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Baseball Maverick: How Sandy Alderson Revolutionized Baseball and Revived the Mets

3.77  ·  Rating Details ·  133 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
In 2010, the New York Mets were in trouble. One of baseball’s most valuable franchises, they had suffered an embarrassing late season collapse and two bitter losing seasons. Their GM had made costly mistakes. And their principle owners, two Bernie Madoff investors, were embroiled in the fall-out from the largest financial scam in American history.

To whom did they turn? San
Hardcover, 337 pages
Published April 2015 by Atlantic Monthly Press (first published April 1st 2014)
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Community Reviews

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Steven Z.
Apr 17, 2015 Steven Z. rated it it was amazing
When Sandy Alderson agreed to become general manager of the New York Mets in 2010 he was somewhat aware of their financial situation. He was cognizant of their ownership involvement with the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme scandal, but not the depth of their financial losses. Believing that accepting the job was a career challenge, plus it would bring joy to his father who lived in Florida, Alderson accepted the position. What Alderson did not know was that the Wilpon family, who owned the Mets ...more
Mark Simon
May 09, 2015 Mark Simon rated it really liked it
Liked this book, though I don't particularly like the title and I thought the timing of it is odd (why not wait until after the Mets get good?).

Nice biography of Sandy Alderson, particularly interesting to learn about his younger days (including his time in Vietnam) and his game-watching habits (he has a hard time watching close games...just like fans of his team). I felt like I knew most of the Mets stuff, but some good tidbits to go through. Kettmann had great access and made the most of it. W
Apr 07, 2015 Jeff rated it it was amazing
You certainly don't have to be a Mets fan to love this book. In an age where prequels are so popular, this book is the prequel to "Money Ball", with the Mets being the natural extension, but who knew the importance of cutting edge baseball management when the Mets were hit so hard by the Madoff scam.
Danny Knobler
Apr 15, 2015 Danny Knobler rated it it was amazing
Shelves: baseball
When Steve Kettmann's new book on Sandy Alderson reached baseball writers this spring, the question that drew the most attention was whether Alderson really has "revived the Mets," as Kettmann claims in the book's title.

I'm not sure he has, although the size and enthusiasm of the Citi Field crowds for the first two Mets home games of the season suggest that at least a small revival is in progress. But I also know that I was able to enjoy and appreciate Kettmann's book without much concern about
Ben Cain
May 26, 2015 Ben Cain rated it it was amazing
A very interesting and in depth look into the life of one of baseball's brightest and intriguing minds. Sandy Alderson, for as long as he's been in the public eye, has managed to uphold this air of mystery around him.

This book gives us a behind the scenes look at the experiences that shaped Sandy into the man and thinker he is today. It takes us through his early years sneaking into the Vietnam War to join his father who was deployed there, his experiences as a Marine leading troops through the
Cliff Riseborough
Jun 02, 2015 Cliff Riseborough rated it it was amazing
Really good sports book. Not only does it cover the recent rebuild (and the more recent success) of the Mets from a disastrous mess of bad contracts into the current roster loaded with young pitching, but it also gets into Sandy Alderson. While everyone credits Billy Beane with the basic concepts of Moneyball, he got all of those from his predecessor with the A's (and the man who hired him), Alderson.

