As the sun came out today, we all woke up filled with jitters and anxiety. Tonight is Game 1 of the World Series against the Kansas City Royals. We are all waiting for Matt Harvey to take the mound and throw the first pitch at exactly 8:07 PM, weather permitting. We have dressed in all of the blue and orange we can find, excited for seven great games of baseball.
But today is special for another reason. 29 years ago today, our New York Mets won the World Series Championship against the Boston Red Sox. 29 years ago, Ron Darling took the mound at Shea Stadium, prepared to pitch against the Red Sox' Bruce Hurst. Hurst had been 2-0 in the series to that point.
After losing the first two games of the series, the Mets came back in Game 3 to win it 7-1. They tied up the series in Game 4 with a final score of 6-2. Boston took Game 5, but the Mets came back yet again in Game 6. Game 6 went 10 innings and things looked bleak for New York when Boston scored twice in the top of the 10th. However, never doubt the Mets. The Amazins scored three in the bottom of the 10th to win it 6-5.
That brought the Mets to Game 7. Boston took a lead in the second inning when Dwight Evans and Rich Gedman hit back-to-back home runs. To make matters worse, Wade Boggs drove in Dave Henderson with a single, making the score 3-0 Red Sox.
The next three innings were a battle, but Darling was able to keep the Sox from scoring more. He was pulled in the fourth inning and Sid Fernandez came on in relief.
It wasn’t until the bottom of the sixth inning that the Mets came alive. With one out, pinch hitter Lee Mazzilli and Mookie Wilson picked up back to back hits. Tim Teufel was next to bat and he drew a walk to load the bases. Keith Hernandez then singled to drive Mazzilli and Wilson home. Gary Carter hit a liner to Evans, but he couldn’t catch it, and pinch runner Wally Backman, who was running for Teufel, was able to score, but Hernandez was nailed on a throw from Evans to Spike Owen. The score was tied 3-3.
Roger McDowell replaced Fernandez in the seventh inning and was able to keep the Sox at bay, and the Mets scored three in the bottom of the inning to take a 6-3 lead. The Red Sox came back with two runs in the top of the eighth to draw within a run, but the Mets got a solo home run from Darryl Strawberry and an RBI single from Jesse Orosco to take an 8-5 lead into the ninth.
In the top of the ninth, Orosco retired Ed Romero on a foul pop up and Boggs grounded out to Backman at second. That left Marty Barrett, who struck out swinging for the final out.
We all remember Orosco famously throwing his glove in the air and dropping to his knees as Carter ran to the mound to hug him. The rest of the team quickly rushed to the mound to celebrate. Game 7 was one full of emotions: anticipation, anxiety, and ecstasy to name just a few. It only seems fitting that the 2015 Mets, a team that has fought so hard to make it to the World Series, will take the field for Game 1 on the same day that the 1986 Mets took the championship just 29 years earlier.