Oct 26, 2009

1986 World Series: Game Seven

October 27, 1986 World Series- Game #7: After the unbelievable Game Six comeback, the Mets and their fans couldn’t wait to play Game 7. There was just no way they could lose. It rained on Sunday and the game was postponed until Monday. My Game 6 ticket has a seven strategically placed on it in an attempt to get in, it didn’t work. I was determined to get in and finally I bribed a ticket taker with a ten dollar bill wrapped around a lot of ones. He said I let to many in already, I said there’s a lot of money here, he let me in. I found the only empty seat in Shea that night and I was there.

Ron Darling got his third start and already had given up three runs by the time I settled in. Darling already had a win & loss in the Series, overall in 17 innings pitched he only gave up the three earned runs in this game, good for a 1.53 ERA. The turning point of the game came in the 4th inning when Sid Fernandez relieved Darling. El Sid shut down the Sox, retiring all batters he faced, striking out five of the last six. Boston’s Bruce Hurst was tough in the first five innings allowing only one hit.

In the 6th, the Mets began their come back. After Sid walked off to a standing ovation, he was pinch hit for by Lee Mazzilli. Mazilli singled, Mookie Wilson singled & Tim Tuefel walked. With the bases loaded, Mr. Clutch Keith Hernandez came to bat and singled up the middle scoring two runs. Gary Carter grounded out but the tying run crossed the plate. Shea Stadium was a different place; the crowd was now a factor.
Roger McDowell came on and retired the side in the 7th. After a wild 7th inning stretch, Ray Knight led off with a HR, his biggest hit as a Met. Lenny Dykstra pinch hit for Kevin Mitchell and singled. The crowd began to sing “We Will Rock You” and it rattled Calvin Shiraldi. This was the Series where the song was played & sung by the crowd at a ballgame to my knowledge. As the Queen song turned into taunts of “Caaaaalvin” Shiraldi threw a wild pitch, Dykstra moved to 2nd. Then Rafael Santana singled and Nails scored as the Mets were up by two.

McDowell gave up a run and three straight hits in the 8th and Davey Johnson pulled him for Jesse Orosco. In the bottom of the 8th, with Al Nipper now pitching for the Sox, Daryl Strawberry added to the heroics leading off with a monstrous HR to right field. The crowd roared. Ray Knight who would win the Series MVP award, got his 9th hit of the Series (good for a 3.91 average). He moved up on an intentional walk to Santana in order to get to the pitchers spot. Orosco came up and singled in his only post season at bat, scoring Knight for the final run. Steve Crawford came in to pitch and hit Mookie Wilson with a pitch.
Orosco retired the side in order in the 9th with Marty Barrett striking out for the final out. Orosco three his glove in the air and his team mates piled on him on the mound. The dream had come true again, the Mets were World Champions. There were no fans on the field this time as the NYPD had mounted police surrounding the field. Believe it or not, I found strength I didn’t know I had and ripped my seat right off. I still don’t know how. I still have it, I cant prove it by I know what it is, besides it’s not for sale!

Oct 9, 2009

Concert Review: Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band- Giants Stadium 10/8/2009

If you can't imagine how one guy with a powerful band behind him, is able to bring a full house at Giants Stadium to it's feet from the front row to the last row, you have never been to a Bruce Springsteen concert. Last night, Bruce rocked the house under the stars, for the next to last concert ever at Giants Stadium.

The weather was perfect for October. I was in short sleeves all night, wishing I had opted for the shorts. Bruce came on later than scheduled, by a good 1/2 hour (approx. 8:20) the show clocked in at a bit over 3 hours. Worth every dollar of the price of admission, as Bruce always gives you your moneys worth. I didn't have good seats for this one, top deck straight ahead of the stage but in the first row, on the edge. I felt there was a little too much chatter in the crowd behind me, throughout various points of the concert. This is a truce artist at work on stage, any slower songs or quieter moments in music is not meant for talking.

