Baseball from infamous Buckner play sold for $418k
DALLAS—The baseball that rolled through the legs of
Heritage Auctions said the ball was sold to a buyer who wished to remain anonymous. The sale price includes the buyer's premium.
Buckner hit .289 with 2,715 hits in 22 years and had more than 100 RBIs in two of his three full seasons with the Red Sox. But he is remembered by most for his error at Shea Stadium that night when Mookie Wilson's grounder rolled through his legs, allowing the
The Mets went on to win the series and Boston's championship drought that dated to 1918 last another 18 years, until 2004.
"It really embodies the emotion of sports," said Chris Ivy, director of sports auctions at Heritage. "That ball symbolizes both the thrill of victory for the Mets and the agony of defeat for the Red Sox fans. It really brings out a lot of emotion."
The ball was the centerpiece of an auction featuring the baseball memorabilia collection of Los Angeles songwriter Seth Swirsky that drew more than $1.2 million.
"It was a great battle between two great cities -- two great baseball cities. I think that it goes above and beyond baseball to it's an American culture piece," said Swirsky, who co-wrote the hit "Tell It To My Heart" by Taylor Dayne, and has multiple hits with Celine Dion, Olivia Newton-John and Al Green.
After the ball rolled through Buckner's legs, it was picked up by right field umpire Ed Montague, who put a tiny "x" near a seam to mark it. Montague then gave the ball to Mets executive Arthur Richman. Wilson signed it to Richman, writing: "To Arthur, the ball won it for us, Mookie Wilson, 10/25/86." As the ball made its way around the clubhouse, someone kissed it, leaving a tobacco stain.
Charlie Sheen bought the ball for more than $93,000 in 1992. Swirsky purchased it for nearly $64,000 in 2000.
Swirsky offered the ball up on
Other offerings from Swirsky included Reggie Jackson's third home run ball from Game 6 of the 1977 World Series, which earned him the title "Mr. October." That sold for $65,725.
Babe Ruth's 136th career home run baseball from 1921 sold for $25,095. A 1923 letter signed by Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis denying reinstatement of "Shoeless Joe" Jackson brought in $53,775.
Also, a 1965 baseball signed by the Beatles from the Shea Stadium concert sold for $65,725.
Buckner was traded to the Red Sox by the
Swirsky, who while growing up on Long Island developed a love for the Mets and
"Once somebody points out that they have the ball, people will surround them at every party, telling them their experiences of where they were," Swirsky said.
Heritage Auctions: http://www.ha.com