Wednesday, October 30, 2013

AUTOS FROM THE ARCHIVES: BILL BUCKNER


A PITCHER'S NIGHTMARE.




INDEED, HE WAS TOUGH TO WHIFF.


THE CARD

  • Bill Buckner could roll out of bed and get a hit, and it looks like he's doing it here in the Cubs' pajama-influenced road uniform. It blends with the 1982 Topps design, a near-perfect confluence of jail stripes, hockey sticks and sans-a-belt. Buckner's ability to make contact and drive the ball kept pitchers up at night trying to figure out how to retire him.

THE AUTOGRAPH

  • A little incomplete but bold enough to artfully garnish the card.

THE PLAYER

  • Buckner was consistently one tough out during his 22-year career, striking out only three more times than he walked (453-450).
  • One of only 22 players to play in four decades ('69-'90) since 1906.
  • Finished with 2,715 hits and a .289 lifetime average.
  • He was blessed with excellent speed and fueled by a reckless abandon before injuring his left ankle sliding into a base in '75 with the Dodgers. The severe sprain never properly healed and was the first of a series of leg ailments that robbed him of his mobility and forced him to move from the outfield to first base. 
  • Won the '80 batting title with the Cubs, hitting .324.
  • Named to only one All-Star team ('81).
  • In '85-'86, Buckner became a bit of an unexpected run-producer for the Red Sox, driving in 212 runs and hitting 34 homers.
  • As most now know, he didn't cost the Red Sox the World Series in '86, when he allowed Mookie Wilson's grounder to go between his legs in the bottom of the 10th in Game 6. There were grave mistakes and miscalculations made by teammates and Manager John McNamara beforehand that sealed Boston's fate. And then there was Game 7.


LIKE THE VERTICAL AUTO.



SNEAKY GOOD NUMBERS.

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