David Bagdade is an author and musician from Indianapolis. Working as a freelance writer, he has contributed dozens of features and reviews to publications such as Country Standard Time, the Independent Music Guide, Bluegrass Music News, Bluegrass Music Profiles and The Portrait.
Mr. Bagdade’s first book is “A Year In Mudville – An Oral History of Casey Stengel and the Original Mets,” a narrative-driven look at the 1962 New York Mets, widely regarded as the worst baseball team of all time. This work examines how and why the team was created, the people involved with the first season (not only players, but officials, broadcasters and fans), and why the Original Mets are such a fascinating topic more than four decades after their debut season. As with any oral history, “A Year in Mudville” depends heavily on the actual words of the participants and offers a compelling look at a legendary collection of characters and events.
Mr. Bagdade is also an accomplished performer and recording artist. He has recently released a new CD, “Rocky Shores of Home,” a collection of original and traditional Celtic music performed on various stringed instruments.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Chicago as a fervent sports fan, especially baseball. It was not a good time to be a Chicago sports fan in general, and baseball was particularly miserable during my childhood. It is perhaps not surprising that I grew up interested in what is commonly regarded as the worst baseball team of all time, the 1962 New York Mets. Of course, the Original Mets were populated by colorful characters and lost games in a grand and nearly unbelievable style, while the Sox and Cubs teams of my youth were just bad. The Original Mets taught me to not only understand the difference but to appreciate it.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I originally published A Year in Mudville in 2010 after spending eight years researching and writing the book. I was very happy with the book when it came out and was satisfied that it represented the complete story of the Original Mets. However, as the years went on, I gradually became aware there was a lot more information out there. There were three reasons for this. First, the Mets' 50th anniversary in 2012 brought a lot of old players out of the woodwork and put more information out into the collective bloodstream. Second, due to improvements in electronic sourcing, many older articles to which I had no easy access were being digitized and made available online. Third, sites like Baseball Reference and the Society for American Baseball Research made it possible for me, to give one example, to review box scores for every single game in the 1962 season. All of this convinced me I still had some work to do, and the resulting Revised Edition of A Year in Mudville is fifty percent larger than the original and contains more information about literally every single Original Met player.