The famous (or infamous depending on which team you root for) baseball that went through Red Sox first basemen Bill Buckner’s legs during the 1986 World Series has sold at auction $418,250.
The ball, which at one time belonged to Charlie Sheen, made its mark on history during Game 6 of the 1986 World Series. The Boston Red Sox were up three games to two against the New York Mets and leading in the bottom of the tenth inning. The Mets had tied the game with two outs when Mookie Wilson hit a slow rolling ball up the first base line. Buckner, the first baseman, misplayed the ball allowing it to roll through his legs and into right field allowing Ray Knight, who was on second base, to score the winning run.
According to the Heritage Auction website
“As Shea Stadium erupted from this miraculous stay of execution, right field umpire Ed Montague retrieved the baseball from where it lay in the grass beyond first base and made a small “X” in ballpoint ink near the stitching. He then sought out his friend, Mets traveling secretary Arthur Richman, and presented the ball to him. Richman entered the jubilant Mets clubhouse with the ball in hand, where the lucky left fielder inscribed the horsehide “To Arthur, the ball won it for us, Mookie Wilson, 10/25/86.” Other Mets rubbed the ball for luck or gratitude. One planted a kiss, leaving behind a brown chewing tobacco stain.”
The Mets would go on to win the World Series four games to three, continuing the Red Sox drought of World Series victories, which ultimately lasted a whopping 86 years until 2004. That year the team beat their rivals, the New York Yankees 4-3 in the American League Championship Series, a victory which they followed up by beating the St. Louis Cardinals to win their first World Series since 1918.
The ball moved from Richman’s collection into the hands of actor Charlie Sheen, who bought it auction in 1992. Sheen later sold the ball to songwriter and baseball memorabilia collector Seth Swirsky.
The ball, which came to epitomize the so-called “Curse of the Bambino,” a widely held superstition that Red Sox inability to win a World Series was linked to the team’s trading of Babe Ruth to the Yankees in 1918, was purchased by a Dallas buyer who chooses to remain anonymous.
To see other expensive items that have sold at auction check out our slideshow here.