Sunday, October 15, 2006

One of My Better Days: October 15, 1986

It was 20 years ago today that something occurred that I never thought in my lifetime would happen. The Red Sox were my AL team, and the Mets were my NL team. For years my dad would always say to me, "If the Red Sox played the Mets in the World Series, who would you root for?" For years I would always say, "If and when that ever happens, then I'll worry about it."

On October 15, 1986, the Red Sox and the California Angels were tied in the ALCS, 3-3, and the Mets led the Houston Astros, 3-2 in their series. I was an absolute nervous wreck when the day started. The Mets game was on first, in the afternoon. Houston jumped out to quick lead and led 3-0 until the ninth, when the Mets rallied to tie it. The game would go on for 16 innings, when the Mets scored three, and Houston scored two in the bottom of the 16th, and left the tying run at second when Jesse Orosco struck out Kevin Bass to end it.

It was one of the most exciting baseball games I had ever seen. I was literally on the edge of my seat for all of extra innings. I was incredibly relieved when the Mets finally put it away.

Minutes after the Mets won the pennant, the Red Sox went about the business of dismantling the California Angels. Roger Clemens pitched well (something he didn't do often in his postseason history) and the Sox bashed California, 8-1. It was one of the greatest comebacks in postseason baseball history, as the Red Sox were down to their last out in Game 5 and down 3 games to 1, and 5-4 in the game. Dave Henderson's amazing home run put the Sox in the lead, they would win it in 11 innings (on Hendu's sac fly). The Sox came home and routed the Angels and won their first AL pennant since 1975.

It was one of baseball's greatest comebacks, and it is literally forgotten, because of the events of the very next series. It's a shame, really.

Both of my teams won pennants on the same night. It was quite a day. One of the better days of my life.

So, who did I root for in the 1986 World Series? Well, that's a story for another day.


Michael Leggett said...

When I mentioned that question in 1967, my Nun mentioned that it wouldn't happen in my lifetime.

Peter N said...

Maybe it can happen again, soon! Does '07 sound good. And with a different outcome. Oh, and that hendu tater. Pure a simple magic. I have that game on VHS tape. Amidst the cobwebs.....all the '86 games on tape have held up remarkably well....a closed plastic tape box really helps.