Marty Noble’s appreciation for baseball, and what it meant for fans like him, carried through to his writing in a way that no one else who wrote about the Mets ever quite achieved.
He wrote with a sense of historical perspective and an eye for detail, telling stories that others in his position simply would not or could not. He was a dogged reporter and a skillful writer whose musings on the seemingly unimportant minutia of the game — who occupied who’s old locker, and the progression of uniform numbers — took on more depth every time he wrote about them, becoming one of the chief inspirations for the creation of this project.
I was fortunate to have met Marty on a few occasions–first to solicit a blurb for the Mets by the Numbers book–and also in a number of lengthy phone conversations over the years that loaned his perspective on the team and its players for this and other writing projects. This included a dynamite interview I published in three parts 11 years ago, and for an event in Manhattan that none among the small number of us attending fans will ever forget. While Marty wrote about uniform numbers in passing, and I do so more overtly, he completely understood what I was doing here and I will be forever grateful and humbled for his support.
Marty Noble passed away this week at age 70 and with him went a giant chronicler of Mets history. He was a Bronx-born Yankees fan who covered baseball for the Bergen Record in the 70s, Newsday for 24 years beginning in 1981 and finally MLB.com. He was opinionated and competitive, occasionally making the others on the beat look bad, and generating just the right amount of fear and respect from the subjects he wrote about. He brought a bit of himself to everything on the page including his last published piece, an astonishingly deep and heartfelt profile of Tom Seaver, another complicated legend who is also departing.
Thanks Marty for everything!