Talk:Bill Buckner

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Sports language[edit]

Why is it that contributors on sport and rock music find it so hard to write NPOV articles but instead speak in newspaper reporting-style clichés? (And no it is not just on wikipedia. I edited a university magazine once and we had the same phenomenon. Everyone who submitted a sports article or a music article produced unreadable copy drowning in rock-mag/sports hype clichés that bore only a passing resemblance to english. They drive editors mad. No wonder most editors hate sports-speak!) FearÉIREANN 00:11, 13 Oct 2003 (UTC)

  • give it a shot yourself. :) Kingturtle 01:25, 13 Oct 2003 (UTC)

I know absolutely nothing about baseball. (I tried to watch one game - it isn't, thank God, shown in Ireland - but fell asleep after 5 minutes.) Asking me to rewrite an article on baseball is about as unworkable as asking me to rewrite an article on Spanish or chemistry. I wouldn't have a clue. I am a big believer in letting some who knows what they are doing edit wikipedia articles. Too many articles have been screwed up by people who don't know what they are doing but try anyway and turn an OK article needed help into ludicrous garbage. FearÉIREANN 20:28, 13 Oct 2003 (UTC)

  • Well, you offer an objective look at it, then. Maybe you could just spot check it for POV? Kingturtle 22:17, 13 Oct 2003 (UTC)

I don't understand what's wrong with it. It seems NPOV to me. RickK 23:08, 13 Oct 2003 (UTC)

How can someone write about sports without using 'sports-speak', it'd be liking writing about physics without using 'physics-speak'. I think the problem arises from unfamiliarity with baseball, I would probably be equally confused reading an entry on a cricketer. Drolsi Susej 23:16, 13 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Sports-speak, like music-speak, relies on clichés that are understood by those who understand them but which are unknown by people who don't know the lingo. Wikipedia is not a sports encyclopædia, a music encyclopædia or anything else. It is supposed to be an encyclopædia understood by anyone. So 'in-house' clichés are out. FearÉIREANN 21:58, 14 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Here's two classic example from the article:

. . . is best known for a groundball that skittered between his legs (<- how is someone from outside the US with english as a second or third language, who knows nothing about the game, meant to know what this US sports cliché means?) in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series . . .

. . . had just squandered their lead (<-sports media cliché number 1) for the third time in the game, this time on a wild pitch (<- cliché number 2). It was the bottom of the tenth inning (<- cliché number 3), 25 October 1986, at Shea Stadium, two outs, a runner on second, the score tied, (<- meaningless twaddle from the sports media unless the reader knows the detail of the sport.) Mookie Wilson of the New York Mets at the plate.(<- again meaningless unless you know the game.) After fouling off close to a dozen pitches, Wilson hit a routine ground ball to Buckner at first base. The ball, which had taken a deadening bounce (<- yet another sports cliché) on the dirt, rolled under Buckner's glove, through his legs and into right field,

Remember, not everyone who reads wikipedia

  1. is American
  2. is a sports fan
  3. if they want to learn about the game, know US sports clichés, etc. We are supposed to writing broad, universally understandable text for an encyclopædia, not copy for sports pages for a US newspaper. No page on wiki, on whatever topic, is supposed to be written in a manner that only those with a specialist knowledge can make head or tail of. FearÉIREANN 22:59, 14 Oct 2003 (UTC)
But would anyone who knows nothing about baseball care about Bill Buckner in the first place? I suppose they may come across the page randomly...but even so, would it be worth explaining various baseball terms for a page that (in the grand scheme of things) is not really all that important to baseball in general? Adam Bishop 23:02, 14 Oct 2003 (UTC)

You missed my point, Adam. I'm not saying you have to explain the game, but to write the article in a way that does not pre-suppose in depth knowledge of the lingo used by fans. The article should be written with enough clarity to ensure that if someone from Croatia, South Africa, New Zealand came across it and wanted to find out 'so who is this guy' they could find out, rather than be left out of the loop because the article is written in the exclusive language of US baseball followers. I could write an article about gaelic football that would be total gobbledigook to anyone who did know the rulebook and Irish sports clichés, but as this is an encyclopædia I wouldn't do that. Anymore than I would write in article on heads of state about iconic representationalism, because I know only those of us who have studied heads of state and speak 'the relevant academic language' would have a clue what it meant, or write about 'transfer patterns revealed by tallies and shown in the eighth count breakdown in voting patterns that allowed Labour's Mickey Joe Maguire sweep between the two lower placed Fianna Fáil candidates to take the last seat without reaching the quota.' It would be gobbledigook to people who don't know PR.STV, Irish voting patterns and the electoral results in Mayo Central (non-existent, BTW). It is about writing text that is comprehendable to non-experts. That is what an encyclopædia has to do. 'In house clichés' are a no-no in encyclopædias. FearÉIREANN 23:25, 14 Oct 2003 (UTC)


