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Jason Fry and Greg Prince
Faith and Fear in Flushing made its debut on Feb. 16, 2005, the brainchild of two longtime friends and lifelong Met fans.

Greg Prince discovered the Mets when he was 6, during the magical summer of 1969. He is a Long Island-based writer, editor and communications consultant. Contact him here.

Jason Fry is a Brooklyn writer whose first memories include his mom leaping up and down cheering for Rusty Staub. Check out his other writing here.

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Oh Happy Day

As soon as I saw today’s date, I got happy. It didn’t exactly sneak up on me, what with all the 25th anniversary talk in the air, yet I was surprised at the jolt “10.27” sent charging through my system when it leapt out at me from the bottom left-hand corner of our kitchen clock. Who knew the digital readout of a month and a day could serve as such a powerful dose of serotonin?

Here’s what’s great abut October 27, 1986: everything. There is no downside to it. There is no “yes, but…” to it. It was the conclusion to a perfect season and a perfect postseason, certainly as perfect as any span of Met time could be.

After October 27, 1986? Don’t bother me with that today. Don’t bother me with the 25 years from then to now and why no equivalent to October 27, 1986, has emerged, or that no equivalent to October 27, 1986, is detectable on the immediate horizon. Can’t do anything about the former, am not thinking about the latter at this moment.

I’m thinking about October 27, 1986, and how perfect it all was. There I go using that word again: perfect. Well, it was perfect. My team won its championship. Bam — that’s it. That’s the crux, the nutshell, whatever you want to call it. It happened and I walked around with it top of mind for weeks, if not months. I walk around with it in accessible mental storage always. It’s still perfect that the Mets won the 1986 World Series, a perfect capper to the 1986 Mets having been the 1986 Mets, to 1986 being one of two years that will never have to pay for its own drinks as long as I’m at the bar and capable of running a tab on its behalf.

We have two of these. They’re both perfect. The one from October 16, 1969, I grasped on contact though not with any appreciable depth (a symptom of being six). The one from October 27, 1986…oh, that one I got with all the nuance and all the trimmings. I was there for every day that led up to it: all of 1986, all of 1985, all of 1984, all of the fallow years before, everything on a straight line back to October 16, 1969, which was the date when I decided, consciously or otherwise, that someday I would have another one just like it.

And I got it. It took what felt like forever, but I got it. They won, we won, I won — same thing in my estimation. Emotionally, I was voted a full winner’s share. No check, no ring, no trophy, but I got my reward. I don’t display it as much as I do my angst, but I know where it is. I have never allowed anything to tarnish it. I never will.

It was perfect, I tell you. Perfect.

12 comments to Oh Happy Day

  • Schneck

    Nice, and you are correct that we should not dwell on what has happened since. I will say that I hope that the 50th anniversary does not resonate the same way that the 25th does. Perhaps, with some effort, we can think of the 25th anniversary in a way other than ’25 years since..’ but it will be a lot harder to do that when/if it is ’50 years since..’ Okay, at least my glass half empty is a glass not yet poured.

  • Dak442

    I celebrated my 20th birthday in Shea Stadium that night. It literally doesn’t get any better than that. I can face subsequent decades of, let’s call them lesser exploits, if I just focus on how great ’86 was for the Mets AND me. You couldn’t ask for a better season and postseason, and talk about the perfect time for it to happen for a guy! Still in college, not a care in the world other than my baseball team, no responsibilities to deal with, just party and enjoy.

    Almost 20 years later a friend was gloating about the Sox, and the Mets’ ineptitude. I asked him how he celebrated Boston’s championship as a 38-year-old accountant father of 4. I spent the entire ’86 postseason in bars and/or house parties with friends, and capped it in person. He admitted that his experience of watching games alone in his basement didn’t quite match up.

    Mostly I feel bad for the the fans in their mid-20s and younger, and greatly respect them for sticking with the Mets through little such reward. Hopefully we can get it done for them soon.

    • Joe D.

      Hi Dak,

      “Mostly I feel bad for the the fans in their mid-20s and younger, and greatly respect them for sticking with the Mets through little such reward. Hopefully we can get it done for them soon.”

      Actually, I feel the same for those like you who are now in their mid-forties and never experienced October 16, 1969 for that was even sweeter because it was so completely unexpected and shocking. We stuck through the mets during those early seasons and up to then our only reward was a lot of love with very, very little winning.

      “You couldn’t ask for a better season and postseason, and talk about the perfect time for it to happen for a guy! Still in college, not a care in the world other than my baseball team, no responsibilities to deal with, just party and enjoy.”

      My experience and thoughts as well regarding 1969 – I was 18 at the time. It was so unexpected, especially since in early August it seemed the miracle drive for the division was just about over and the let-down was so that we almost forgot the Mets had established itself as being a good team built for the future (a giant step in itself).

      Also, the ’86 club was well established and expected to win (OK, when the ’69 series began we knew fate would not have it any other way despite going up against the Orioles). That’s the difference between the two seasons, however, that is also being seen through the eyes of an original new breeder who has been there from the beginning and found sudden joy after so much suffering.

      Either way, we both have our special memories and hopefully there will be more to come not only for us but for first timers as well.

  • nestornajwa

    Single greatest night of my life. Thanks, El Sid!

  • kd bart

    I was six years old and at the one in 1969. I remember watching on TV the one in 1986. Both glorious days.

  • John B

    Born October 1989.

    Can’t wait for my October 27, 1986.

  • Will in Central NJ

    I was 23 (like Greg), and in college. Exuberance was everywhere. Great, heady times of young adulthood.

    All we need is Jonathon Niese (Date of birth: 10/27/1986) to be the Mets’ first pitcher to throw a no-hitter to make it even more whole.

  • Florida Met Fan Rich

    Oh Happy Days!

  • Lenny65

    I’ll never forget it. From the moment game six ended there was this feeling of inevitability; there was absolutely no way they wouldn’t win game seven. I was never so sure of anything in my life. Even when they were behind in the actual game you knew they’d set things straight soon enough and when Knight homered the deal was sealed. I didn’t even know how to act when it ended, it was all so surreal. It was everything I’d ever wanted out of the Mets and a whole lot more, a tremendous gift of a season that made up for the years and years of terrible baseball we’d endured. I was giddy for months, I had a VCR tape of the final few innings I must have watched 1,000 times that winter.

  • Pat O'

    After everyone went to bed, my late father and I cracked open a bottle of champagne together-One of my favorite memories.

  • [...] by Greg Prince on 28 October 2011 11:30 am In the same way the sight of “10.27” made me smile yesterday, the thought of “Game Seven” has got me grinning today. Yet this has nothing to do with 1986. [...]