Did “Rowdy” Roddy Piper Rally Mets To Beat Red Sox In ’86?
On October 20th, 1986, the New York Mets were trailing the Boston Red Sox two games to none in the World Series and the World Wrestling Federation was in “The Big Apple” for a live event at Madison Square Garden. The show featured an edition of “Rowdy” Roddy Piper’s interview segment, “Piper’s Pit.” Piper asked the New York crowd about their Mets. The fans booed because their team had lost the first two games of the best of seven series at home to Boston. Piper responded to the crowd by telling them that the Mets still had a shot, which resulted in immediate cheering.
Then, heel manager Bobby “The Brain” Heenan entered the ring and jabbed at the crowd by asking, “how ’bout them Red Sox?”, which angered the fans and Roddy Piper who said, “I’ll bet you fifty dollars right now the Mets take it.” Piper then raised the bet to ten thousand dollars, which Heenan agreed to with a handshake.
The 1986 World Series shifted to Boston’s Fenway Park the next night and the Mets beat the Red Sox in Game 3. The Mets tied the series at two games apiece with a victory in Game 4. Boston won Game 5 to go up 3-2. In Game 6, Boston first baseman Bill Buckner made perhaps the most famous error in baseball history, keeping the Mets alive and forcing a Game 7. On October 27th, 1986, the New York Mets defeated the Boston Red Sox by a score of 8-5 in Game 7 to win the World Series at Shea Stadium.
The phrase “bulletin board material” often comes up in the world of sports these days and I wonder, did “Rowdy” Roddy Piper inspire the Mets to believe that they were not finished and that they could win the championship despite losing the first two games at home? More importantly, did Bobby Heenan ever pay up? – Shaffee