remember those long forgotten memories. (Especially, since these are winning memories). From the pictures of past Mets to the recent interviews with past Mets, I enjoyed recalling all of those past winning memories. However, I have to admit -- I'm not a Mets or baseball "stats" fan. So, if you are a real trivia fan, this book will definitely be a great resources. Since the author was also an official MLB scorer, you know all of the stats and facts are correct.
Lastly, you just need to take a look at the author's acknowlegements at the end of book to find see how entrentched he is in the baseball world. This book earns a "B".
New York Mets 50 Amazin Seasons: The Complete Illustrated History By Matthew Silverman
New York Mets 50 Amazin' Seasons: The Complete Illustrated History. Written by Matthew Silverman. MVP Books, 2011, $30 hardcover.
This book is a "must buy" for any longtime Mets fan. In fact, I have to admit -- if I ever attempted to write or compile a book about the Mets, this book would be a superior version of my attempt. The only difference is that would probably add my own retrospective memories and included minor league team information and fan experiences as well.
From the "texture" of the book -- containing loads of color photos to the book's interactive pull-out -- I knew this book was on target to capture the essence of the Mets right away as the first few pages contain pictures of Mr. Met, William Shea and Joan Payson. Even pictures of various Mets baseball cards can be found in these beginning pages as well.
To quote the press release about the author's intent, "I really wanted to put together something that went beyond the average Mets history and wasn't just a recital of facts like the media guide or a collection of photos like the yearbooks have become." I definitely welcomed Matt Silverman's retro about the "real" beginnings and the evolution of Shea. (After all, I remember how the excitement of Shea was connected to the World's Fair back in the 1960's).
The book is a real collection of Mets memories and memorabilia. It's not just a year by year look at the team each year. From Mets buttons, Mets banners, Mets posters to Mets baseball cards, Mets front page magazine cover stories, Mets ticket stubs and Mets front page news headlines -- this book has it all!
This book earns an "A-". (If the book contained Met minor league club histories and experiences it would have earned a higher grade).
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