1986 World Series

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1986 World Series
1986 World Series.gif
Team (Wins) Manager(s) Season
New York Mets (4) Davey Johnson 108–54, .667, GA: ​21 12
Boston Red Sox (3) John McNamara 95–66, .590, GA: ​5 12
DatesOctober 18–27
MVPRay Knight (New York)
UmpiresJohn Kibler (NL), Jim Evans (AL), Harry Wendelstedt (NL), Joe Brinkman (AL), Ed Montague (NL), Dale Ford (AL)
Hall of FamersMets: Gary Carter
Red Sox: Wade Boggs, Jim Rice, Tom Seaver
ALCSBoston Red Sox defeated California Angels, 4–3
NLCSNew York Mets defeated Houston Astros, 4–2
Broadcast
TelevisionNBC
TV announcersVin Scully and Joe Garagiola
RadioCBS
Radio announcersJack Buck and Sparky Anderson
World Series Program
1986 World Series Program.gif
← 1985 World Series 1987 →

The 1986 World Series was the 83rd edition of Major League Baseball's championship series, and the conclusion of the 1986 Major League Baseball season. A best-of-seven playoff, it pitted the National League (NL) champion New York Mets against the American League (AL) champion Boston Red Sox. The Mets won the Series in the seventh game, after overcoming a deficit of two runs with two outs and no one on base in the bottom of the 10th inning of Game 6. This was a game in which the Red Sox were twice one strike away from victory, and known for the famous error by Boston's first baseman Bill Buckner after their lead had already been blown. Game 6 has been cited in the legend of the "Curse of the Bambino" to explain the major comeback.[1][2][3] It was also the first World Series to use the designated hitter only in games played at the American League representative's stadium, a policy which has continued since (prior to this, since 1976, the DH would be used in all parks in the World Series for even-numbered years, but in odd-numbered years, the DH rule would not be in effect).[4]

Bleacher Report ranked the 1986 World Series as the greatest World Series of all time.[5]

Background[edit]

New York Mets[edit]

The New York Mets finished the regular season with a franchise-best record of 108–54, winning the National League East division by ​21 12 games over the division rival Philadelphia Phillies.[6][7][8] They then won a tightly contested 1986 National League Championship Series against the Houston Astros, 4 games to 2, clinching the series with a 7-6, 16-inning win in Game 6. On July 19, Mets' infielder Tim Teufel and pitchers Rick Aguilera, Bobby Ojeda, and Ron Darling were arrested after fighting with policemen outside a bar in Houston. Just three days later, the Mets played a game in Cincinnati that saw Ray Knight, Darryl Strawberry, and Kevin Mitchell get ejected, forcing starting catcher Gary Carter to play third base and the Mets to play a pitcher in the outfield, with lefty Jesse Orosco and right-hander Roger McDowell alternating between the pitcher's mound and the outfield as needed. Despite the adversity, the Mets won the game, 6-3 in 14 innings, on a three-run homer by Howard Johnson.[9]

Boston Red Sox[edit]

Boston went 95–66 during the season, winning the American League East division by ​5 12 games over their biggest nemesis, the New York Yankees.[10] The gritty play of eventual ALCS MVP Marty Barrett and Rich Gedman; clutch hitting from veterans Jim Rice, Wade Boggs, Don Baylor, Dwight Evans and Dave Henderson; and quality starting pitching, especially from 1986 American League MVP and Cy Young Award winner Roger Clemens, Bruce Hurst and Oil Can Boyd, pushed the Red Sox to the World Series. The team's defining moment occurred in Game 5 of the 1986 American League Championship Series against the California Angels. With the Angels leading three games to one in the best-of-seven series and their top reliever Donnie Moore on the mound, the Sox needed a last-out miracle home run from Henderson to survive Game 5; they later loaded the bases and got the go-ahead run on a sacrifice fly from Henderson off Moore in the eleventh. The Angels never recovered from this blow, and with Boston capitalizing on some defensive miscues by the Angels, and clutch performances by some of their big name players (namely Rice and Clemens in the deciding game), the Red Sox clinched the pennant with a seven-game series win.

Summary[edit]

NL New York Mets (4) beat AL Boston Red Sox (3)

Game Date Score Location Time Attendance 
1 October 18 Boston Red Sox – 1, New York Mets – 0 Shea Stadium 2:59 55,076[11] 
2 October 19 Boston Red Sox – 9, New York Mets – 3 Shea Stadium 3:36 55,063[12] 
3 October 21 New York Mets – 7, Boston Red Sox – 1 Fenway Park 2:58 33,595[13] 
4 October 22 New York Mets – 6, Boston Red Sox – 2 Fenway Park 3:22 33,920[14] 
5 October 23 New York Mets – 2, Boston Red Sox – 4 Fenway Park 3:09 34,010[15] 
6 October 25 Boston Red Sox – 5, New York Mets – 6 (10 innings) Shea Stadium 4:02 55,078[16] 
7 October 27 Boston Red Sox – 5, New York Mets – 8 Shea Stadium 3:11 55,032[17]

: postponed from October 26 due to rain

Matchups[edit]

Game 1[edit]

SATURDAY, October 18, 1986 8:30 pm (ET) at Shea Stadium in Queens, New York
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Boston 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 5 0
New York 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 1
WP: Bruce Hurst (1–0)   LP: Ron Darling (0–1)   Sv: Calvin Schiraldi (1)

