Saturday, January 7, 2017

Review of "Long Before the Miracle"

On a snowy day in New York state, what better sport to read about than baseball?  When instead of thoughts of shoveling and scraping ice off the car, a better thought is about the green grass and crack of the bat that takes place in a beautiful ball park?  That is how I spent the day, and my book of choice was this one about the early days of the New York Mets.  Here is my review of "Long Before the Miracle."

“Long Before the Miracle: The Making of the New York Mets” by Bill Sullivan

Baseball, professional, history, Mets

Publish date:
July 29, 2016

436 pages

2 ½ of 5 stars (Fair) -  rounded up to 3 stars for Goodreads and Amazon ratings

While the New York Mets lost a lot of games in the early years of the franchise, they had a colorful history during that time and the city fell in love with the team despite the losing.  The people who were responsible for making the team lovable during that time have their stories told in this book written by a self-proclaimed Mets fan, Bill Sullivan.

This book has a “quantity over quality” feel as nearly every person who adorned a Mets uniform between 1962 and 1968 gets mentioned.  Whether through research, interviews with the players, family members or teams, bench players as well as the stars have their stories told.  It also doesn’t matter whether a player was with the team for six games or six seasons – if he wore the orange and blue of the Mets, he was mentioned in the book. 

Many of the stories are funny and poignant, but all are fairly short.  Also, while their anecdotes are organized alphabetically, the reading felt choppy and repetitive. Many of the same points are repeated in the discussions on different players.  This isn’t to say that it is hard to read, just that there will be times when the reader will think, “Wait, didn’t I see this before?”

There are also discussions on why the Dodgers and Giants left the city, paving the way for the Mets to replace them for National League baseball in New York.  That made for some good reading, as well as the stories on the building of the team through the expansion draft and the building of Shea Stadium. I felt the best writing in the book came at this time when the story of the Mets’ original owner, Joan Payson, was described in a very good manner.

For the most part, this book was okay and Mets fans will enjoy learning about the lean years of their team.  The electronic version of the book did need some minor editing, problems that may not appear in the printed version.  I would recommend this to Mets fans who want to learn a little more information on the players of the early days. 

Book Format Read:
E-Book (Kindle)

Buying links:

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