By Mike Steffanos
Collector's Edition 9-Disk DVD Set
As soon as I heard they were coming out with this set I put in a pre-order on it at Amazon.com. The day that it arrived in the mail a little over a week ago, I felt like a kid on Christmas morning. Although I had these games on old VHS tapes, the quality had deteriorated quite a bit and it's always a pain to hunt up the tape. To now own these games in high quality on DVD is something that any Mets fan should appreciate.
One thing to keep in mind, though, is that these games were originally recorded in 1986, and technology was not on a par with what's available today. While nice and clear, the picture is hardly perfect. Also, if you own a wide-screen tv, there will be some distortion. Still, the overall quality is fine, and certainly not a disappointment.
There are 9 disks included in the set. Games 1 - 7 of the World Series each has its own DVD, as does the decisive game 6 of the National League Series against the Astros. The final disk contains the extra features that I'll get to shortly. Although I love the fact that they thought to include the complete pennant clincher from the Astros series, it's a shame no one thought to make a set with the compete NLCS included. All 6 of those games were classics, and I would willingly have paid more to have them in the set. The 1994 New York Rangers Stanley Cup DVD set went this route, including all 7 games of the Semi-finals against the Devils as well as all the games of the finals. Understanding the ordeal that the 1986 NLCS was is important to putting that World Series into context, but since this is a World Series set, I can't hold that against them. If they ever come out with a set from the 1986 NLCS, however, I can promise them at least one buyer.
A bigger quibble I have is with the game disks themselves. There is very little besides the actual games on these DVDs, no pre- or post-game footage. Even if they put a 5 minute introduction to the game at the beginning and a quick player interview at the end it would have been nice. How about the option of a second audio track option where, say, Mookie Wilson could talk about his at-bat in game 6, or Sid Fernandez could talk about his game-saving relief stint in game 7? I was expecting something like that when I first watched the DVDs, and was disappointed. Basically, they gave us only what they had to on these game DVDs as far as content.
One thing I thought they really got right on the game disks was the individual disk sleeves. The DVD is divided into chapters for each half-inning for easy navigation. There is a complete game summary on the inside of the sleeve that is broken down by what each team did each inning, enabling you to easily find and navigate to specific game action.
The gem of the set is the ninth disk containing the extras. It's here where you can watch the Mets clinch the division title, and see Lenny Dykstra's improbable walk-off home run and Gary Carter's extra-inning game winner in that Astros series. There are some post-game interviews from game 7, and the clubhouse celebration and more of the usual hoopla.
What I enjoyed best on this disk was an extended hand-held sequence from the final out through the on-field and clubhouse celebrations. It was a view that you rarely see, and I found myself enthralled reliving the great moment in that manner. There were also quite a few player interviews -- solid stuff, but nothing earth-shattering.
I've detailed my mild disappointment with this set, but for all that, consider it a must-have for any real Mets fan. If you go back to 1986, you'll enjoy reliving that series. If you don't, you can experience some of what made that team so special. This set would also make a nice birthday or Father's Day gift -- even Mother's Day, if your mom is a big fan like mine. Links below point to Amazon.com (where I bought it), and DeepDiscountDVD.com, where it seems to be the cheapest.
The New York Mets 1986 World Series Collector's Edition DVD Set
A&E Home Video
9-Disk Set, March 28, 2006