What Bill Buckner Said 19 Days Before Game Six of the '86 World Series
Today is the 25th anniversary of Mookie Wilson's routine ground ball going through Bill Buckner's legs, forcing a Game Seven that the New York Mets would also win. You've seen the clip and heard the call ("Gets by Buckner!"), but did you know Buckner himself laid out the scenario weeks before the fateful play?
On October 6, 1986, Buckner was interviewed by WBZ-TV's Don Shane about the pressures of postseason play. In a quote that recently appeared in ESPN's Steve Bartman documentary Catching Hell, Buckner eerily explains his worst case scenario:
"The dreams are that you're gonna have a great series and win. The nightmares are that you're gonna let the winning run score on a ground ball through your legs. Those things happen, you know. I think a lot of it is just fate."
According to Dan Shaughnessy's 1997 book At Fenway: Dispatches from Red Sox Nation, the footage didn't resurface until 1995, when intern Maggie McGrath spent two weeks looking through old tapes after a viewer said he remembered the interview.
A quick and unscientific survey of my Red Sox fan friends reveals many in Boston have forgiven Buckner — the 2004 and 2007 World Series titles probably helped. Though I'm not sure any of them would shell out $84.99 for an 8x10 photo (above) signed by both Mookie Wilson and Bill Buckner.