The Mets had taken the field; pitcher Bob Ojeda had just thrown the ball to catcher Gary Carter. The crowd of 55,000 at Shea was pumped and excited.
All of a sudden, something, or someone, came out of the sky. A man in a white jumpsuit with a parachute on his back glided into the infield.
He touched down carrying a homemade “Go Mets” banner. After scoring a high-five from Ron Darling and enthusiastic cheers from the crowd, he was escorted off the field by cops. Who was this rabid and fearless fan?
Michael Sergio was an actor in his 30s living in Midtown, who made the jump from a plane into the Queens nighttime sky to show his support, he told a New York Mets sports blog in 2011.
That night, he watched the Mets win the game at the police station. The next day, a judge released him on his own recognizance.
He later pleaded guilty to criminal trespassing and paid a $500 fine for his spectacular descent into Shea, which is preserved forever on YouTube.
Can you imagine if this happened today? Sergio would be tackled by stadium security and federal agents and be thrown in federal prison!
“Shea under the lights was the most beautiful sight imaginable, like a crystal-green pool,” Sergio told Sports Illustrated in a 1989 article about his famous jump, which foreshadowed an incredible game and series.
[Top photo: Studious Metsimus; middle: New York Post; bottom: New York Daily News]