Matthew Silverman wrote a terrific book called New York Mets: The Complete Illustrated History. It’s a decade by decade play by play of the New York Mets and their history, with all sorts of wonderful illustrations. It’s also got Mr. Met on the spine, which is something my bookcase sorely lacks. The book details all 50 seasons as well as the years leading up to them. It starts from the Giants and the Dodgers and goes all the way through to the firing of Jerry Manuel and Omar Minaya. It’s so current I almost expect to find a new page when I open it again.
The book is a real A to Z type guide of everything you could ever want to know about the Mets history. From the common knowledge of Tom Seaver and Bobby Valentine to the more obscure trivia like alternative names considered for the team and obscure merchandise and slogans. It even has a stats section with the list of all the All-Time Mets records.
The pictures are great as well. You’ve got all the greats obviously, and other nuggets like Tom Seaver in 1967 Spring Training, and a shot of the Mets playing at the Polo Grounds. There are aerial views of Shea Stadium and a button that reads “I was a believer but now we’ve lost Seaver.” Silverman doesn’t sugar coat it either: There’s a detailed section on Anthony Young’s 27-game losing streak, a picture of Mike Piazza on the ground after getting beaned by Roger Clemens and a picture of the pitch Tom Seaver threw to Joe Wallis that spoiled his no-hitter.
It ‘s rare to find a book that you can be just as entertained reading a random section of it as you can just by randomly flipping through and looking pictures, but this book does just that. I’m definitely going to delve into it further once I return from Spring Training. I recommend you do the same.