These five books are a must for New York Mets fans in 2020.
As the New Year quickly approaches, New York Mets fans, like most people, may be wracking their brains for achievable New Years resolutions. One of the more common resolutions echoing through social media is likely “to read more.”
Luckily, Mets fans have plenty of reading material to sift through in 2020 if they so choose.
The franchise in Flushing has been known for plenty of miraculous stories and memorable personalities worthy of entire books. With that, here are five Mets books that any fan of the Amazins should have on their reading list.
I’m Keith Hernandez by Keith Hernandez
Hernandez rarely minces his words during a Mets broadcast and is known for his candid, entertaining in-game remarks. His memoir shows much of the same frank spirit. It details Hernandez’s early life playing baseball in the San Francisco area, up through his career with the St. Louis Cardinals. Unfortunately, the book does not cover his time with the Mets, but Hernandez does intersperse anecdotes from the SNY broadcasting booth throughout the book.
One of the more intriguing aspects of this book is Hernandez’s relationship with his father and how that motivated and frustrated him throughout his baseball career.
However, he does make clear that his father’s consistent guidance helped mold him into a confident hitter and defensive wizard. For Mets fans looking to know more about their beloved ex-player and current announcer, this book is absolutely a worthwhile read, hopefully with a more Mets-centric sequel to follow.
Faith and Fear in Flushing by Greg Prince
Based on the popular blog of the same name, this book embodies the heart and soul of what it means to be a Mets fan. It takes place over the lifelong span of the author’s Mets fandom, placing particular focus on the 2008 season as the Mets said goodbye to Shea Stadium.
Whether you’re an original fan since 1962 or you only started following the team in the 2000s, FAFIF perfectly encapsulates the meteoric highs and excruciating lows of being a Mets fan. It’s written by a fan, for other fans.
This book, more than any other I’ve read, really gets at the emotions of being a Mets fan and demonstrates why Flushing fans are so passionate about their team. For those feeling nostalgic about the Mets’ championship glory days from 1986 and looking to hype themselves up before the 2020 season, this book is for you.
The Complete Game by Ron Darling
If you’re looking for a book all about what goes through a pitcher’s mind throughout a baseball game, from strategy to instinctual reactions, this book is for you. Darling often peppers the broadcast with insightful comments about why something is or isn’t working for a particular pitcher, and his book reflects this same attention to detail.
The Complete Game goes through Darling’s early life all the way through his major league playing career, through the lens of specific innings and games that he found most memorable. It also contains snapshots from his announcing career, having worked as a color commentator since 2006.
Based on this book’s narration, Darling clearly thinks critically about every aspect of a baseball game, which makes for a thoughtful read. However, devoted Mets fans who watch every TV broadcast already knew that.
Wherever I Wind Up by R.A. Dickey
Dickey’s rise from minor league signing, to the first man cut in 2010 spring training, to an eventual starter, to 2012 NL Cy Young winner is one of the more remarkable baseball stories of the decade. His memoir tells the tale of his life before and during his baseball career.
In it, he describes several traumatic episodes in his childhood, such as surviving sexual abuse. He also goes into detail about rising to fame as an MLB prospect, before finding out that he was missing a ligament in his elbow and might never be able to pitch in the big leagues.
Mets fans reading this book may be somewhat disappointed to know that Dickey’s Mets career is not extensively discussed in the book, though he does write about it towards the end. However, this book is really for fans wanting to know more about Dickey himself, and he does come across as a very intellectual and thoughtful man in this memoir.
Game 7, 1986 by Ron Darling
For many Mets fans, the most iconic image of the 1986 World Series is either Mookie Wilson’s ground ball that “got through Buckner,” or Jesse Orosco gleefully throwing his glove in the air after securing the final out in Game 7.
Behind all of the celebrations, however, was a nerve-wracking and disappointing start for Ron Darling in that decisive game.
This book dissects every moment of Darling’s Game 7 start, and also provides additional details about the 1986 Mets club in general. If you’re looking for salacious details about illicit activities, Darling’s account does not provide many of those. It does provide a fascinating insight into how perhaps, for this one start, Darling’s intellectual approach to the game may have gotten the better of him.
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This is certainly not an exhaustive list of worthy Mets-related reads. However, for a Mets fan looking for some baseball reading material to carry them through the rest of the offseason, this list serves as a good starting point into the world of Mets literature.