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Jason Fry and Greg Prince
Faith and Fear in Flushing made its debut on Feb. 16, 2005, the brainchild of two longtime friends and lifelong Met fans.

Greg Prince discovered the Mets when he was 6, during the magical summer of 1969. He is a Long Island-based writer, editor and communications consultant. Contact him here.

Jason Fry is a Brooklyn writer whose first memories include his mom leaping up and down cheering for Rusty Staub. Check out his other writing here.

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The Mets Fan Mindset At Its Best

Even though Andy Martino asserts we’re racist, Mike Vaccaro implies we’re idiots and a market research company concludes we’re more fickle than Philadelphians, I still believe in us. I maintain bedrock faith in the faith of the Mets fan. I have a lifetime of experience as a Mets fan among Mets fans to back me up, but just as assuring, I have three examples handy of the depth and suppleness of the Mets fan mind at work.

You should have them, too.

Two annual publications and one commemorative book are out and I urge you to obtain all three: read them, absorb them, keep them close by, refer to them often. They’re not simply informative. They are, both in terms of quality and in the context of our times (or at least this week), revelatory.

What I like about Maple Street Press Mets Annual 2011; Amazin’ Avenue: The Mets 2011 Preview; and New York Mets: 50 Amazin’ Seasons is they are the brainchildren of Mets fans and largely the handicraft of Mets fans. The contents, therefore, are honest, analytical, entertaining, incisive and did I mention honest? That’s the thing about Mets fans. Give them free editorial rein and they don’t rah-rah you into sugar shock. Mets fans lack an amen corner. We’re too self-aware for that. Perhaps it’s why our best face isn’t always instantly interpreted by the world at large as one capable of smiling, laughing and enjoying our team over the very long haul.

We do. We really do. We just know too much to do it brainlessly and breezily. It’s why we write so much. It’s why what we, as a people, write is so often compelling to read. It’s what makes each of the editions alluded to here must-haves.

Maple Street and Amazin’ Avenue are season previews, per se, but don’t think their usefulness expires once Spring Training ends. The history sections alone make them keepers. It’s history processed and related by Mets fans for Mets fans. As is the case when Mets fans get together to talk, nothing is spoon-fed nor sanitized. You come away informed, not snowed. Amazin’ Avenue, in particular, dares to venture into the outside world a good bit for targeted third-party viewpoints of pressing Met issues and puts those perspectives to good use, but overall, whether it’s the state of the Mets in 2011 or what the hell the Mets were thinking in some other year, you have the sense that the editors have our interests at heart. In a cold, cruel, not always blue and orange universe, it’s a comforting feeling.

As for New York Mets: 50 Amazin’ Seasons, prepare to immerse yourself completely in a galaxy that is nothing but blue and orange (and, yes, a little black since 1998). To call it a coffee table book is to unnecessarily glorify coffee tables. This is a Mets book, through and through. This is practically the Mets Museum if you can’t make it out to Citi Field on a given evening. The reason it transcends attractive design (though it is attractively designed) is it was put together by a grade-A Mets fan who took not one iota of his assignment lightly.

Matthew Silverman has been through this terrain before, as the author of Mets Essential and 100 Things Mets Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die and editor of The Miracle Has Landed and, come to think of it, Maple Street Press Mets Annual. When you pick up this new volume, you realize it was all leading up to 50 Amazin’ Seasons, wherein every damn one of them is covered lovingly, thoughtfully and, yes, critically. Matt knows his stuff like few Mets fans I know, and he worries about his stuff enough to get it right. Inside this lavishly illustrated book, he practically recreates a half-century of good and bad, of hope and dismay, of, well, faith and fear. Matt absolutely gets what has made the Mets the Mets since their DNA commenced to coalescing with the departures of the Giants and Dodgers and he carries that ethos of “getting it” clear to the present.

I’m enhanced by having all three of these titles in my baseball library. You will be, too.

