When a Fan Parachuted Into the 1986 World Series at Shea Stadium

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For most people who are old enough, Game Six of the 1986 World Series is remembered for an error by Bill Buckner that helped the Mets win in dramatic fashion.

The victory kept the Mets alive and forced a Game Seven between New York and Boston. A misplay by Buckner behind first base allowed Ray Knight to scamper home with the winning run, completing an improbably two-out rally by the Mets.

But for one man, a Mets fan named Michael Sergio, that game is best remembered for a stunt that shocked the tens of thousands of people in Shea Stadium that cool October evening.

Sergio was a struggling musician and a self-described adventurer who orchestrated the scheme with the assistance of a pilot friend who dumped him into Queens that evening to the delight of most of the fans in the ballpark. He deftly steered his parachute onto the infield grass, a “GO METS!” sign attached to his ropes.

In that pre-9/11 era, Sergio was treated as a nuisance rather than as a threat. Police officers, who met him on the field, charged him with criminal trespass, reckless endangerment and “anything else we can think of.”

The Mets won Game Six and Seven and were crowned World Series champions after one of the greatest seasons by any team, which included 108 regular season victories. The franchise has not won a title since.

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Dan Holmes

Dan Holmes

Dan Holmes is the author of three books about baseball, including Ty Cobb: A Biography. He previously worked for the National Baseball Hall of Fame, and Major League Baseball Advanced Media. He lives in Michigan where he writes, runs, and enjoys a good orange soda now and again.
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