Back in 2002, toward the end of my time at Sports Illustrated, a friend and colleague named Jon Wertheim was completing work on his first book, Venus Envy. I’d never thought much about becoming an author, but watching Jon go through the process convinced me it was worth a try. I hired an agent named Susan Reed, who—early on—said to me, “How about the 1986 Mets?”
I immediately connected with the idea.
Having grown up in Mahopac, N.Y. in the 1980s, I loved that year and I loved that team. It immediately reminded me of being 14-year-old boy, sitting on Vincent Gargano’s couch (he was my up-the-street neighbor) watching Dwight Gooden pitch and Gary Carter hit and Keith Hernandez and Wally Backman and Mookie Wilson and Ron Darling and Ed Hearn (yes, Ed Hearn) dominate like few teams had ever before dominated.
Researching this project was a joy, because it served as a time machine to a pleasurable period in my life. Though it’s not my best-selling book (it was a New York Times best-seller, however), it’s the one that seems to resonate with the most people. I can’t go long before a Mets fan of some sort says, “The Bad Guys Won! I love that book!”
More than 10 years post-publication, it remains incredibly gratifying.