No baseball team has captured America’s imagination like the Mets. Alternately the “Lovable Losers” and the “Miracle Mets,” New York’s other team offers fascinating fodder for writer Richard Grossinger in this thoughtful collection. The New York Mets is a series of probing essays on the best and most interesting years of the team, particularly 1969, 1973, 1986, and last year’s abbreviated run. A pivotal essay chronicles the lives of a professional athlete and a die-hard fan to create a well-argued, deeply felt meditation on the ways in which franchise baseball has come to fail not only the fans but the players.
This centerpiece presents a poignant narrative of Mets pitcher Terry Leach and author Grossinger’s own experiences playing and tracking the sport. Taken together, these powerful essays alternately take the poet’s, the alchemist’s, and the player’s perspective to paint a composite portrait that brings all the stunning highs and dispiriting lows together to show the ways in which America’s favorite pastime has changed. Grossinger reflects on the salad days when teams were happily homegrown and laments the current money-ball scenario some call baseball today.
About Richard Grossinger
Since the issuing of Solar Journal: Oecological Sections by Black Sparrow Press in 1970, Richard Grossinger (richardgrossinger.com) has published some 35 books, most of them with his own press, North Atlantic Books, but also titles with Harper, Doubleday, Sierra Club Books, and J. P. Tarcher, among others. These have ranged from long explorations of science, culture, and spirituality (The Night Sky, Planet Medicine, Embryogenesis) to memoirs and nonfiction novels (New Moon, Out of Babylon) to experimental prose (Book of the Earth and Sky, Spaces Wild and Tame) and science fiction (Mars: A Science Fiction Vision). Grossinger received a PhD in anthropology from the University of Michigan in 1975 and lives with his wife Lindy Hough in Berkeley, California.
“Grossinger summons the deep continuum, backward from Endy’s catch throughout the innermost heart’s secret Mets—Melvin Mora, Terry Leach, Wayne Garrett, and beyond. He speaks to and for the True Believeniks, those of us always searching for the door into summer.”
“You want fun? Well, root for the Mets and read this wonderful book and realize that you’re part of a legacy that will live long after we suffer, linger, and die over West Coast games and four-game losing streaks and leaky bullpens. Enjoy.”
—Mike Vaccaro, New York Post sports columnist
“For those of us who were there from the beginning, it’s been forty-five years now, close to half a century of bewilderment, frustration, and unlikely miracles. The amazing Metropolitans of New York. Richard Grossinger gets the story of the team just right. He is a philosopher of the game, the world’s first baseball mystic.”
"Grossinger’s thorough knowledge of Mets history is complemented by his understanding of the ethnographer’s art. He writes with a flair and authenticity that encourages further reading, and I found it easy to cross the finish line. He’s an engaging writer, and the depth of his passion for the early Mets is worthy of attention."