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Dida ever notice: A different kind of Metmorable Moment

Part of a continuing series of essays within this blog related to Game 6 of the 1986 World Series

There was a brief discussion the other day, when I told the story of a Mets loss on the night of Richard Nixon's resignation announcement, of other significant events to take place on the date of momentous Mets victories.

Loyal reader Barry Federovitch pointed out that the famous "Ball on the Wall" victory over the Pirates took place the same day as the "Battle of the Sexes" tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs. Fellow blogger Greg from "Faith and Fear in Flushing" noted how Matt Franco's game-winning hit against Mariano Rivera in 1999 took place the same day of Brandi Chastain's goal that gave the United States women's soccer team victory in the championship game of the World Cup.

While I haven't been able to find many events of historical or sporting significance, I did come across one of particular importance to some.

If you've ever watched the video "An Amazin' Era," which celebrates the history of the Mets, you're familiar with the voice of Tony-award winning stage and screen actor Len Cariou, who narrated that documentary in 1986. You might also be familiar with him from his work singing the National Anthem at Shea Stadium. More likely you've either seen him on Broadway (his Tony came for "Sweeney Todd") in a movie (such as "About Schmidt"), or one of many TV guest-starring roles (including "Law & Order," "The West Wing," and "Murder She Wrote."). He was inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame in 2004.

Len Cariou also happens to be a big Mets fan, dating back to 1969, according to an article that ran in the New York Times in August of 1989. In that story (penned by Cariou), the author tells of how the 1986 squad holds a special place in his heart and memory for more than one reason.

That's because Cariou and his wife, best-selling author Heather Summerhayes, had the distinction of getting married in Los Angeles on the favorite date of this blogger, October 25, 1986. (How appropriate that this blog "rings" in the New Year with a story involving a wedding). Cariou writes how he frequently sent someone to another room, while at the reception, to update him on the score of Game 6 of the World Series. Upon finding out that the Mets were trailing the Red Sox late in the game, Heather decided to make her baseball allegiance known too. She announced to the room that the "something blue" that she brought to the ceremony was a blue and orange garter, commemorating the Mets team colors.

"Perhaps it was just coincidence, but the Amazin's rallied from that moment on," Cariou wrote. "...My wife said it was a good omen for our marriage."

Heather was kind enough to send me a link to this story after I got in touch with her, and she was kind enough to answer one query for me. The one thing that was not made clear within the piece was whether or not Len Cariou got to see the end of the game that night. I appreciated Heather's reply:

"What do you think? He was getting married!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

True Metleyweds know... The three "Len's" to get a walk-off RBI for the Mets are Lenny Randle, Lenny Harris, and Len Dykstra.

Also of note: Len Cariou also narrated Major League Baseball's World Series highlight films from 1992-1997. That would mean he told the stories of four walk-off hits, including the World Series-clinching hits by Joe Carter (HR vs Phillies in 1993) and Edgar Renteria.


Good ole Len Cariou. Helluva voice! Side note: I picked July 9, 1994 to get married (25th anniversary of Seaver's near perfecto). Haven't forgotten an anniversary yet, although I did miss a nice win over Roger Clemens one year!

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