1980sABCBaseballDwight GoodenHouston AstrosKeith JacksonMLBMLB Hall of FameMLB NLCSNew York MetsNolan Ryan

MLB – 1986 NLCS – New York Mets vs Houston Astros – Game 5 – Shea Stadium


This 1986 NLCS is the sole reason for one of Bone Daddy’s greatest “sports road trip” that he ever took in his 50 years of going to live sporting events from amateur…to high school….to college/university….to pro….and every one was a building block image of the original Sportsphile.

As the story goes….Bone Daddy had a friend who helped build the original Madison Square Garden, The Sports Place at 302 E. 6th in Austin, Texas….who was known by dang near everyone as Dino….and Dino had a brother, Dwight…. who just happened to be the General Manager for Harry M. Stevens….the company who had the exclusive souvenir and concession stand rights to any event happening at Shea Stadium from 1984 – 1989….which included at one time or another all games by the N Y Mets of the MLB National League, rock concerts like “The Rolling Stones” , the NFL New York Jets and the New York Giants….WrestleMania….and more…..and by the time this story happened….Dwight and Bone Daddy were good friends and fellow sports lovers….who were known to bet between each other typically when a Texas team played a New York team.

When Bone Daddy’s long time home boys in Major League Baseball….the Houston Astros…..clinched their Division sometime in early October 1986….Bone Daddy called up Dwight and asked him if he could come up with some tickets to the three games scheduled at Shea Stadium for the upcoming NLCS series on October 11the….October 12th and October 14th of 1986….and if he could…Dino and Bone Daddy would arrive New York City in plenty of time for to get acclimated to New York City….and prepaired for the games.

Dwight not only came up with awesome tickets on the Mezzanine Level right behind and over the New York Mets dugout….cuz he just knew that Baone Daddy being a huge Astros fan….would be stuck right in the middle of fervent Mets fans…..which would keep him pinned down amongst loud New Yorkers…..which he indeed was….but that is another story all in itself

Anyway, the story of this memorable “sports road trip” will be told in its entirety in my L E’s Stories section that will be posting in the coming year….where I tell all the stories about the “sports road trips” and how Bone Daddy’s awesome sports memorabilia collection of 15,000 pieces all came together.

After rain postponed Game 5 to a noon start on October 14, the Mets took a 3–2 series lead as Gary Carter’s single off Charlie Kerfeld in the bottom of the 12th scored Wally Backman with the winning run for a 2–1 victory….as Game 5 was a pitching duel between Dwight Gooden and Nolan Ryan….in which Gooden allowed just one run in 10 innings ….with the Ryan Express only surrendering a single run on two hits while striking out 12 in nine innings….as Bone Daddy puts it….”a true baseball fan could never find a better pitching dual in any previous League Championship Series….or for that matter…..any one since.

With no score in the top of the second, Gooden surrendered consecutive singles to Kevin Bass and José Cruz….putting runners on the corners with nobody out…then he then caught Alan Ashby looking on a full count and induced Craig Reynolds to ground into a double play to escape the jam. However, Craig Reynolds appeared to clearly beat out a double-play ball….thanks to a slow pivot by shortstop Rafael Santana. First base umpire Fred Brocklander called Reynolds out which negating a run from Kevin Bass. Brocklander ruled that Reynolds’ foot was above the bag and not on it when Santana’s relay arrived to Keith Hernandez.  Surrounded by reporters after the game the umpire Brocklander said “I saw the replay and I go with my call. It was a bang-bang play, as close to a tie as you’ll get.” Reynolds criticized Brocklander’s response, saying, “If he said he saw the replay, then all I can say is that he missed it twice.” Said Astros manager Hal Lanier: “If it goes our way, we would have won in nine.”  Hernandez would reveal in 2011 that he had stepped off the bag as the first baseman in that play. Hernandez would say, “Reynolds clearly beat it….but I cheated and we got the call.” Had Reynolds correctly been called safe, Bass would have scored from third and the Astros would have taken an early 1–0 lead.

The Astros eventually did take 1–0 lead in the fifth when Alan Ashby doubled and took third on a single by Craig Reynolds….and then scored on Bill Doran’s ground-out….however, the Mets came right back and tied it in the bottom half when Darryl Strawberry took Ryan deep for the Mets’ first hit of the game and his second homer of the series. The Astros reached second base in the eighth and tenth innings….however, in the eighth Gooden got Denny Walling to fly out to Mookie Wilson in left field…where Wilson doubled off Bill Doran from second base to end the inning. In the 10th inning, Gooden gave up a single to pinch hitter Terry Puhl….who then stole second base…and after walking Bill Doran….he got Billy Hatcher to fly out to right field to end the inning with no damage done.

The game stayed tied until the 12th when with one out Wally Backman got an infield single off Kerfeld….then Backman took second on Kerfeld’s errant throw on a pick-off attempt….which spurned Houston manager Hal Lanier to intentionally walk Keith Hernandez and pitch to Gary Carter….who had been just 1-for-21 in the series….but the future Hall of Fame catcher came through by lashing a single to center to give the Mets the win and a one-game lead as the series shifted back to Houston….as Jesse Orosco again earned the win for New York by hurling two perfect innings.

This was a fantastic baseball game….which is well worth watching over and over again.

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