Thursday, October 27, 2011

Game 7

Editor's note: This is an updated version of a post that I wrote 2 years ago for the occasion of Game 7. This is also a kickoff to a feature for my blog that covers my 25 years as a Mets fan.

I have 2 distinct sets of memories of Game 7 of the 1986 World Series, which took place 25 years ago today. The first is of the first 7 innings, give or take a few pitches. It was the first time I sat down to watch a Mets game with an interest in watching it. The second is of the last 1 1/2 innings and some of the postgame show. I can almost recite that part of the TV broadcast word for word.

The first 7 innings I watched on TV live. I don't remember much about it since I haven't watched the replay/tape/DVD that often. I watched it for the first time about 10 years ago on Classic Sports or ESPN Classic or whatever it was called at the time. Watching the game then, there were a lot of little things that I remembered from the live broadcast (I couldn't even tell you what they were now). Things like Keith Hernandez shaking his head at the airplane flying overhead during his at bat in the 1st (I'm cheating and watching the DVD now). Lots of those "I remember that" moments for whatever portion of the game they showed then. It really was a good game, and not just a Mets romp, which I tend to forget.

Boy Shea got loud when the Mets woke up to tie the game in the 6th. Seemed to fit in with the 1986 Mets season. Mets fans really are the best, or were 25 years ago.

By my calculations, if the game started at 8pm (probably a few minutes after), then the end of the 7th was around 10:30pm. That would make sense. At 8 years old, on a school night, my bedtime was probably 10:30pm, and this baseball/Mets thing was a bit new and my parents didn't know what to do. My dad set up a tape in the VCR at some point before I had to go to bed, and the rest of the game I know from watching that tape over and over and over again.

I probably wore out that tape watching it so much. I probably memorized most of the spoken words from that part of the broadcast. You could feel the excitement in the air from watching on TV. The Mets had it in hand. Vin Scully was a poet at the microphone.
It's so noisy at Shea that you can't hear the airplanes.

High drive into deep right field. Evans back, at the wall. GONE!

Joe, you just lost your house.

And the Sox are down to their last strike, and this crowd is really ready to reach the heavens now.

A sidebar - the video tape, which is probably long gone, had the markings of a tape that had taped over, in that my dad may have taped the whole game, and taped something over the first about 2 1/2 hours. the tape did that speed-up thing that our VHS tapes did when coming out of a newer recording to the older recording on the tape. it did that just as Carter was grounding out to Spike Owen to end the 7th after the pitching change. I told you I memorized many things from the broadcast. I'll swear that it was Back to the Future taped over the first 7 innings, or however it was arranged, and I'll also swear that the same tape, after whatever post-game show NBC had that we taped was the Opening Day festivities from WOR. I do remember running home from school on Opening Day in 1987...oh hell, I'll save that one for next Opening Day. The tape is probably long gone to prove/disprove what I remember, but I have the important parts (Back to the Future, Game 7, and the Opening Day ceremony) on DVD.


When they get through the 9th, even though I've seen this at least 100 times in the past 25 years, I still feel the anticipation (not the type that I would have felt watching live or not knowing the outcome) of the Mets winning and the final out.

It's a bit weird for me to see Shea before the blue makeover was complete (it finished somewhere around 1987 or 1988, along with the new RF scoreboard screens). It's not quite the weirdly-colored Shea of the 60s and 70s, and not the all blue Shea with orange/blue/green/red seats that I knew for about 20 years. It's something in between.


Mets World Series Trivia - who were the 3 people in uniform for BOTH of the Mets World championships?

More trivia - 2 of the quotes are calls from the game (where a play was made). Can you put them both in context?



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The Dream Has Come True

I have more audio, this time, from Game 7 of the 1986 World Series played 25 years ago tonight. I don't think I can take credit for having created these.

Knight's 7th inning Home Run (this one is a little grainy)


The final out




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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Bottom of the 10th

It's split into 4 audio clips. They're listed sequentially. It's the entire bottom of the 10th inning of Game 6 of the 1986 World Series from WHN radio with Bob Murphy and Gary Thorne.

I created these files some time before the 1999 season (I remember having recorded it from WFAN on Christmas night one year, when WFAN would basically put filler programming rather than expect someone to man the studio and phones on a holiday). The sound is a bit loud, but it's adjustable.

starting at Bottom of the 10th


starting at Kevin Mitchell's at-bat


starting at Mookie Wilson's at-bat


starting after the Wild Pitch


Merry Metsmas!


