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Monday, September 24, 2007

Book Review: The New York Mets: Ethnography, Myth, and Subtext

Review: The New York Mets: Ethnography, Myth, and Subtext by Richard Grossinger

The book isn't so much a story as a diary and tribute to one person's journey as a fan of the New York Mets. Throughout that journey he, like most of us, is constantly reevaluating his commitment to his team, and answering the question, “Why do we watch?” He was a born Yankee fan drawn to the Mets in their infancy, knowing there is more to life, and to baseball, then championships. He embraced the Mets from the beginning, from their minor league players to their major league players who probably should have been in the minor leagues.

As a younger fan, It was interesting to read a fan's perspective on my team that's been there from the beginning. I've never truly experienced a championship, but I've also had some fun and exciting moments. Grossinger explains that it's not always the championships that resonate and are remembered for years to come, but the truly spectacular moments. It's the journey that is what truly makes us fans, not just the final game of the World Series. Grossinger journey as a fan is a unique one, just like all of our adventures as fans are, and it's interesting to read as he goes to his first games at Shea, roots for his favorite players, and eventually gets his first press pass.

One part of the book that I found particularly interesting was about the author's time in San Francisco as a Mets fan. This was long before the time of DirecTV with Extra Innings, or He was able to embrace the team through box scores, newspapers and magazines. Then he formed a club, and a bunch of baseball fans joined together to buy a satellite dish that could pick up the feeds of all the games across the country. They were able to get Mets games clear across the country and sometimes even picking up the feeds before they were edited for TV.

A big chapter of the book is his relationship with a Mets player, Terry Leach. Leach was one of those guys that perpetually was being send between AAA and the Major Leagues, despite how well he would pitch. In an era that people are constantly talking about “rooting for the laundry”, rooting for whoever the players are as long as they wear the uniform of your favorite team, It's a refreshing look at how sometimes we form an attachment to a favorite player, and how it's not always the best guy on the team. Grossinger, and his son's, attachment to Terry Leach was formed in the minor leagues off a statsheet. They followed his progress through the minors, and like many of us still do, formed a bond with a player that comes up through the Mets minor league system.

As you read through the book, reading accounts from different years and eras of Mets history, you start embracing what it is to be a Mets fan, and reaffirm your connection with the team. Throughout the book I felt myself relating to his stories of watching and following the Mets, even though my experiences often happened decades later. I learned new things about the history of my team, and got further insight into what it was like for the fans of the past. The culture of being a Mets fan is a unique one, but it's one that Richard Grossinger, me, and hopefully you, are all excited to be a part of.

All in all this book is a book most Mets fans will enjoy reading about. It has discussions of moments and events in all 45 years of Mets history. It explores what it's like to be a Mets fan, and helps get a perspective on how and why we watch baseball.

1 comment:

Sports betting said...

It's been ages since i posted here. Been sick, busy etc. There are not many games left this season. It has had it's up's and down's. Meet some new Reds i adore. Meet David Ross again. Knew of him when was a Dodger. Missed Sean Casey a lot. Reds then got rid of Austin Kerns. Seen the Reds 9 times this year at Busch Stadium. Saw the Phillies 3 times. Seen The Astros 3 times. Gonna see the Astros for my 4th time September 13th. Gonna go to games in 2 weeks to see Brian Giles.No idea who will make the playoffs.First Choice Reds. Second Choice Phillies. 3RD Astros. 4TH Choice Padres. Padres just because of Brian Giles, Geoff Blum and Trevor Hoffmann. I hope to at least attend one playoff game. But if the Cards don't make it won't go to any. Because i can't afford to travel. But if i had to choose. I'd rather the Reds win the Central and just have to watch them on tv.Seeing them on tv would be better than them not making the playoffs at all.
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