The Mets: A 50th Anniversary Celebration, by Andy Martino and Anthony McCarron (with the New York Daily News), is a great read for any Mets fan.  It takes you through each season of their history, highlighting the main stories of each season, and flows seamlessly from one year to the next.  It does an excellent job of giving the reader a sense of what it’s like to root for a franchise that’s occasionally good, usually mediocre, but always entertaining.  More after the jump…

The Mets starts things off with a passionate foreword written by Ron Darling, who was a solid choice because he tells a great story of someone who was forced to move to New York unexpectedly, and then wholly embraced it.  He also understands what it means to be a Met arguably as well as anyone, being a part of the organization for great times as well as bad times, both as a player and announcer.  After the writers introduce themselves (and tell some Mets memories of their own), we get started with the Mets’ history. 

They start things off well, noting the parallels between the Mets and the New York Giants/Brooklyn Dodgers — since the teams that the Mets were replacing were lovable underdogs, the Mets were destined to fill that role themselves.  The book then continues with a Mets timeline, starting with Bill Shea’s vision, going all the way through K-Rod punching his girlfriend’s father.  What really gives the book life, though, is the pictures.  They were all taken from the Daily News archives (there’s over 200 of them), and they each tell a unique story.  You go from manager Casey Stengel waving to fans from a car during the parade before their 1962 Opener, to Ron Swoboda juggling during some downtime, to the happy dogpile after winning it all in 1986, to a page-and-a-half action shot of Endy Chavez’s catch against the Cardinals, to Citi Field, and pretty much everything else in between.  My favorite pictures in particular are actually the ones on the inside of the covers — the Daily News back covers (especially the ones with the crazy caricatures, like this one).

So in short, I’d definitely recommend it, even if just for the pictures.