In the opener, Boston's Bruce Hurst dazzled the New Yorkers with his looping curve and forkball, allowing only four hits over eight innings, and getting Ray Knight to ground into an inning-ending double play to escape trouble in the bottom of the sixth inning. New York's Ron Darling was equally effective, yielding only an unearned run in the seventh inning when Mets second baseman Tim Teufel committed an error eerily similar to the one committed by Félix Millán in Game 1 of the 1973 World Series that allowed two unearned runs to score in Oakland's 2–1 victory over the Mets. Red Sox closer Calvin Schiraldi walked Darryl Strawberry to lead off the bottom of the ninth inning, giving Mets fans visions of a rally. However, Schiraldi got Ray Knight to force Strawberry at second base, and got Wally Backman to fly out to left field. With two outs, Danny Heep was called upon to bat for weak-hitting shortstop Rafael Santana. Schiraldi worked him to a 2–2 count, and got Heep to swing at the last pitch for a strikeout and a save.

Just as they did in the League Championship Series against Houston, the Mets opened the series with a 1–0 defeat. (Mets legend Tom Seaver, as a member of the Red Sox, got a large standing ovation from the Shea Stadium fans during the Game 1 introductions. Seaver did not pitch in the series because of a knee injury.)

Game 2[edit]

Sunday, October 19, 1986 8:25 pm (ET) at Shea Stadium in Queens, New York
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Boston 0 0 3 1 2 0 2 0 1 9 18 0
New York 0 0 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 3 8 1
WP: Steve Crawford (1–0)   LP: Dwight Gooden (0–1)   Sv: Bob Stanley (1)
Home runs:
BOS: Dave Henderson (1), Dwight Evans (1)
NYM: None

After dropping the first game, the Mets turned to young phenom Dwight Gooden in what figured to be a classic matchup with Boston's own young pitching sensation Roger Clemens. That duel did not materialize, as neither pitcher went beyond five innings. The Red Sox drew first blood in the top of the third inning, when after a leadoff walk to Spike Owen, Keith Hernandez fielded a Clemens bunt, but threw it away trying to catch Owen at second base. This was costly, as Wade Boggs drove in Owen with a double, Marty Barrett drove in Clemens with a single, and Bill Buckner drove in Boggs with a single to give the Sox a 3–0 lead.

The Mets struck back in the bottom half of the inning, putting runners on second and third base for Wally Backman. Backman grounded one up the middle, plating Rafael Santana, and Hernandez grounded out, allowing Gooden to score and bring the Mets within one run. However, Dave Henderson, the hero of the ALCS, drove the second pitch from Gooden in the top of the fourth inning to left-center field for a home run. Dwight Evans followed with a two-run home run in the top of the fifth inning, bringing the score to 6–2.

Although Clemens had a comfortable lead going into the bottom of the fifth inning, he was pulled in favor of Steve Crawford after facing three batters, leaving runners on the corners. Crawford promptly gave up a single to Gary Carter that sent Backman home, cutting the lead to three runs. Crawford struck out Darryl Strawberry and got Danny Heep to ground out to quash any threat, but this left Clemens ineligible to receive a decision in the game.

Gooden was gone after five innings, being relieved by Rick Aguilera in the sixth inning. Aguilera loaded the bases in the seventh inning, and after consecutive RBI singles by Henderson and Owen, was pulled in favor of Jesse Orosco, who shut down the Red Sox over the next two innings.

The Red Sox were not done, however. Facing Sid Fernandez, pitching in relief with runners on first and second base in the ninth inning, Boggs drove in Henderson with a double to make the score 9–3. The Mets were unable to recover from this deficit, and took the loss, giving Boston a 2–0 advantage heading to Fenway Park.

Game 3[edit]

Tuesday, October 21, 1986 8:30 pm (ET) at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
New York 4 0 0 0 0 0 2 1 0 7 13 0
Boston 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 5 0
WP: Bob Ojeda (1–0)   LP: Oil Can Boyd (0–1)
Home runs:
NYM: Lenny Dykstra (1)
BOS: None

The Mets bounced back from their early-series sluggishness in the top of the first inning, when Lenny Dykstra led off with a home run to give the Mets an early lead. After two singles, Gary Carter followed with an RBI double, and Danny Heep drove in two runners with a single to give the Mets a 4–0 lead in the first inning. After the rocky start, Red Sox starter Oil Can Boyd settled down, but Bob Ojeda pitched well and Boston was unable to overcome their early deficit. In his first at bat in the World Series, Don Baylor almost homered in the second inning but it turned out to be a double off the Green Monster.

Ojeda gave up an RBI single to Marty Barrett in the bottom of the third inning, but this would prove to be the only Boston run of the game. Carter drove in two runners with a bases-loaded single in the seventh inning, and Ray Knight drove in Darryl Strawberry, who singled and moved to third on two wild pitches, with a double in the eighth inning off of Joe Sambito. Roger McDowell pitched the final two frames to seal a 7–1 Mets victory.

