On October 27, 1986, the New York Mets became World Series champions for the second time in team history as they defeated the Red Sox, 8-5, to win Game 7 of the Fall Classic. Third baseman Ray Knight, who is named the Fall Classic’s MVP, hit a home run in the seventh inning, which put the Mets ahead for good.
In baseball, my theory is to strive for consistency, not to worry about the numbers. If you dwell on statistics you get shortsighted; if you aim for consistency, the numbers will be there at the end.
With a nickname like “Tom Terrific,” you know he was good at his job. Born November 17, 1944, Tom Seaver pitched for twenty seasons in Major League Baseball. Over the course of his career, he played for the New York Mets, the Cincinnati Reds, the Chicago White Sox, and the Boston Red Sox.
Seaver won the National League’s Rookie of the Year in 1967, and during his career, he won three NL Cy Young Awards. He was also a 12-time All-Star, compiling 311 wins, 3,640 strikeouts, 61 shutouts, and a 2.86 ERA. Just to pad the résumé a little, Seaver even threw a no-hitter in 1978.
Tom Seaver was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1992. He passed away a few days ago, on August 31, 2020 from complications of Lewy body dementia and COVID-19.
Rest in peace.
Here’s a good Baseball Project tune to start your Tuesday. This song is all about the rise and fall of Lenny Dykstra, who was considered to be one of the heroes of the 1986 World Series, but has since fallen into so much legal and financial trouble that earlier this year, a court in New York ruled that he is “libel-proof,” meaning his behavior and character are so awful even false statements cannot harm his reputation.
I was a big fan of The Strokes through my time in college and grad school, but I haven’t paid much attention to them in recent years. So my thanks goes out to Jackie, a.k.a. The Baseball Bloggess, for sharing this gem with me!
The lyrics of this song look back at the band’s career and their history in New York City, where they grew up together. The title of the song, of course, references the New York Mets, whom lead singer Julian Casablancas calls the team of his youth. Casablancas wrote the song after the Mets lost Game 7 of the 2016 NL Wild Card to the San Francisco Giants — a loss that exacerbated the frustrations of fans of a team that has not won a World Series since 1986. The band views the name as symbolic, with the Mets representing something that you set your heart on, but that continues to disappoint.
On June 5, 1981, Astros pitcher Nolan Ryan surpassed Early Wynn as the all-time walk leader with 1,777 when he walked two in his 3-0 victory over the Mets. Of course, Ryan also struck out ten and only gave up five hits in that game.
Ryan would end his 27-year career with 2,795 bases on balls, nearly a thousand more than Steve Carlton, who is currently second on the career list for issuing free passes.
On March 14, 1961, former Yankees president George Weiss agreed to become the first president of the expansion New York Mets. It is believed that the Mets offered Weiss a five-year deal at $100,000 annually, more than he ever earned during his 14 seasons with the Yankees.
Ryne Sandberg became the highest paid player in baseball when he signed a four-year contract extension worth $28.4 million with the Chicago Cubs on March 2, 1992. The contract eclipsed Bobby Bonilla’s five-year, $29 million contract with the Mets, signed just three months previous. Sandberg never got to enjoy the full sum promised by this contract, however, as he unexpectedly retired during the 1994 season, walking away from nearly $15.8 million of the record deal.
Free agent Nolan Ryan signed with the Texas Rangers on December 7, 1988, making him the first major leaguer to play for all four original expansion teams. (The Rangers organization had played their first 11 seasons as the Senators in Washington, D.C.) Ryan first broke into the big leagues with the Mets in 1966, then went to the Angels in a trade in 1972 before signing with the Astros, who were originally known as the Colt .45s.
On October 26, 2000, Derek Jeter was named World Series MVP, making him the first player to win both All-Star Game MVP and World Series MVP in the same season. Jeter hit .409 in the World Series that year, including two doubles, a triple, and a couple of home runs to help the Yankees win four games to one over the New York Mets.