With all due respect to 1971, 1976, 1981, 1991, 1996 and 2001, there’s only one Met milestone anniversary worth wallowing in via the now legendary Flashback Friday treatment (see the “A Year To Remember” listing along the sidebar) in 2006. And I think you know which year I’m talking about.
Welcome to 1986 + 20. Welcome to the most overwhelmingly successful year in Mets history all over again.
In wedding terms, it’s the China or platinum celebration. In baseball terms, it’s the one that says what has reflexively seemed like yesterday is now truly a long time ago. Tenth anniversaries are tentative. They’re too close to what we’re commemorating to allow us to be completely lost in the past. Thirtieth anniversaries are historical. Our remove from the event in question is suddenly a little too distant. The 25th strikes me as a do-over for the twentieth; Hey, didn’t we just do this five years ago?
The twentieth anniversary of the 1986 Mets. Honestly, I feel like I’ve been waiting 19 years for this.
This was no typical season, so this is not a one- or two- or even three-part job. 1986 is stitched too deeply into our fabric for one Friday. This needs to be a weekly series.
So it will be.
From this Friday to next Friday to the Friday after next, clear through — should vigilance be properly committed — to the final Friday in October (which just happens to be October 27), we will be, in some form or fashion, commemorating 1986.
There’s a lot to remember, a lot to sift through, a lot to say. Some of it will call up the obvious, some will invoke the mostly forgotten and not a little, I imagine, will be peppered by the personal. I look forward to sharing, and to you sharing back…bit by bit, week by week. No need to rush straight to Buckner, if you get my drift.
Consider this programming advisory the first of our Flashbacks. But don’t worry. We have ten months of Fridays to mull in detail what Met life was like two decades ago and how what happened then continues to impact us now. As a great voice probably said more than once in those halcyon days, fasten your seatbelts.
Twenty years, 43 Fridays. This was the first of them.