The last post-season baseball game I got to see in person was Monday night, Oct. 27, 1986. Before that, it was Saturday, Oct. 25, 1986. Games 6 and 7 of the 1986 World Series.
I saw former Kearny resident Bob Stanley throw a wild pitch for the ages (Sorry, Bob Davie). I saw the ball go through Bill Buckner’s legs. I screamed and jumped when Jesse Orosco’s glove practically got to the upper deck of Shea Stadium before falling somewhere onto the pile of Mets who had clobbered him after Marty Barrett struck out swinging for the final out.
In reality, at 12, I had no business being there — but my mother made sure of it when she got the tickets, even sacrificing not going to Game 7 so I could go with my uncle. That’s just the kind of mom I have — she always, always puts everyone else before her own self.
But I can’t help, now, but think about all the nonsense that has happened since that Barrett strikeout — and if you’re a fan of the Mets, you know, painfully too well, all that has happened.
Since then, there was Vince Coleman and his firecrackers. There were two stints with Bobby Bonilla, one of which led to him getting deferred salary the team is still paying and will be until like 2069.
There was the disappointment of losing to an inferior Dodgers team in 1988 in the National League Championship Series. The heartbreak of Kenny Rogers’ bases-loaded walk in 1999. Enduring having to watch Joe Torre being carried around Shea Stadium in 2000 after that World Series like he was royalty — and after he spent countless miserable years as the Mets’ manager, never once coming close to winning so much as a NL East title, when he managed the Mets.
Then there was Art Howe. Tom Glavine in 2007. Another collapse in 2008 and the closure of our dump, Shea Stadium. There was Luis Castillo’s inability to make a routine catch at Yankee Stadium. A new ballpark that seemed more fitting for the team the Mets play in the post-season now than the Mets themselves.
There was Willie Randolph being fired in the middle of the night after a win in Anaheim. Jerry Manuel who seemed to laugh at even the worst losses. Tony Bernazard acting like he owned the team. Omar Minaya making a fool of himself at the expense of Adam Rubin. There was Robert Madoff. Financial troubles. The 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 debacles.
Oh, and in-between all that, Johan Santana found a way to throw a no-hitter that probably shouldn’t have been one, and wouldn’t have been one had instant replay been the law of the land in 2012. Yet, now, here we are. As you read this, the Mets are preparing for Game 4 of the NLCS.
Something very special happened in 2015. Like 1969 and 1973, this Mets team defied every single sports prognosticator’s prognostication and won the NL East, a division that was supposed to be easily handled by the now-hapless Washington Nationals.
We were all furious when Carlos Gomez actually wasn’t a Met — and when Wilmer Flores and his tears were staying. A day or two later, Flores became, perhaps, the most beloved Met of 2015 — heck, maybe even of the last nine years.
This is the season that wasn’t supposed to really be anything. And yet it has been. For the first time in what seemed like 100 years, the Mets played meaningful games in September and October. Forgive me for being a little giddy.
Because most of the time, this time of year is about thinking of next year, or football, or hockey. But not this time. Nope, not at all.
For the first time in ages, the Mets are in the postseason. The Yankees are not. And even if it’s over by the time you read this, oh what a wonderful ride it’s been.
Odds and ends
• There have been some great new shows on TV this fall. For fans of “ER,” the CBS drama “Code Black” may finally be the replacement we’ve been looking for since 2009. ABC’s “Quantico” has been fascinating, too — and is the story of a terror attack on New York that was supposedly caused by none other than an FBI agent. The mystery, however, surrounds which agent ii actually is — and it appears one has been framed. Should make for some riveting drama during the next few months.
• W.H.A.T. is putting on its second-annual “Old Time Radio” and it will feature Hudson County Superior Court Judge Mary Costello, Kearny Councilwoman Susan McCurrie, attorney (and new Kearny resident) Ray Velazquez, Jenny and David Mach, Edmund Shea, Robert Strauch, Dominick Zinna and The Observer’s own Ron Leir.
I am only disappointed I won’t be able to be there to see it. Jerry Ficeto and his crew are constantly putting on top-notch performances with W.H.A.T. and we are very fortunate to have such a great arts program thriving here in West Hudson.
Performances are at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Oct. 16 and Saturday, Oct. 17 at First Lutheran Church, 65 Oakwood Ave., Kearny. Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for students, senior citizens and members of the military (with valid ID). Learn more at www.whatco.org.
• Want to offer a special thanks to someone who has become a great friend — Melanie Ryan. Living 1,100 miles away, Melanie is such a great supporter, and if something’s happening that we need to know about, Melanie will know it before almost everyone else. And, she’s one of the most civic-minded people I’ve ever met, a true Kearny gem. Thank you for all you do for me — and for the people of Kearny, Mel. It does not go unnoticed.
Have a great rest of the week, one and all. Until three weeks from now.