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Greg Prince and Jason Fry
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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Where Were You When the Lights Stayed On?

A blink ahead of midnight on October 25, 1986, the lights nearly went out on the New York Mets’ quest for their second world championship, as Dave Henderson launched a home run that clanked off the Newsday sign above the extreme left field fence at Shea Stadium. It was the top of the tenth inning of the sixth game of the World Series. The score was suddenly Red Sox 4 Mets 3. Within the first few minutes of October 26, the Red Sox would add another run to their lead. Given that Boston was ahead three games to two, and the World Series was a best-of-seven affair, you might say darkness was upon us.

Wally Backman led off for the Mets in the bottom of the tenth. You could always count on Wally, yet he popped out.

Keith Hernandez was up next. You could always count on Keith, yet he flied out.

If you couldn’t count on Wally and you couldn’t count on Keith, what could you count on? The Red Sox were up, 5-3. There were two outs. Dark didn’t begin to describe the Metsian mood. The entire epic season of 108 exhilarating wins, a searing NLCS triumph, and the delightfully atonal “Get Metsmerized” record were about to be consigned to the “nice try” ash heap of history. Despite what George Foster had rapped in April, the Mets were not going to qualify as “better than the Red Machine” if they couldn’t make the clock stop, keep the darkness from blanketing the end of 1986 forevermore and, you know, score at least two runs, preferably three.

Just as we reached that unthinkable interval when even the most faithful of fans might have crossed a toe across the border into the land of Giving Up (ahem), Gary Carter singled. Then Kevin Mitchell singled. Then Ray Knight singled, scoring Carter and sending Mitchell to third. Then, with Mookie Wilson batting, Bob Stanley uncorked a wild pitch, allowing Mitchell to race home and Knight to rush to second.

Wilson continued batting. One pitch after another. A plethora of foul balls. A tie in place. Nothing assured.

Then Wilson made contact, producing the slightest of ground balls heading up the first base line.

This is where you come in.

There would be half as many pennants in this corner of my office had it not been for one particular tenth inning.

If you were a sentient Mets fan in the first hour of October 26, 1986 (and an anecdotal interpretation of our blog’s demographics suggests that you were), you are invited to tell your story regarding Mookie Wilson, Bill Buckner and the outcome of Game Six. Extending the invitation is Nick Davis, director of the upcoming 30 for 30 multipart documentary commemorating the 35th anniversary of the 1986 World Champion New York Mets and a deep dive into the city and era they so deeply defined. Nick is a Friend of FAFIF, and I can vouch for the dedication he and his crew are putting into this project.

So here’s what Nick is asking:

1) Remember where you were, what you went through, how you felt, how you still feel.

2) Film yourself telling your distinct Tenth Inning Story on a smartphone or laptop, with the camera positioned horizontally, a.k.a. “landscape” mode. Keep the camera steady, keep background noise to a minimum, choose a simple background (avoid windows) and get yourself close to the camera. The Mets were the stars of that Series, but you, after all, are the star of your story.

3) Include everything you remember about the moment and use all the colorful language you consider appropriate. It was an emotional episode. Feel free to let it out.

4) The briefer the better. Three to four minutes to tell your tale, tops.

5) Send the video you’ve created to From there, it will be considered for inclusion in a film likely to be a touchstone for baseball and cultural scholars for decades to come. Or at least get downloaded, streamed and repeated a lot.

Nick can answer any other questions you have at the above e-mail address.

“We’ve got the teamwork to make the dream work,” all the Mets (other than erstwhile teammate George Foster) insisted in August of 1986. Be part of the team here and share how the Mets at least once in your life helped make your dream come true.

7 comments to Where Were You When the Lights Stayed On?

  • Seth

    Yeah, thanks Hendu (may you rest in peace). It wasn’t even just that night — it’s scary to think how close the 1986 Mets came to NOT winning it all. And think how our entire perception of the team post-1986 would have changed if they had not pulled off that miracle.

  • Daniel Hall

    Since the most-recent Mets game for which I was not yet alive had Ray Knight clocking Eric Davis, and Davey Johnson shifting pitchers in the outfield in extras, I was almost precisely three months old at the time, and absolutely didn’t give a poop back then. :D

  • open the gates

    I’m very impressed that you managed to drop George Foster’s name twice in the process of retelling the Game Six Story. That’s gotta be a world record, especially considering that if Foster had still been on the team at that juncture, he would have almost certainly been in that last sequence of events instead of either Mitchell or Wilson, meaning that he would almost certainly have been the last out of 1986.

    There. Now that I guaranteed myself another nightmare for tonight, I can start filming my personal Game Six Story.

  • Henry

    Thanks. I am making a short video of my story. I was in the Mets dugout holding the interview mic for CBS Radio when Mookie’s grounder won the game ⚾️

  • Nick

    Thank you, Greg! We’ve already received a fantastic one from one of your readers! And also continue to hunt for a title….

  • […] Where Were You When the Lights Stayed On? »    […]

  • chuck


    I really hope I’ve never had the indiscretion to tell my story of that night. If you (or Jason, or Nick) are curious enough, you have my email. But no, Nick ain’t getting a video clip.

    Continued thanks for putting up with me.