Game 4[edit]

Wednesday, October 22, 1986 8:25 pm (ET) at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
New York 0 0 0 3 0 0 2 1 0 6 12 0
Boston 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 2 7 1
WP: Ron Darling (1–1)   LP: Al Nipper (0–1)   Sv: Jesse Orosco (1)
Home runs:
NYM: Gary Carter 2 (2), Lenny Dykstra (2)
BOS: None

Ron Darling faced off against Al Nipper, as the Mets looked to tie the Series. Neither starter allowed a run until the top of the fourth inning, when Gary Carter ripped a two-run home run over the Green Monster and Ray Knight drove in Darryl Strawberry, who doubled after the home run, with a single. Lenny Dykstra came through with a two-run home run of his own in the top of the seventh inning, and Carter hit a shot in the top of the eighth inning, both off of Steve Crawford.

The Red Sox did not go quietly, scoring two runs on a Dwight Evans single after a double and a Dave Henderson sacrifice fly after a single in the eighth inning off of Roger McDowell, but it was not enough, and the Mets evened the series at two games apiece.

Game 5[edit]

Thursday, October 23, 1986 8:35 pm (ET) at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
New York 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 2 10 1
Boston 0 1 1 0 2 0 0 0 X 4 12 0
WP: Bruce Hurst (2–0)   LP: Dwight Gooden (0–2)
Home runs:
NYM: Tim Teufel (1)
BOS: None

The Red Sox struck first in the second when Dave Henderson doubled with one out off of Dwight Gooden and scored on Spike Owen's sacrifice fly. Dwight Evans's RBI single next inning with two on made it 2–0 Red Sox. In the fifth, Jim Rice hit a leadoff triple and scored on Don Baylor's single. After Evans singled, Sid Fernandez relieved Gooden and allowed an RBI double to Henderson. Bruce Hurst pitched 7 1/3 shutout innings before Tim Teufel's home run in the eighth put the Mets on the board. In the ninth, Mookie Wilson doubled with two outs and scored on Rafael Santana's single before Hurst struck out Lenny Dykstra to end the game as the Red Sox's 4–2 gave them a 3–2 series lead heading back to New York.

Game 6[edit]

Saturday, October 25, 1986 8:25 pm (ET) at Shea Stadium in Queens, New York
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 R H E
Boston 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 2 5 13 3
New York 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 1 0 3 6 8 2
WP: Rick Aguilera (1–0)   LP: Calvin Schiraldi (0–1)
Home runs:
BOS: Dave Henderson (2)
NYM: None

In Game 6,[18] Boston took a quick 2–0 lead on RBI base hits from Dwight Evans and Marty Barrett. The Mets tied the score in the fifth inning on a single from Ray Knight and a run-scoring double play by Danny Heep (his last at-bat ever as a Met). An error by Knight led to Barrett scoring in the seventh to give Boston a 3–2 lead.

In the top of the eighth, the Red Sox had Dave Henderson on second with one out. Manager John McNamara sent rookie Mike Greenwell to pinch hit for Roger Clemens in an effort to match Greenwell, a left-handed batter, against the Mets' dominant short-relief man Roger McDowell even as righty slugger Don Baylor sat on the bench; Greenwell struck out and the Sox scored no runs that inning. It was initially said that Clemens was removed from the game due to a blister forming on one of his fingers, but both he and McNamara dispute this. Clemens said to Bob Costas on an MLB Network program concerning the 1986 postseason that McNamara decided to pull him despite Clemens wanting to pitch. McNamara said to Costas that Clemens "begged out" of the game. At the time of the move, McNamara had closer Calvin Schiraldi throwing in the bullpen. On that same program, Schiraldi and Game 5 winner Bruce Hurst contended that McNamara had already made the decision to remove Clemens as Schiraldi began getting ready in the seventh inning.[19]

Whatever the reasoning behind the decision was, McNamara called upon his closer Schiraldi in the bottom of the eighth inning for a potential two-inning save. Lee Mazzilli, pinch hitting for Jesse Orosco, who recorded the final out of the eighth, led off the inning with a single. Lenny Dykstra then reached on an attempted sacrifice to put two runners on. Wally Backman followed with another bunt to move Mazzilli and Dykstra into scoring position, and Schiraldi intentionally walked Keith Hernandez to load the bases for Gary Carter. Schiraldi ran up a 3-0 count on Carter, but Carter swung at the next pitch and flied to left, deep enough to score Mazzilli and tie the game. With Dykstra now on third, Darryl Strawberry stood in with a chance to drive in the go-ahead run. Instead, Strawberry flied out to end the inning.

The Mets made a double switch in the top of the ninth, with Mazzilli taking Strawberry's spot in right field while Rick Aguilera came in to face Jim Rice, Evans and Rich Gedman. After striking out Rice, Aguilera saw shortstop Kevin Elster misplay the ball at shortstop and allow Evans to reach base. He escaped trouble when Gedman grounded to Backman, who turned a double play with Elster and Hernandez to keep the game tied.

Schiraldi returned to the mound for the Red Sox trying to keep the score even and atone for his blown save. After Knight walked, Mookie Wilson laid down a sacrifice bunt that Gedman threw wide of second in an attempt to get Knight, putting the winning run in scoring position with nobody out. This time, the Mets could not get a run in off Schiraldi as Howard Johnson, pinch hitting for Elster, struck out. Mazzilli and Dykstra then flied out for the remaining two outs, sending the game into extra innings.