Semi-disclaimer: I wrote an article for Maple Street Press, as did Jason; we co-wrote another piece for Amazin’ Avenue. And Matthew was kind enough to acknowledge me in 50 Amazin’ Years. These glowing recommendations, however, are based on the entirety of the above works, surely not merely our contributions.

12 comments to The Mets Fan Mindset At Its Best

  • Harvey Poris

    Two additional new Mets books that are worthy of attention are 162-0: A Mets Perfect Season by Howie Karpin (Triumph Books) and Mets Journal by John Snyder (Clerisy Press). The Karpin book has the story of the greatest Met win for each day of the baseball season, complete with box scores, little known facts, etc.
    Mets Journal is basically a day-by-day in Mets history. It also includes little-known facts, trivia and entertaining stories.

  • Joe D.

    Hi Greg,

    As a member of the fourth estate I am sure you recognize Martino’s ploy to find a slant to his story, no matter how outrageous it is. And it is interesting to note that after his headline and opening paragraphs, he actually provides counter-arguments to his claim, only to bring up the race card once more by quoting Paul LoDuca back in 2007. Why didn’t he also quote Sean Green in 2006 when after coming to the Mets he said everyone else in the league knew how together a clubhouse the Mets had?

    As far as Vacarro is concerned, he is insulting our intelligence by praising Alderson’s “professional cool” in letting Perez and Castillo play themselves off the team when it is so obvious their release was going to be timed for maximum publicity to divert Met fans from everything else that is happening.

    Finally, that study by Brand Keys does not take into that one important aspect unique to the Met situation – we love the team but don’t support an ownership that openly catered to those with money and for everyone else made going to a Met game a luxury in a ballpark designed for seeing the shops from the walkways than the outfield from the upper stands in left. If the team was sold this morning and a new ownership immediately took the steps to reverse that behavior, one would certainly see more fans in the seats.

  • Lenny65

    The notion that “we” didn’t like Luis Castillo because we’re “racist” is beyond absurd. We didn’t like Luis because a) he dropped that pop-up and (further) humiliated us in front of “them” and b) he wasn’t very good. Throwing out this number, that number and the opinion of unnamed “scouts” doesn’t change the fact that Castillo was a sub-ordinary 2nd baseman who could rarely hit a ball out of the infield. Revising history to make a (very weak) point and to fill in some column space on a dull baseball news day says more about the quality of writing in NY’s dailies than it does about Met fans.

  • What I find hilarious about that market research company making Phillies fans “most loyal” is that it’s so subjective. This is the same fan base that was voted “worst fan base” by GQ, of course that’s subjective too but we all agree with it. Especially when they have a) no fans prior to 2007 (except for maybe “well, there’s the *one* guy I know who…”), b) barf on little children and c) turn on their team as soon as their star 1B strikes out to end a playoff game with bases loaded. I mean, Mets fans have a ton of people who have not been loyal (just read Twitter) but why the Cardinals (everyone who plays there says how great it is) didn’t make the top is beyond me. Moving right along…those fans pieces you all described are all awesomely awesome :D

  • Lenny65

    The most “loyal” baseball fans are the few thousand brave souls who continue to show up at games in places like Pittsburgh and K.C. even though they damn well know they have almost no chance whatsoever at making a serious playoff run. Anyone can be “loyal” when your team is stacking up championships and winning seasons.

  • Rob D.

    Vaccaro is a Met fan..maybe he’s trying to be TOO impartial.

    • Vaccaro may have grown up a Mets fan, but his loyalty now is to the line of the day. Yesterday it was “Mets fans need a scapegoat.” I would counter that Mets fans need a team devoid of a reason for scapegoating. Everybody plays consistently hard and reasonably well, that goat won’t hunt.

      • Rob D.

        Maybe..because of the hack paper he is working for. I met him when I put together a sports author event for my clients after he wrote “Emperors and Idiots”. He’s STILL a Met fan..maybe the only one at the Post.

  • [...] with Matthew Silverman’s The New York Mets: The Complete Illustrated History. Mentioned it before, I’m mentioning it again. It’s an incredible tour of an incredible franchise. As good a [...]