Today is a date many Mets won't ever forget. In fact, all baseball fans know this magical moment in Mets history.
October 25 will forever be the date the Mets came back to defeat the Boston Red Sox in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series. The come-from-behind, walk-off win in the bottom of the 10th inning – thank you, Bill Buckner – eventually led to a Game 7 victory for New York to secure their second franchise title.
And because we’re so nostalgic over here, we would love to break down that fateful moment at Shea Stadium in the bottom of the 10th.
Dave Henderson and Marty Barrett immediately broke the tie for the Red Sox in the top half of the frame – Henderson crushing a homer and Barrett singling in a run. So, with the deficit 5-3 and the series on the line, the Mets had a favorable lineup to start the inning with Wally Backman, Keith Hernandez, and Gary Carter due up.
But Backman and Hernandez quickly flew out to have the Mets fall to their final out.
“I thought we were done,” Hernandez admitted to SNY back in May, adding that he ran into the clubhouse after getting out because he couldn’t bear to watch his team lose.
The late, great Carter wouldn’t let that happen, though. The Mets’ catcher singled to left field to keep things alive. And little did he know he was about to start a legendary rally.
Kevin Mitchell got to pinch hit after Carter got on, and he too delivered a single to center field. So, with runners on first and second, Ray Knight scorched a single into center field, bringing Carter around to score. One run ballgame.
The Red Sox had to make a pitching change, with Bob Stanley replacing Calvin Schiraldi as he clearly didn’t have the clutch bone in him. And so walks up Mookie Wilson to put together one of the most memorable at-bats in baseball history.
Mitchell had made his way around to third base when Knight singled in a run, so there were runners on the corners. Wilson just need to find some grass in the outfield to keep the game alive – that was the only goal. But Stanley threw a fastball way inside that Wilson had to scoot away from, and it got past the catcher. Mitchell raced home, the Mets tied it up, and Shea Stadium was shaking from all the excitement.
So now this miraculous comeback had a chance to come full circle, with Knight now on second base from the wild pitch. But Wilson hit a slow roller to first base, and it looked all but over – for a second, at least. Probably the biggest error in history occurred when Buckner put his glove down to scoop up the baseball, only to find his glove empty and the ball trickling through his legs into the outfield.
Knight touches home plate and everyone goes wild.
“Probably one of the greatest single-game comebacks in World Series history,” Hernandez said.
It is one of those comebacks that you remember exactly where you were and who you were with when it happened. And that’s what we’re reliving on this day and many more to come.