Bill Buckner, who’s remembered more as the guy who didn’t field Mookie Wilson’s ground ball in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series than as the excellent long-time player with 2715 career hits, is filling in for Bob Brenly as a commentator on WGN-Ch. 9’s broadcast of tonight’s inter-league game between the Red Sox and Cubs, two teams he played for during his 20-year career.
Buckner is coach of the Brockton Rox of the Can-Am Independent League, a team located just 25 miles from Fenway Park in Boston. His road back to the area has been circuitous and trying, not least because the media hounded him in the years following the infamous World Series miscue.
“I’ve always liked New England in the summertime,” Buckner told the Chicago Tribune. “I know it took awhile to get to that point. I had a tough stretch with the media, but not the fans and the people who live here. They were great sports fans in Boston.”
Of his perspective on the Mookie Wilson ground ball and the torturous aftermath, the 61-year-old Buckner says, “You just deal with crap that comes up, and that’s what life is. Life’s tough, and you handle it. I’d do it all over again to get the opportunity to play sports and make a good amount of money. I was very fortunate. In real life, in real situations, what I had to go through is nothing.”