Monday, June 3, 2019

Top 3: Bill Buckner

Bill Buckner passed away last week at the age of 69. He was one of those players every team needs to succeed - not a superstar, but solid all-around player who plays hard every day. He is of course most remembered for one unfortunate play on the grandest of sport stages, but he was so much more than that. In honor of the former All-Star and batting champion, I present the Top 3 Bill Buckner cards in my collection:

1973 Topps #114

I'll start off with the oldest card I have, as well as one of his best. It still looks weird seeing him without that epic mustache, but this is a great card of the hitter in his younger days. I love how it looks like he's about to knock the figurine off his All-Star Rookie cup.

1987 Donruss Opening Day #183

I really wanted to showcase a card of him on the field with the Red Sox, and ironically the only one I have is from one of the first sets released after that World Series blunder. He wasn't a Gold Glove winner by any means, and he was often replaced by a better fielder in the late innings, but he played first base pretty well for a guy with balky knees. Awhile ago, there was an ESPN 30 For 30 program that featured the 1986 World Series, and Buckner's unfortunate legacy. The slow motion replay clearly shows that the ball was there, in his glove, and the webbing of the glove gave way and allowed the ball to pass. The error was caused by a faulty glove, not a faulty player. Still, he became the scapegoat, and despite fans' ignorance, he handled it with grace and humility. He never shied away from it, and for that he earns my respect. The simple fact is the Red Sox do not make that World Series without him.

1987 Topps #764

Another card from 1987, this one makes the Top 3 just for being so aesthetically pleasing. Look at how his leg and torso are almost perfectly aligned. The guy was one of Boston's top run producers, and it's easy to see how he became a fan favorite wherever he went.

R.I.P. Bill Buckner, thanks for the memories...


  1. Can't help but think of that play when I hear his name... but it was really nice to see so many sports card blog tributes that focused on the positive things about his career. He sure had one heck of a career.