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Thursday, October 25, 2012
Yearbook, Oct. 25: Bill Buckner's error

By Patrick Dorsey

Oct. 25, 1986: The event is so infamous it needs little explanation. So here goes: On this day 26 years ago, Boston Red Sox first baseman Bill Buckner committed an error -- albeit one that merely contributed to, rather than caused, the cursed team from New England's fall from a sure World Series-winning position to one of heartbreak.

It happened in the 10th inning of Game 6 at Shea Stadium, after reliever Calvin Schiraldi had gotten the first two hitters out with the Sox leading the New York Mets 5-3 that night and 3-2 in the series. Then things started to unravel -- a hit here, a run there, then a pitching change and a wild pitch -- until everything was tied with Mookie Wilson coming to the plate and Ray Knight on second.

Then, well, the Buckner play happened. Then a Game 7 loss. Then another 17 years without a World Series title. But as time went by, things got a bit more positive for the beleaguered first baseman -- complete with a key role in a 2011 "Curb Your Enthusiasm" episode.

Mookie Wilson during the 1986 World Series against the Boston Red Sox
Wilson, during the hit.
Bill Buckner making his error against the New York Mets in the 1986 World Series
Buckner, after the ball went through his legs.
Bill Buckner against the New York Mets in the 1986 World Series
Buckner, after the play.
Bill Buckner and Mookie Wilson, years after the 1986 World Series
Buckner and Wilson, in 2001.