New York Mets: The best walk-offs hits in Mets history
By Michael Carballeira
A little roller up along first
The 1986 World Series between the New York Mets and The Boston Red Sox is one that will never be forgotten. It is still spoken about to this day honestly in the baseball world.
The Mets finished the season with the best record in baseball winning 108 games. The Mets beat the Houston Astros in six games in the NLCS in what was a great series and the Red Sox defeated California Angels in seven games so both teams played long series.
The Mets won the series in seven games to become champions of baseball but the Mets could have been done in six games if it wasn’t for this walk-off miracle.
The two clubs split the first four games with both teams taking road victories. The Red Sox pulled out a 4-2 victory in Game 5 at Fenway to move within one win of their first World Series since 1918 and by the looks of it Game 6 was all theirs…to lose.
Boston jumped out to an early 2-0 and Shea Stadium felt like the Mets were letting this opportunity in becoming champs slip away. Later in the fifth inning, the Mets tied the game by scoring two runs off a Ray Knight single and a Danny Heep double.
Both teams traded runs with Boston scoring one in the seventh and the Mets tying it in the bottom of the eighth inning with a Gary Carter sacrifice fly. Both teams went scoreless in the ninth inning and we headed to extras…once again…and here is where things got interesting.
In the tenth inning, Boston regained the lead with a home run off the bat of Dave Henderson and drove another run in when Marty Barrett singled in Wade Boggs who double prior. Boston now had a two-run lead and was just three outs away from becoming World Series champions.
The home half of the tenth did not start off how New York needed it to. Wally Backman flew out to leftfield and Keith Hernandez followed that up with a fly out to centerfield of his own. The Mets were just one out away from their dream season being over.
With the game pretty much over the infamous “Congratulations Boston Red Sox, 1986 World Champions” briefly and accidentally flashed on the scoreboard at Shea Stadium. A true die-hard sports fan right there would be saying in their head no way that just happened, they just jinxed it.
The next batter was Gary Carter and he singled to start off a hopeful two-out rally. Following Carter was rookie Kevin Mitchell who apparently was in the clubhouse and had to get called back since he was due up to bat. Mitchell came up with a single on his own and the Mets now had two men on base and life came back into the Shea Stadium faithful.
Ray Knight came to the plate and found himself in a two-strike count with two outs and the resilient Knight found himself a base hit that drove in Carter and Mitchell the young speedster got over to third as the tying run. Up to bat now was Mookie Wilson in what might go be the greatest at-bat in Mets history.
Two outs and a man one first and third, on the mound for Boston, was Bob Stanely. Once again the Red Sox got the Mets into a two-strike count but Stanely threw a breaking ball into the dirt that got by the catcher and to the backstop and Wilson waved home Mitchell who scored easily to tie the game and over to second was Knight. Now Wilson found himself in a 3-2 count and next came the famous call from Vin Scully:
"“So, the winning run is at second base… with two out… 3 and 2 to Mookie Wilson. Little roller up along first… BEHIND THE BAG! IT GETS THROUGH BUCKNER! HERE COMES KNIGHT, AND THE METS WIN IT!”"
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The Bill Buckner error! The error that won the Mets a crazy come from behind victory to force the pivotal Game 7 where the Mets went on to win 8-5 and won their second World Series in franchise history! In 2011 Game 6 was ranked by MLB Network as the third greatest game in the preceding 50 years and it was also the last World Series game to end on an error until Game 4 of this year’s 2020 World Series.