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Wanna buy the Bill Buckner ball?

Oct 5, 2011, 9:40 AM EDT

"The Summer of 86: The Rise and Fall Of The World Champion Mets" Premiere Getty Images

The great thing about the Red Sox’ collapse is that it’s now apparently OK to go back and make fun of their historic bad luck and wallow in all of that dubious history.  At least that’s what I’m gathering based on stuff like this:

The curse may be over, but the evidence remains. One of the most treasured pieces of modern baseball history — the Bill Buckner ball from the 1986 World Series — will go on sale this month with a $1 million price tag thanks to the Grammy-nominated songwriter who owns it.

The songwriter is Seth Swirsky who, according to his Wikipedia page, broke big into the business by writing the Taylor Dayne hit “Tell it to my heart” in 1988.  I was a d.j. at a top 40 radio station from 1989-92, and I once swore that I’d kill the person who wrote that song, but that was a long time ago so I guess I’ll let it go. He does have a most impressive baseball memorabilia collection too, which also helps him gain some amount of redemption in my eyes.

Oh, and since he plans on donating part of the proceeds to the Baseball Assistance Team, there’s all the more reason not to sabotage the auction with false bids and other cathartic/chaotic acts, Red Sox fans.

  1. Chris Fiorentino - Oct 5, 2011 at 9:51 AM

    “One of the most treasured pieces of modern baseball history”

    Seriously? A ball that didn’t even really decide THAT GAME, let alone the World Series. Ugh.

    • Bill - Oct 5, 2011 at 10:36 AM

      No single play or ball ever actually “decides” any ballgame on its own. So what?

      • Chris Fiorentino - Oct 5, 2011 at 10:52 AM

        Really, Bill? The Mazeroski home run didn’t end the 1960 World Series? Thompson’s home run in 1951 didn’t end the season and “The Giants win the Pennant!! The Gaints win the Pennant!!!”? Come on man, why do you always have to get so shitty with me whenever I make a post. You know exactly what I meant, and yet you have to go all “no single play or ball ever ‘decides’ a ball game” on me.

        The 1986 World Series game 6 was already tied when the ball went through Buckner’s legs so for people all these years to blame the loss on him has always been insane to me. Plus the fact that the Red Sox had a 3-0 lead into the 6th inning of game 7 is also a forgotten fact.

        But thanks for the snark…it adds a lot to the conversation.

      • proudlycanadian - Oct 5, 2011 at 11:07 AM

        Joe Carter’s epic walk off home run decided a World Series well remembered by Toronto and Philadelphia fans.

      • Francisco (FC) - Oct 5, 2011 at 11:39 AM

        Only because they insist on replaying that painful scene over and over again on the mega screen in Rogers Centre. Every. Single. Time. ugghh… it’s even in the Joe Carter’s commercials about his knees…. gaggggh.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Oct 5, 2011 at 12:06 PM

        PC, that is a moment that I refused to even mention.

      • Bill - Oct 5, 2011 at 1:03 PM

        By that logic, Chris, every game is decided by the guy who makes the 27th put out. That’s a terrible way to interpret baseball. All of the climactic moments in various games were “decisive” only because of their context. Their context was determined by the nature of the plays that came before them. Nobody would remember the Maz home run if he had come to bat with the Pirates holding a comfortable lead. No one would remember Buckner if Schiraldi hadn’t screwed the pooch with his poor pitching immediately prior. They were climactic, but not decisive in isolation. My point was that this is irrelevant to our public memory. It’s a mere technicality. “So what?”

        Also, try to be less of a hypersensitive jerk.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Oct 5, 2011 at 1:27 PM

        Bill, are you serious, or are you jerking my chain?

        If you are jerking my chain…hahaha…good one.

        If you are not jerking my chain…This thread is about A PIECE OF MEMORABILIA, not about the finer points of when a game is won and when it is lost. Jesus Christ man, I understand that the result of a game is because of millions of things that occurred throughout the day. Shit, the way that Roger Clemens may have wiped his ass before Game 6 may have affected how he pitched that night but that doesn’t mean I would want the used toilet paper. But that doesn’t mean that the ball that Maz hit out of the park isn’t worth hundreds of thousands more than the foul ball hit 2 pitches earlier. Or the ball that Joe F’ing Carter hit to win the World Series isn’t worth hundreds of thousands more than the ball that Paul Molitor hit out in the 5th inning.