In the top of the tenth inning, the Red Sox were to send Henderson and Spike Owen to lead off the inning with the pitcher's spot due third. Henderson hit Aguilera's second pitch of the inning out of the park for a 4-3 Boston edge. Aguilera struck Owen out, and McNamara elected to send Schiraldi to bat where he too struck out. Aguilera then gave up a double to Wade Boggs and a single to Barrett, which scored another run and gave Boston a 5-3 lead.

With Barrett now on second after advancing on a throw to the plate, McNamara made another strategic play and kept first baseman Bill Buckner in the game to bat. Aguilera proceeded to hit Buckner with a pitch, but was able to get Rice to fly out to end the threat.

McNamara's moves were later questioned. Schiraldi would be at least sent out to start his third inning of work, which was not unusual in that Schiraldi had averaged more than two innings pitched over the course of his 51 appearances in 1986. However, he had spent much of that time as a middle reliever and setup man for Bob Stanley and had inherited the closer role near the end of the season.[20]

The move to leave Schiraldi in the game, however, was not as widely criticized as the one to leave Buckner in. Buckner had been suffering from ankle problems since requiring two surgeries (one for each ankle) to fix injuries over a decade earlier. The Red Sox acquired Buckner during the 1984 season and used Dave Stapleton, who had been the team's first baseman prior to the acquisition, as a late inning replacement for Buckner. When initially asked why Stapleton stayed on the bench, McNamara said that he felt that Buckner deserved to be on the field if the Red Sox were to hold on and win the game.[21] Stapleton was not happy about remaining on the bench and in 1995, he blasted McNamara in a book written about the '86 Red Sox. McNamara responded in the same 2011 interview with Costas that the real reason why he did not put Stapleton in the game was because Stapleton was known by his teammates as "Shaky", in reference to his lack of stout defensive play.[19]

Schiraldi was to face the Mets' 2-3-4 hitters to start the tenth. He retired Backman on a fly to left and Hernandez on a fly to center, and the Red Sox were one out away from their first championship in sixty-eight years. After his out, Hernandez went into the clubhouse and undressed and watched the remainder of the game on a clubhouse TV. Because of a mistake by the scoreboard operator, the words "Congratulations Boston Red Sox, 1986 World Champions" briefly flashed on the scoreboard.[22]

With the Mets needing baserunners to stay alive, Carter provided a spark by lining a single into left field. Aguilera's spot was up next due to the double switch and Mets manager Davey Johnson, running low on players, sent someone into the clubhouse to retrieve Kevin Mitchell to pinch hit. Mitchell had gone into the clubhouse after Hernandez recorded the second out, allegedly to book a flight home for later that night.[19] Despite the rush, the rookie utility man came through with a single to bring Knight to the plate. After being brought to his final strike with the first two pitches from Schiraldi, Knight singled on the next pitch, scoring Carter from second with the first run the Mets needed and advancing the speedy Mitchell to third with the tying run.

With Mookie Wilson batting and the winning run now on base, McNamara decided that he had seen enough from his closer and brought in Stanley to save the game for Schiraldi. Stanley had yet to allow an earned run in the series to that point and had already faced Wilson three times in the series, retiring him twice. The last time Wilson faced him was in Game 4, and he recorded a single. Stanley got Wilson to keep missing and fouling off pitches, with the count at 2-2 after six pitches. On the next pitch, Stanley threw a breaking ball that swerved inside and skipped in front of Wilson, who fell in the batter's box trying to avoid the ball. From his knees, Wilson signaled to Mitchell to break for home and the rookie scored the tying run without a throw. Knight moved into scoring position on the pitch.

Later, Stanley was discovered to potentially have balked on the wild pitch play by failing to come to a stop in his "set" position after starting his motion.

Also, Stanley missed a chance to end the game without allowing Mitchell to score. Knight had taken a very large lead and caught the eye of second baseman Marty Barrett, who called several times to his pitcher to make a pickoff throw. Stanley never heard Barrett as he focused squarely on Wilson, and the sellout crowd at Shea Stadium made it nearly impossible to hear anything.

On the tenth pitch of the at-bat,[23] Stanley finally got Wilson to put the ball in play, forcing a ground ball to first base. Buckner, who was playing on the lip of the infield to protect against a hit through the first-second base hole, moved over to the foul line to try to field the ball, but it rolled between his legs and into right field. Knight rounded third and scored without a play, and the Mets tied the series at three with their 6-5 victory.

The win went to Aguilera, with the loss going to Schiraldi as he was responsible for Mitchell and Knight on base. Schiraldi was also credited with a blown save after giving up the tying runs in the eighth while Stanley was also credited with one for not holding the lead in the tenth.

Vin Scully's call of the play on NBC Television would quickly become an iconic one to baseball fans, with the normally calm Scully growing increasingly excited:

So the winning run is at second base, with two out, three and two to Mookie Wilson. [A] little roller up along first... behind the bag! It gets through Buckner! Here comes Knight, and the Mets win it!

Scully then remained silent for almost two minutes, letting the pictures and the crowd noise tell the story. Scully resumed with:

If one picture is worth a thousand words, you have seen about a million words, but more than that, you have seen an absolutely bizarre finish to Game 6 of the 1986 World Series. The Mets are not only alive, they are well, and they will play the Red Sox in Game 7 tomorrow!

