1986 World Series: Wikis


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1986 World Series
1986 World Series.gif
Team (Wins) Manager Season
New York Mets (4) Davey Johnson 108–54, .667, GA: 21½
Boston Red Sox (3) John McNamara 95–66, .590, GA: 5½
Dates: October 18–October 27
MVP: Ray Knight (New York)
Television: NBC
TV announcers: Vin Scully, Joe Garagiola
Radio: CBS
Radio announcers: Jack Buck, Sparky Anderson
Umpires: John Kibler (NL), Jim Evans (AL), Harry Wendelstedt (NL), Joe Brinkman (AL), Ed Montague (NL), Dale Ford (AL)
Future Hall of Famers: Mets: Gary Carter.
Red Sox: Wade Boggs, Jim Rice.
ALCS: Boston Red Sox over California Angels (4–3)
NLCS: New York Mets over Houston Astros (4–2)
World Series Program
1986 World Series Program.gif
 < 1985 World Series 1987 > 

The 1986 World Series pitted the New York Mets against the Boston Red Sox. It was cited in the legend of the "Curse of the Bambino" to explain the error by Bill Buckner in Game 6 that allowed the Mets to extend the series to a seventh game. The NL champion Mets eventually beat the AL champion Red Sox, four games to three.



The New York Mets finished the regular season with a 108–54 record, winning the National League East division by 21+12 games over the Philadelphia Phillies. They then won the gut-wrenching 1986 National League Championship Series, four games to two, over the Houston Astros. The talent of the team was colored by controversy during much of the season, with scrappy players both on and off the field. On July 19, 1986, 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, they played a game which became a microcosm of their season when two Mets were ejected after a bench-clearing brawl. A total of three ejections in the game forced starting catcher Gary Carter to play third base, and the Mets to play a pitcher in the outfield, with left-hander Jesse Orosco and righty Roger McDowell alternating between the pitcher's mound and the outfield as needed. Despite the adversity, they still won the game in the fourteenth inning.[1] Former NL MVP George Foster was released a few days after the game, based partly on his refusal to move from the Mets' bench during the fracas.

Boston went 95–66 during the season, winning the American League East division by 5+12 games over their rivals, the New York Yankees. The gritty play of 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 win.


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

Game Date Score Location Time Attendance
1 October 18 Boston Red Sox – 1, New York Mets – 0 Shea Stadium - 55,076[2]
2 October 19 Boston Red Sox – 9, New York Mets – 3 Shea Stadium - 55,076[3] 
3 October 21 New York Mets – 7, Boston Red Sox – 1 Fenway Park - 33,595[4] 
4 October 22 New York Mets – 6, Boston Red Sox – 2 Fenway Park - 33,920[5] 
5 October 23 New York Mets – 2, Boston Red Sox – 4 Fenway Park - 34,010[6] 
6 October 25 Boston Red Sox – 5, New York Mets – 6 (10 innings) Shea Stadium - 55,078[7] 
7 October 27 Boston Red Sox – 5, New York Mets – 8 Shea Stadium - 55,032[8]



Game 1

Saturday, October 18, 1986 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. 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 Felix Millan in Game 1 of the 1973 World Series that allowed two unearned runs to score in Oakland's 2–1 victory over the Mets. 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 injury.)

Game 2

Sunday, October 19, 1986 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)  
HRs:  BOS – Dave Henderson (1), Dwight Evans (1)

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 never materialized, as Gooden was shelled for six runs on eight hits over five innings, and Clemens was pulled before pitching five complete innings and did not earn the win.

Game 3

Tuesday, October 21, 1986 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)  
HRs:  NYM – Lenny Dykstra (1)

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 score the first of four runs for the Mets in the 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.

Game 4

Wednesday, October 22, 1986 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)  
HRs:  NYM – Gary Carter 2 (2), Lenny Dykstra (2)

Gary Carter hit two home runs over the Green Monster and Boston-area native Ron Darling pitched seven shutout innings as the Mets evened the series at two games apiece, continuing his masterful performance throughout the 1986 postseason.

Game 5

Thursday, October 23, 1986 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)  
HRs:  NYM – Tim Teufel (1)

Mets ace Dwight Gooden once again struggled, this time surrendering four runs on nine hits in just four innings. Despite a strong relief effort from Sid Fernandez, Bruce Hurst was dominant again, allowing ten hits and just two runs in a complete game win to give Boston a 3–2 series lead heading back to New York.

Game 6

Saturday, October 25, 1986 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)  
HRs:  BOS – Dave Henderson (2)

In Game 6 [9], 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. 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. The Mets tied the game on a Gary Carter sacrifice fly in the bottom of the inning. The score remained tied through the ninth inning, forcing the game to go into extras.

