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Didja ever notice, signs, signs, everywhere signs?

Part III of an ongoing series regarding Game 6 of the 1986 World Series

Some people believe that signs exist that a team is going to win a particular game. On October 25, it was kind of hard to miss. They were everywhere.

Signs have been a ballpark staple at the Polo Grounds and Shea Stadium since the Mets played their first game in 1962. There's something about this team that makes them so prevalent. One fan, Karl Ehrhardt, even became known as "Sign Man" because his work became quite popular.

There were 55,078 people in the stands that night and it seems like a lot of them felt the need to express their feelings in writing on what some might call 'Placards.' Banner Day was never a favorite of mine, but I've always had an eye out for creative endeavors and there were plenty on display.

There was bedlam on the field that night and bedsheets off the field, mostly hanging from the facing that separates the loge from the box seats. I paused my VCR for one crowd shot and counted six banners, unfortunately unreadable from so far away.

There were a few that were legible during the bottom of the 10th inning and I thought I would take a few moments to review them. None were quite as memorable as "Now I can Die in Peace" (seen in the stands at Madison Square Garden won the 1994 Rangers won the Stanley Cup" but there were some good efforts.

One fellow had the obligatory "John 3:16," bible verse, seen at every major sporting event, which actually may have been appropriate for the moment since its subject happens to be "eternal life."

"Let's Go Mets. Make The Dream Work" got pretty good play in the bottom of the 10th and served as an unofficial advertisement for the Mets music video, produced earlier that season ("We've got the teamwork to make the dream work, Lets go...Lets go Mets!")

Every good sign maker knows that the best way to get face time is to take the initials of the TV network and come up with some clever wordplay. We had one of those here too, and I chuckled when I saw it.


Some, no offense, seemed more appropriate for a high school game than for an event of such magnitude "Wash Out The Sox" belongs next to "Sink the Sharks" or "Slay the Dragons"

Others offered errant prognostications: "Sunday at Shea Will Be a Happy Day!" (Game 7 was rained out and thus played on Monday), cocky boasts: "Bring On 'The Can'!" (Bruce Hurst replaced Oil Can Boyd as the Game 7 pitcher), and gleeful celebration: "We Win!!" (which replaced "Congratulations Red Sox" on the Diamond Vision Board)

Then there are those that are forever shrouded in mystery. Someone in the box seats, in the midst of the post-game madness held up a yellow piece of cardboard that appears to read "HILOUAVUL" I've tried everything short of hiring a codebreaker to try to figure that one out to no avail. Anyone have a guess as to what that means?

With all these folks waving their creations, it's a wonder that the players on the field don't get distracted by such doings. Perhaps that's why Rich Gedman didn't fully shift over to catch Bob Stanley's errant palmball, with the count 2-2 with Mookie Wilson up in the last of the 10th. His eyes probably shifted a little bit, and caught a glimpse of "Now Boston Chokes."

Don't believe that something like that could happen. Perhaps you should heed these words from Casey Stengel on the impact that fans and their signs can have on a game.

"Why, they're the most amazing fans that I've ever seen in baseball. They stick by you in the hotel. They're on the streets. They're carrying placards. They're going through the place. You find them over here in right field. Four innings later, if you get a base hit, they'll be over on the left field line. They make up wonderful placards. The placards are terrific. I even had to stop and look at them. I think I made 15 mistakes this year reading the placards instead of watching the pitcher or watching the hitter."


metswalkoffs said…
reader Thunderdang reports...

The guy was probably trying to say hi to his friends and family in Louisville.


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