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Didja ever notice where Paul Alfieri was?

Sometimes, the best stories come from the moments we miss. Paul Alfieri, a media relations executive for Motorola, continues our series on Game 6 of the 1986 World Series by sharing his recollections of some magical moments.

I was in Los Angeles for most of the 1986 World Series. I was 11 at the time, and we lived in New Jersey, but my dad was on extended assignment for his job on the West Coast.

My Mom and sisters had flown out there to move him home, right smack on the middle of the Series. I was in the airport, watching the start of Game 6 on a monitor hanging in the terminal.

Sometime during the third inning, we boarded the flight, and I lost contact. I was a nervous wreck... The flight was either a late evening or redeye (I don't remember which) but I know that I fell asleep listening to Channel 9 in my headphones (the one where you can hear the pilots talk to the ground towers).

I was awakened by an announcement from the copilot, letting "all the Boston Red Sox fans" know that they had taken the lead, and that the curse might be over, and he'd tell us all the details after the game was over. So I waited for the inevitable. I remember waiting for a long time. It felt like an eternity -- like waiting for the dentist to call your name.

I don't know exactly what I was doing, but I do remember taking a Lenny Dykstra baseball card out of my waterproof velcro wallet (which was all the rage back then) and trying to telepathically send good vibes through the card to the dugout. After some time. it hit me that the game should have been over, and that maybe the original announcement was a mistake, or some sort of rally had happened. I think I kept on trying to channel something to the team through the Dykstra card. I probably also annoyed my younger sisters sitting next to me.

As an aside: The Dykstra card was in my wallet because of Karma. I had been holding it when he hit his homer in the NLCS, and thought I should keep it on me as I didn't want to disrupt any cosmic forces. While he was my favorite player on that team (Strawberry would replace him in 87 and would hold my personal favorite-Met-I-had-seen-play title until Piazza), I hadn't carried around his baseball card in my 11-year-old wallet until just a week or so before.

Finally, the co-pilot came on the intercom. Again, I don't remember the exact words, but it started with something like "They don't call them the Amazing Mets for nothing folks." And then he told what he had heard -- an error by Bill Buckner had allowed Mookiw Wilson to score the winning run, and the Mets tied up the series.It wasn't until the next day when I read the actual account from the Newark Star-Ledger (Dan Castellano) that I got the story straight. I saw the play for the first time later that evening when Bill Mazer played highlights on his Channel 5 sports report.


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