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Be My Book’s Valentine

POST-VALENTINE’S DAY NOTE: We have our winners. Thanks for playing.

Happy Valentine’s Day! Romantic holiday and all, but flowers, chocolates, Vermont Teddy Bears, hoodie-footie pajamas and $63 Opening Day tickets in Promenade are all passé. The real sweethearts out there give copies of The Happiest Recap: First Base (1962-1973) [1] no matter the date or occasion.

Why? Let me let a satisfied reader who was kind enough to drop me a line testify:

Read your latest book. Then I re-read and reviewed. What a joy! I wasn’t sure about the concept at first. I know so much Met history but did I need to read about a win they were able to put together in mid-1966? The answer is (sorry Marv) YES!!!!! There is so much I didn’t know in your pages and I loved finding it out. What a treat!!! Thank you so much for your contribution to my Met library and I’m looking forward to your future volumes.

Don’t you want to feel that good after a Mets game? If you’re a Mets fan, then after the first 127 of the 500 wins that constitute The Happiest Recap series, you will. Trust me on this. You should definitely purchase one for the Mets fan in your life, even if it’s you. Especially if it’s you.

You’re a Mets fan. You deserve good things.

The_Happiest_Recap-__Cover_for_Kindle [2]

Read the book. Feel the love.

Given that today is supposed to be about love, I would love to make sure at least three of you have The Happiest Recap’s first volume ASAP. So for Valentine’s Day, here comes an unusually un-heartbreaking quiz designed to help three readers who know their way around the source for all answers [3] win a copy apiece. And since it’s February 14, let’s make the subject matter pretty obvious.

1. Who was the winning pitcher in Bobby Valentine’s first Opening Day victory as Mets manager?

2. Three pitchers tied for most games started on the Mets in Bobby Valentine’s first full season as Mets manager. Name all three.

3. Bobby Valentine wrote John Olerud’s name into the three-hole in 1999 in 159 of 163 regular-season games played. Who were the other three Mets he used as starting No. 3 hitters that year?

4. Who was the last Met to bat in a game managed by Bobby Valentine?

5. Mike Hampton, Al Leiter, Rick Reed, Glendon Rusch and Bobby J. Jones started 151 of the 162 regular-season games the Mets played in 2000. Who were the other five pitchers to whom Bobby Valentine gave the ball to start the remaining 11 starts in that pennant-winning year?

6. Which six Mets played in the most games during Bobby Valentine’s six full seasons as Met manager?

7. Bobby Valentine took over Met managerial duties with 31 games remaining in 1996. He used four different starting first basemen during that period. Please name them.

8. Bobby Valentine became a Met when he and Paul Siebert were traded from San Diego for Dave Kingman on June 15, 1977. How many hits did Bobby collect in all the games Paul ever won as a Met?

9. Between them, how many hits did Bobby Valentine and Ellis Valentine accumulate as Mets?

10. Greg Harts went 1-for-3 in his Mets/major league career. Against whom did he register his only base hit?

Got the answers? Send them to faithandfear@gmail.com and, if you’re among the first three with all ten correct, you’ll get the book. Good luck!

Not a quiz taker? Order your copy here [1]. No kidding: if you like the way I write about the Mets, you will enjoy this book a whole lot.