When you think about the 1986 World Series, the first thing you probably think about is this play right here.
(Fast forward to 4:20 in the video)
The Boston Red Sox were one out away from a World Series title in 1986 as they led 5-3 with 2 outs in the 10th inning of game 6. Then, the curse seemed to show its’ ugly head. Mookie Wilson ended the game with a ground ball up the first base line that went under Bill Buckner’s legs to help the Mets win the game, force a game 7, and ultimately steal a World Series title from the Red Sox.
Bill Buckner, the butt of many jokes about that play, died yesterday at the age of 69 after a long battle with dementia.
Remembering our time with Bill Buckner, a great player and even better man. pic.twitter.com/7r7OY3pxmj
— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) May 28, 2019
Buckner Was A Solid MLB Player
Bill Buckner had a solid MLB career, period. His statistics get overlooked because of that one unfortunate play. Take a look at these numbers.
Bill Buckner's major-league career:
2,715 career hits
450 walks, just 453 strikeouts
1980 NL batting champion
Led NL in doubles twice; 498 career doubles
Played in the World Series twice
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) May 27, 2019
A batting title in 1980 with the Cubs, an All-Star appearance in 1981, and two World Series appearances were not enough to overpower one play. He had almost as many career walks as he did strikeouts. In today’s game, that is simply unheard of no matter where you look. Buckner had over 2,700 hits as well in his 21 year career. The man could flat out play baseball.
People Blew The Error Out Of Proportion
Did that error decide game 6 of the 1986 World Series? Yes. But did it cost the Red Sox that game? Absolutely not. Imagine if Calvin Schiraldi get one more out after getting two consecutive outs to start the inning. What about Bob Stanley throwing a wild pitch to help the Mets score the tying run? The point is that there were factors that led up to the Buckner blunder. You avoid giving up 3 straight singles and a wild pitch after recording 2 outs to start the inning, then the Buckner error NEVER happens.
Bill Buckner will always be wrongfully remembered for one bad play. He had a lot of good MLB seasons at the plate and in the field. His family was treated wrong after the error occurred and Buckner was treated wrong by the fans for years. It was nice that they finally forgave him after TWO World Series titles, but come on Boston sports fans. Shame on you for not cutting the guy a break! I understand it made the curse live on for 18 more years, but it’s not like he blew the play on purpose. It’s baseball, errors will happen and mistakes are made. Now, we should all be thanking Bill Buckner for his contributions and putting the Buckner slander to bed permanently. R.I.P Bill Buckner and thank you!
-Alan Nahigian (@BigAl2793)