Road to Nowhere

`

Road to Nowhere

The Early 1990s Collapse and Rebuild of New York City Baseball

Chris Donnelly

368 pages
index

Hardcover

May 2023

978-1-4962-2142-1

$34.95 Pre-order

About the Book

Road to Nowhere is the story of New York City baseball from 1990 to 1996, describing in intimate detail the collapse of both the Mets and the Yankees in the early nineties, the Yankees’ then reclaiming of the city and the Mets attempts to rebuild from the ashes. After the chaos of the 1980s, the New York Yankees finally bottomed out in 1990. The team finished in last place, enduring one of their worst seasons ever. Their best player, Don Mattingly, was suffering from a debilitating back injury. Manager after manager had been fired. The clubhouse was a miserable place to be, with moody, egocentric players making life difficult for up-and-coming talent. It looked like New York would remain a Mets town well into the twenty-first century.

Then Yankees owner George Steinbrenner was banished from baseball. Without their manic, meddling owner, the Yankees fell into the hands of Gene Michael. Setting out to rebuild the franchise, Michael made shrewd trades and free agent signings, and he allowed the team’s prospects to develop in the Minor Leagues before getting to the Bronx.

Meanwhile, the Mets, beloved for their intensity and hard-partying ways in the 1980s, became everything that had driven fans away from the Yankees. They made bad trades and questionable signings, fired managers seemingly every year, and were a powder keg of never-ending controversy. The Mets bottomed out in 1993, perhaps their worst season ever, when they not only lost 103 games but officially lost the heart of the city to the Yankees. But by 1996, despite their record, the Mets were already making moves that would return them to relevance and set them on a path to the ultimate showdown with the Yankees.

Road to Nowhere tells the story of how two teams that had swapped roles in the 1980s swapped them right back in the early 1990s. While playing through several difficult seasons, both teams were making moves that would return them to prominence in just a few years.

Author Bio

Chris Donnelly is the author of Doc, Donnie, the Kid, and Billy Brawl: How the 1985 Mets and Yankees Fought for New York’s Baseball Soul (Nebraska, 2019), How the Yankees Explain New York, and Baseball’s Greatest Series: Yankees, Mariners, and the 1995 Matchup That Changed History.

Praise

“The battle for New York has always been a rich part of the city’s baseball tapestry, and there was a time it seemed the Mets would own its soul forever. In Chris Donnelly’s meticulously reported and wonderfully written book Road to Nowhere we learn just how the Yankees regained their swagger—and, just as important, their sway over the best baseball town of all.”—Mike Vaccaro, New York Post columnist and author of 1941: The Greatest Year in Sports

“What a gift Chris Donnelly has given to baseball fans in New York and all those who live and die with the Mets and Yankees. Road to Nowhere is an insider’s look, chock-full of entertaining anecdotes and revealing details based on extensive research, of the period in the early and mid-nineties when the Big Apple became a Yankees town once again. Colorful, legendary characters abound in a delicious tale of baseball in Queens and the Bronx.”—Andrew Maraniss, author of Singled Out: The True Story of Glenn Burke

“Chris Donnelly is an utmost authority on New York baseball during the 1990s. In Road to Nowhere, he has written the definitive book tying in the end of a mostly glorious 1980s decade. . . . It is a beautifully written book with plenty of fresh content from those who played on these two New York teams. A must-read for any baseball fan interested in that period.”—Erik Sherman, author of Two Sides of Glory: The 1986 Boston Red Sox in Their Own Words

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

1. Compound Interest

2. Out of Place

3. Borders on the Bizarre

4. Put Out of His Misery

5. Long Hair, Short Tempers

6. Now Trade the Rest of Them

7. Most Players Detest the Place

8. The Best Team I Ever Played On

9. The Once Unfathomable Notion

10. Full Circle

Notes

Bibliography

Index

Also of Interest