PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Between them, Mookie Wilson and Bill Buckner played over 4,000 games in Major League Baseball. Still, it is one play, from one game, that is the defining moment for both careers.
The slow rolling ground ball, that went through Buckner’s legs, hit by Wilson, and scoring the Mets’ Ray Knight in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series is a moment that sealed an unlikely comeback, and their place in history, together. That moment was so legendary, that many people forget that Game 6 did not clinch the World Series for the Mets, who would have to come back again in Game 7 to win it all. Red Sox fans wonder, to this day, what would have happened if Buckner was pulled for a defensive replacement.
Wilson is the hero in this scenario, and Buckner the goat. Buckner’s amazing, two decade-long career, boiled down to one misplayed ground ball. The ball itself sold for over $400,000 at an auction two years ago.
That moment would torment Buckner for years. He is now at peace with it, doing an autograph signing this weekend at the 94WIP Philly Sports Expo. He’s doing that signing, with Wilson, something they do often.
“Bill and I have become very, very close,” Wilson told Anthony Gargano and Rob Ellis on Wednesday. “We’re really the best of friends. As good a friend as you can have. We were never teammates, but we actually played against each other. I think I have learned more about Bill, now that both of us have gotten out of the game, than any ball player I ever played with.”
Wilson and Buckner appear at the Expo on Saturday, March 8th, and will sign items together.
“He is a great, great person, and we have a lot in common,” Wilson said. “More than you would think, and it’s just been great.”
More information can be found at CBSPhilly.com/expo.