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1986 New York Mets


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Buckner never did anything good for the Mets. Mookie would have beaten it, Buckner had bad legs, please.


Most people would realize and cite the fact the game was tied when Buckner made that error. Bob Stanley in relief of Calvin Schiraldi threw a wild pitch that scored Kevin Mitchell and advanced Knight to 2nd, thus allowing him to score on the error.

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“You Can’t Blame Bill Buckner!”

On August 15, 2005, in an episode of its The Top 5 Reasons You Can't Blame... series, ESPN Classic examined why Buckner should not be blamed for the Red Sox losing the 1986 World Series. Their top five reasons why Buckner should not be held as the scapegoat:


5. Roger Clemens left the game after seven innings. Clemens has insisted he did not leave the game willingly, and most observers of his career believe him.

4. Calvin Schiraldi's pitching put the Mets in a position to tie and win the game, and the game was already tied at the time of the error. Had Buckner made the play, the game would have moved to an eleventh inning.

3. Pitcher Bob Stanley and catcher Rich Gedman miscommunicated on the wild pitch that tied the game.

2. Batter Mookie Wilson would have beaten Buckner to first base even if the ball had been properly played.

1. Manager John McNamara. He took Clemens out against his will; he pinch-hit Clemens not with veteran slugger Don Baylor, but with rookie Mike Greenwell, who struck out on three pitches; he refused to replace Buckner for defensive purposes as he had done all postseason; he brought in Schiraldi to start the inning instead of Stanley.

The show also featured a "Best of the Rest" which focused on two possible jinxes. First, did Red Sox pitcher Dennis "Oil Can" Boyd place one on his team by celebrating prematurely, opening a bottle of champagne in the clubhouse after the second out of the tenth inning? Second, after that same second out, the Shea Stadium scoreboard briefly displayed the message, "Congratulations, 1986 World Champion Red Sox."


When ESPN Classic did "The Top 5 Reasons You Can't Blame Steve Bartman", they pointed out that there was a Game 7 still to be played. They failed to mention that this was also true in the case of Buckner, and the Red Sox had their chances to win that game and get Buckner off the hook.

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