In the 2011 ESPN Films documentary Catching Hell, Buckner explained how, years after the event, he realized from watching a television replay how he had missed the ball. He said, when he played in the field, he liked to wear a very loose glove — i.e., one that was floppy. When he moved to his left to try to field Wilson's grounder and then stopped, the momentum of the leftward-moving loose glove caused the glove to close. The ball then went just past the right side of the glove.[24]

After the Red Sox scored their two runs in the tenth, a vote was taken on who should be considered the MVP of the series. The voters decided to name Bruce Hurst, who had allowed only two runs in seventeen innings pitched in his two games, the MVP if the Red Sox lead was to hold.[25] The award would eventually be presented after Game 7 (see below) to Knight. Bobby Richardson, who played for the New York Yankees in the 1960 World Series, would remain (and still is, as of 2017) the only World Series MVP from a losing team.

After the top of the tenth, NBC began setting up in the visiting clubhouse for what they believed was the inevitable postgame victory celebration. The Commissioner's Trophy had been brought into the Red Sox clubhouse along with several bottles of champagne, and Bob Costas was to preside over the presentation. However, after Stanley's wild pitch in the bottom of the tenth, everything was quickly struck and removed from the room before the Red Sox returned.[19] Costas later recalled the removal of all the equipment for the postgame celebration as being "like a scene change in a Broadway musical. In, out, gone, not a trace."

Because it aired on NBC, this game caused the first cancellation of Saturday Night Live, after it went into extra innings; that night's episode – filmed starting at 1:30 AM – aired two weeks later on November 8, with an introduction by Ron Darling, who explained that when they entered the locker room, they were informed that they caused the first delay in SNL's 11-year history (at the time) to their dismay.

In 2011, MLB Network ranked this as the third greatest game of the preceding fifty years.[26]

Game 7[edit]

Monday, October 27, 1986 8:25 pm (ET) at Shea Stadium in Queens, New York
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Boston 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 5 9 0
New York 0 0 0 0 0 3 3 2 X 8 10 0
WP: Roger McDowell (1–0)   LP: Calvin Schiraldi (0–2)   Sv: Jesse Orosco (2)
Home runs:
BOS: Dwight Evans (2), Rich Gedman (1)
NYM: Ray Knight (1), Darryl Strawberry (1)

The seventh and deciding game of the series was scheduled for Sunday night, October 26. However, a drenching rainstorm left the field at Shea Stadium unplayable and the game was postponed to the following night.

The scheduled pitching matchup was to pit Ron Darling against Oil Can Boyd. Darling had already made two starts, losing Game 1 and winning Game 4. Boyd had started Game 3 and lost after struggling early by giving up four first inning runs.

The postponement, however, gave Red Sox manager John McNamara another option. Unlike the Mets, who had been using a three-man rotation, the Red Sox had used four starters. Since the rainout extended the series by a day, Game 1 and 5 starter Bruce Hurst received an extra day of rest and would be available to start with three days having passed. Since Hurst had done so well to that point — after all, he was set to be named World Series MVP before the Mets rallied to win Game 6 — McNamara chose him over Boyd to start Game 7.

After Boyd received word he was not starting the final game of the series, he went down into the visitors' clubhouse and remained in there alone for some time. McNamara dispatched pitching coach Bill Fischer to find Boyd, and when he located him Fischer discovered that Boyd had consumed a great deal of alcohol and was in no condition to function much less play. Fischer moved Boyd into the manager's office where he locked the door and left him for the entire game.[19][27]

Boston got to Darling early, recording three second inning runs. Dwight Evans and Rich Gedman hit back to back home runs to lead the inning off and with two out, Wade Boggs drove in Dave Henderson with a single for a 3–0 Red Sox lead. Darling did not pitch as well as he had earlier in the series and was pulled in the fourth inning with two outs and a runner in scoring position. Sid Fernandez came in and after walking Boggs, he was able to retire Marty Barrett on a fly ball to right field. Fernandez then retired the side in order in the fifth and sixth.

Still trailing 3–0 and having only one hit to show for their outing so far, the New York bats came alive in the bottom of the sixth against Hurst. After recording the first out, pinch hitter Lee Mazzilli and Mookie Wilson recorded back to back hits and Tim Teufel drew a walk to load the bases. Keith Hernandez singled to drive in Mazzilli and Wilson, and Gary Carter followed with a liner to right that Evans dove to try to catch but could not come up with. Pinch runner Wally Backman, who came in to run for Teufel, scored the tying run but Hernandez, who had to wait and see if the ball was going to be caught by Evans, got a late jump and was thrown out as Evans was able to relay the throw to Spike Owen. Hernandez got into an argument with right field umpire Dale Ford, claiming that his delay in ruling on Evans' play caused him to wait too long before advancing. With two outs, Hurst faced Darryl Strawberry and retired him.

