More than three decades ago, the New York Mets won the World Series with an unlikely member winning the series MVP, Ray Knight. Let’s enjoy it.
During the 1986 World Series, Ray Knight is best remembered for scoring on the infamous Bill Buckner error. A groundball off the bat of Mookie Wilson allowed Knight to cross the plate for the winning run. In doing so, the New York Mets forced a game seven.
Although this moment is the one we recall most, Knight’s performance throughout the World Series was amazing. In fact, it helped him win the World Series MVP.
In game one, Knight went 0 for 3 with a walk. the pitcher’s duel between Bruce Hurst and Roger McDowell ended in a 1-0 win for the Boston Red Sox and did little to hint at what this series had in store.
Knight didn’t play in game two as Howard Johnson got the start at the hot corner instead. He returned in game three, picking up his first hit of the series. An RBI double got Knight started and helped lift the Mets to their first win in the series.
Through three games, Knight barely factored into the game results. He didn’t do much to help his MVP case in game four, going 2 for 4 in this Mets win.
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Now with only a .200 batting average in the series, it didn’t seem like Knight would come away as the best performer in the series.
Knight added one more hit in game five, lifting his batting average up to .205 for the series. A pair of singles and the game-winning run in game six certainly helped, but it wasn’t until game six when he secured his MVP.
In the final game of the back-and-forth series, Knight went 3 for 4. His seventh-inning home run helped the Mets rally from behind. It security a late victory for the Mets in game seven, earning the franchise its second championship.
Knight’s overall totals in the 1986 World Series included a team-leading 9 hits and a .391/.440/.565 slash line.
Though these numbers weren’t unworldly, they were the best of any member of the Mets.
Interestingly enough, the Red Sox had three MVP candidates that year. Marty Barrett and Dave Henderson each out-hit Knight. Hurst tossed 23 innings and finished with a pair of victories and a 1.96 ERA. Had the Red Sox won the series, he would have surely won the award.
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Instead, it’s Knight who walked away from the World Series with the accolades. Thanks to timely hitting and finishing the seven-game series strong, a member of the New York roundtable took home those big three letters: MVP.