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March 2019 Non-Fiction: Biography & Autobiography

They Said It Couldn't Be Done
The '69 Mets, New York City, and the Most Astounding Season in Baseball History
By (author): Wayne Coffey
9781524760885 Hardcover English General Trade BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Sports Mar 26, 2019
$37.00 CAD
Active 6.31 x 9.39 x 1.09 in 304 pages 1 8-PAGE B/W INSERT Crown Archetype
The story of the 1969 Miracle Mets, unlikely world champions against the backdrop of the space race and Vietnam, on the 50th anniversary of their Cinderella season

In 1962, the New York Mets spent their first year in existence racking up the worst record in baseball history. Things scarcely got any better for the ensuing six years—they were baseball’s laughingstock, but somehow lovable in their ineptitude, building a fiercely loyal fan base. And then came 1969, a year that brought the lunar landing, Woodstock, nonstop antiwar protests, and the most tumultuous and fractious New York City mayoral race in memory—along with the most improbable season in the annals of Major League Baseball. It concluded on an invigorating autumn afternoon in Queens, when a Minnesota farm boy named Jerry Koosman beat the Baltimore Orioles for the second time in five games, making the Mets champions of the baseball world.

It wasn’t merely an upset but an unprecedented, uplifting achievement for the ages. From the ashes of those early scorched-earth seasons, Gil Hodges, a beloved former Brooklyn Dodger, put together a 25-man whole that was vastly more formidable than the sum of its parts. Beyond the top-notch pitching staff headlined by Tom Seaver, Koosman, and Gary Gentry, and the hitting prowess of Cleon Jones, the Mets were mostly comprised of untested kids and lightly regarded veterans. Everywhere you looked on this team, there was a man with a compelling backstory, from Koosman, who never played high school baseball and grew up throwing in a hayloft in subzero temperatures with his brother Orville, to third baseman Ed Charles, an African-American poet with a deep racial conscience whose arrival in the big leagues was delayed almost a decade because of the color of his skin.

In the tradition of The Boys of Winter, his classic bestseller about the 1980 U.S. men’s Olympic hockey team, Wayne Coffey tells the story of the ’69 Mets as it has never been told before—against the backdrop of the space race, Stonewall, and Vietnam, set in an ever-changing New York City. With dogged reporting and a storyteller’s eye for detail, Coffey finds the beating heart of a baseball family. Published to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Mets’ remarkable transformation from worst to best, They Said It Couldn’t Be Done is a spellbinding, feel-good narrative about an improbable triumph by the ultimate underdog.

ANNIVERSARY PUBLICITY: 2019 will mark the 50th anniversary of the Miracle Mets and a season-long deluge of publicity this book can tie into. Plus, Coffey talked to virtually every living Met from the championship team—as a result, They Said It Couldn’t Be Done will be a narrative with remarkably intimate, play-by-play details.

BRILLIANT STORYTELLER: As Coffey’s New York Times-bestselling past can attest, he is one of the best narrative sports writers today. The Boys of Winter stands out as a sports classic, and he is regularly asked by prominent athletes—R. A. Dickey, Carli Lloyd, and Mariano Rivera—to cowrite their books.

CLASSIC NEW YORK STORY: There’s nothing better than a New York underdog story, and Coffey delivers in spades. Like Ladies and Gentlemen, the Bronx Is Burning, They Said It Couldn’t Be Done captures New York City’s heartbeat as a working-class city in all its glory.

WAYNE COFFEY is one of the country’s most acclaimed sports journalists. A writer for the New York Daily News, he cowrote R. A. Dickey’s bestselling Wherever I Wind Up and Carli Lloyd’s bestselling When Nobody Was Watching, and is the author of the New York Times bestseller The Boys of Winter.

Author Residence: Sleepy Hollow, NY

Author Hometown: Connecticut

Marketing: Social media promotion on Crown’s pages and author’s Twitter, @WR_Coffey

Targeted buzz mailings to author’s VIPs and related organizations

Enrollment in early reviewer programs

Features on and

Library marketing

Publicity: National publicity

National print and online review and feature attention

National sports radio and podcast campaigns

Author interviews and events out of NYC

Author Social Media: @wr_coffey

“A masterpiece.”Gary Cohen, Emmy Award-winning Mets broadcaster for SportsNet New York

“I would read Wayne Coffey writing about hardwood floors. So for someone who was a diehard Mets fan in 1969, I knew They Said It Couldn’t Be Done was a book I couldn’t miss. Like The Boys of Winter, his brilliant book about the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team, this is a fantastic piece of work. Please buy it, and enjoy every page, as I did.”—Tim Layden, Sports Illustrated Senior Writer and NBC Sports Essayist 

They Said It Couldn’t Be Done brilliantly brings an iconic baseball season to life, providing fresh insight into big names such as Gil Hodges and Tom Seaver as well as to some of the lesser-known players in that epic summer, such as Al Weis and J.C. Martin. The book is a must-read for not just for Mets fans, but all baseball fans who will appreciate what indeed was the most astounding season in baseball history.”—Ken Rosenthal, two-time Sports Emmy winner for Outstanding Sports Reporter

“In 1969, while much of the world was transfixed by Neil Armstrong’s ’one small step,’ Queens was experiencing its own giant leap—a leap of faith with its baseball orange-and-blue. Wayne Coffey has always had his finger on the pulse of New York City and its sports, and his take on the 1969 Mets proves it. If you want to know what it was like to live and witness a baseball miracle in tumultuous times, this book is for you.”—Ron Darling, former New York Mets all-star and bestselling author of Game 7, 1986

“Having lived through the Mets’ 1969 World Championship in real time and re-lived it for fifty years, I thought  I knew all I needed to know about my boyhood heroes, but in They Said it Couldn’t be Done Wayne Coffey has unearthed some fresh gems; most poignantly those involving the personal backgrounds of many of that wonderful team’s players. Wayne has done a marvelous job of allowing us to relive that epochal event through a fresh prism. This is simply a great read.”Howie Rose, New York Mets broadcaster

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