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Certain distinguishing marks on an historic baseball help tell the true story of the event. After the exciting game, Arthur Richman, the Mets' traveling secretary, showed the winning ball to Mookie in the jubilant clubhouse. Mookie then wrote on the ball: "To Arthur, the ball won it for us. Mookie Wilson, 10/25/86."

The Buckner Ball

This is the baseball that went through Bill Buckner's legs in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series, allowing the New York Mets to go on to win the championship. With the Mets one strike away from defeat, Gary Carter and Kevin Mitchell singled. Then, Ray Knight singled to make the score 5-4. Next, came the Mets' speedy centerfielder, Mookie Wilson. Down to his last strike, he fouled off pitch after pitch. Then, Bob Stanley threw a wild pitch and Wilson hit a bounding ball up the first line, but, as first baseman Buckner waited for the ball to come up, it stayed down, skipping under his legs. Ray Knight scored, the Mets had the game and, soon after, the series.

When the ball skipped under Buckner's glove and went into right field, it was picked up by umpire Ed Montague. Later on, to help identify the ball, he put a small "X" on it. He then gave the ball to Arthur Richman.

After Mookie signed the ball, it was passed around the Mets clubhouse, where it was kissed by the elated players. The tobacco juice stain on the right of the ball shows where one of the players kissed it.

I was doing an interview with Vin Scully on the field at Dodger Stadium in 2003. The Florida Marlins were doing batting practice. After the interview, Mike Lowell, the Marlins' third baseman, asked me what I was holding. I said "remember when the ball went through Buckner's legs in the '86 Series -- this is the ball." Stunned, Lowell asked to hold it and called his teammates around him. This play was the "big play" when they were young kids. It was fun to hear them talk about it.
Vin Scully holding the ball that went through Buckner's legs. His call of the play is still remembered today: "little roller up along first...''

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In 2006, the New York Mets had a 20-year reunion for the 1986 World Championship team. They asked me to bring the baseball to the festivities. Here's a short video that I made about the event.

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A note from John McNamara,
the '86 Red Sox manager.