In the top of the tenth inning, Dave Henderson homered to give the Sox a lead, and Barrett singled in Wade Boggs to make it 5–3. When Wally Backman and Keith Hernandez were retired to start the bottom of the tenth, the Red Sox were one out away from the series victory, as well as the Boston area's second championship in 1986, which would also be the fourth for the area teams in six years, following the Celtics third NBA championship in six years four months before. The scoreboard in right-center field actually had flashed, briefly, "Congratulations, Boston Red Sox, 1986 World Champions."

Game 6: Ray Knight (not pictured) scores the winning run as Bill Buckner and Bob Stanley watch Mookie Wilson's slow roller.

Down to their final out and down by two runs, the Mets would go on to stage a historic comeback. Gary Carter started the rally with a single to left. Darryl Strawberry's spot would have come up next, however Mets manager Davey Johnson had removed the slugger earlier in the game through a double switch. Instead, Johnson sent Kevin Mitchell to the plate to pinch hit for pitcher Rick Aguilera. Mitchell singled to center field.

Mitchell was followed by Knight, who went down in the count 0–2 leaving the Mets a strike away from elimination. Knight hit the next pitch into center field for a single that scored Carter and advanced Mitchell to third base, bringing the score to 5–4 and leaving the tying run only 90 feet (27 m) away.

The Red Sox replaced pitcher Calvin Schiraldi with the veteran Bob Stanley to face left fielder Mookie Wilson. On the seventh pitch of the at bat, with a 2–2 count, Stanley's pitch was too far inside and slipped past catcher Rich Gedman for a wild pitch, sending Wilson to the ground and allowing Mitchell to score from third base with the tying run. Knight moved up to second base on the wild pitch. With the count 3–2, Wilson fouled off the eighth and ninth pitches from Stanley. Meanwhile, Ray Knight was straying far from second base when Boston shortstop Spike Owen sneaked in behind him. Had Stanley glanced back at second, he would have easily picked Knight off.

With Shea Stadium literally rocking, Wilson stepped back in with a full count and the winning run in scoring position. On the tenth pitch of the at-bat, Wilson hit a slow ground ball up the first base line that appeared to be an easy play for Boston first baseman Bill Buckner. As the speedy Wilson busted out of the box, the ball snuck between the legs of Buckner who was playing on two bad ankles. The ball slipped under his glove, and rolled slowly into right field. Knight grabbed his helmet as he jumped on home plate to win the game in an iconic image of one of the most famous comebacks in World Series history.[citation needed] The irony is that, throughout the season, whenever the Red Sox had a late inning lead, Buckner was usually pulled for Dave Stapleton for defensive purposes.[citation needed] Red Sox manager John McNamara left Buckner in the game so he could be on the field for the final out.

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 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!

Bruce Hurst was set to be named the World Series MVP minutes before the Mets comeback.[10] The award would eventually be presented after Game 7 (see below) to Knight; Bobby Richardson of the 1960 New York Yankees is still the only World Series MVP from a losing team.

Game 7

Monday, October 27, 1986 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)  
HRs:  BOS – Dwight Evans (2), Rich Gedman (1)  NYM – Ray Knight (1), Darryl Strawberry (1)

Game 7 was delayed a day because of rain and was played on Monday, October 27. The postponement seemed to work in Boston's favor; not only would it give them an additional day to recover from their crushing defeat in Game 6, but it allowed them to bypass Oil Can Boyd (who had lost to the Mets in Game 3) in the seventh game and give series star Bruce Hurst the start. Things looked promising for Boston in the beginning. After two excellent outings, the Mets' Ron Darling struggled as the Red Sox jumped out to a 3–0 lead. Sid Fernandez, however, delivered another clutch relief performance, retiring seven consecutive hitters while striking out four. Meanwhile, after being held to one hit through five innings, the Mets lineup finally figured out Hurst in the sixth, scoring three runs to tie the game. Ray Knight homered off Calvin Schiraldi leading off the seventh to give the Mets their first lead. The Mets scored two more runs in the inning to go up 6–3. A two-run double in the eighth cut the Mets lead to a single run, but Sox reliever Al Nipper gave back those runs in the bottom of the inning on a leadoff home run by Darryl Strawberry and an RBI single by closer Jesse Orosco. Orosco worked a 1-2-3 ninth to clinch the title, striking out Marty Barrett swinging for the final out.

After striking out Barrett, Orosco then provided one of the most memorable images of that World Series, which would become an iconic image to the Mets and their fans: he threw his glove way up in the air and immediately dropped to his knees while catcher Gary Carter ran out to the mound to embrace him.[11] The photo was taken by Mets photographer George Kalinsky.[11] 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.

