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Shea moment No. 1: Buckner's error

Shea moment No. 1: Buckner's error

NEW YORK -- Down two runs heading into the bottom of the 10th inning, the Red Sox were three outs away from the 1986 title. Second baseman Marty Barrett was already NBC's Player of the Game. Champagne bottles could soon be divvied up amongst the visitors.

The first two technicalities came easy in Game 6. First, a popup from Wally Backman and then another from Keith Hernandez. But then came three singles, and the first sign of distress arrived in NBC announcer Vin Scully's voice: "And the Mets refuse to go quietly."

A wild pitch had scored the tying run, but any routine play during Mookie Wilson's at-bat with two outs -- a flyout, a strikeout or even a ground ball -- would turn the inning over and allow the Red Sox a chance to walk away champion on Oct. 25.

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"Can you believe this ballgame at Shea?" Scully asked moments before the call that would make this the fans' No. 1 moment at Shea Stadium.

"A little roller up along first," Scully dictated as Wilson's grounder skipped under Red Sox first baseman Bill Buckner's legs, "behind the bag!"

"It gets through Buckner!" Scully exclaimed as Ray Knight approached home plate. "Here comes Knight, and the Mets win it!"

Knight was tackled at home plate by a swarm of teammates, captured in that week's Sports Illustrated as the "Knight Cap" to an historic Game 6. The Mets then finished off the Red Sox in the seventh game, 8-5, and took the 1986 title for themselves.

While Game 6 will be remembered by Red Sox fans as a sign of the Babe's spells, the image of Wilson touching first base safely remains dear to the hearts of Mets fans. Buckner and Wilson dual-signed collectibles line the market, and the radio and television calls of the game sing a sweet tune for Mets fans young and old.

"If one picture is worth a thousand words, you have seen about a million words," Scully said less than 22 years ago, "but more than that, you have seen an absolutely bizarre finish to Game 6 of the 1986 World Series."

Jon Blau is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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