30 Years Later, Royals and Mets Face Off in World Series

Posted by Mark Schremmer on

 All of the “Back to the Future” storylines this baseball season have surrounded the Chicago Cubs. That makes sense, of course, since the movie’s sequel predicted a Cubs’ World Series victory in 2015.

However, that doesn’t mean there are a lack of ties between “Back to the Future” and this year’s actual World Series matchup between the Kansas City Royals and the New York Mets.

If you recall, the journey of Marty McFly and Doc Brown started in the mid-1980s. So it’s only appropriate that two of the best teams from the mid-1980s are set to meet on the 30th anniversary of the science-fiction favorite about a time-traveling DeLorean.

Maybe it’s destiny that the 1985 world champion Kansas City Royals will finally meet the 1986 world champion New York Mets on baseball’s biggest stage.

The two teams fell a little shy of meeting in 1985.

The 1985 Mets recorded 98 wins – eight more than their 2015 counterpart – but failed to make the postseason under the format of the time. Despite a more than respectable 98-64 record in 1985, Gary Carter, Keith Hernandez, Daryl Strawberry, Doc Gooden and the rest of the Mets finished three games behind the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League East. The Mets boasted the third best record in all of baseball that year.

When the Mets won the World Series the next season in 1986, the Royals took a significant step backward and began a postseason drought that lasted 29 years until the franchise reached the World Series a year ago.

Both teams are vying for their first World Series victory since the mid-1980s, and both teams would like to win a world championship minus the previous distractions.

The Royals’ 1985 championship was tarnished by the infamous Don Denkinger call. Denkinger, an umpire in the 1985 World Series, called Kansas City’s Jorge Orta safe at first base on a play that replays showed him to be out by half a step. After the incorrect call, the Royals went on to win Game 6 before routing the Cardinals in the series-deciding Game 7.

The 1986 World Series may be remembered more for a mistake by the Boston Red Sox rather than the success of the Mets. A groundball that went through the legs of Boston first baseman Bill Buckner gave New York a win in Game 6, and the Mets went on to win the title in Game 7.

Neither franchise has won another World Series since.

So it may very well be the time to end the curse of Denkinger or time for the Mets to once again be the kings of New York.

Three decades later, one of these two franchises will reign supreme.

It will be Eric Hosmer and Lorenzo Cain instead of George Brett and Frank White, and it will be Daniel Murphy and Matt Harvey instead of Strawberry and Gooden, but the time has finally come for these two teams to face off.

Mark Schremmer has been a sports reporter since 2000 and has covered professional, college and high school teams for The Topeka Capital-Journal and The Joplin Globe.

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