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FLASHBACK - Bill Buckner Deserved Better After The 'Error'

I am not proud to admit, but I went to bed before seeing the unbelievable events that unfolded at Shea Stadium on October 25, 1986.

Gary Carter was my idol with the Montreal Expos and I was pulling for the Mets in the 1986 World Series against Boston. The Red Sox were on the verge of winning their first World Series title since 1918.

In the Top of the 10th inning, Dave Henderson and Marty Barrett propelled the Red Sox to a 5-3 lead. It was getting late and I said thought the game was over and went to bed. I am not proud of this admission, because I missed one of the most dramatic comebacks in baseball history.

I woke up the next morning expecting to see a Red Sox celebration and then I turned on the radio and heard WHAT?!!! The Mets came back to win to force a Game 7! I could not wait to watch the local news to see the highlights. Then I saw the that ground ball hit by Mookie Wilson, you know the one that went through Bill Buckner's legs and Ray Knight hustling towards home plate with the improbable winning run and the Mets won 6-5. Two days later the Mets would win their first World Series since 1969 and the curse stayed intact for the Red Sox.

Over the years, there was an overwhelming sentiment that the Red Sox lost because of Bill Buckner. This feeling lasted until the Red Sox ended the curse winning the 2004 World Series. From a non-Red Sox fan I found this behavior bizarre and disgusting. Bill Buckner was a borderline Hall of Fame player during his career. How did Calvin Schiraldi and Bob Stanley not get one out, but they never got blamed. Stanley threw the wild pitch that led to the Mets tying run setting the stage for Wilson's ground ball and Buckner's infamous error.

I hated how Bill Buckner was treated for the rest of his career and post-career. He was gracious in defeat, yet felt the venom from Red Sox fans for the next 18 years. There have been other athletes who have made mistakes that have cost their teams a championship, but this was on a different level. Every time the Red Sox suffered another post-season disappointment Bill Buckner would somehow be tied to it. It was a burden he could not avoid.

Bill Buckner passed away in 2019 at the age of 69. I hope he found the peace he deserved.

(Video: MLB/NBC Sports)

Where were you when Bill Buckner made the error?

Was Bill Buckner solely at fault for the Red Sox 1986 World Series loss?

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