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The 1986 New York Mets season was the Mets' 25th season in the National League. They improved from a 98–64 record in 1985 to finish the season with aThe 1986 New York Mets season was the Mets' 25th season in the National League. They improved from a 98–64 record in 1985 to finish the season with a franchise record 108–54 record, giving them the division title. They went on to defeat the Houston Astros in six games in the NLCS and the American League champion Boston Red Sox in seven games in the World Series. This is their last championship to date. The 1986 Mets are one of just two National League teams to have won twice as many games as lost in the regular season since 1909. The team is often regarded as one of the best of all-time, being cited in 2021 by ESPN as a top contender for best MLB team of the previous half-century from 1970 to 2020.
The St. Louis Cardinals are an American professional baseball team based in St. Louis. The Cardinals compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a memberThe St. Louis Cardinals are an American professional baseball team based in St. Louis. The Cardinals compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the National League (NL) Central division. Since the 2006 season, the Cardinals have played their home games at Busch Stadium in downtown St. Louis. One of the nation's oldest and most successful professional baseball clubs, the Cardinals have won 11 World Series championships, the most of any NL team and second in MLB only to the New York Yankees. The team has won 19 National League pennants, third-most of any team. St. Louis has also won 14 division titles in the East and Central divisions. In 1881, entrepreneur Chris von der Ahe purchased the Brown Stockings barnstorming club, renamed it the St. Louis Browns, and made it a charter member of the American Association baseball league. The team won four league championships, qualifying them to play in the era's professional baseball championship series, a forerunner of the modern World Series. In two of these championships, the Browns met the Chicago White Stockings, now the Chicago Cubs launching the enduring Cardinals–Cubs rivalry. In 1892, the Browns – also called the Perfectos – joined the National League. In 1900, the team was renamed the Cardinals. (Two years later, an unrelated St. Louis Browns team joined the American League.) Notable Cardinals achievements include manager/owner Branch Rickey's invention of the farm system, Rogers Hornsby's two batting Triple Crowns, Dizzy Dean's 30-win season in 1934, Stan Musial's 17 MLB and 29 NL records, Bob Gibson's 1.12 earned run average (ERA) in 1968, Whitey Herzog's Whiteyball, Mark McGwire's single-season home run record in 1998, and the 2011 championship team's unprecedented comebacks. The Cardinals have won 105 or more games in four seasons and won 100 or more nine times. Cardinals players have won 20 league MVPs, four batting Triple Crowns, and three Cy Young Awards. Baseball Hall of Fame inductees include Lou Brock, Dizzy Dean, Bob Gibson, Whitey Herzog, Rogers Hornsby, Joe Medwick, Stan Musial, Enos Slaughter, Branch Rickey, Red Schoendienst, Ozzie Smith, Ted Simmons, and Bruce Sutter. In 2018, Forbes valued the Cardinals at $1.9 billion, 7th-highest among MLB clubs and far more than the $147 million paid in 1995 by owner William DeWitt, Jr.'s investment group. In 2017, the team took in revenue of $319 million on an operating income of $40.0 million. John Mozeliak is the President of Baseball Operations, Mike Girsch is the general manager and Oliver Marmol is the manager. The Cardinals are renowned for their strong fan support: despite being in one of the sport's mid-level markets, they routinely see attendances among the league's highest, and are consistently among the top three in MLB in local television ratings.Through 2021, the Cardinals' all-time win-loss record is 11,038–10,163 (.521).