I am sitting in bed, ready to start my day, wiping tears from my eyes. Is it allergies? A death in the family? The end of When Harry Met Sally?
Nope. It’s baseball that got me.
Specifically, Bill Buckner.
For those of you unfamiliar with the story of Bill Buckner’s ultimate error, here it is:
On October 25, 1986, the Boston Red Sox faced the New York Mets in game 6 of the World Series. Boston led the best-of-7 series 3 games to 2, and had a two-run lead with two outs in the bottom of the tenth inning. New York came back to tie the game with three straight singles off Calvin Schiraldi and a wild pitch by pitcher Bob Stanley. Mookie Wilson fouled off several pitches before hitting a ground ball to Buckner at first base. The ball rolled under Buckner’s glove, through his legs, and into right field, allowing Ray Knight to score the winning run, forcing a seventh game, which the Mets won.
If you know baseball, you remember that moment. But do you also remember it was Buckner, playing for the Dodgers in 1974, who climbed the fence in an attempt to catch Hank Aaron ‘s 715th home run?
But I digress…
What got me this morning was the sight of redemption. After the 1986 error, Buckner was a pariah to BoSox fans. In the late 80’s and 90’s, “Buckner” was practically a curse word in Boston. He moved to rural Idaho and disappeared from baseball and the media because of the constant harassment he endured for his 1986 mistake.
Then on April 8 of this year, the city of Boston redeemed their lost son. Bill Buckner was invited to throw out the first pitch at Fenway. In an amazing show of love and redemption, fan gave Buckner an incredible 4 minute standing ovation.
I know, I know. There’s no crying in baseball. But see if you don’t tear up just a little bit – oh, and turn up the sound – the original is a little low.
RSS: embedded video