Just read that Bill Buckner has died after a battle with Lewy Body Dementia.
I’ve always had mixed feelings about Buckner, because although I did not care for him as a player — particularly when he was with the Dodgers — I felt that he got a terrible, undeserved rap for his part in the Red Sox’ collapse in Game Six of the 1986 World Series.
No one — and I mean NO ONE — deserves the kind of endless roasting he got as a result of a single muffed ground ball; one he may very well have had no play on anyway.
People don’t want to remember that the Red Sox had a two-run lead with two outs, two strikes, and no one on base in the tenth inning of that game — and lost. All that seems to matter is that Buckner made an error.
Big effing deal.
What about the fact that Dave Stapleton should have gone in for Buckner on defense before that half-inning began? That’s directly on John McNamara, but he seems to get a free pass.
And what about the spitter that Bob Stanley threw, and Rich Gedman couldn’t handle, that tied the game earlier in that sequence?
Buckner’s non-play was merely the last one in that game, and that’s all people wanted to remember. It didn’t cost the Red Sox the World Series; hell, they had a lead in Game Seven, and spat that one up too.
No one would let Buckner get over it; he even moved to Idaho to get away from the unrelenting idiocy of all this.
Billy Buck, wherever you are now, I hope you can finally get some peace.Embed from Getty Images