Even most people who have no clue about baseball have at least heard someone mention "Game 6." The legendary match has even been the subject of a "Seinfeld" discussion - in an episode where Jerry becomes friends with former New York Met Keith Hernandez, George excitedly asks him if he's brought up the topic of Game 6. "Nah, gotta wait till the time's just right," says Jerry.
I held a greater interest in baseball as a kid, going to baseball card shows and even minor league games. Before hitting the card shows, I remember keeping myself in candy money by selling baseball cards to other kids at school. At the time, the most desired cards were always the Mets. The Mets of 1986 were considered the very best team in baseball, and their starting lineup (speaking of starting lineup, I wonder where all my Starting Lineup figures are) still remains legendary, as it included such great players as: Mookie Wilson, 1985 Cy Young Award winner Dwight Gooden, Darryl Strawberry, Wally Backman, Lenny Dykstra and Keith Hernandez. Only 2 of the 24 players on the Mets roster had played in a World Series prior to this one.
While the Mets had been winning games right and left during the regular season (they finished first in the National League East by an incredible 21.5 games), the postseason wouldn't be so easy. After clinching against the Astros in a 16-inning game, the Mets went on to face the terrific Red Sox in a series that would see the Red Sox look as if they were going to take the series. Down going into Game 6 (which started off with a random guy parachuting onto the field before being taken away), the Mets were losing going into the bottom of the 10th inning.
Suddenly - with two outs - the Mets staged a tremendous comeback that eventually saw them only one run away from tying things up. After a wild pitch while Mookie Wilson was at bat, the tying run came home and Boston's hopes for a win suddenly slipped away. Locking it in for the Mets was a devastating error by Bill Buckner of the Red Sox, as a grounder by Wilson slipped right by him, much to his apparent shock. The winning run arrived at the plate and the Mets (who had won 39 come-from-behind victories during the season) went on to win Game 7. As the tables turn, you can almost feel the energy of it all, even just watching it on DVD about twenty years after the fact.
In a nice touch, this 9-DVD set includes all 7 games of the World Series, as well as the complete 16-inning game 6 finale of the National League Championship game. What does disappoint me - and I've mentioned it in every review of a Major League Baseball product on DVD - is that the MLB logo is once again seen throughout the entire program. While the logo is fairly small (it has been moved from its usual spot in the upper corner to the lower left corner), it's sizable enough to be distracting. I was hoping that, for a World Series set, it would be gone, but oh well.
A positive note that must be mentioned is the set's use of the inserts for each of the discs. Instead of just slapping on some basic graphics, the inserts (both inside and out) provide a scorecard, game highlights, trivia, attendance, number of pitches, game running time and trivia. All the information you need to know about each game has been fit onto the cover.
VIDEO: A & E presents the series in its original 1.33:1 full-frame aspect ratio. Image quality does have a few issues but, as a notice states before the main menu, there are some issues with the original master copy that were not able to be fixed. That said, sharpness and detail are a tad inconsistent, but the picture is mostly crisp and the occasional soft moments don't look too terribly soft.
Some minor wear is noticed on the source elements, but only infrequently and when it is noticed, it's not much of a distraction at all. Additionally, some slight shimmering is also spotted on occasion. Colors seemed natural and accurate, with nice saturation and no smearing or other concerns. While certainly not flawless, for baseball games from 1986, they look about as good as one can reasonably expect.
SOUND: The stereo soundtrack of the games sound perfectly fine although, as with the video, there are some minor imperfections (a brief bit of distortion on a few occasions) in the source material. However, the audio is mostly crisp and clear.
EXTRAS: The main feature on the bonus disc is a set of interviews from Mookie Wilson, Gary Carter, Ray Knight, Lenny Dykstra, Bill Buckner, Bill Robinson, Kevin Mitchell and Keith Hernandez. Most interesting are Buckner and Wilson's interviews (Wilson also talks to Mike Piazza about the game in an additional interview), as both discuss the error that happened - Wilson says Buckner shouldn't be blamed and Buckner talks about what occured and his mindset about the incident.
"Inside the Moments of Game 6" is an 8-minute featurette that provides a summary of the events of the classic game. While you can watch the entire game on this set, this small featurette does provide a few insights (there are additional interviews throughout) and functions as a compressed version (a trailer, essentially) of the events.
The bonus disc also offers the 1986 World Series clubhouse victory celebration, the official trophy presentation, post-game interviews, the 1987 ring ceremony and championship banner unveiling, footage of the Mets clinching the National League Eastern division, Dykstra's game-winning, walk-off homer in NCLS game 3 and Carter's game-winner in NLCS game 5.
Final Thoughts: Baseball fans looking to watch this historic series again and again finally can on this largely excellent DVD set. While the continued appearance of the MLB logo on-screen on all MLB DVDs is disappointing, the image quality here is otherwise pleasing, as is the audio quality. The handful of supplements and the inclusion of game 6 against the Astros rounds out the package well. Recommended.