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Game 6

Editor's note: This is an updated version of a post that I wrote 2 years ago for the occasion of Game 6. This is also a kickoff to a feature for my blog that covers my 25 years as a Mets fan.

It was 25 years ago today was the day that started it all for me. I'm talking about one of the biggest comebacks in baseball history. Game 6 of the '86 'Series. I have no recollection of any games from 1986 or before, except for the one I attended as a clueless kid in mid-September, before this game. I really don't remember anything from the first 9 1/2+ innings of the game either, aside from the video tape and DVD in much much later years. That bottom of the 10th is engrained in my memory though.

As an 8 1/2 year old with a future closer to the sciences than the arts, I remember that night as being the night we changed the clocks back to end Daylight Savings Time, and that I was even allowed to stay up well past midnight as my parents had friends over to watch the game. In fact, the nights of Game 6 of the World Series and ending DST coincided up until a couple years ago when both were pushed back. I thought I might get to be up to see 1am twice. I almost saw it once that night. Instead (and staying up that late at that time in my life was a pipe dream), I saw something much bigger and much more memorable.

I saw the greatest comeback in baseball history and it made me a fan forver. It made me a Mets fan forever. The bottom of the 10th is my flagship baseball moment. I have the audio of the bottom of the 10th from WHN (Mets) radio with Bob Murphy and Gary Thorne. Bob Murphy, forever the voice of the Mets, captured the hope and joy perfectly on radio. I'm listening now, with the DVD cued up for later today. An abbreviated transcript from Bob Murphy (in blue) and Gary Thorne (in orange):
Veteran relief right-hander Bob Stanley being brought on now by John McNamara. Stanley has pitched effectively in this World Series. He'll be pitching to Mookie Wilson. The Mets were down to their final strike. Ray Knight kept it going with a base hit.
...
Boston 5, New York 4. The first two batters up in the home 10th inning were retired. Three hits in a row. Gary Carter, a single to left. Kevin Mitchell, a single to left. Ray Knight with a two strike count, a single into Centerfield, scoring Gary Carter. Now, one more hit and the Mets, for the third time tonight, would have come from behind and tied this ballgame.
...
Bottom half of the 10th inning. Red Sox, one out away from a World's Championship. Stanley in the set position, the pitch. Foul ball, skidding off the bat handle, and again, the Mets are down to their last strike.
...
Stanley really anxious to get it overwith. He's getting the ball back and almost quick pitching. So Mookie will step out on him to slow him down a little bit. 2 balls and 2 strikes. Mets have only one strike left.
Stanley is ready. The pitch. Gets away! Gets away! Here comes Mitchell! Here comes Mitchell! Tie game! Tie game!

Unbelieveable, a wild pitch!
The game is tied 5 to 5. Mitchell comes in to score. Knight, the winning run is on second.
...
Mookie Wilson, still hoping to win it for New York. 3 and 2 the count. And the pitch by Stanley, and a ground ball trickling, it is a fair ball. Gets by Buckner. Rounding 3rd, Knight. The Mets will win the ballgame. The Mets win! They win!
Unbelieveable, the Red Sox in stunned disbelief!
A slow ground ball went right through the legs of Buckner, down the rightfield line. The Mets have won the ballgame. 3 runs in the bottom half of the 10th inning. 3 runs in the 10th inning. They were down to their final strike twice, in the bottom half of the 10th inning. They win the ballgame!



I won't go into the "why's", which are really from Boston's side. Or the "what if's". I just enjoy it. Bob Murphy's call of the 10th which I probably recorded one Christmas Day from WFAN when they would play the tape rather than have someone on air. I didn't know and probably couldn't have understood at the time that he was the guy hired to call Mets games 25 years earlier to work with the Hall of Fame player and Network-caliber broadcaster, getting his first chance in the World Series. Vin Scully's priceless work on NBC. I didn't know and probably couldn't have understood at the time that he used to call games in New York for a team that left nearly 30 years before. Or that he was a Hall of Famer who would still be going strong on a reduced schedule 23 years later. Or that Boston hadn't won in 67 years (at the time), and in numeric synergy, would win 18 years later breaking their drought of 86 years. It was just a magic moment that would make me a fan.

The story continues in 2 days (remember that the Mets only won Game 6 to tie the series, winning the right to play one more game, and that game would be rained out the next night).

Never Forget '69 has the transcript of the entire bottom of the 10th inning.


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