Former MLB star Bill Buckner died today of complications from dementia; he was 69 years old.
Bucker played in the Big Leagues for 22 years including a 8 year stint for the Chicago Cubs when he was at the sweet spot of his career. He won the 1980 National League Batting title with a .324 average. He frequently could be found in the top 1o list of several categories for hits, at bats, batting average, doubles, singles, RBIs, etc. In his first season he was one of the youngest players and in his last season he was one of the oldest–a testament to his staying power. Buckner had an amazing career included several years for the Dodgers, Cubs, and Red Sox. Buckner played in two World Series.
Buckner is remembered by some for his missed ground ball in the 1986 World Series between Boston Red Sox and the heavily favored New York Mets. Similar to other players who have been scapegoated in Major League Baseball, there was plenty of blame to go around for the loss, but Buckner took it on the chin. Buckner was injured, and many believe he should not have been in the game at the time. Regardless, the mistake was a small footnote in a splendid career which has been exaggerated in its importance.
Boston’s four World Series wins in the 21st century have made Buckner’s error in 1986 become smaller and smaller in importance in the history of the franchise.