Author: Devin Gordon
Title: So Many Ways to Lose
Publication Info: New York City : Harper, 2021.
So Many Ways to Lose is a history of the New York Mets by a long-time fan and writer who happens to live near me in Massachusetts. Gordon’s thesis is that the Mets are a team that is known for their futility and for losing in creative ways, and yet that has only made their moments of greatness all the more endearing.
Since I’ve read a lot about the Mets (and of course, spent most of my life watching the team), I was familiar with many of these stories. But I was impressed with the angles Gordon took on telling the stories. I particularly liked:
- connecting Cleon Jones story to the history of Africatown in Alabama which was founded by people brought from Africa on the last known slave ship the Clotilda
- How Mackey Sasser got the yips and had trouble returning the ball to the pitcher
- While Bobby Bonilla Day has become a day to mock the Mets, Gordon explains that it was a good deal with positive outcomes for the Mets
- the greatness of the Endy Chavez catch
- How Bernie Madoff bamboozled the Wilpons, owners of the Mets, but nonetheless a somewhat sympathetic portrait of the Wilpons
The parts on the Mets success in 2006 (and subsequent flops in 2007-2008) and 2015 feel rushed. But then again I’ve read about those accomplishments in other books. This is an enjoyable sports book and a requirement for every Mets’ fan’s library.
- Faith and Fear in Flushing: An Intense Personal History of the New York Mets by Greg Prince
- Mets by the Numbers: A Complete Team History of the Amazin’ Mets by Uniform Number by Jon Springer
- Taking the Field: A Fan’s Quest to Run the Team He Loves by Howard Megdal