The Zionist Conspiracy
Saturday, May 20, 2006
Yom Kippur and the '86 Mets
Toward the end of shabbos, I began reading Judaism's Encounter With American Sports by Jeffrey Gurock. The book is clearly very thoroughly researched, so I was surprised to find a glaring factual error on page 5.
As Gurock writes, many Jews expressed frustration when Games 4 and 5 of the 1986 National League Championship Series between the Mets and the Astros were scheduled for Yom Kippur (Game 4 at night and Game 5 on Yom Kippur afternoon).
(It was actually even worse, since Game 3 was played on shabbos afternoon, so all three Mets home games were scheduled either on shabbos or on Yom Kippur.)
Gurock quotes a column by George Vecsey in the New York Times predicting rain that would spare Jewish fans from missing two playoffs games. Gurock then writes:
"In the end, the proprietors of the national pastime did not fold to Jewish complaints and it did not rain on October 12-13, 1986."
But it indeed did rain on Yom Kippur 1986. Game 4 went ahead as scheduled, with Mike Scott scuffing the baseball, cheating his way to victory over the Mets. The next day, however, it rained just enough for Game 5 to be postponed a day and rescheduled for the following afternoon.
And so on Tuesday, October 14, 1986, the last day of yeshiva before the break for the succos holiday, as soon as the lunch break commenced, a 9th grader who loved the Mets took a bus home, hoping his mother wouldn't send him back to school. He walked through the door, and murmured something about having a stomach virus. 12 innings later, after a classic pitching duel between Dwight Gooden and Nolan Ryan, Gary Carter's single off of Charlie Kerfeld scored Wally Backman to win it for the Mets, and screams of joy emanated from the room of the (ostensibly sickly) 13 year old.