'86 Mets Eight-Six the Red Sox to Win World Series

T.G. Higgins / Getty Images

Two days after Game Six's epic comeback, the Mets engineered a smaller one in Game Seven to clinch a second championship.

While Game Six of the '86 World Series rightfully gets all the attention, it wouldn't be remembered nearly as fondly if the Mets hadn't followed it up with a win in Game Seven. To do so, Davey Johnson's team had to muster one more comeback.

Rain delayed Game Seven by a day, which allowed the Red Sox to start Bruce Hurst, the man who would have been the series MVP had Ray Knight not scampered home with the third and final run of that fateful tenth inning. Hurst would have made a deserving choice, too. The lefty came within a three outs of tossing a shutout in Game One, went the distance in Game Five, and continued his dominance through the early going of Game Seven, limiting the Mets to a single hit until the bottom of the sixth.

Meanwhile, Hurst's opposite number didn't have it. Ron Darling was tagged for three runs in the second on back-to-back homers by Dwight Evans and Rich Gedman and a ribeye single from Wade Boggs. Facing trouble again two innings later, Darling got the hook in favor of Sid Fernandez, who struck out four of the eight batters he faced before being pulled for a pinch hitter in the sixth. That's when the Mets magic struck again.

Batting for Fernandez, Lee Mazzilli singled. Mookie Wilson did the same. A Tim Teufel walk loaded the bases for Keith Hernandez and Mex brought two home with a line drive single. One pitch later, Gary Carter rapped an RBI grounder to tie the game. The seventh brought another three-run outburst, most of it coming against old friend Calvin Schiraldi. Ray Knight, building his own case for World Series MVP, greeted the ex-Met with a bomb. Rafael Santana even contributed a run-scoring safety. Though the Red Sox would rally for two in the next half inning, they wouldn't come within than a run of taking the lead.

The Mets, on the other hand, continued piling on. By the top of the ninth, it was 8-5 in New York's favor. Closer Jesse Orosco needed eight pitches to retire the first two batters. Marty Barrett made him work a little harder, but on the sixth offering of the at-bat, Orosco got the second baseman to chase low and away for strike three. Seventeen years after their first World Championship, the Mets were back on top.

Birthdays

  • As Darryl, Doc, and the rest of the '86 Mets were spraying down their clubhouse with champagne, the Beato and Niese families were each celebrating the arrival of their newest members: Pedro and Jonathan, respectively. The two would later grow up to be teammates on the 2011-2012 Mets alongside...
  • ...Ruben Tejada, who also claims October 26 as his birthday. Born in 1989, Tejada is the youngest of the bunch and, depressingly, has never seen the Mets win a World Series during his lifetime.
  • Gil Flores, an outfielder for the Mets in 1978 and '79, turns 60 today. Deployed mainly as a pinch runner, Flores stole just three bases despite ample opportunity to swipe more. On the plus side, he must have picked his opportunities well, as he was never caught stealing.
  • Pumpsie Green is 79. In 1959, Green became the first black player to suit up for the Boston Red Sox, the last MLB team to integrate. The Mets acquired him after the 1962 season and the infielder hit a productive .278/.409/.426 as a September call up in '63. Seeing as none of the team's regulars posted a line anywhere near that during the first five months of the season, it's a bit of a mystery why the Mets didn't give Pumpsie a chance earlier.

Amazin'-ly Tenuous Connection
On October 27, 1904, the Interborough Rapid Transit Company's new "subway" opened its turnstiles for business. Stretching from City Hall to 145th Street and Broadway, New York's first underground train system allowed Manhattanites to commute from the island's tip to stem and back again faster than ever before. The innovation proved so successful that it spawned several other routes, including the IRT's Flushing Line, which today makes stops at Citi Field.

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