On this day in 1986, the Boston Red Sox were one out away from winning the World Series.
And then the unthinkable happened:
In the wee hours of the morning on October 26, 1986, Red Sox first baseman Bill Buckner lets an easy ground ball dribble between his legs and roll down the right-field line.
It was just a routine fielding error, but it was a disaster for the Boston Red Sox: It was the 10th inning of the sixth game of the World Series; the game was tied; and, thanks to Buckner’s mistake, the runner on third had time to score, winning the game for the Mets and forcing a tiebreaking seventh—which, in the final innings, the Mets also won.
Even though Game 6 was tied because Boston’s pitchers couldn’t hold a two-run, two-out lead, and even though the Sox managed to fritter away a three-run lead in Game 7, people still blame Buckner for losing the championship. “I can’t remember the last time I missed a ball like that,” he said, “but I’ll remember this one.”
Bill Buckner hit .289 with 2,715 hits and a .408 on-base average. In other words, there was a lot more to his career than missing that ground ball in game 6 of the 1986 World Series.
He was a tough out, a great competitor and the kind of guy that you wanted on your team.
Tough day for a great major league hitter.