Part of what makes baseball so popular is its lore. The lore of the Curse of the Bambino and of Buckner's miscue are on par with the lore of "Hansel and Gretel" or "Lancelot." Therefore, this article should be written so non-baseball fans can understand it. Kingturtle 23:11, 14 Oct 2003 (UTC)
Expecting an article on the BoSox to be NPOV is, in my humble opinion, mad. It's not going to happen. Expecting an article on Bill Buckner or the other bits of baseball lore and insanity (most of which seem to have happened to the Sox...) to not be covered in the jargon of baseball is equally insane. This is an article, almost by definition, that only those who know baseball first will read. Get over it. --Penta 16:32, 23 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Granted the discussion on this was for the most part a year-and-a-half ago, but I need to respond to this. The point of Wikipedia is to increase knowledge. Now, let's take Fear's comment about "transfer patterns...." For the most part, I haven't the slightest clue what that means. However, if, say, it said "transfer patterns ... allowed Labour's Mickey Joe Maguire..." and so forth, it would allow someone who didn't know anything to go to those pages and learn.
Taking your example from this article, not everything you don't understand is a "US sports cliché." However, here is an attempt to fix it up, with adjustments in bold and comments in italic. I think I did even better in the actual article.

. . . is best known for a groundball that rolled between his legs (If you don't know what skittered means, I guess the old copy messed you up. However, rolled between his legs is pretty self-evident.) in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series . . .

. . . had just squandered their lead (cliché? they had lost the lead) for the third time in the game, this time on a wild pitch (should be wiki'd. Is now.). It was the bottom of the tenth inning (this is not a "cliché"! If you don't know what "the bottom of the tenth inning" is, you should read the baseball article. You can't expect someone who's never heard of baseball to understand a detailed analysis of a baseball game!), 25 October 1986, at Shea Stadium, two outs, a runner on second, the score tied, Mookie Wilson of the New York Mets at the plate.(Fine. He was batting. Don't know what that means? Read baseball.) After fouling off close to a dozen pitches, Wilson hit a routine ground ball to Buckner at first base. The ball, which had taken a deadening bounce (If I bounce a ball, and it doesn't come back up very high, that's a deadening bounce. These are the definitions of words!) on the dirt, rolled under Buckner's glove, through his legs and into right field,

Buckner's feelings about the Sox and the series[edit]

Is there a source cited on Buckner moving from Boston due to bitterness over 7 years after the series ended? If someone wants to dispute this please reply here, otherwise I am going to re-write this in accordance with a WSJ article which is available in their paid archives. Ellsworth 21:11, 26 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Buckner's abilities as a clutch hitter and contact hitter[edit]

Defining a guy's entire career by one incident in the 1986 World Series is neither fair nor accurate. It is a nice touch to add what Buckner did to get Boston into post season play in September 1986. It is better and more accurate to compare not only what he did all season, but throughout his career to other famous clutch hitters like Ted Williams and Joe DiMaggio - - - as well as to the fact that he played hurt a lot, not out of any ego trip of wanting to be in games, but to show he played better hurt than the alternatives (Dave Stapleton) did otherwise.

In light of the results of that famous play in game 6 of the 1986 World Series, your last sentence is highly disputable. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 75.67.234.133 (talk) 21:48, 4 November 2013 (UTC)

Buckner as a guy who never gave up trying[edit]

Another interesting factoid in this article is how Buckner made Hank Aaron earn his 715th home run-- he tried to climb the fence to catch it. This, Bucker's day-to-day consistency and the fact that he played hurt so often defines him far more than an incident on one unfortunate evening in October 1986. Buckner had a great career. He will never make the Hall of Fame, but he did inspire a lot of people on the importance of effort.

let's fix this paragraph[edit]

I have again removed this paragraph from the article. there are a few things wrong with it, so it needs to be re-written. also, it should probably appear somewhere else in the article than in the 1986 section.

