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Showing posts from October 16, 2005

Didja ever notice where you were when it happened?

I will be heading out of town at the end of the week for seven to 10 days (those who know me know where I'll be), but I wanted to maintain regular blog postings through the end of the World Series. So, this post will stay up through the weekend and will set the tone for a series of postings from guest bloggers next week. The theme of these posts deals with Game 6 of the 1986 World Series, as part of my "Didja ever notice..." series.

I can tell you where I was for all sorts of events of varying significance. I can remember everything from my reaction when my sister was born (March 23, 1981, awoken from sleeping in the middle of the night after having watched the Burt Reynolds movie "The End" with my grandmother) to when O.J. Simpson was acquitted on murder charges (in a dorm room, along with several students at The College of New Jersey, one of whom kept saying over and over again "What a crock!")

I can tell you where I was when Ross Jones got his first…

Didja ever notice the other goats?

And no, I'm not talking about Rich Gedman, Bob Stanley, Calvin Schiraldi, and John McNamara. If you're reading this post, chances are that you know about their foibles in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series. I'm here to spread the word about the others, whose poor showings hurt their squads in postseason matchups against the Mets. Such as...

Tony Gonzalez and Orlando Cepeda, whose eighth-inning errors in Game 1 of the 1969 NLCS led to a five (unearned) run rally, and a 9-5 Mets win that set the tone for the next two games, in which the Mets pounded Braves pitching for 18 runs and 27 hits.

Paul Blair, Don Buford, Davey Johnson, Brooks Robinson, and Frank Robinson: The Orioles hit only .146 in losing the 1969 World Series in five games to the Mets. This supposedly fearsome fivesome went a combined 9-for-91 against the Amazins.

Joe Morgan and Tony Perez, because if we're going to pick on the Hall of Fame Robinsons, there are two Cooperstown residents who wore the horns in the Me…

Didja ever notice the evolution of Bill Buckner's reaction?

I have two memories related to Bill Buckner and the aftermath of the 1986 World Series. The first is seeing him on crutches at a National Pastime baseball card show a few weeks after the series concluded. He was there along with Mike Witt and Eric Davis, and while I don't remember getting their autographs (I did on a baseball on which the signatures have since faded away), I do remember the crutches and the sad look on his face.

The other comes from working as a tour guide at Shea Stadium in the summer of 1994. We were gathered as a group in the old Jets locker room when fellow tour guide Lane Luckert tapped me on the shoulder and pointed to a man applying fresh paint to one of the walls.

"Hey look," Lane said, pointing to a man with a bushy mustache and a slight resemblance to a former player. "It's Bill Buckner."

That was a good moment for a few yucks, though I don't think the real Buckner would have laughed at the time. Remember that this was just two y…

Links to the other postseason walk-off stories

Martinizing

Before Francisco Cabrera and Jerry Willard, there was J.C. Martin. I'm talking about no-name backup catchers who became noteworthy (at least in my eyes) for their walk-off accomplishments (Cabrera in the 1992 NLCS preceded by Willard in the 1991 World Series).

Martin, the Mets primary caddy to Jerry Grote for two seasons, only got one plate appearance in the 1969 World Series, but he made the most of it.

The Mets had already surprised many by taking a 2-games-to-1 series lead on the mighty Orioles, doing so on the strength of a ninth-inning RBI by Al Weis to win one contest and a one-man offensive and defensive show by centerfielder Tommie Agee to win another. In Game 4, played on Wednesday, October 15, they had their ace on the mound in Tom Seaver and Baltimore had a worthy counterpart in southpaw Mike Cuellar, who like Seaver, would go on to win his league's Cy Young. Let's appreciate the rarity of that because it marks the last time a World Series pitching matchup feature…