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The 2015 World Series was always going to lead to wild celebrations and crushing disappointment. The Kansas City Royals and New York Mets are not perennial winners accustomed to postseason baseball, and their fans knew that the Fall Classic offered their teams an opportunity that may not come again for several years. Kansas City came up short in 2014 after reaching the playoffs for the first time in almost three decades, and the Mets last played October baseball during the 2000 Subway Series with their crosstown nemesis.

Mets fans may have had mixed feelings heading into the World Series. While a four game sweep of the Chicago Cubs saw the team take the field in a positive mood, fans were likely uneasy knowing that no team that had swept their way into the World Series had gone on to win it. The Royals dispatched the Toronto Blue Jays in six games, and the team showed the determination and character that had seen them take San Francisco to seven games in the 2014 Fall Classic.

Things were looking good for Kansas City fans as their team took the first two games at home, but the Mets came roaring back at Citi Field in game three. Fans watching the action at home (through local tv providers) tuned into game five with the Mets trailing the Royals three games to one, and they likely expected the action to head back to Missouri as New York took a two run lead into the ninth inning. However, October baseball is famous for being an emotional roller coaster, and fans are unlikely to forget what happened next.

New York starting pitcher Matt Harvey had put in a spectacular performance through eight innings, but pundits around the country expected him to be replaced in the ninth by the looming presence of Jeurys Familia. Familia had been near uninhabitable at times during the playoffs, and Harvey's pitch count was nearing the red zone at the time. However, the New York fans were awed by their starter's courageous performance, and the chorus calling for him to be allowed to see out the game grew louder and louder.

The Mets manager Terry Collins is a wily professional with decades of experience. He is not known for making emotional decisions, but this was the Mets. The Amazins tend to do miraculous things in the World Series, and Collins admits that he allowed the crowd to influence his decision - the ninth inning got underway with Familia still in the bullpen.

Harvey had surrendered only four hits and no runs as he gutted it out through eight innings, but he quickly found himself in trouble during the ninth. Harvey's fastball approached 100 mph as he struck out seven of eight hitters during one stretch, but Lorenzo Cain eked out a walk to lead off the pivotal ninth inning. Once again Collins had an opportunity to bring Familia into the game, but he elected to allow Harvey to face the tying run at the plate. The Mets closer finally got the signal after Eric Hosmer's double had driven in Cain, but both the crowd and the Met's manager by this point realized that they had likely allowed their emotions to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Familia managed to get out of the inning with the score tied, and baseball fans around the country prepared for extra innings.

The climax of the 2015 postseason reminded fans of how important belief and confidence are to athletes, and few were surprised when the Royals went on to seal the game with five runs in the top of the twelfth. The Royals players and fans had experienced heartbreak just a year before but were in it to win it this time around, and it remains to be seen if the Mets have the character to bounce back in the same way in 2016. 

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