"Even without that hot September streak, it is unlikely that Boston would have made it to the post season without Bill Buckner. Despite a .267 average, one of the poorest of his career, Buckner managed to play 153 games and drive in 102 runs, second highest on the team. He was one of the best clutch hitters and contact hitter in the game, striking out only 25 times (less than 4% of all at-bats) in 1986 and 4.6% of at-bats in his career. For comparison, even the best Hall of Fame contact hitters such as Ted Williams at 9.2% and Joe DiMaggio at 10.1% struck out far more often than Buckner. Buckner's willigness to play injured may have contributed to his famous 1986 World Series error. However, considering Boston's weak bench, it was an unselfish decision. The back-up first baseman was Dave Stapleton, whose season average was .128 with 3 RBI's!"
  1. "He was one of the best clutch hitters"....what facts do you have to back this up? His lifetime average with Runners in scoring position was .284, which is lower than his overall lifetime average, .289.
  2. He was one of the best "contact hitter in the game"...what facts do you have to back this up? Four times he led the league in the category. Five times he came in second. That's pretty good. So we should use language that prives it.
  3. "considering Boston's weak bench, it was an unselfish decision. The back-up first baseman was Dave Stapleton, whose season average was .128 with 3 RBI's!"...I don't understand what you mean by an unselfish decision. What would a selfish decision be? Stapleton was also playing hurt.

Kingturtle 09:06, 1 May 2005 (UTC)

Kingturtle-- you obviously have knowledge, but who appointed you censor?

You ask for proof Buckner was one of the best clutch hitters in the game? Your factoid that his lifetime average with runners in scoring position was .284, which is lower than his overall lifetime average, .289 is interesting, but doesn't address meaningful at-bats with runners in scoring position such as the team being behind 4-3 rather than leading 6-1. Is this statistic more meaningful than the fact that he was widely acknowledged to be one of the best clutch hitters in the game? Or that he usually batted third in the Boston order with a mere 18 homeruns? John McNamara obviously felt he was a great clutch hitter as did many sportwriters of the day.

You ask for proof he was a great contact hitter, then proceed to censor that very proof-- a comparison of his strikeout ratio with other great contact hitters such as Ted Williams. Rather than censoring said proof, why not enlighten readers with your language "Four times he led the league in the category. Five times he came in second." You could also enlighten us by explaining what statistic you use to describe great contact hitting, rather than merely censoring mine.

Dave Stapleton had a sub-par year in 1986, but he never played hurt as consistently as did Bill Buckner. His lifetime statistics while respectable, .271 average, 7 year career, don't even compare to Buckner's 21 year career and .289 average. Considering Boston's alternative, Buckner's willingness to play hurt was an unselfish decision for the team. Players more interested in extending their career would have sat more games out, that is put themselves before the team.

Buckner's overall performance is central to a biography about him. If you don't like it in the 1986 World Series section, you should move it to a section more to your liking rather than censor. Personally, I don't care for the sick joke about Buckner throwing himself in front of a train. It says a lot more about the whiny Boston Red Sox fan base than it does about Buckner. But you'll notice I didn't censor it!

Clutch hitting and contact hitting are not the same thing. Just because Buckner didn't strike out much does not mean he was better in clutch situations than other batters. Clutch hitting means that you get runners home. For example, in 2003, Carlos Delgado batted .302, but with runners in scoring position, he batted .357 --- but he struck out 137 times that season. Not a good contact hitter, but a great clutch hitter.
If Buckner was "widely acknowledged to be one of the best clutch hitters in the game," what statistics are there to back that up? Furthermore, who are all these people who said during his career that he was one of the "best clutch hitters"?
The information about his prowess as a contact hitter SHOULD be in this article, but in a separate place - it should not be in the section about Game Six, because that is about a mistake in the field and not about contact hitting.
Dave Stapleton was NOT an option in 1986. He was on the DL much of the year.
So put the contact hitting bit and his overall performance in a different section, preferably closer to the intro. Kingturtle 16:32, 1 May 2005 (UTC)


Well, excuse me, but Dave Stapleton was an option during the 1986 World Series. He was on the roster and even played in the series.
While it is true that contact hitting and clutch hitting are not the same thing, they are closely related. A player who can put the ball in play is more likely to advance a runner than one who strikes out. There are many ways a runner can score when a ball is put into play, even on a no out double play with the bases loaded. The only way a runner will ever advance on a strikeout is if the catcher drops the third strike.
Thus, I've allowed you to censor the information on Buckner's clutch hitting skills and replaced it with his contact hitting skills.

