1986 World Series – Mets and Red Sox


The 1986 World Series featured two teams that narrowly escaped

elimination in hard fought Championship Series. The Red Sox 95-66, down 3

games to 1 against California, was behind 5-2 going into the ninth inning of game

five, scored four runs to go into extra innings and win 7-6 and won the next two

games for the AL pennant.

The Mets 108-54 needed twelve innings in game five and sixteen innings in

game six to defeat the Mike Scott/Nolan Ryan led Astros in the NL Championship


The managers were John McNamara for Boston and Davey Johnson for

New York both of whom would at some time in their managerial careers manage

the Cincinnati Reds.

The Red Sox were led by Wade Boggs who won his third AL batting title

with a .357BA/207H/107RS, Jim Rice 20HR/.324BA/200H/110RBI, Bill Buckner

102RBI, Dwight Evans 26HR/97RBI and Don Baylor 31HR/94RBI.

The pitching staff was anchored by Roger Clemens 24-4 the AL Cy Young

and Most Valuable Player Award winner, Oil Can Boyd 16-10, Bruce Hurst 13-8

and Bob Stanley 16 saves and Joe Sambito 10 saves in the bullpen.

The Mets had a strong pitching staff with Dwight Gooden 17-6/2.84ERA,

Ron Darling 15-6/2.81ERA, Bob Ojeda 18-5 and Sid Fernandez 16-6 with Roger

McDowell 14-9/22SV and Lefthander Jesse Orosco with 21 saves in the bullpen.

They had a strong offensive team led by Keith Hernandez .310 BA, Gary

Carter 24HR/105RBI, Darryl Strawberry 27HR/93RBI/28SB, Wally Bachman .320

BA and Lenny Dykstra 31SB/.295BA. They also had former Red Ray Knight .298BA

at third base.

The Mets had power, speed, defense, pitching and veteran players.

In a preview of how the series would go, game one in Shea Stadium in New

York was a scoreless affair with Ron Darling and Bruce Hurst pitching, when in the

seventh inning Boston got an unearned run as Jim Rice walked, went to second on

a wild pitch, to third on a ground out and scored on Tim Tuefel’s error on a

grounder to second.

That proved to be the game’s only run and Boston goes up 1-0 with the 1-0


In game two Roger Clemens and Dwight Gooden started but neither was

particularly effective and neither figured in the decision. Boston home runs by

Dave Henderson in the fourth and Dwight Evans in the fifth inning off of Gooden

propelled the Bosox to a 9-3 win and a 2-0 lead in the series.

In game three in Fenway Park in Boston Lenny Dykstra led the Mets with

four hits including a home run and behind Bob Ojeda and Roger McDowell won 7-

1 and the Mets get their first victory of the series.

The Mets continued their momentum behind seven scoreless innings from

Ron Darling and two home runs by Gary Carter and another by Lenny Dystra for 6-

2 win to tie the series at 2-2.

Boston finally won a game at Fenway in game five with Bruce Hurst pitching

a complete game 4-2 victory for his second win of the series and the series had

Boston up 3-2.

Roger Clemens and Bobby Ojeda started game six and in a closely

contested game the two teams were tied 3-3 after nine innings. The Red Sox

scored two in the top off the tenth with the help of a Dave Henderson home run

and the Bosox are just three outs away from Boston’s first World Series title.

Reliever Calvin Schiraldi got the first two outs on fly balls to the outfield and

needed just one more out but the next three hitters Gary Carter, Kevin Mitchell

and Ray Knight singled with one run scoring to pull the score to 5-4.

Manager John McNamara decided to replace Schiraldi with Bob Stanley to

face Mookie Wilson in one of the most famous plays in baseball history.

An inside breaking ball got away from the catcher and Mitchell scored to tie

the game at 5-5. Wilson hit a ground ball down the first base line with Bill Buckner

in positon to make the play but the ball went under his glove and the winning run

scored and with the Series tied they go to game seven in Shea Stadium in New


The next day the Red Sox regrouped behind Bruce Hurst with Ron Darling

pitching for New York, the third Series start for both pitchers, and the game was

close but momentum was on the Mets side and helped by home runs by Ray

Knight and Darryl Strawberry the Mets won the game 8-5 and the World Series


Ray Knight got the series MVP and the Mets would be back in 2000 and the

Red Sox in 2004.

There was a lot of “what ifs” in game six as if what if McNamara had

replaced Schiraldi after the first hit in the tenth inning as he was on his third

inning of relief. That would have given Bob Stanley more room to work. And

usually late in a game he replaced Buckner with Dave Stapleton for defensive

purposes but left Buckner on the field because he felt he should be there if they

won the game.

For Billy Buckner he would forever be remembered for that World Series

play even though he played in the majors for 22 seasons, batted over .300 seven

times, won a batting title with a .324 average in 1989 and finished with a lifetime

.289 average and 2715 hits.

By Ron Griffitts

Contributing Columnist

Ron Griffitts a contributing columnist for the Daily Advocate

No posts to display