Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Sox-Mets - World Series Preview?/1986 Revisited

Only in Boston do they celebrate losers! I'm not sure if this is pathetic, or the mark of a great sports town with a sense of history. The answer is obvious to me, and believe me, they wouldn't be celebrating the 20th anniversary of the 1986 World Series if they hadn't won in 2004. That would be really sad.

All I can say is that if it goes well, I have no doubt next year will be the 40th anniversary of the 1967 "Impossible Dream" Red Sox, who lost heroically to the Bob Gibson Cardinals, of course, in 7. The Sox always lose in 7! I remember it like it was yesterday, as do millions of Nation followers, and if the Cardinals are slated for an interleague visit next year, it sure would be fun to see the likes of Yaz and Gibson again. I digress, but in a nice way....

So, tonight - weather permitting - interleague play continues, and the Red Sox host the Mets. Normally this wouldn't merit a blog post, but the stars have lined up to make this a special event. At this point in the season, these are arguably the two best teams in baseball, and I think there's a pretty strong chance they will meet again in October.

With all this good karma happening, it's no surprise the Red Sox are making a big deal about the 20th anniversary of the 1986 World Series, which does not bear repeating here. But in case you need to know, I'll reprise the box scores, and you can draw your own joyous or painful conclusions...

1986 Mets_Sox boxscores.bmp

Perhaps things will be different this year - the season is barely halfway over - lots can and will happen. If you thought Johnny Damon's return to Fenway was fun, I can't wait to see how things go on Wednesday when Pedro makes his return, squaring off against Beckett.

I'm going to close out with two short references to 1986. It's hard not to get pulled back to this today, so this is a form of catharsis to get it out of my system. Then I can serenely return to the 21st Century and think about what today's heroes - Papi, Manny, Papelbon - might do in this series.

First, an anecdote. I watched Game 7 of that series at a friend's house. I lived in an apartment building then (in Toronto), and after parking my car in the garage (following a very quiet, pondering drive home), I get on the elevator up to my floor. I'm joined by someone else, who I recognized as a neighbor on my floor. Yeesh - I remembered, he was from Boston too, and we both had this sullen, hollowed-out look of defeat. It was obvious we had both come home from watching the game, and never raised our heads to make eye contact. Just stared blankly at the floor - WE KNEW - there was nothing to say, just silent suffering. Never saw him again...

On a visual note, Jeff Pulver's office is quite a site. Amidst all the rock momentos, cool posters, gadgets and knick knacks, this sits quietly in the corner, propped up against the window...


Oh, cruel ye gods. Captured at the moment of humility, the Buckner Incident that in an instant tore the heart out of New England, because we knew then and there that victory had been snatched away again by the baseball gods. There was a lot more baseball to be played before the series was over, but you just knew then it was over.

Not only is this picture a painful reminder, but it's autographed by both Buckner and Mookie!!!!! It's hard to see from the photo, but it's there. Jeff is a lucky guy to have this, and I hope he enjoys it. I could never do the same. Mind you, I need to be nice to Jeff because he has Mets tickets! If our teams meet again in October, I'll make sure to let him know that if he needs company, I'm there.....

Technorati tags: , ,

1 comment:

ipcom said...

Posted by: Daniel J. Erickson

Hi my name is Daniel J. Erickson and I have a book out called 1986 Mets Memories. A Fan's View of The World Champions. It can be purchased at amazon.com.

Thank you,

Daniel J. Erickson