Quick Book Review: “Here’s the Catch: A Memoir of the Miracle Mets and More” by Ron Swoboda

Although I don’t follow sports anymore, I was a fanatical baseball fan as a kid, and the New York Mets were my life.  That mythical 1969 season is embedded in my head forever, and I never get tired of reading about it.  Last year, I read Art Shamsky’s great book about that miracle team.  This year, I gave Ron Swoboda’s book a shot.  Swoboda will forever be remembered for the incredible  9th-inning outfield catch that he made in game 4 of the 1969 World Series.  The Mets were ahead in the series 2 games to 1.  His catch ultimately saved the game, and the Mets went ahead 3 -1 in the series.  Without that catch, the Orioles would have tied the series at 2-2, changing the momentum of the series and possibly all of baseball history.  Swoboda’s book starts with his family’s interesting history, and then he gives us what we want: details of that glorious series from his perspective.  I was familiar with all of the stories, but I never get tired of them.  He threw in some really cool stuff about the players’ wives and how they banded together to do good, charitable things, and how many of them are still close today.  He’s definitely a good, stand-up guy, with political views that I admire and agree with. There was also a nice section about his close friendship with teammate Tug McGraw, who died of a brain tumor.  He’s led a happy life for which he is grateful, and it’s uplifting to read an autobiography that is humble and humorous, with his gratitude front and center.  Only for die-hard Mets fans, though.

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