Awhile back I wrote an article here about Lou Gehrig entitled The Irony of the Iron Horse. The man who played in more consecutive games than anyone has a disease named after him that gradually dismantles and removes people from earth (in physical form anyway).
Bill Buckner, aka Billy Buck, was such a stalwart, spirited, enthusiastic and determined ball player. He had the misfortune of a miscue at the worst time — during a critical moment in a critical game of a world series. Many would come to view the ball trickling through his sore ankles as “the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat…” (Or the feet, in Buckner’s case, bad pun intended.)
Mr. Buckner passed away the other day at all of 69. He had something referred to as Lewy Body Dementia. It gradually deprived him of motor and mental function.
Once again it is through baseball that we have this poignancy. Such a gritty, tenacious player, and yet he was eventually deprived of his agility and acuity. Truth be told, baseball is life itself. For me, and perhaps for you as well, the big screen is a baseball diamond. Simon and Garfunkle said “it’s all happening at the zoo.” I respectfully disagree: It’s all happening at the ball park, I do believe it’s true.
R.I.P. Billy Buckner, and thank you for the way you played, and your great talent. Over 2,700 hits in 20 seasons. You brought i!
Indeed, several years ago the Boston Red Sox fans stood and applauded you for over two minutes, after you threw out the ceremonial first pitch. They knew. We all do. You were and are exemplary. You taught us poise and mercy. Baseball is life. You lived yours well. Time to slide home and rest Billy.