Also goes into Sandy's history, which is quite colorful. He learned about leadership as an offic
Jonathan Webb
Dec 07, 2015 Jonathan Webb rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed this book. As a baseball fan, it was fun to read more about Alderson's background and some of the moves that took place during his time in Oakland. As a Mets fan, it was fun to read this book after their World Series trip in 2015. The plan appears to be working. I was also impressed with how 'forward thinking' baseball GMs have to be in their decision making. Drafting a kid that may not play in the majors for 5 years, trading for prospects, etc. If you love baseball this is a ...more
Jul 21, 2016 Jeff rated it liked it
I love baseball almost more than life itself, but for some reason, I'm always slightly disappointed with baseball books. It was an interesting story, good to learn more about how Sandy became one of baseball's best minds, but I guess I just wanted more dirt, trades that almost happened, draft pick strategy, etc.
The book is definitely not just for Mets fans as it's more about Sandy, his history and leadership philosophies.
Bryan Verdegaal
May 10, 2015 Bryan Verdegaal rated it it was amazing
Great book. Interesting insight into Alderson's professional and personal life. As a fellow veteran and baseball fan getting to learn more about his journey was inspiring. Also Kettman gave great detail on the workings of an MLB front office. I especially found the chapter on the Mets interest in Robinson Cano very intriguing!
John Ricker
May 17, 2015 John Ricker rated it really liked it
As anyone who knows me will tell you... I'm not a big sports fan. But, I have to say that I did enjoy the way Baseball Maverick read (4.5 Stars). I really like biographies and Baseball Maverick did it with telling me all about Sandy Alderson. Great job, and I will make sure that I give my copy that I won on Goodreads to a friend loves Baseball.
Jul 01, 2015 Hapzydeco rated it liked it
Hope springs eternal for every Mets fan. Sandy Alderson just added more water to the source.
Jul 07, 2015 Anthony rated it liked it
I am a big baseball fan. Though football is definitely more popular now, to me, baseball will always be the national past time. So if a new baseball movie or book is made there isn't a question of whether I want to see it, only if I can find time. It doesn't matter if I care about the specific subject of the piece; if it is baseball I'm in.

As a librarian I have plenty of books on my summer reading list, but when I saw "Baseball Maverick on the new books shelves I knew I needed to read it.

I was f
Feb 05, 2016 John rated it really liked it
I am a Red Sox fan, but I lived in Queens for six years and went to a lot of Mets games. I decided that the Mets would be my secondary team. (I maintain one can add a secondary team, provided it is in the other league, and one doesn't allow it to conflict with the primary rooting interest) Those 2005/6 Mets were really fun too - Wright and Reyes were young and exciting, Pedro had just started his brief Mets stint, Piazza was still there for one season. Remember, they were one game away from a ...more
Oct 03, 2015 Andrew rated it really liked it
In “Baseball Maverick: How Sandy Alderson Revolutionized Baesball and Revived the Mets”, Steve Kettmann tells the story of baseball executive Sandy Alderson, and the story of the teams he helped to (re)build.

In the quest to walk the line between these two subjects, Kettmann begins with a biography of Alderson, talking about his life and how baseball influenced it – with some information of how baseball, in particular the Oakland A's, were influenced by him. As the book progresses, however, it's
Art Thomas
May 04, 2016 Art Thomas rated it really liked it
Overall I liked this book. I'm a huge Mets fan--I watch 150 games a year and go to 10-15 and was very satisfied with the way Sandy was approaching the GM job. He's been building from within, being patient, making timely and smart trades and not spending just to spend.

There are issues however and a lot have to do with editing. It's obvious Kettmann put the time in and got to know Sandy well, and Sandy has always seemed like someone who's hard to get to know. However there was a ton spent on his
Feb 25, 2016 George rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In my honest opinion, "Baseball Maverick" is a must read for Mets fans and anyone interested in one of the most mysterious and interesting men in baseball. Although most of the content was written previously to the Mets 2015 breakout season, Steve Kettman has done a marvelous job at tracking the day to day life of what it's like to be General Manager of the New York Mets, as well as taking you back in time and revealing Sandy Alderson's past endeavors (which really sets the table of ...more
Robert Greenberger
Apr 15, 2016 Robert Greenberger rated it really liked it
Sandy Alderson is a nontraditional baseball executive with a storied career starting with the Oakland Athletics. His journey from there to being the Mets' General Manager is well told in Steve Kettmann's book. Alderson went from marine to law school to baseball and has built a stellar reputation. Kettmann patiently built his background over five years and got Alderson at his most candid, along with tons of others who were there for the ride. this is a good read about the thinking man's executive ...more
Jun 03, 2015 Bob rated it really liked it
I was lucky enough to be a Goodreads winner of this book and found it quite enjoyable. The story is about Sandy Alderson who is a pioneer in the use of data in building a baseball team. A former Marine and Ivy league educated man, he is a founding father of Moneyball in procuring talent for the teams he has ran. The book occasionally bogs down on day to day review of games that have been played, but like baseball itself, it is an enjoyable pastime and yet keeps you rooting for more. Well worth ...more
Rob Neyer
Jun 27, 2015 Rob Neyer rated it liked it
The first half the book, essentially a biography of Sandy Alderson, is great.

