Has it really been 25 years since the 1986 Mets were kings of New York? Has it really been five years since the last round of anniversary remembrances?
Even though mining unearthed gems about that much-chronicled squad is difficult, there is no shortage of material, and MSG will share a bunch of it Tuesday through next Friday in a four-part series it is calling “Summer of ’86: The Rise and Fall of the World Champion Mets.’’
I asked Johnson recently if it seems as though 25 years have passed.
“I don’t live in the past,’’ he said, “but 25 years? Wow. Did I live that long?’’
Johnson, 68, said managing the ’86 Mets was his greatest baseball thrill, surpassing his four World Series as a player with the Orioles because he oversaw the entire operation.
Not that those Series as a player weren’t memorable, too.
In 1966, his hit off Sandy Koufax was the last the Hall of Famer ever allowed. Joked Johnson, “He retired because he knew he was washed up when I got the hit.’’
In ’69, Johnson flew out to Cleon Jones for the final out in the Mets’ first Series. “I almost got trampled,’’ he said. “I was at second base and there were 50,000 fans coming over the [Shea] stadium walls. I said, ‘I might not live out today.’’