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Putting it in the book: some thoughts on Howie Rose’s memoir

Howie-RoseI grew up listening to Howie Rose hosting Mets Extra before and after New York Mets games on WFAN, and I’ve enjoyed listening to him call games on television and radio in the years since.

I had been looking forward to reading Put It In the Book!: A Half-Century of Mets Mania since it came out at the beginning of last baseball season, but I’d held off buying a copy in hopes of meeting Rose and getting an autographed version at a book signing. That didn’t quite work out, but I got my autographed book anyway when a friend gave it to me for Christmas.

While I enjoyed Put It In the Book!, I have to admit that it didn’t quite live up to my expectations. If you’ve listened to Howie Rose enough to want to read this book, you’ve probably heard most of his stories before.

There is a certain charm to reading about how Rose used to practice his play-by-play skills by calling games into a tape recorder from his seat in the upper deck. And it would have been odd not to include Rose’s memories of the 1969 and 1973 playoffs. But many of us could finish those stories for him at this point.

On the other hand, I enjoyed reading about the influence Marv Albert had on getting Rose’s career started. And there were other stories that I hadn’t heard before, about players from Pete Rose to Rickey Henderson and Todd Pratt and those in between.

There is relatively little focus on the current and recent teams – David Wright gets a few pages, Terry Collins gets a few paragraphs, Johan Santana‘s no-hitter and Game #161 performance in 2008 are talked about and Jose Reyes is quickly mentioned, but that’s about it. Certainly understandable, since Rose still has to work with the current team, but unfortunate.

If you’re a long-time Mets fan, I’m not sure that I’d recommend Put It In the Book! to you. But if you’re interested in what it’s like to be a sports broadcaster, Put It In the Book! would be a good addition to your library.

Put It In the Book!  is available in hardcover at a list price of $24.95, for iBooks for $13.99 and for Kindle for $9.99.

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