The Sift Here’s what we’re Sifting today

Infamous All-Star Buckner dies at age 69

by Kyle Ziemnick
Posted 5/28/19, 11:38 am

Bill Buckner, an All-Star first baseman remembered for a disastrous error in the 1986 World Series, died Monday after a long battle with Lewy body dementia. He was 69. Buckner’s career spanned more than 20 years. He was the 1980 National League batting champion while playing for the Chicago Cubs and played for the Boston Red Sox from 1984 to 1987.

In the 1986 World Series, the Red Sox were up two runs in the bottom of the 10th of Game 6 against the New York Mets—just one out away from their first title since 1918. But after the Mets scored twice, Mookie Wilson hit a slow grounder toward Buckner, who missed the ball as it rolled between his legs, bringing home the winning run from second. The Mets won the decisive Game 7, and Red Sox fans didn’t let Buckner off the hook for decades. His blunder came to symbolize the “Curse of the Bambino,” a superstition that selling Babe Ruth’s contract to the New York Yankees in 1919 doomed the Red Sox never to win another championship. (The “curse,” of course, ended when the Red Sox finally won the World Series in 2004.)

“I had to forgive the media for what they put me and my family through,” Buckner said in 2008. “So I’ve done that. I’m over that. And I’m just happy that I just try to think of the positive. The happy things.”

His wife, Jodi, two daughters, and one son survive him.

Read more from The Sift Sign up for The Sift email
Kyle Ziemnick

Kyle is a graduate of the World Journalism Institute.

Read more from this writer


You must be a WORLD Member and logged in to the website to comment.
  • OldMike
    Posted: Tue, 05/28/2019 12:44 pm

    R.I.P., Bill. 

    You were an All Star, you were a batting champ.  But none of us is perfect! 

  • Wayne52
    Posted: Tue, 05/28/2019 12:57 pm

    You should have added the quote from his Jodi about his passing, "We are deeply sadden and miss him greatly, but we are comforted that he is in the arms of his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ".  Bill was a very honorable and respectful guy, these are the things that he should really be remembered him by.

  •  SBTB's picture
    Posted: Tue, 05/28/2019 01:08 pm

    "Infamous" is a poor adjective to use in describing a faithful Christian man.  Additionally, even if Bill Buckner fielded Mookie Wilson's ground ball and tagged first base for the third out, there is no guarantee the Red Sox would have won Game 6 (or Game 7).  Hence, "disastrous" is also a poor adjective to use in describing the error.

    I expect better from World, especially when it comes to addressing sports, which is best defined as an activity engaged in for entertainment or amusement.

  • DS
    Posted: Tue, 05/28/2019 06:42 pm

    Hello World:   Two issues with this article


    1.  Did not Mr. Buckner have a Christian testimony?   I read of his involvement in FCA.  Could you dig into his life as a believer and provide info on that in the article?

    2. Most of the short article is about his unfortunate blunder and not much about anything else in his life. 

    Please revise and republish to honor this man!

    Thank you!

    Dave Spangler