Oh, What A Night – October 25, 1986

An article by posted on October 25, 2011

Wow, I can’t believe it’s been 25 years…

I was at home that night watching the game with my family. Me and my dad were the only two that were mentally locked and loaded – the rest of my family were die-hard Yankee fans. Nobody ever said it would be easy…

Lets not quibble, fast forward to the top of tenth…

After that Dave Henderson home run, I gotta tell ya, my heart sunk to the ground and depression was quickly setting in. The Marty Barrett single to score Wade Boggs made it worse… the Sox were now up by two runs and on the verge of becoming 1986 World Champions… the walls were closing in… they were hammering in the last few nails to the Mets 1986 season.

NBC started showing live footage of the Red Sox clubhouse, where cases of champagne, mountains of ice, and piles of towels were being arranged by team attendants on long tables that were lined around the walls…. Dear God, was this how it was going to end?

I remember getting up and pacing between the kitchen and living room… I remember cursing out Rick Aguilera… My father begged me to come back and sit down. “There’s still a half inning to go,” he said.

My mother was already heading toward the kitchen where she had a fresh batch of espresso brewing… An Italian cheesecake that was originally intended for Sunday dinner the next day, was now perfectly centered on our dining room table next to a half-full bottle of Sambuca… As if any of that was going to make me feel better or something…

After two quick flyouts by Backman and Hernandez, a feeling of sheer horror began to envelope me… It felt worse than my first viewing of The Exorcist. We were down to our last out in the form of Gary Carter, and that bottle of Sambuca on the dining room table was starting to call out to me.

Then it happened… Carter did it… A sharp single from The Kid who had no intention of being the final out… I think I let out this crazy sounding yelp – it didn’t sound human at all. I remember my father grabbed and clenched my wrist – I was losing blood and oxygen to my fingers – I pulled away – I had to reengage…

“Oh crap!”, I thought as Kevin Mitchell walked up to the plate. It just dawned on me that Darryl Strawberry had been taken out of the game an inning earlier and was replaced by Aguilera during a double switch… %$#@&%$#@ Damn you, Davey Johnson… Our whole season now rests on the shoulder of a rookie who never knew his place…

Ahhhhh… Another single… The tying runs are now on base… I quickly grabbed the remote control and turned the volume up as loud as it could go… Is this really happening???

My nerves are shot… I can’t sit still… I think I’m shaking… Ray Knight is up and we’re not dead yet… This is so improbable… This is so Mets…

OMG, ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME!!!!!

KNIGHT HITS A LOOPER INTO CENTER FOR ANOTHER SINGLE!!!! – CARTER SCORES!!!! – MITCHELL STOPS AT THIRD!!! – I’M LITERALLY FREAKING OUT!!!!

Even my father screamed along with me that time as the run scored and the adrenalin coursed through our veins. With his hands shaking, he attempted to fill two shot glasses for us, but spilled half of our precious Sambuca all over the table in the process. “Don’t worry, there’s a sealed bottle of Asti-Spumante in the fridge”, he said. “If this happens, we’re celebrating tonight!” I had no problem with that…

Oh no… A damn pitching change… Bob Stanley was coming in to replace my new best friend Calvin Schiraldi… This sucks… Dead silence…

There’s just a lot of quiet tension in the room as Stanley takes his warm-up pitches and gets ready to deliver his first pitch… You could literally hear a pin drop… All thoughts are on Mookie… Come on Mookie – You can do it…

IT’S A WILD PITCH!!! MITCHELL SCORES!!! THE GAME IS TIED!!! RAY KNIGHT GOES TO SECOND BASE!!!!

I’m now caught up in one of the most surreal moments of my life. I’m no longer in my living room – I’ve become one with the moment before me. I can hear the crowd at Shea and all the sounds of the game… It sounds so distinctly clear and feels like it’s in slow-motion. I can even pick out the individual voices screaming Mooooo-kie… It was an out of body experience…. Then…

SCREAMS OF JUBILATION!

It was the most exhilarating feeling I ever had in my life… What happened next was a complete blur… The phone kept ringing… Friends kept calling me just to scream on the phone…. It was wild…

Me and my dad toasted with Asti-Spumante and we each dove into a big wedge of that Italian cheesecake. After that we took off in his 1983 Thunderbird and decided to take our celebration outside where we could hear a loud commotion. It was late, but it felt and sounded like the Fourth of July and New Years Eve rolled into one. As we cruised the streets of Brooklyn and headed to his favorite bar, all the cars were honking their horns and we saw people shooting off fireworks and mortars as thousands packed the streets in joyous celebration. We still had another game to play, but on this cold October 25th night in 1986, we were all in Heaven. I’ll never forget it…

About the Author ()

I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73 and '00, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction and interact with other passionate Met fans like you. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.

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