• They Said It Couldn't Be Done

  • The '69 Mets, New York City, and the Most Astounding Season in Baseball History
  • By: Wayne Coffey
  • Narrated by: Gary Cohen
  • Length: 9 hrs and 21 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (110 ratings)

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They Said It Couldn't Be Done

By: Wayne Coffey
Narrated by: Gary Cohen
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Publisher's summary

“One of sports’ most storied championship teams gets its proper due” (Tom Verducci) in this definitive history of the 1969 Miracle Mets from the New York Times best-selling author of The Boys of Winter.

“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 best-selling author of Game 7, 1986

The story of the 1969 New York Mets’ season has long since entered sports lore as one of the most remarkable of all time. But beyond the “miracle” is a compelling narrative of an unlikely collection of players and the hallowed manager who inspired them to greatness. For the 50th anniversary, renowned sports journalist Wayne Coffey brings to life a moment when a championship could descend on a city like magic, and when a baseball legend was authored one inning at a time. Future Hall of Fame ace Tom Seaver snagged the biggest headlines, but the enduring richness of the story lies in the core of a team comprised of untested youngsters, lightly regarded veterans, and four Southern-born African-American stalwarts who came of age in the shadow of Jackie Robinson. 

Most of the Mets regulars were improbable candidates for baseball stardom. The number-two starting pitcher, Jerry Koosman, grew up on a Minnesota farm, never played high-school ball, and was only discovered because of a tip from a Mets usher. Outfielder Ron Swoboda was known for long home runs and piles of strikeouts, until he turned into a glove wizard when it mattered most. 

All of these men were galvanized by their manager: the sainted former Brooklyn Dodger Gil Hodges, whose fundamental belief in the power of every man on the roster, no matter his stats, helped backup players like Al Weis and J.C. Martin become October heroes. As the Mets powered through the season to reach a World Series against the best-in-a-generation Baltimore Orioles, Hodges's steady hand guided a team that had very recently been the league laughingstock to an improbable, electrifying shot at sports immortality. 

“A must-read for not just for Mets fans, but allbaseball 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)

©2019 Wayne Coffey (P)2019 Random House Audio

Critic reviews

“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) 

“Entertaining [and] thorough.... It’s the small notes of grace that kept me engaged.... Should appeal to any baseball-loving reader who wants to know where the Mets came from and how they pulled it off.” (New York magazine)

“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 US 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)

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