Oct 26, 2018

Remembering Mets History (1986): World Series Game #7 - Mets Are World Champions

Monday October 27, 1986 World Series- Game #7- Shea Stadium, NY: After the unbelievable Game Six comeback, the Mets and their fans couldn’t wait to play Game #7. It was understood in New York that there was just no way the Mets could lose. Confidence was at an all time high.

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 to this game, I had to be there as the Mets were going to win a World Series. After many attempts, I finally bribed a ticket taker with a ten dollar bill wrapped around a lot of ones. He said he had let to many people in that way in already, but I said there’s a lot of money here, he took it & he let me in. A good man to me. I wasn't greedy as I ecstatically ran up the escalator, to the upper deck. Some how I found the only empty seat in Shea Stadium that night and I was there for the entire game.  

Boston Red Sox
New York Mets
1Wade Boggs3B
1Mookie WilsonCF
2Marty Barrett2B
2Tim Teufel2B
3Bill Buckner1B
3Keith Hernandez1B
4Jim RiceLF
4Gary CarterC
5Dwight EvansRF
5Darryl StrawberryRF
6Rich GedmanC
6Ray Knight3B
7Dave HendersonCF
7Kevin MitchellLF
8Spike OwenSS
8Rafael SantanaSS
9Bruce HurstP
9Ron DarlingP

Mets manager Davey Johnson sent Ron Darling to the mound for his third start. In the first two games he did not allow an earned run in 14 innings of work. He was 1-1 taking a loss on an unearned run, on Tim Tuefel's error in Game #1. 

The Sox sent Bruce Hurst to the mound, who had also kept the Mets bats quiet, giving up just two runs in 17 innings, although he did give up 14 hits.

In the top of the 2nd, Darling got into trouble giving up back to back lead off HRs to Dwight Evans & Rich Gedman. A walk to Dave Henderson, a sacrifice & a single to Wade Boggs made it 3-0. 

Darling would get relieved in the 4th inning, overall in 17 innings pitched in the World Series, he only gave up the three earned runs, good for a 1.53 ERA. 

El Sid With A valiant relief effort
The turning point of the game came in that 4th inning when Sid Fernandez relieved Darling. El Sid who had not gotten a start in the World Series, shut down the Sox through the 6th inning, retiring all the batters he faced, striking out five of the last six. 

Boston’s Bruce Hurst was tough on the Mets, in the first five innings allowing only one hit, a single to Ray Knight in the 2nd.

In the home 6th, the Mets began their come back. After Sid Fernandez had walked off to a standing ovation in the top of the inning, he was pinch hit for by Lee Mazzilli. Mazilli singled to left field, Mookie Wilson then singled to left as well & Tim Tuefel walked. 

With the bases loaded, Mr. Clutch Keith Hernandez came to bat against Hurst. As the Shea crowd began to get excited, making some noise, Hernandez singled up the middle scoring Mazzilli & Wilson with two runs making it a 3-2 game. Wally Backman came in to pinch run for Teufel. 

Keith Hernandez delivers Big Two Run Single

Lee Mazzilli Scores on Keith Hernandez Base Hit

Gary Carter then hit a short fly to right field. Dwight Evans dove for the ball but could not come up with it. Backman crossed the plate with the tying run. Keith Hernandez had to wait until a delayed call was made by the umpire, to see if Evans caught it or not. He was thrown out at second base & was livid on the field yelling at the umpire. In any event, Shea Stadium was wild & there was no looking back, it was a different place & the crowd was now a huge factor.

Ray Knight Game #7 HR
Roger McDowell came on and retired the side in order in the 7th. He struck out Tony Armas & got Boggs & Marty Barrett to ground out.

After a wild 7th inning stretch, Ray Knight led off the inning with a HR, probably his biggest hit in his Mets career. This sealed Knight as the World Series MVP. Lenny Dykstra then pinch hit for Kevin Mitchell and singled to right field. 

For the first time that I could recall, the crowd began to sing the words to Queen's “We Will Rock You” as the P.A. system played the drum beat to the song, which is similar to the 'Lets go Mets" chant. It certainly rattled Calvin Shiraldi. The Queen song soon turned into taunts of “Caaaaalvin” "Caaaalvin" answering back the taunts to Daryl Strawberry at Fenway in Game #3. 

Shiraldi then threw a wild pitch & Dykstra advanced to second base. Then the light hitting short stop; Rafael Santana chimed in as well, he singled to right and "Nails" scored from second base to make it 5-3. Keith Hernandez added his third RBI of the night on a sac fly to centerfield. It was 6-3 & only a matter of time, to celebrate the long awaited championship.

In the 8th, the Sox got three straight hits to start the inning. Bill Buckner & Jim Rice both singled. Dwight Evans then doubled making it a 6-5 game. Davey Johnson pulled McDowell & gave the ball to Jesse Orosco. Orosco got Gedma to line out to Backman at second, then struck out Dave Henderson & got pinch hitter Don Baylor to ground out to short. Three outs away.

In the bottom of the 8th, with Al Nipper was now pitching for the Sox, Daryl Strawberry added to the heroics leading off with a monstrous HR to right field. The Shea crowd roared & went into another frenzy. 

Ray Knight who would win the Series MVP award, got his 9th hit of the Series, a single (good for a .391 batting average). He moved up on an intentional walk to Santana in order to get to the pitchers spot. 

Wade Boggs Cries in a Sad Boston Dug Out
 In a rare plate appearance, Orosco came up and singled in his only post season at bat, scoring Knight with the final run of the Series making it 8-5 New York. Boston's Steve Crawford came in to pitch and hit Mookie Wilson with a pitch.There was no brawl & the next two Mets were retired, on to the 9th.

Jesse Orosco got Ed Romero to start out the 9th with a foul pop out. The crowd were on their feet throwing confetti, rolls of toilet paper & anything else in celebration. Wade Boggs was out #2 as he grounded out to Backman. Orosco retired the side in order as Marty Barrett struck out for the final out. 

Orosco threw his glove in the air and fell to his knees, his team mates came running out & piled on top of him on the mound. The dream had come true again, the Mets were World Champions. 

This time around, there were no fans able to run on the field, as the NYPD had mounted police officers surrounding the playing field. 

On a personal note- I found strength I didn’t know I had and ripped my actual seat right off its support. I still don’t know how did it, but I still do have it. Maybe I cant prove it by I know what it is.

In the Series Ray Knight was the Series MVP going 9 for 23 (.391) with a HR, two walks & five RBIs. Gary Carter led the team with nine RBIs and hit two HRs, he was 8-29 (.276) and could have also been a good candidate for Series MVP. Lenny Dykstra also hit two HRs & was 8 for 27 (.296) with three HRs, two walks & four runs scored. 

Keith Hernandez was 6-26 (.231) with five walks good enough for a .344 on base %, & four RBIs. Darryl Strawberry hit the only other Mets HR & Straw only drove in one run going 5 for 24 (.208). Danny Heep & Rafael Santana both had a pair of RBIs, as Wally Backman, Jesse Orosco & Tim Teufel all added an RBI each.

Mookie Wilson Celebrates - Forever A Mets World Series Hero

Hernandez & Carter Raise the Trophy at City Hall

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