Roger McDowell came in to replace Fernandez in the seventh. His first batter was Tony Armas, who pinch hit for Hurst and thus ended his night. After striking him out, McDowell induced Boggs and Barrett to ground out to end the inning. The Red Sox now needed to make a pitching change, and with Boyd in no condition to pitch the bullpen was short-staffed and McNamara called on Calvin Schiraldi, his closer who had lost the previous game after pitching 2.2 innings, to face Ray Knight, Kevin Mitchell, and Rafael Santana with the pitcher's spot due up fourth. Knight greeted Schiraldi with a solo home run to give the Mets their first lead of the game. Lenny Dykstra came in to bat for Mitchell and followed with a single and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Santana then singled to score Dykstra, and after McDowell bunted Santana to second McNamara called on Joe Sambito to face Wilson. After giving Wilson a free pass, Sambito then walked Backman to load the bases for Hernandez. The Mets' captain hit a fly ball to center field that was deep enough to score Santana and advance Wilson to third. Bob Stanley, who allowed the game-winning play in Game 6, was then brought in to face Carter and got him to ground out, but the Mets were now ahead 6-3.

Having only one base runner since the third inning, the Red Sox mounted a rally in the top of the eighth. Bill Buckner led off with a single. Jim Rice followed with one, and Evans hit a double after that to drive Buckner and Rice in and cut the lead to one. Davey Johnson brought in Jesse Orosco to try and stop the rally with the tying run now in scoring position. Orosco retired Gedman on a lineout, struck Henderson out, and induced a groundout to pinch hitter Don Baylor to strand Evans in scoring position. McNamara brought in Al Nipper, who started and lost Game 4, to pitch the bottom half. Darryl Strawberry led off with a home run to make the score 7-5. Knight singled and advanced to second on a groundout by Dykstra. Santana was intentionally walked to get to the pitcher's spot, and Orosco helped his cause by initially squaring to bunt, then swinging and singling to center to drive in Knight. Steve Crawford then came in to face Wilson and hit him, loading the bases. Backman then grounded into a force retiring Santana, and Hernandez grounded out and ended the inning.

With a three run lead, Orosco took the hill for the ninth facing the top of the Red Sox order. Ed Romero, who replaced Spike Owen at shortstop, was retired on a foul pop. Boggs then grounded out to Backman at second, leaving Marty Barrett as the last hope for the Red Sox. Orosco worked a 2-2 count before getting Barrett to swing and miss to end the game and the series, with the Mets taking the deciding game 8-5. The win went to McDowell, with Schiraldi taking his second consecutive loss. Orosco recorded his second save.

After recording the final out, Orosco threw his glove high in the air and immediately dropped to his knees while catcher Gary Carter ran out to the mound to embrace him with the rest of the team following.[28] A famous photo of the celebration was taken by Mets photographer George Kalinsky.[28] For many years, this was the final scene shown during the ending credits of the syndicated Major League Baseball news show This Week in Baseball, and was replaced in 1992 by the final out of the division-clinching victory by the Atlanta Braves in 1991. And then, the song: "Success" by The Weather Girls was played.

This poster was used on a special New York City Subway 7 train heading to the World Series at Shea Stadium.

This was the Mets' second championship, and their first since 1969. For the city of New York, this was their first World Series championship and their first major professional sports championship since the Yankees won in 1978. For the New York metropolitan area, this was their first major professional sports championship since the New York Islanders swept the 1983 Stanley Cup Finals. The NFL's New York Giants would follow the Mets' World Series triumph by winning Super Bowl XXI at the conclusion of the 1986 NFL season. This was the second time in which the Mets' World Series win was in conjunction with a football championship by a New York team, as the New York Jets (then a member of the AFL) had defeated the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III.

Three men who were involved in the final game of the 1969 World Series, played at Shea Stadium, were also on hand for the final game of this World Series, 17 years later, also played at Shea Stadium. They were: Mets manager Davey Johnson, Red Sox pitcher Tom Seaver, and Mets coach Bud Harrelson. Johnson made the final out in the 1969 World Series as a member of the Baltimore Orioles, who were defeated by the Mets in the 1969 World Series.

The Yankees themselves would not win another World Series until 1996 (their 23rd win in 34 appearances), ten years after the Mets claimed theirs. Both New York teams played each other in the 2000 "Subway Series", with the Yankees winning four games to one.

The Red Sox were the third professional sports team based in the Greater Boston area to compete for a championship in 1986. The NFL's New England Patriots lost to the Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XX and the Boston Celtics won the 1986 NBA Finals over the Houston Rockets. This was the last Red Sox loss in a World Series game until Game 2 of the 2013 World Series, when the Red Sox lost 4-2 to the St. Louis Cardinals after 9 consecutive wins in World Series play. Their intervening World Series appearances included their 2004 sweep against the St. Louis Cardinals, ending the Curse of the Bambino, their 2007 sweep against the Colorado Rockies, and their 2013 victory over the Cardinals in six games. The 2013 series marked the first time that the Red Sox won the clinching game at Fenway Park since 1918.

As of 2018, 1986 marks the most recent time the Red Sox have lost a World Series, as well as the most recent time the Mets have won a World Series.

Composite line score[edit]

1986 World Series (4–3): New York Mets (N.L.) beat Boston Red Sox (A.L.)

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 R H E
New York Mets 4 0 2 3 3 3 7 6 1 3 32 65 5
Boston Red Sox 1 5 5 1 4 0 4 4 1 2 27 69 4
Total attendance: 321,774   Average attendance: 45,967
Winning player's share: $986,254   Losing player's share: $974,986[29]

Television ratings[edit]

NBC's broadcast of Game 7 (which went up against a Monday Night Football game between the Washington Redskins and New York Giants on ABC) garnered a Nielsen rating of 38.9 and a 55 share, making it the highest-rated single World Series game to date.

