SPRINGFIELD/JERSEY CITY, NJ -- With the sale of the New York Mets to Steve Cohen marking the end of the Wilpon era, fans are re-energized about the team. When they initially bought their stake in 1980, the Wilpons built a winning team and delivered a World Series victory in 1986. However, after the Bernie Madoff scandal in which the Wilpon family claimed to have lost substantial money, they were often frugal. Despite a World Series appearance in 2015, they have produced a mostly disappointing product in recent years, and fans openly despised the owners and rejoiced upon news of their selling the team.
That wasn't always the case. In fact, longtime owner Joan Payson, one of the few female owners in baseball, was a beloved figure in New York. An heiress to the Whitney family fortune, a businesswoman, philanthropist, and patron of the arts. She was a driving force in the creation of the Mets and the return of National League baseball in New York.
Just released by acclaimed baseball author David Krell, The New York Mets in Popular Culture (Published by McFarland, Oct. 4, 2020, 254 pages.) is a unique collection of essays examining “The Amazins” in film, TV, advertising, and other media.
Krell is the editor of an exciting new book that will be a must-read for Mets fans. Released by McFarland and Co., The New York Mets in Popular Culture covers little-known aspects of the team’s history that even die-hard fans may not know. Compiled by Krell, a graduate of Jonathan Dayton High School in Springfield, NJ, the book brings fresh perspectives to the team that has brought joy, triumph—and even a miracle—to New York City.
The New York Mets in Popular Culture offers fresh angles on the team’s rich history, including the inaugural season of 1962, “Midnight Massacre” trades of Tom Seaver and Dave Kingman, and the swagger of the 1986 Mets. Also covered are:
- The genesis, legacy, and popularity of Rheingold Beer, the Mets’ first beer sponsor in the 1960s and 70s,
- Joan Payson’s extraordinary tenure of Mets ownership, world-renowned art collection, and New York City philanthropy
- The ongoing rivalry between Mr. Met and the Phillie Phanatic, and
- The Mets in movies! (The Odd Couple, Two Weeks Notice, and Frequency)
"The Mets are often overshadowed by the Yankees, even though the team has a history dating back almost 60 years,” says Krell, who is the volunteer chair for the Northern New Jersey chapter of the Society for American Baseball Research. “But the team’s place in American culture has never been examined to the extent of the research in this book. I’m privileged to work alongside these wonderful authors and have my essays with theirs.”
Krell is a former intellectual property attorney and a longtime TV producer. His recent work includes the Jewish impact on baseball. During the 2020 World Series, The Jewish Voice published his article How Sandy Koufax and the 1965 World Series Changed America. (Koufax famously refused to play in Game 1 because it coincided with Yom Kippur.)
"Koufax felt a religious obligation to stay out of the game. His decision resonated for American Jews from Coney Island to Catalina Island," wrote Krell, a graduate of Villanova Law School.
The New York Mets in Popular Culture is available in paperback on Amazon. Krell's other books, including ”Our Bums”: The Brooklyn Dodgers in History, Memory and Popular Culture and The New York Yankees in Popular Culture: Critical Essays, are also available on Amazon.