Clutch hitting and contact hitting are not the same. Clutch hitting involves driving in runners in scoring position (Lou Gehrig) - contact hitting involves getting on base (Rod Carew). Kingturtle 23:44, 1 May 2005 (UTC)

Why did the Red Socks put an injured guy at first base? Especially so late in the WS? If he was such a good hitter they could have just DH'd him.Skeeter08865
The AL has designated hitters in regular season games, the NL does not. In post-season games, games hosted by AL teams allow for designated hitters, while games hosted by NL teams have the pitchers hit. Game Six was in New York, the home field of the Mets, a National League team - therefore, there was no DH option. Kingturtle 13:57, 6 May 2005 (UTC)
Oh yeah the game was at Shea. Skeeter08865

Interesting to note, this was the first year that the DH rule was implemented only for games played in the AL park. Prior to 1986, the league champion who hosted Game 1 would have their league's rules implemented for the entire series. In this case, following the old system, there would have been a DH for the Game 6 in questionRkw1111 06:15, 28 March 2006 (UTC) Don't even listen to "kingturtle". He's obviously an idiot Red Sox fan...the kind that have kept Bill Buckner out of the Hall Of Fame. It's painfully evident he knows nothing about baseball. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 68.79.21.51 (talk) 18:27, 15 August 2008 (UTC)

A great CUB[edit]

Never mind about Boston. Watching "Billy Buck" play as a CUB was incredible! He was a heart & soul player- baseball man for sure. He was tough, scrappy, consistent, and boy, you sure knew he LOVED THE GAME! He was "the right stuff"!! veevee.

The other Buckner[edit]

Just a heads-up, but we may have to turn this into a disambiguation page in the near-future. The Royals have a pitcher in their farm system who was (amusingly) born with the name Billy Buckner. He has the potentiol to be a big-name player in the future.--24.252.24.111 21:10, 19 July 2006 (UTC)

If he goes by Billy Buckner, then he can have the article name Billy Buckner. Kingturtle 03:56, 7 August 2006 (UTC)

FEVER PITCH[edit]

How about his mentioning several times in the movie "fever pitch," starring Jimmy Fallon and Drew Barrymore. They talk about him a few times. Also, Fallon watches the video of Buckner missing the ground ball over and over when he is depressed. It's pretty funny. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 96.235.20.63 (talk) 20:39, 6 August 2008 (UTC)


St. ELSEWHERE[edit]

I seem to remember a particular episode of St. Elsewhere with a patient who was obsessed with the Red Sox. For some reason the doctor had to break this guy out of his obsession, so he listed all the times the Red Sox disappointed their fans, and the last thing he says that tips the guy over the edge, is "remember Buckner..." I remember that scene but I can't find any information about it on the interweb. Perhaps someone can help out. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.63.164.186 (talk) 23:15, 9 March 2009 (UTC)

That Commercial[edit]

They referenced him in some recent add campaign for a text messaging question service or something. KGB maybe? I dunno, if that rings a bell to anyone you could add it. Cheers. NasserInASaucer (talk) 04:34, 11 June 2009 (UTC)

Two Questions[edit]

(i) Was the staph infection that resulted in him becoming a first baseman caused by diving for second base one time and getting his ankle caught uder himself? (ii) The Nike high tops. He was one of the first, if not the first, to use them in the modern era and it allowed him to stay in the game longer. I wonder if the sources would be online apart from being in Jeff Pearlman's The Bad Guys Won 86.45.53.76 (talk) 14:30, 25 August 2010 (UTC)

Recent quite good song about Buckner[edit]

See http://thebaseballproject.net/pressbox/, http://ideastations.org/npr/134594701-baseball-project-for-love-of-game.

I just heard the song ("Buckner's Bolero") on the radio (KEXP, Seattle). Quite a good song, but I'm not sure whether it merits mention in the article, and I'm probably biased in its favor since I know Scott McCaughey (and, for that matter, Bob Christgau), so someone else should decide. - Jmabel | Talk 18:20, 21 March 2011 (UTC)

Bill Buckner's 1985 Fleer card--with the ball between his legs[edit]

