Oct 24, 2009

Game Six

October 25, 1986: This game was probably the greatest Met game of them all. It was definitely the greatest comeback of them all. I am proud to say, as a true life long Met fan, I was there. After seeing that fans were setting up TV’s and watching the game in the parking lot that was my plan for Game six. A friend of mine at the time and myself armed with a duffel bag full of cans of Bud went looking for a spot. Instead we ran into a guy looking to sell of his tickets for only a little more than the regular price. Jackpot!!! We had to put the beers back in the car and walked over by the Flushing Marina.

We met a kool cop who actually had a beer with us, when that guy Sergio jumped out of the small plane with his Lets Go Mets banner. What a night this was turning out to be. I have never felt such a change in emotions as I did in the last inning of that game. From being on the brink of the last strike and last out, it was a feeling of total depression. How could they lose this game after this great season? We stayed and I remember saying we mine as well go down with them if they are going to lose, but maybe just maybe…. Then as the hits came, the feeling of hope and joy. Then when the game was tied & won a feeling of ecstatic happiness, as everyone in our section jumped & hugged each other. Oh what a night……..now a happy recap!

The starting pitchers were Roger Clemmens and Bobby Ojeda. Both pitched well getting there team to the seventh inning tied at two. The Sox got a run in the 1st on Dwight Evans double and one in the 2nd on Marty Barrett's single. In the Mets 5th, Daryl Strawberry singled, stole second and was driven home by the hot Ray Knight. Mookie Wilson then singled and pinch hitter Danny Heep grounded into a double play but Knight scored. In the Redsox 7th, Roger McDowell walked Marty Barrett, with one out Jim Rice grounded to Ray Knight. Instead of getting the out Knight booted the ball and the next batter Dwight Evans grounded to short scoring Barrett. Catcher Rich Gedman singled to left field and on a huge play in the Series, Mookie Wilson threw out Jim Rice as the plate. Gary Carter stood his ground and put the tag on Rice, inning over.

In the bottom of the 8th Gary Carter tied it with a sac fly, and the game went to extra innings. Rick Aguilera had an easy 9th but in the 10th Dave Henderson led off with a HR down the left field line, a blow that looked like it was a nail in the Mets coffin. Aguilera struck out the next two batters but then The Sox scored an insurance run taking a 5-3 lead.

Calvin Shiraldi took the mound trying to win the Sox first World Series since 1918. Back then there was no talk about curse’s or anything like that. Wally Backman flied out, Keith Hernandez flied out next. The Mets were down to their last out. Hernandez went to the locker room he didn’t want to see the Redsox celebrate on his field. Davey Johnson huffed in disgust in the dugout, and New York held it’s breath. Gary Carter singled, Kevin Mitchell pinch hit and he singled as well. Ray Knight singled and it was 5-4. The crowd began to stir and make some noise, Hernandez was going to come back to the dug out but superstition told him; “there’s hits in that chair’ he stayed in the locker room.

Bob Stanley was brought in to pitch, to the crowd chants of “We Will Rock You” the anthem which was born this night at Shea Stadium. Mookie Wilson came to the plate in the most important at bat in Mets history. Bob Stanley got Mookie down to his last strike and he fouled a few off. Then it happened, amazingly Stanley threw a wild pitch that Mookie had to jump over to avoid getting hit. The ball rolled to the backstop, Mitchell score
d the game was tied. Shea Stadium was pandemonium; you just knew there was no way we were losing now.

Next, Mookie hit a little roller up along first, it got by Bill Buckner right under his legs. Ray Knight came scampering home, holding his helmet in amazement, the Mets win it!! Unbelievable!! The madhouse they call Shea Stadium is now way beyond pandemonium. There is insanity on the field as the team mobs Knight & Wilson. Years later many feel Mookie would have still beat out Buckner to first base due to his bad knees. It didn’t matter the Mets win it & force Game Seven.

1 comment:

Vdog said...

Hey Maz-

Thouroughly enjoyed reading your Game 6 post.That was a very special time in my life, as I was living in Boston then. The company that I was working for had seats at Fenway,; they had a pair of tickets to each of the playoff and WS games to be held there, and held a raffle to see who would wind up with them. My girlfriend (who later became my wife) was a Mass gal, won a pair of tix for Game 5 and opted to take her dad, who being a lifelong Sox fan, had never been to a postseason game in his life. I couldn't be mad about it because a) we'd only been dating for a few months, and I'd be rooting for the Mets, and b) my sister spent a couple of hours on the phone and got some seats out in LF for Game 6 in NY. After watching the Mets go down in defeat in Game 5 (on TV), I hopped the train down to the city. I remember buying a couple of airplane bottles of Remy off some guy in the parking lot, and missing Sandra Santiago (of Miami Vice fame - she was kinda hot in that 80's sort of way) singing the National Anthem. After we got to our seats, we heard all this cheering which seemingly came out of nowhere: Because we were under the overhang, we didn't realize that the cheering was for the parachute jumper because we didn't see him until he was almost on the ground.

I remember the premature message flashing on the scoreboard in the 10th inning: New York Mets Congratulate the 1986 World Champion Boston Red Sox, and thinking that although I was kinda bummed, it wasn't so bad, because the Mets, with that team they had, would certainly be back. My most vivid memory of the evening was when Stanley came into the game after the Mets began their comeback. I saw him emerge from the pen and started jumping up and down with joy. The guy sitting next to me asked what the story was, and I said something like, "I live in Boston, I know this team really well, and that guy fucking sucks. He'll blow this game for sure!" After he did, I remember people going crazy, running up and down the ramps. Do you remember the cardboard cutouts of Carter and Gooden that were in the park that year? The ones that people used to take pictures with? Well there was a woman who must have weighed 300 lbs.; she was so happy the she was ready to strip naked and have her picture taken with them. Needless to say, we left the area; I didn't want to be a witness to that crime. My sister and I did have our picture taken with them (the cutouts, not the woman), I'll have to dig it out of that box in my garage one of these days.

The next day, as pre-arranged, my girlfriend picked me up at the train. I was determined not to gloat; as a Boston resident, I knew what those people were going through, and I have to admit that I felt sorry for them. There may have been a game left, but it was over, and those fans knew it. There was a sports talk radio guy in town who stayed on the air after the game taking calls until 3:00AM, talking people down.

Finally, I remember being surprised that Ray Knight wound up as the MVP; I always felt that Sid Fernandez' stellar relief appearance in Game 7 was what got them to the promised land.