Composite box

1986 World Series (4–3): New York Mets (N.L.) over 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: 321,787   Average attendance: 45,970
Winning player’s share: $86,254   Losing player’s share: $74,986[12]

Series quotes

Aguilera brings it in, to Henderson. Swing and a long one into left field...that ball might leave the park! It’s a home run and Boston leads here in the tenth inning!
Jack Buck on Dave Henderson's home run in Game 6.
It's so quiet in New York you can almost hear Boston!
Vin Scully in the top of the tenth inning after Boston's Dave Henderson's dramatic home run in Game 6.
And the Mets are down to their last out.
Scully, before the Mets rallied in Game 6.
And it's going to go to the backstop—here comes Mitchell to score the tying run and Ray Knight is on second base!
Vin Scully, as Mets' pinch hitter Kevin Mitchell scoring the tying run on Bob Stanley's wild pitch.
So the winning run is at second base, with two outs, three and two to Mookie Wilson. Little roller up along first; Behind the bag! It gets through Buckner! Here comes Knight and the Mets win it!
Vin Scully calling the final moments of Game 6.
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 six to five with three in the tenth! The ball went right through the legs of Buckner and the Mets with two 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 two on, nobody out, a single by Carter, a single by Mitchell, a single by Ray Knight, a wild pitch, an error by Buckner. Three in the tenth 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.
Jack Buck, as above.
...and a ground ball, trickling, its a fair ball..gets by Buckner!! Rounding third, Knight! The Mets will win the ball game! The Mets win! They win! Unbelievable, the Red Sox in stunned disbelief!
Bob Murphy and Gary Thorne, on WHN Radio (Mets Radio), as above.
If one picture is worth a thousand words, then you have seen about a million words, but more than that you have seen an absolutely bizarre finish of 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.
Vin Scully, three minutes after Bill Buckner's error.
It is so noisy at Shea you can't even hear the airplanes.
Vin Scully, after Mets' third baseman Ray Knight hit the lead off home run in the bottom of the seventh.
Got 'em!
Vin Scully, calling the final out of the World Series.
He struck him out! He struck him out! The Mets have won the World Series! And there're crowd—jamming and crowding all over Jesse Orosco! He's somewhere at the bottom of that pile. He struck out Marty Barrett. The dream has come true! The Mets have won the World Series, coming from behind to win the seventh ballgame.
Bob Murphy, calling the same moment as Scully above.
The worst nightmare is letting the winning run score on a ground ball going through your legs.
Red Sox's Bill Buckner being interviewed by ESPN on October 7, 1986 and unknowingly prophesizing his own fate eighteen days later.

Television ratings

As with most of New York's sports championship victories, the Mets win in Game 7 drew the highest television ratings for a game in the league involved and/or a sports show on the networks that broadcast it. 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.

In popular culture

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.

See also

  • Michael Sergio - a fan who was arrested and imprisoned for parachuting into Shea Stadium during game 6 of the 1986 World Series, wearing a sign proclaiming "Let's Go Mets"


  1. ^ Retrosheet Boxscore: New York Mets 6, Cincinnati Reds 3
  2. ^ "1986 World Series Game 1 - Boston Red Sox vs. New York Mets". Retrosheet. http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/1986/B10180NYN1986.htm. Retrieved 2009-09-13. 
  3. ^ "1986 World Series Game 2 - Boston Red Sox vs. New York Mets". Retrosheet. http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/1986/B10190NYN1986.htm. Retrieved 2009-09-13. 
  4. ^ "1986 World Series Game 3 - New York Mets vs. Boston Red Sox". Retrosheet. http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/1986/B10210BOS1986.htm. Retrieved 2009-09-13. 
  5. ^ "1986 World Series Game 4 - New York Mets vs. Boston Red Sox". Retrosheet. http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/1986/B10220BOS1986.htm. Retrieved 2009-09-13. 
  6. ^ "1986 World Series Game 5 - New York Mets vs. Boston Red Sox". Retrosheet. http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/1986/B10230BOS1986.htm. Retrieved 2009-09-13. 
  7. ^ "1986 World Series Game 6 - Boston Red Sox vs. New York Mets". Retrosheet. http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/1986/B10250NYN1986.htm. Retrieved 2009-09-13. 
  8. ^ "1986 World Series Game 7 - Boston Red Sox vs. New York Mets". Retrosheet. http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/1986/B10270NYN1986.htm. Retrieved 2009-09-13. 
  9. ^ Mets' miracle comeback capped by Bill Buckner's error
  10. ^ http://deseretnews.com/article/1,5143,700247431,00.html
  11. ^ a b "GeorgeKalinsky.com::Images::Team Sports". GeorgeKalinsky.com. http://www.georgekalinsky.com/images/team/index4.html. Retrieved 2009-07-21. 
  12. ^ "World Series Gate Receipts and Player Shares". Baseball Almanac. http://www.baseball-almanac.com/ws/wsshares.shtml. Retrieved 2009-06-14. 


External links

Mookie Wilson's at bat


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