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/images/B0048QIP7W/ref=dp_image_0?ie=UTF8&n=3375251&s=sporting-goods (this is a picture of the card so you'll see what see what I mean)75.81.197.59 (talk) 03:09, 1 September 2011 (UTC) I want to include a mention of Bill's 1985 Fleer card, which shows him in fielding position with a ball between his legs; the year before his infamous blunder. Now I personally think that is a "one in a million" coincidence and should be included (preferably with a picture of the card itself). After all, Mark McGwire's article includes his 1989 Topps card (the year he hit 70 home runs in reverse) being #70 and for a non-sports related example, the article for the 1959-63 Dennis the Menace sitcom mentions that final episode that aired before Joseph Kearns' (Mr. Wilson) death was about Mr. Wilson making a will and explaining how important that is to Dennis.75.81.197.59 (talk) 02:08, 31 August 2011 (UTC)

Where are you talking about in the Mark McGwire article? In any event, you're going to have get a consensus to include the information, not just starting a topic and expressing your opinion. That justify citing to a primary source and interpreting it to boot. I will revert your change until there is a consensus to include it.--Bbb23 (talk) 03:46, 31 August 2011 (UTC)
And how do you expect me to get this "consensus" without starting this topic? Also, the card is the only source available (in this case others are not necessary) and I clearly cited precedent for its inclusion so it's not just "expressing my opinion"75.81.197.59 (talk) 02:59, 1 September 2011 (UTC)
Buckner was a first baseman, so a picture showing him fielding a ground ball would not be especially noteworthy. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 09:21, 31 August 2011 (UTC)
75, you misunderstand, there was nothing wrong with starting this topic to get consensus. My objection was to you inserting the material without letting the discussion run its course and a consensus be reached.--Bbb23 (talk) 03:43, 1 September 2011 (UTC)
It's not just "a picture"; it's a baseball card (which I now posted a link to at the top of this topic so you can see it). It's also not just him fielding a ground ball; the ball is clearly in the air between his legs. And it's not like there's tons of other cards out there showing someone in fielding position with a ball between his legs. My point is that coincidences like these and the ones I mentioned above have before and should be included.75.81.197.59 (talk) 02:59, 1 September 2011 (UTC)
It was in McGwire's article because you put it there. It has since been removed (by me) again. (I don't see the Dennis the Menace trivia anywhere in the article about the 1959 series.) You may think that these are noteworthy trivial coincidences, but without a source that actually discusses them, you should try to get consensus to include the information. It's clearly WP:OR without sourcing. --OnoremDil 03:28, 1 September 2011 (UTC)
75, you think it's "clear", but it's not. The ball could be between his legs or it could be before him going toward him in a normal receiving fielding stance. Personally, I think the latter interpretation is far more likely because one wouldn't make a baseball card out of someone committing an error. In any event, the fact that we disagree on the interpretation of the picture is precisely what makes the picture an unreliable source. And none of that even addresses the POV or trivia issues.--Bbb23 (talk) 03:46, 1 September 2011 (UTC)

Didn't roll under the glove[edit]

So I was watching a 30 for 30 documentary on ESPN called Catching Hell (aired this 27 September), and Buckner's error was prominently featured alongside the the Steve Bartman incident. A video of the play clearly shows that the ball did not, as the article states, roll under Buckner's glove—which was touching the ground—but rather, that the ball collapsed the thumb portion of the glove and continued rolling past it. This is not only shown in the video, but explicitly stated to be the case by the narration. Admittedly, it's a small detail, but it's a relevant one. Should the article be changed to reflect this? TaintedMustard (talk) 16:51, 5 October 2011 (UTC)

No, because you (or someone else) has to interpret what you've seen. The video is a primary source.--Bbb23 (talk) 23:36, 5 October 2011 (UTC)
I don't think you read what I said: this is explicitly stated to be the case by the narration—that is, they are interpreting it, not me. The source is the documentary, not the raw video, but the video can still be mentioned. TaintedMustard (talk) 02:47, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
You're right, I missed the narration part. You should be able to cite to it.--Bbb23 (talk) 23:33, 6 October 2011 (UTC)

Buckner's Major League Debut[edit]

A bit of irony about Buckner's error is mentioned on Maury Wills' page: in Buckner's Major League debut, against the San Francisco Giants on September 21, 1969, Wills, his Dodger teammate, commited an error on Jim Davenport's 10th-inning ground ball, which allowed Willie McCovey to score the winning run. [1] MrHaroldG2000 (talk) 19:44, 3 October 2012 (UTC)

Game 6 of 1986 World Series[edit]

That part was not referenced in Good Will Hunting, I think it was mistaked with the reference to Carlton Fisk's game-winning home run in the 1975 World Series — Preceding unsigned comment added by 207.237.34.211 (talk) 23:42, 14 December 2013 (UTC)