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Didja ever notice the potential Knightmare?

Continuing our everlasting series on the events of October 25, 1986...

Michael Tucker got hurt as a young player creating his own walk-off scenario but perhaps a far more dangerous proposition for a player is celebrating the actual walk-off moment itself. Though the post walk-off scenario is certainly fun and entertaining, caution must be exercised to prevent accident and injury.

Consider the Mets mini-pummeling of Jose Valentin a few weeks ago, which was actually mild in comparison to what the Dodgers did to Cookie Lavagetto after his walk-off hit broke up a no-hitter and won a World Series game back in 1947.

"They are beatin' him to pieces," said Red Barber on the radio broadcast. "It's taken a police escort to get Lavagetto away from the Dodgers."

Or consider the story of current Norfolk Tide Tagg Bozied. In July of 2004, while playing for the Padres Triple-A squad, Bozied hit a walk-off grand slam. When the team converged on Bozied, as he jumped on home plate, Bozied crumpled. He described the pain as feeling like his leg had just been shot off. The resulting injury was a ruptured achilles. This story was repeated two years later, when at my alma mater, the head coach ruptured his achilles celebrating a conference-championship winning walk-off grand slam.

We're happy to report that Bozied apparently learned his lesson, having survived his first walk-off home run since the injury, which came a few weeks ago for the Tides.

This brings us to the events of October 25, 1986, which we often like to report about in this space, in which we track a few rather eventful minutes in the life of Ray Knight, who scored the run that ended Game 6 of the World Series.

I'm guessing that most of those people who watch tape of that historic contest, conclude their viewing with Knight's stomp on home plate, at which he's engulfed by the sea of humanity that is Howard Johnson, Davey Johnson, Lee Mazzilli, Mike the Batboy, Rick Augilera, trainer Steve Garland, and a couple of other unidentified personnel.

After 20 seconds or so, Knight freed himself from the mob and sprinted to the dugout. NBC's cameras switch at this point to reaction of various Red Sox, including Bill Buckner, and celebration in the stands, before coming back to a shot of a sitting Knight being hugged by Garland in the Mets dugout. As the camera peels back, Garland releases his embrace and it looks like Knight, for lack of a better description, is dazed and confused. Augilera comes over to check out the scene, as do Kevin Mitchell and Gary Carter, with Knight wrapping his arms around Mitchell's neck.

There's another cutaway, this time to Calvin Schiraldi in the Boston dugout and then a return back to the victors. This time Knight's face is hidden by the back of Ed Hearn, and it appears, just for a second or two that Hearn is giving Knight mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

Thankfully, the situation wasn't dire in any way. After a couple of seconds, Knight emerged disheveled, but unscathed. He's well enough to chat with Bud Harrelson and join Mookie Wilson for a postgame interview with Marv Albert.

"I'm just exhausted," Knight said, feeling well enough to make faces at a couple of folks in the crowd. "I've never been more tired in all my life."

It turns out that there was no need to worry. John Feinstein closed out his Washington Post piece that night with the following quote from Keith Hernandez regarding the vitality of the 1986 Mets:

"Somehow, even when we're dead, we're not dead"


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