Dwight Evans Brings Back Memories Of Game Six

dwight-evansAbout two weekends ago my church had a men’s breakfast meeting, and the guest speaker was none other than Dwight Evans, the very productive right fielder for the Boston Red Sox from 1972-1990. Listening to Evans speak about his life in baseball and the many things that affected his game, brought me back to the only game that mattered in my life when I was a kid. Dewey didn’t mention the 1986 World Series, but he didn’t have to, because remembering that he was a part of that glorious game brought me back in time.

I was 13 years old and it was October in New York City. Game 6 of the 1986 World Series was on TV. While listening to Evans speak, I remembered Billy Buckner, who was not in the auditorium with us, but the memory of that amazing night was vivid in my mind. All I could think about was that ball rolling between his legs and that famous call by Vin Scully:

“A little roller up along first; behind the bag! It gets through Buckner! Here comes Knight and the Mets win it!”

Every time I hear that call, it gives me goosebumps. I feel like a kid again. I was watching the game in my room and from what I can remember, there were three very nervous people in my home wishing and praying that something miraculous would happen as the Mets neared the end of Game 6.

While my stepfather watched the game in the living room, my mother was in the bedroom reading and relying upon me for instant updates from me. We lived on the second floor of a duplex in the East New York section of Brooklyn, and the rooms weren’t that far from each other. So running into her room to give her updates and running back, didn’t take too long  and was actually quite fun.

As the game went along and the Mets found themselves down 2-0, my heart was pounding very hard and I couldn’t breathe. It was only the 4th inning, but being down three games to two and needing to win this game, I couldn’t begin to tell you how frazzled my nerves were.

Then the Mets tied the game with two runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. Whew, a sigh of relief went through my body, now I could finally breathe a little. At this I wondered why my mom wouldn’t come out her room and watch the game with my stepfather on the big TV in the living room. It was if she was too nervous to watch and preferred my between innings updates.

I had this thing, that throughout the World Series, no one was allowed to watch the game in my room; it was off limits because I wanted to be alone when it mattered most and if I wanted to scream or yell, I didn’t want anyone to tell me to shut up.  Neither of them would dare come in especially after the second game of the series, they knew I needed to be alone – just me and my Mets.

Now back to the game. It’s now the top of the 7th and those damned Red Sox scored again, Oh man was I having a fit, but that was short lived because the Mets scored to tie it again in the bottom of the eighth at 3-3.  What a nail-biter this was becoming.

“It’s okay,” I would say to myself. “David, just breathe man, just breath, they will do it, just like the song says. “Do it…Let’s go! Do it…Let’s go!  Lets make it happen!”

We’ll win it in the bottom of the ninth – I was convinced. That’s what I kept telling myself. However, the bottom of the ninth just comes and goes and we are headed into extra-innings. I’m sweating profusely while gazing at my TV in a trance-like state after watching the Red Sox score two runs to take the lead 5-3.

This can’t be happening. Please God, don’t let it end like this…

My mind went blank. I was now so upset that my mother yelled toward my room telling me to stop screaming. By now she was huddled with my stepfather and watching it all unfold together. What’s the matter with them? Did they not just see what has happened; of course I’m screaming.

I dug my head in my pillow and remembered praying real hard that if God would just allow the Mets to somehow come back, that I would always listen to my mom. I am sure my mother would get a thrill if she could read this part of this post.

gary carterHere we go… We’re down to our last three outs and before I can finish my praying, Wally Backman and Keith Hernandez both hit fly balls for outs.  Now its two outs and nobody on and I can hear my mother whisper to my stepfather, “Oh this is not good.”

I am sure she was more concerned about me and what my reaction would be rather than the Mets who looked like they were about to lose the World Series.  For so many years at school. my friends had given me a verbal beating for rooting for the Mets rather than the Yankees.

But the Mets were my team and I would be there for them no matter how bad they were. But in 1986, they weren’t bad, they were the most dominating team in the game. It was hard to sit and watch them go down like this. I just couldn’t stand to sit there and watch them lose the biggest game in their history at the time. I was dying inside and then suddenly a glimmer of hope…

One of my favorite Met players Gary Carter came up to bat. And as I peeked through my fingers, as if I am watching a horror flick, I prayed one last time for a miracle. There it was! A base-hit  by Carter and the Mets were still alive!

And before I knew it another base-hit by Kevin Mitchell and suddenly we had two men on and the winning run at the plate and it’s Ray Knight.  I am alive again for just a moment, and think okay, a home run right here and we win. Knight lines another a base-hit and Carter scores as Mitchell hustles to third base.  At this point I start to hear some noise coming from outside my window. I can hear screams from my neighbors, but I just didn’t want to get too excited yet, it was still two outs and the tying run was on third base.

Mookie Wilson comes up to bat.  The pitch comes in toward Mookie and he leaps in the air in one swift motion as the ball goes under him and to the backstop, and Mitchell scores to tie the game. Oh My God, the neighborhood erupted, people screaming out the windows, I have tears running down my face, I am so excited that I start to cry.  I can’t believe what I just witnessed, was it real, could it actually be happening.  I run into the living room, and give my mother and stepfather high-fives and run right back to my spot. The game isn’t over yet, but we are back in it and the winning run is now at third base in Ray Knight.

And then it happens… The play that any Met fan watching will never forget – the image burned into our minds forever. A ground ball to first base, everything seems goes into slow motion and I all I hear is that famous Vin Scully call:

“A little roller up along first; behind the bag! It gets through Buckner! Here comes Knight and the Mets win it!”

jesseo orosco 1986What, Oh My God, Oh My God, we win, we win, and now my mother and stepfather come running into my room, we are screaming, I am screaming out the window, my friends are all coming out their homes and a party is going on in the street that night.  What a game and with one more win the Mets will become champs.

Well we all know what happens in Game 7 of the World Series.  I got to witness my very first Mets championship, and unfortunately to this point it has been their last.  But I still have hope that they will get it together and allow me the opportunity to relive the Glory Days and witness some more of that Mets magic.

After the Mets win the series, my mother promises me that I could go to the parade, even if it meant me missing school. I am not sure what she told the nuns at my school, but who cares – I was going to the Canyon of Heroes in New York City to celebrate the greatest Met moment of my life. Nothing else mattered other than the Mets were finally champions – and to all my friends that mocked me, I finally had something to brag about.

The night before the parade, my stepfather tells us that we need to be there no later than 7:00 AM.  He says that millions of people will be there and we need to get a head-start. When we arrive in downtown Manhattan, I kid you not, no one was there.

It was 7:00 AM in the morning and the crew that were preparing the parade route were just arriving and just starting to put the barricades up. But because of my stepfather’s insistence that we get there early, we had a great vantage point for the greatest parade I would ever see.  Front row seats to watch our Champions parade down the Canyon of Heroes. How lucky can you get!

It was great… It was amazing… It was a day that is embedded in my brain and I will never forget.  A former Red Sox was a guest speaker a church breakfast meeting and revived one of the greatest games in Mets history. Thanks Dewey.

Here are some pictures we took the day of the parade. They’re not great, but I picked out the best ones that I could share with all of great Met fans on MMO. I hope you enjoyed my story.

October 28, 1986

World Champion Mets Victory Parade


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About David Conde 205 Articles
David was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY and is a lifelong Mets fan.