      • Bill - Oct 5, 2011 at 2:10 PM

        We aren’t even disagreeing at this point, so I’m not sure how much good replying will do, but I can’t help myself. Your original post seemed to imply that you disapproved of the inflated value of the ball, since it didn’t “decide” the game. Given that it was a walk-off fielding error and you seem to think the world of walk-off wins of other sorts, I don’t understand your attitude, but that’s irrelevant here. My original reply was an attempt to point out that the actual decisiveness of any one play is very difficult to determine, and no play is decisive in isolation, so we shouldn’t bother trying to assign value to balls and plays on that basis. Soon we’d be doing nothing but, as you say, collecting used squares of Roger Clemens’ Charmin Ultra.

        So it’s OK that we overvalued Buckner and his ball, and we have forgotten about Schiraldi and his pitching implosion that preceded the error, however strange that might be when considered objectively.

        And even if we could properly value the ball, we still wouldn’t, I think. Public memory is a fickle, cruel beast with a massive blind spot of irrationality. It is not likely to be tamed by logic. We just have to deal with it. I think Buckner probably has.

        Of course, reading your last comment makes me think that you agree with everything I’ve written above. So…yeah.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Oct 5, 2011 at 2:19 PM

        Bill, I think we half-agree. I do agree with the notion that Joe Carter’s home run ball should be worth more than Paul Molitor’s ball. Because Joe Carter’s home run was more special than Molitor’s. Same thing with Maz and Thompson. I think special moments in baseball can have their memoribilia worth more than others…like Jeter’s 3,000 hit ball SHOULD be worth a ton more than the foul ball hit in the same at bat. Or Maz’s HR should be worth a lot. I believe that’s where our disagreement lies.

        I was only (trying to) make the statement that I think the value of the Buckner ball is overrated because, unlike the Carter, Maz, or Thompson balls, it was part of a play that has been immortalized and it just should not have been. Had the Red Sox won game 7, that play would have been an afterthought. Had the Cubs won game 7, the Bartman play would have been a funny anecdote. Unlike the other plays, those two had too many other things happen after them that they are waaaay over-hyped. They even made a stupid show on one of the 30/30 over-hyped series of shows about these two incidents. Ridiculous.

  2. sdelmonte - Oct 5, 2011 at 10:01 AM

    $1 million for that? How much would the Thompson or Maz balls go for?

    I wonder if Larry David should get a percentage of the money, for doing the opposite of curbing enthusiasm for Buckner and the ball.

  3. aceshigh11 - Oct 5, 2011 at 10:16 AM

    Little roller up along first…



  4. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Oct 5, 2011 at 10:22 AM

    I don’t know how much he made in his career, but wouldn’t the headlines be great if Buckner finally got his hands on that ball?

    • Chris Fiorentino - Oct 5, 2011 at 10:56 AM

      Stephen King is writing that book…as soon as he finishes his book about the guy trying to reverse the JFK assassination 😀

  5. phukyouk - Oct 5, 2011 at 10:31 AM

    I assure you that its worth the wait… if you cannot wait just skip about half way

    • yankeesgameday - Oct 5, 2011 at 12:41 PM

      I can’t believe I watched that whole thing and loved every second of it.

  6. trevorb06 - Oct 5, 2011 at 11:37 AM

    Why people love sports memorabilia fascinates me. I even love it. We treat athletes much like warriors and gladiators were treated in ancient times only now we’ve traded swords for bats, armors for jerseys, etc. This is both a happy and sad thing. It’s great that we’re no longer cheering the slaughter of our fellow man both abroad and in an arena, but it’s also sad when somebody can name last season’s MVP yet you won’t find many people who can name the last man to receive the medal of honor. Don’t you wish the conflicts of the world could be solved on a field, rink, stadium or arena instead of with guns and bullets?

  7. blueboy28 - Oct 5, 2011 at 6:24 PM

    Before playing for the Boston cry babies, Bill Buckner played for the Los Angeles Dodgers, where he was a great out fielder often diving for balls that were sure to be extra base hits!
    If you enjoy the sport of baseball, his style of play was sure to entertain you.
    In Boston, yes he made an error that cost the Soxs, but to define a career on that error?
    Only in Boston!
    I don’t believe that Bill Buckner was on the 2011 Boston Red Sox team, was he?
    That is why they made it to the payoffs! Oh, they didn’t?
    Cry babies!!!!

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