Series quotes[edit]

Vin Scully on NBC Television Game 3 while referencing Oil Can Boyd's performance:

The Can is leaking in the first inning.

Vin Scully on NBC Television Game 6:

So the winning run is at second base, with two outs, three and two to Mookie Wilson. [A] little roller up along first... behind the bag! It gets through Buckner! Here comes Knight, and the Mets win it!

Scully then remained silent for more than three minutes, letting the pictures and the crowd noise tell the story. Scully resumed with:

If one picture is worth a thousand words, you have seen about a million words, but more than that, you have seen an absolutely bizarre finish to Game 6 of the 1986 World Series. The Mets are not only alive, they are well, and they will play the Red Sox in Game 7 tomorrow!

Bob Murphy on WHN exactly the same moment as Scully's call:

Three and two the count. And the pitch by Stanley. And a groundball trickling, it is a fair ball--gets by Buckner! Rounding third Knight! The Mets will win the ballgame! The Mets win! They win!

Jack Buck on CBS Radio exactly the same moment as Scully's call:

Here's the pitch to Mookie Wilson. Winning run at second. Ground ball to first, it is a run...an error! An error by Buckner! The winning run scores! The Mets win it 6 to 5 with three in the 10th! The ball went right through the legs of Buckner and the Mets with 2 men out and nobody on have scored three times to bring about a seventh game, which will be played here tomorrow night. Folks, it was unbelievable. An error, right through the legs of Buckner. There were 2 out, nobody on, a single by Carter, a single by Mitchell, a single by Ray Knight, a wild pitch, an error by Buckner. 3 in the 9th for the Mets. They've won the game 6-5 and we shall play here ... tomorrow night! Well, open up the history book, folks, we've got an entry for you.

Ken Coleman on WRKO exactly the same moment as Scully's call:

Groundball to first base, Buckner, it gets by him! And here comes the winning run!!

In popular culture[edit]

In the 1998 film Rounders, Matt Damon's Character (Mike McDermott) references Game 6 while returning into Teddy KGB's place in the final scene. "I feel like Buckner walking back into Shea."

In the 2005 film Fever Pitch the main character played by Jimmy Fallon, a die hard Red Sox fan, watches a tape of Game 6 to get over what looks to be his break up with his girlfriend.

The collapse of the Boston Red Sox in Game 6 and Game 7 prompted a series of articles by George Vecsey of The New York Times, in which he mentions a "Babe Ruth Curse."[30][31] Although it had long been noted that the selling of Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees had marked the beginning of a down period in the Red Sox's fortunes, this was one of the first instances, if not the first, in which mention of a "curse" was made.[32][33] The term "Curse of the Bambino" was not in common use by the press during the 1920s, nor can it be found through the 1970s, as a search of historical newspapers will illustrate.[34] In fact, even though Vecsey's articles mention a "Babe Ruth Curse", the New York Times did not use the phrase "Curse of the Bambino" until 1990,[35] the year that Dan Shaughnessy's book of the same name and a Boston Globe article about it were published.[36] Shaughnessy's book The Curse of the Bambino helped that phrase become a key part of the Red Sox lore in the media thereafter.[34][37]

The dramatic sixth game was the subject of Game 6, a 2005 independent film starring Michael Keaton, based on a 1991 screenplay by novelist Don DeLillo.

Village Voice film critic J. Hoberman included Game 6 in his list of the top ten films of 1986.[38]

In his song "Faith and Fear in Flushing Meadows", twee/folk artist Harry Breitner makes mention of Ray Knight and Mookie Wilson.

NBC's telecast of the Series ended with the song "Limelight" from Stereotomy, a penultimate album of The Alan Parsons Project.

The Series, and especially Game 6, were referenced in the Seinfeld episode "The Boyfriend", which also guest starred former Mets player Keith Hernandez. Hernandez being referred to Game 6 in the episode suggested that he was part of the winning rally, even though he was the 2nd (and final) out of the inning.

In a 1999 episode of The King of Queens, Doug Heffernan promises Richie Ianucci that they will watch the Series that is being rerun on TV, only to abandon him for Ray Barone, who invites him to play golf (with Arthur Spooner tagging along) until a rainstorm ends their plans. In another episode from the same year, Doug and his cousin Danny bring up the Series while revisiting their high school years.

In the Curb Your Enthusiasm episode "Mister Softee", Bill Buckner appears as a guest star and mocks his famous 1986 mishap by missing a crucial catch of a Mookie Wilson-signed baseball. As the episode concludes, he redeems himself by catching a baby thrown from a burning building.