The second, which includes a great deal of minutiae about the Mets' 2013 and '14 seasons, is less likely to be interesting for most readers. Even now, with the Mets not playing well in 2015, those chapters can seem pretty dated.

Still, seems like a must-read for Mets fans, along with A's fans born before 1990. And I think we can all envy the author for getting to spend so much time with Alderson, who seems like a truly f
Chris Jaffe
Jul 10, 2015 Chris Jaffe rated it liked it
Shelves: baseball, sports
This book was disappointing. It doesn’t know how to pace itself. You get a chapter that covers 10 years. Then 3 chapters that cover 2 months. It’s primarily about Alderson w/ the Mets, but he doesn’t get to New York until after page 100. So just when you’re getting used to a biographical approach, you get a ton of info about a short amount of period. He should’ve broken up the stories about Alderson’s earlier life throughout the tale of his time with the Mets. Actually, I dunno how much that ...more
Oliver Bateman
Mar 08, 2016 Oliver Bateman rated it really liked it
a strange book that emerged a year before the mets made the world series. on the one hand, kettman's extensive access to sandy alderson produced a useful prologue to michael lewis' moneyball. on the other, how did this book get published, with no evidence that the mets were going anywhere fast (even with some solid arms in the rotation)? the publisher needs to ask kettmann to write 30 more pages detailing the mets/royals series, because otherwise, what's the real point of this?

note: a later vers
Dan Lalande
Jun 02, 2016 Dan Lalande rated it liked it
Interesting, earnest profile of baseball GM Sandy Alderson, the smart, eclectic personality behind the Bash Brother A's and today's pitching-rich Mets. Kettman is too much the beat man-insider to stick to pure bio (he loses sight of his subject in a soupy, cynical middle section on player development) but it's a good look at contemporary baseball business culture.
Apr 09, 2016 Philip rated it it was ok
Shelves: sports
*Book was received as part of a Goodreads giveaway*

This would have been a great long-form essay, but as it stands unless you are interested in the New York Mets and/or the life of Sandy Alderson, there is a decent chance that the narrative will prove to be an exhausting chore. I gave it my best, and had to throw in the towel with a chapter or two remaining.
Robert Parker
Sep 11, 2015 Robert Parker rated it liked it
I liked this book because I'm a baseball enthusiast and because Steve Kettman was a high school student of mine. He does a great job of chronically the life of Sandy Alderson, a most interesting guy, and delving into the mysteries of putting together an MLB roster. If you're not a baseball person, hmm, I'm not sure here, but my fantasy baseball guys and I loved it.
Mark Sinnott
Aug 28, 2016 Mark Sinnott rated it liked it
This one didn't really tell me anything I didn't already know about Sandy Alderson, but it was nice to hear the re-telling of him rebuilding the New York Mets from an overpaid team to a strong young contender.
Damian Brew
May 26, 2015 Damian Brew rated it liked it
Interesting guy but this book had a lot of holes. What about last Memorial Day when Sandy released a reliever and fired the batting coach?
Sep 08, 2015 Lukas rated it it was amazing
Brilliant book. Just finished reading it, over the holiday weekend. It is perfect for any baseball fan, but specially if you are die-hard Mets believer, like myself.
Nov 29, 2015 Walt rated it really liked it
Shelves: baseball
Good work by Steve Kettman, explaining the philosophy behind SABR and the 'Moneyball' approach to building and maintaining a major league baseball team.
Nick Bubel
Nick Bubel rated it really liked it
Mar 25, 2015
Jake rated it it was ok
Jun 20, 2015
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Steve Kettmann is the author most recently of "Baseball Maverick: How Sandy Alderson Revolutionized Baseball and Revived the Mets," out in paperback in late 2015 (Grove Atlantic). He is Publisher of Wellstone Books, a small, independent publisher focusing on personal writing that is not afraid to inspire. A former staff reporter for New York Newsday and the San Francisco Chronicle, Steve has ...more
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