Bill Buckner, whose long MLB career was overshadowed by World Series gaffe, dies at 69

The Washington Post
Bill Buckner The Washington Post

Bill Buckner throws the ceremonial first pitch at Fenway Park on April 8, 2008. (Brian Snyder/Reuters)

Bill Buckner was a professional baseball gardener and first baseman who played in the Major Leagues (MLB) for 22 seasons, from 1969 to 1990. During his career, he played for the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Chicago Cubs, the Boston Red Sox, the California Angels, and the Kansas City Royals.

It should be noted that Buckner came to the majors as a Dodgers outfielder and played in a World Series for the team before being traded to the Cubs before the 1977 season. Later the Cubs moved him from the gardens to first base, where he would play the rest of his career. He had his greatest success with the Cubs, winning a batting title in 1980, and likewise represented the Cubs in the All-Star Game the following season. After fighting with the administration of the Cubs for the loss of playing time, he was traded to the Red Sox in the middle of the 1984 season.

During the 1985 season, Buckner emerged as the Red Sox’s unconditional first baseman, starting the 162 games and set the Major League record for first baseman’s assists in a season with 184. He started 153 games in 1986, but the end of the season was affected by leg injuries and had problems during the playoffs.

An error for which he is still remembered

It is necessary to mention an error for which Buckner is still remembered. And the fact is that Buckner’s mistake in the tenth inning in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series against the New York Mets remains one of the most memorable plays in the history of baseball. Similarly, it was once considered part of a curse on the Boston Red Sox that prevented them from winning the World Series.

There is no doubt that for Bill Buckner, his long career in the Major Leagues was overshadowed by the mistakes of the World Series.

In this way, former Major League baseman and outfielder Bill Buckner, who won a batting title with the Chicago Cubs in 1980, despite his great achievements is even better remembered for the mistake he made in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series when he was playing for the Boston Red Sox. Now Buckner died on Monday at age 69 after fighting dementia.

Notably, ESPN reporter Jeremy Schaap was the one who confirmed the news after talking with Buckner’s wife, Jody, who issued the following statement: “After battling the disease of Lewy Body Dementia, Bill Buckner passed away early in the morning of May 27th surrounded by his family. Bill fought with courage and grit as he did all things in life. Our hearts are broken but we are at peace knowing he is in the arms of his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ”.

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Source: Scott Allen | The Washington Post

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