Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Red Sox fans remember only one thing from Game 6 of the 1986 Mets vs. Red Sox World Series:

Bill Buckner.

When that Mookie Wilson slow grounder to first rolled through Buckner’s wickets, Red Sox Nation (as it was not yet called) collectively groaned, the Mets won the game, and then Game 7 and the championship, and the Red Sox curse was firmly solidified for another 18 years.

(They won the championship twice in the 2000s, but I’ve always suspected that Boston fans were happier when they were miserably stuck under that curse (as Yeats succinctly explained, "Being Irish, He had an abiding sense of tragedy, which sustained him through temporary periods of joy".)

What Red Sox fans -- including my husband -- never remember, when they’re maligning poor ol’ Bill Buckner, is that that although the Mets came to bat in the bottom of the 10th down 5-3, they had already tied the game by the time Buckner became their favorite new goat, because of back-to-back-to-back singles by Gary Carter, Kevin Mitchell and Ray Knight.

That's back-to-back-to-back singles.

And then Mookie Wilson came up to bat.

Bob "Stanley Steamer" Stanley threw a wild pitch and Mookie Wilson, instead of getting hit by the pitch and thereby putting himself on first and thereby ending the world’s most epic at-bat, changed the laws of nature and physics and actually levitated, flat-out horizontally, above the pitch, allowing Mitchell to score from third and the game to be tied at 5. And then? Well, naturally, Mookie -- on the 10th ptich of that epic at-bat -- hit the infamous slow grounder to first between Buckner’s legs, Knight scored from second, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Oh, how I love Mookie Wilson.

It isn’t just that he was the hero of that game and one of the main reasons my beloved Metropolitans won it all in 1986. It isn’t just his speed and his hustle and his name. He is also, by all accounts, a super-awesome guy, and is known for his positive attitude as much as his baseball stats.

Oh, how I love Mookie.

After he left the Mets -- but before he came back as the Mets’ first base coach in the 2000s -- Mookie played for the Toronto Blue Jays in 1989-1991. Mistah and I and MB and our friend Matt went to Fenway Park for a Red Sox / Blue Jays game in 1990ish, and hung around the visitors’ gate afterward, hoping to catch a glimpse.

We waited and we waited, camera at the ready, and waited some more, and finally . . . there he was! Mookie Wilson! Right on Yawkey Way! He was holding the hands of his two young daughters, and they were just such an adorable sight . . . except they were walking away from us. . . . and kept walking away from us.

No! Wait, no!

“Mookie!” I yelled. “Mookie!” Nothing. “Mookie!” Again nothing. “MOOKIE!” Still nothing. Desperate, I bellowed,

“Mookie! Turn Around! Please!”

And so he did.

Oh, how I love Mookie Wilson.

Mistah ditched me last Friday night for a man date at the Connecticut Sports Foundation's Annual Celebrity Dinner  at the Casino. The place was full of baseball celebs: Yogi Berra, Goose Gossage, Jim Rice, Bobby Valentine, Don Zimmer, Joe Girardi, Andre Dawson, Evan Longoria.

And Mookie Wilson.

Everyone -- or so I hear, since I wasn't there -- got a small soft lunch cooler, and a signed baseball. My Red Sox fan husband Mistah got the Mets’ own Rusty Staub's baseball, which, frankly, is awesome.

But feeling guilty for ditching me on a Friday night, Mistah traded the signed Rusty Staub baseball for the one his buddy got . . .

Oh, how I love Mookie Wilson.


Hsin-Yi said...

Now that's a good husband. How sweet of Bill!
And Baseball season is right around the corner. Go Mets!

Mom c said...

I love Mookie too! Super blog Ellie, love, mom

Me, You, or Ellie said...

Mooooooooooooo kieeeeeeeeeee. Love. And now I have the tune from "Hi, God!" in my head all the day.

"Oooooh, how I love Jeeeee-HEE-zuh-hus, oooooh, how I love Jeeeeee-suuuuuus, becuh-huz he first loved me"



Me, You, or Ellie said...

That is flipping awesome, Ellie! I'm just not sure which is more awesome, that gorgeous signed ball or that super cool 1990-ish photo!


I of course have to idea who ol' Mookie is. But I love him holding his daughters' hands and turning around at your anguished cry. He is obviulsy a good guy!

Great post!