You know the glove we’re talking about. It’s the one Orosco threw up in the air triumphantly after he struck out Marty Barrett of the Red Sox to end the 1986 World Series. Well, where exactly did that glove go after he threw it up in the air? After all, what goes up must come down, right?
If you own the 1986 World Series DVD set, pop Game 7 into your DVD player. If you recorded the game on a VHS tape like I did, good for you! Now try to find a VCR to play it in, if one still exists.
Fast forward to the final out of the game where Orosco throws his glove up in the air. After Jesse flings his glove skyward, he falls to his knees and then gets up just in time to have catcher Gary Carter jump into his arms as the rest of the Mets (and Paul the Bat Boy) rush from the dugout to pile on top of Carter and Orosco.
I should say ALMOST the entire team piles up on top of Gary and Jesse. (This is where you have to watch the DVD or VHS tape in slow motion.) Watch as third base coach Buddy Harrelson (wearing #23) runs around the pile of jubilant players. Notice that he has nothing in his hands as he does this. Right before he goes off-camera, you can see him start to bend over. When he comes back a split second later to celebrate with the team on the mound, he has a glove in his left hand. That’s Jesse Orosco’s glove!
Now let’s fast-forward a quarter century to the present day. Earlier this summer, I had the pleasure of meeting and talking with Jesse Orosco (see photo, right) and I asked him if he knew who had retrieved his glove for him after he recorded the final out of the World Series.
For 25 years, he was under the impression that it was bullpen coach Vern Hoscheit, but wasn’t sure. When I informed him that it was Buddy Harrelson and explained how he retrieved it, he was surprised to hear the news and thanked me for finally giving him confirmation.
Hey, it was the least I could do for the man who gave me one of my fondest Mets memories!
It’s been exactly 25 years since Jesse Orosco started the celebration for millions of Mets fans everywhere. The Mets may not have returned to the top of the baseball world since then, but the memories from that magical season will always be with us.