Bill Buckner, Longtime Major Leaguer, Dies at 69 After Battling Dementia

Bill Buckner, the longtime major leaguer and All-Star, died Monday at 69 after a long battle with dementia. “After battling the disease of Lewy Body Dementia, Bill Buckner passed away early the morning of May 27th surrounded by his family,” his family said in a statement. “Bill fought with courage and grit as he did all things in life. Our hearts are broken but we are at peace knowing he is in the arms of his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” Buckner played 22 seasons in the majors, winning a batting title in 1980. However, it was one error during the 1986 World Series that secured his spot in a long line of Red Sox infamy. A ball went through Buckner’s legs, and the Mets ultimately won the game, despite the Sox carrying a 5-3 lead going into the 10th inning. The Mets went on to win Game 7, too, turning the knife for Red Sox fans who saw their team close to a long-awaited title just 48 hours earlier. Buckner’s teammates said he wasn’t to blame, noting that Boston wouldn’t even have been in the World Series without his work that season. “No one played harder than Bill. No one prepared themselves as well as Bill Buckner did, and no one wanted to win as much as Bill Buckner,” his teammate, Dwight Evans, said.