In 50 years of existence, the New York Mets have experienced almost every phase of success and failure that can be encountered by a major league team.
As a new National League franchise in the early 1960's, the overmatched Mets stumbled under the direction of Hall of Fame manager Casey Stengel, whose offbeat wit and personality made him the centerpiece of a talent-starved team.
Despite the early struggles, the "Miracle Mets" unexpectedly came of age in 1969, bolstered by the arrival of franchise pitcher Tom Seaver and the on-field managerial brilliance of Gil Hodges.
Four years later, another lovable Mets team returned to the World Series, giving rise to a new credo: "Ya Gotta Believe".
The mid-1970's resulted in a second wave of ineptitude, as the Mets struggled to compete with their cross-town rivals, the hated New York Yankees.
Yet, after a frustrating period of rebuilding, a new sense of hope arrived in the '80's, when young talents like Darryl Strawberry and Dwight Gooden set the stage for a return to glory - and the unlikeliest of comebacks - during a memorable 1986 season. The Mets remained talented in the late '80's and early '90's, but found themselves in a new and unwanted role - as high-paid underachievers.
Plodding through a series of controversies and confrontations, the Mets remained in abeyance until the turn of a new century.
The year 2000 brought a World Series berth - and the first Subway Series match-up in the franchise's history.
From the earliest days through the modern era, "Tales from the New York Mets Dugout" offers a wide range of stories that capture the many moods of an ever-changing franchise.
Written by veteran baseball author Bruce Markusen, "Tales from the New York Mets Dugout" relives some of the favorite moments in Mets history while also telling an array of little-known stories about the players and personalities that have comprised New York City's beloved National League franchise.