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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
In four decades, the New York Mets have morphed from lovable losers to perennial pennant contenders. Even in the lean years, before and between World Series titles in 1969 and 1986, the Mets provided ample entertainment on and off the field. In Amazin', Peter Golenbock canvasses management, the press, and legendary Mets players for a definitive history of the team, dirty laundry and all.
Under Casey Stengel in their early years, the Mets fashioned personality, if not talent. In 1969, though, with young arms like Tom Seaver, Jerry Koosman, and Nolan Ryan, the Amazin' Mets overtook the Cubs, then upended the heavily favored Braves and Orioles for their first World Series title. Ron Swoboda, whose backhand diving catch helped preserved a Mets victory in Game 4 of the Series, reflects at length on that season in the book.
Nearly two decades later, a 19-year-old pitching phenom, who was rushed to the bigs by manager Davey Johnson, led a boisterous cast to the Mets' second World Series crown. The ascent of Dwight Gooden, the feud between Keith Hernandez and Darryl Strawberry, and the subsequent collapse of a near-dynastic team is the fodder of later chapters. Polishing off the book is commentary from Al Leiter on the 2000 Subway Series.
Under Bobby Valentine, the Mets have continued to forge a winning identity distinct from their older brothers and crosstown rivals, the Yankees. Yanks fans may chafe at the subtitle of the book (The Miraculous History of New York's Most Beloved Baseball Team), but Mets devotees will no doubt revel in the memories it offers up. (Brenn Jones)