Knight in 2007
|Third baseman / First baseman|
Born: December 28, 1952|
|September 10, 1974 for the Cincinnati Reds|
Last MLB appearance
|October 2, 1988 for the Detroit Tigers|
|Runs batted in||595|
Career highlights and awards
Charles Ray Knight (born December 28, 1952) is an American former right-handed Major League Baseball corner infielder best remembered for his time with the Cincinnati Reds and New York Mets. Originally drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the tenth round of the 1970 Major League Baseball Draft, he is likely best remembered to Reds fans as the man who replaced Pete Rose at third base, whereas Mets fans remember Knight as the man who scored the winning run of game six of the 1986 World Series and the MVP of that series. He is now a studio analyst and occasional game analyst for MASN's coverage of the Washington Nationals.
Knight made his major league debut with Cincinnati as a September call-up in
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Knight was a .232 hitter with two home runs and 19 runs batted in when he assumed the role of starting third baseman for the "Big Red Machine" following Rose's defection to the Philadelphia Phillies in
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On May 13,
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Knight split his time between third and first base with the Astros. He made the All Star team once again in
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After batting .304 in
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New York Mets
Knight platooned third base with the newly acquired Howard Johnson for the 1985 and 1986 seasons. In his first full season with the Mets, Knight batted only .218 with six home runs and 36 RBIs. During the off-season, the Mets attempted to trade Knight to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Lee Mazzilli, but were denied.
Knight came out of the gate eager to prove the Mets wrong, crushing six home runs and batting .306 with twelve RBIs in the month of April. On July 22, Knight incited a bench clearing brawl at Riverfront Stadium against his former teammates. Eric Davis pinch-running for Reds player/manager Pete Rose in the tenth inning stole second and third base. Knight took the throw from Mets catcher Gary Carter late, brought his glove to Davis' face and knocked his helmet off. A stare off ensued, followed by a right cross from Knight. The benches emptied and as a result of all the ejections from this fight, back-up catcher Ed Hearn was brought into the game, and Carter moved from behind the plate to third. Roger McDowell replaced Jesse Orosco on the mound, and Orosco went into right field. They traded positions with two outs in the eleventh, and McDowell traded positions with left fielder Mookie Wilson with one out in the 12th. This rotation continued for the remainder of the game, which the Mets won in fourteen innings.
The Mets won 108 games in 1986 and took the National League East convincingly by 21.5 games over the Phillies. For the season, Knight batted .298 with eleven home runs and 76 RBIs to earn NL Comeback Player of the Year honors. Knight batted only .167 in the 1986 National League Championship Series against his former teammates, the Houston Astros. In the World Series, however, Knight broke out with a .391 batting average and five RBIs.
The Mets won the 1986 World Series in seven games over the Boston Red Sox. Knight's single in the now-legendary tenth inning of game six of the Series drove in Gary Carter for the first run of the inning, and also pushed Kevin Mitchell to third, allowing him to score on Bob Stanley's wild pitch. Knight then scored the winning run from second after Mookie Wilson's ground ball went through the legs of Bill Buckner, and Knight's celebration as he rounded third to score was one of the indelible images of the series.
He hit the tiebreaking home run in game seven, and was rewarded with the World Series MVP award and the Baseball Writers Association of America's Babe Ruth Award for the best performance in the World Series.
Unable to agree on a contract with general manager Frank Cashen for
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Knight managed the Reds from 1996 to
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Knight is currently a broadcaster with the Washington Nationals, and hosts Nats Xtra, MASN's pregame and postgame show. Johnny Holliday, Knight's fellow MASN broadcaster, has playfully referred to him as the "Silver Fox."
1986 Mets reunion
Knight was one of several members of the 1986 championship team not to attend the 20th anniversary celebration at Shea Stadium on August 19, 2006; the others included manager Davey Johnson, (who was managing Team USA in Cuba), Dwight Gooden (who was serving a jail sentence), Roger McDowell (who is the Atlanta Braves pitching coach), Lee Mazzilli (who was the New York Yankees bench coach), and pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre (whose reasons for not attending are unknown). While the official reason given for Knight's absence was a previous commitment, many have speculated that it was more likely because of his treatment by the organization immediately following his heroics in the 1986 World Series.
Ray Knight was previously married to Nancy Lopez, a retired LPGA golfer. They had three daughters together: Ashley Knight who is the oldest, Erinn Knight who is the middle, and Torri Knight who is the youngest. He also briefly caddied for her. They live in Albany, Georgia and also have a home at The Villages, Florida. He also has a son from a previous marriage, Brooks Knight. Knight is a member of the Golden Gloves boxing association.
- "Cincinnati Reds 5, San Diego Padres 2". 1974-09-10.
- "Cincinnati Reds 15, New York Mets 4". 1980-05-13.
- "Two Home Runs in One Inning".
- "1980 All Star Game". 1980-07-08.
- "Best of the bunch. Mets no strangers to fisticuffs on the diamond". Retrieved 2008-02-27.
- "New York Mets 6, Cincinnati Reds 3". 1986-07-22.
- "1986 World Series, Game Six". 1986-10-25.
- "86 Mets reunite at Shea". 2006-08-19.
- Career statistics and player information from MLB, or ESPN, or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube