Mets and Red Sox square off one generation later
Think back to the year 1986. Mullets were in style, heavy metal music was everywhere, Ronald Reagan was in the White House and the New York Mets were a potential dynasty. They dominated the regular season and ran away with the division, winning 108 games. The Boston Red Sox took their division with 95 wins. Two classic League Championship Series' ensued to set up a nail biter of a Fall Classic.
The Mets were able to survive a scare from the Houston Astros and won the National League pennant at the Astrodome in a 16 inning Game 6. The Red Sox had to go through the California Angels for the right to represent the American League. Late Game 7 heroics from centerfielder Dave Henderson propelled the Sox to travel to Shea Stadium for the first two games of the World Series.
Boston surprised everyone by taking both, putting the Mets championship aspirations in peril. Coming into Fenway Park needing to win, the Mets took the first two and dropped Game 5. Back to New York, the Red Sox needed to at least gain a split to win the title.
The epic game 6 will go down in history as one of the most 'amazing' in baseball history. To have the Shea Stadium scoreboard prematurely congratulate the Red Sox on winning the World Series and the Mets to come all the way back and win on Bill Buckner's error was one for the ages.
The momentum was in the Mets' favor heading into the deciding game, but was slightly derailed when rain pushed it back a day. Boston was even leading for a while when the Mets made their usual comeback. Sid Fernandez came out of the pen and shut the door, giving the Mets the opportunity to take the lead. When Jesse Orosco struck out Marty Barrett to start the party, a page in the annals of baseball history was set in stone.
Some of the more memorable sights from that October were two of the younger Red Sox having difficulty accepting defeat. Wade Boggs showed his emotions with tears, while Roger Clemens had a look of disbelief. It would have been interesting to see the expression of another member of that Red Sox team if he was not injured and made the post season roster. Many folks forget that Tom Seaver went 5-7 with a 3.80 ERA with the 1986 Red Sox but injured his ankle during the regular season.
With the strong starts by both teams this season, many people are saying that this week's interleague match-up is a World Series preview. A great rematch may be awaiting us. To top the drama of 20 years ago will be nearly impossible. But it should be fun to see these two teams try.