In 2001 playwright David Kruh had his play Curse of the Bambino premiere at the Boston Lyric Stage[39]. After the 2004 World Series it was rewritten with a happier ending.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Shaughnessy, Dan (1990). The Curse of the Bambino. New York: E.P. Dutton. ISBN 0-525-24887-0.
  2. ^ Shaughnessy, Dan (2005). Reversing the Curse. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company. ISBN 0-618-51748-0.
  3. ^ Dodd, Mike (October 28, 2004). "Curse RIP: 1918–2004; After decades of pain, Red Sox on top of world". USA Today. p. C1. Retrieved June 8, 2010. The Curse of the Bambino, said to have started after Red Sox owner Harry Frazee sold Babe Ruth to the Yankees after the 1919 season...soared in popularity after the Sox came within one strike of winning the 1986 Series, only to collapse after a score-tying wild pitch.
  4. ^ Vescey, George (October 19, 1986). "The Designated Hitter Rule Is Unfair to Don Baylor". The New York Times. Retrieved February 12, 2018. Starting in 1976, baseball allowed the American League to use its designated hitter in even-numbered years. -- But this year, after taking polls that showed a modest majority of fans dislikes the rule, baseball decided to use the designated hitter in American League parks during the Series.
  5. ^ https://bleacherreport.com/articles/903479-power-ranking-the-25-greatest-world-series-in-mlb-history#slide25
  6. ^ "1986 National League (NL) Statistics and Awards". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved February 11, 2011.
  7. ^ Pascarelli, Peter (October 6, 1986). "Bad Start, Promising Ending". Philadelphia Inquirer. p. D1.
  8. ^ "1986 Philadelphia Phillies Schedule, Box Scores and Splits". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved February 11, 2011.
  9. ^ "Retrosheet Boxscore: New York Mets 6, Cincinnati Reds 3".
  10. ^ Vaccaro, Mike (2005). Emperors and idiots: The hundred year rivalry between the Yankees and Red Sox, from the very beginning to the end of the curse. New York: Doubleday. ISBN 0-385-51354-2.
  11. ^ "1986 World Series Game 1 – Boston Red Sox vs. New York Mets". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  12. ^ "1986 World Series Game 2 – Boston Red Sox vs. New York Mets". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  13. ^ "1986 World Series Game 3 – New York Mets vs. Boston Red Sox". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  14. ^ "1986 World Series Game 4 – New York Mets vs. Boston Red Sox". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  15. ^ "1986 World Series Game 5 – New York Mets vs. Boston Red Sox". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  16. ^ "1986 World Series Game 6 – Boston Red Sox vs. New York Mets". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  17. ^ "1986 World Series Game 7 – Boston Red Sox vs. New York Mets". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  18. ^ "Mets' miracle comeback capped by Bill Buckner's error". MLB. October 25, 1986. Archived from the original on March 20, 2010. Retrieved March 29, 2010.
  19. ^ a b c d e ^ 1986: A Postseason To Remember, MLB Network, 2011
  20. ^ Calvin Drew Schiraldi pitching
  21. ^ Gorman, Lou (2005). One Pitch from Glory: A Decade of Running the Red Sox. p. 12. Retrieved November 6, 2010.
  22. ^ Deane, Bill, Baseball Myths: Debating, Debunking, and Disproving Tales from the Diamond 174 (2012).
  23. ^ Simon, Mark (5 November 2013). "This date in '86: The miracle ofGame 6". ESPN. Retrieved 15 August 2015.
  24. ^ Catching Hell. From YouTube. The pertinent part is at the 1:28:58 to 1:30:33 of the video. Retrieved on October 31, 2015.
  25. ^ Taylor, Scott (August 1, 2008). "Beijing Olympics: Utahn Hurst helped build host country's national team". Deseret News. Retrieved March 29, 2010.
  26. ^ "MLB's 20 Greatest Games". MLB. Retrieved November 26, 2011.
  27. ^ "For McNamara, a Final Out That Wasn't Meant to Be". The New York Times. November 8, 2011.
  28. ^ a b "GeorgeKalinsky.com::Images::Team Sports". GeorgeKalinsky.com. Archived from the original on November 21, 2008. Retrieved July 21, 2009.
  29. ^ "World Series Gate Receipts and Player Shares". Baseball Almanac. Archived from the original on May 2, 2009. Retrieved June 14, 2009.
  30. ^ Vecsey, George (October 26, 1986). "SPORTS OF THE TIMES: THE WORLD SERIES '86; Red Sox: 68 Years and Counting". The New York Times. p. A3.
  31. ^ Vecsey, George (October 28, 1986). "SPORTS OF THE TIMES; Babe Ruth Curse Strikes Again". The New York Times. p. D33.
  32. ^ Shaughnessy 1990, p. 175
  33. ^ Shaughnessy 2005, p. 8
  34. ^ a b Shaughnessy 2005, p. 7–8
  35. ^ Lyons, Jeffrey (August 12, 1990). "The Year of the Red Sox in New York?". The New York Times. p. 8.8.
  36. ^ Shaughnessy, Dan (June 3, 1990). "The Curse of the Bambino". The Boston Globe. p. 23.
  37. ^ Kernan, Kevin (October 28, 2004). "Ding-Dong, Curse od Dead". New York Post. p. 86.
  38. ^ "J. Hoberman: 1986 (Village Voice)". Eric C. Johnson. Retrieved November 14, 2012.
  39. ^ http://www.bambinomusical.com/DavidKruh.htm

References[edit]

  • Angell, Roger (1988). Season Ticket: A Baseball Companion. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company. ISBN 0-395-38165-7.
  • Neft, David S.; Richard M. Cohen (1990). The World Series. 1st ed. New York: St Martins. pp. 412–418.
  • Forman, Sean L. "1986 World Series". Baseball-Reference.com – Major League Statistics and Information. Archived from the original on December 23, 2007. Retrieved December 9, 2007.

External links[edit]

Mookie Wilson's at bat[edit]