Bill Buckner: Ex-teammates mourn loss of former MLB All-Star

Bill Buckner debuted with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1969

Bill Buckner debuted with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1969

In 22 seasons with the major leagues, Buckner played for the Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago Cubs, among other teams.

"We are deeply saddened by the passing of Bill Buckner, a great ballplayer and beloved member of the Cubs family", Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts said in a statement. Buckner won the National League batting title in 1980, hitting.324, was an All-Star in 1981 and improbably broke the 100-RBI mark in 1982, despite hitting only 15 home runs. Buckner, the Red Sox first baseman, let a slow rolling ball from Mookie Wilson slide under his legs, allowing Ray Knight to score and win the game for the Mets.

But Buckner will forever be remembered for his error while playing for the Boston Red Sox in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series.

Schapp said he spoke with Buckner's wife, Jody, who shared a statement.

Buckner drew loud cheers as he walked from the Green Monster in left field to the mound, and made his ceremonial toss to former teammate Dwight Evans.

He appeared in 773 games over parts of eight seasons with the Dodgers, batting.289/.319/.380 with 121 doubles, 14 triples, 38 home runs and 277 RBI. And even though history - and baseball talk in general - was kinder to Buckner in his later years than it was a decade or two prior, and even though he had a nice sense of humor about his post-1986 reputation, there was a lot of appreciation that went largely un-bestowed in the final 33 years of his life.

Buckner also became friendly with Wilson, who hit that grounder. "Bill was a great baseball player whose legacy should not be defined by one play". "For what they put me and my family through".

His career in the majors spanned 22 years. He wound up reconciling with the Red Sox fanbase later in his career, but he was much more than that one play during his successful career. When Buckner returned to Fenway Park for the 2008 Red Sox home opener, he was greeted with open arms - and a two-minute ovation.

In 2012, the now infamous "Buckner Ball" sold at auction for more than $400,000. A couple of times he took me under his wing and reminded me how hard the game was to play and if you listed to the game closely enough, it would tell you what decisions to make and how to put players in the right position to succeed.

In 2015, Buckner told the Deseret News he had found peace after being treated as a scapegoat by fans and media members for years.

Latest News