Sep 16, 2009

Today In Mets History: 1986- Mets Clinch Eastern Title

September 17, 1986: The 1986 Mets were so good that the night they clinched the division they had a 19 game lead over the 2nd place who ever they were. It was kind of funny that us fans were happy they had just got swept in Philadelphia & split a two game series in St. Louis, putting them on a streak of six losses in eight games. All it meant was that they would clinch the East at home in Shea.

How fitting Dwight Gooden was on the mound that night to clinch it for us. The doctor went the distance pitching his 12th complete game of the season earning his 15th win (15-6). Gooden allowed 2 runs on only 6 hits while striking out eight Cubs.

The Cubs loser that night? Dennis Ekersley, who was knocked out in the 5th inning. In the Mets 3rd, rookie Dave Magadan making his first MLB start (3rd game overall) singled home the 1st run of the night scoring Len Dykstra. Daryl Strawberry followed with an RBI single of his own making it 2-0 in a loud Shea Stadium. In the 5th the crowd roared again, as rookie Magadan singled home Dykstra again making it 3-0. In the 7th Magadan got his third hit of the night, then gave way to pinch runner Stanley Jefferson who would score on Straw's 2nd RBI of the night. That was it as the Mets won 4-2.
Keith Hernandez who was out of the line up due to injury begged Davey Johnson to put him on the field for the final outs of the 9th inning. After Jerry Mumphrey struck out looking, Chicago's Chico Walker grounded to Wally Backman & Backman threw to Hernandez and the Mets clinched their third NL Eastern title. The fans went crazy & stormed the field for the last time in Shea's history, as after this game, the NYPD got involved making sure no damage would ever occur on a baseball field in New York.

On a personal note, I purchased one of the last tickets that day at a Ticketron location in an A&S store. I went to the game solo that night, I just had to be there. It was the Mets 1st title since 1973 when I was a young die hard fan, 13 long years ago. I got my ticket & I was there. From the Upper deck I ran down in the 9th inning as the stadium shook above. There was this big cop at Field level who was stopping people attempting to run by him to get onto the field section. He was literally hurling people out of the way. I was quick back then & ran by him as he was trying to stop someone else. After the final out, I jumped onto the field for the first time in my life! I remember feeling like I had just landed on the moon, here I am, this is where THEY play!!. It was chaos but oh what a celebration. We were finally escorted out through the center field gates, I had some grass like everyone else but it wasn't enough. Grass dies. On my way out I noticed the center field wall was made of just wood in those days. Hmmmm, I ripped a nice piece of it off, put it under my arm & left. To my surprise no security stopped me just fans who offered me money to buy it. It meant to much to me to sell, still does. I still have it. Nothing proves its Shea's center field wall from 1986, but I know what it is! Priceless!

2 comments:

Sharon Barnett said...

i was there that night also. the noise level was incredible from start to finish. when the announcer said, "playing first base for the ny mets, dave madagan", the entire stadium roared "who?" 3 hits later, we knew who. lol!

Sharon Barnett said...

i was there that night also. the noise level was incredible from start to finish. when the announcer said, "playing first base for the ny mets, dave madagan", the entire stadium roared "who?" 3 hits later, we knew who. lol!