Tonight's concert would be the last show I would ever see at Giants Stadium. After all the years of greats like Paul McCartney, the Who, the Stones, and of course Bruce. It would be the next to last show overall as the new Giants Stadium opens up next year. For these special shows, Bruce wrote a new song WRECKING BALL in honor of the stadium. Also as a tribute the band has been playing a different album in it's entirety each night. We were honored to get BORN TO RUN last night. Bruce walked out with the band, and his wife, Patti who had just returned after a long absence. He kissed her then walked back over and re-entered with the "Big Man" Clarence. The crowd roared as the two also exchanged a show of emotion. Bruce said good evening Jersey, you hear to help us tear this old girl down?

The house lights stayed on for the opener WRECKING BALL,and then dropped out as the song ended. I think we got an incredible set list, 29 songs covering all of Springsteen's career. Second was the great crowd rocker OUT IN THE STREETS which got everyone going. Two songs later was the classic HUNGRY HEAR, which the crowd sang the first few verses on their own. Bruce went into the audience and boldly did some crowd surfing, safely landing back on stage. Quite a site.

After 5 songs, Bruce led into the BORN TO RUN segment: "This is the one that really kind of brought us here tonight. I remember when I wrote it, I was trying to create this picture of one long summer day and night."
To me Springsteen playing THUNDER ROAD in concert is about as good entertainment as it gets. When it leads into TENTH AVENUE FREEZEOUT it's gets even better. FREEZEOUT was equipped with a full horn section to accompany it. Another of my favorites is BACKSTREETS and it was fantastic under the Jersey sky. The lights came up again for BORN TO RUN as the crowd went nuts, by this point everyone was on their feet from the lower level to the last rows of the upper deck, and no one sat down again.

After a great performance of JUNGLE LAND, another good audience participation song WAITING ON A SUNNY DAY was done. Bruce gave the mic to a young boy in the crowd and he led us through a chorus. Then it was back to the very 1st album with IT'S SO HARD TO BE A SAINT IN THE CITY.

Some surprises for me, just after I said in the car we wont be hearing anything from the TRACKS collection- boom, MY LOVE WILL NOT LET YOU DONE, a great song that opened many of the 2001 shows. I got another of my favorite all time songs, a song Bruce penned but Patti Smith made famous- BECAUSE THE NIGHT. I think this was the first time I saw this one live.

Patti Scalfia got some spotlight during a solo Bruce tune- HUMAN TOUCH. Not one of my favs but a good choice and it was nice to see the E-Street bands work backing him up. Then came two great ones from the RISING, the Title track which I think has become a classic and LONESOME DAY. Then the great BADLANDS, with the crowd singing along and the band right on top of their game. Remember these guys don't take a break, Bruce just counts in 1-2-3-4 to the next song.

There were six encores, and they opened up with Bruce dedicating the first one to Danny Federici, original E Street band keyboard/piano/ accordion player who passed away last year. A special treat to get 4TH OF JULY (SANDY). This one sums up the Jersey Shore and hanging out on the board walk so perfectly. What a great song. Then some BORN IN THE USA classics- BOBBY JEAN & DANCIN IN THE DARK. 1-2-3-4 Giants Stadium didn't need a wrecking ball as Bruce blew the house down with the one & only ROSALITA! "Some day we'll look back on this & it will all seem funny". Oh yea, close it out with TWIST & SHOUT and what a night it was.

(Next to last show at Giants Stadium) BRUCE 10/9 SET LIST:
Wrecking Ball
Out in the Street
Outlaw Pete
Hungry Heart
Working on a Dream

(BORN TO RUN album):
Thunder Road
Tenth Avenue Freeze-out
Born to Run
She's the One
Meeting Across the River

Waitin' on a Sunny Day
Raise Your Hand
It's Hard to Be a Saint in the City
My Love Will Not Let You Down
Because the Night
Human Touch
Lonesome Day
The Rising
No Surrender

4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)
Bobby Jean
American Land (with Curt Ramm)
Dancing in the Dark
Twist and Shout