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Famous Mistakes In Baseball History
Baseball has a long and rich history. From Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, Pete Rose through today, Baseball is rich in tradition and nostalgia. With this long history comes a rich tradition of horrible mistakes that have cost games and even careers. The following are just a few of these huge blunders.
Video of Buckner's Infamous Mistake
Red Sox Fans Welcome Bill Home
Perhaps the most infamous mistake in Baseball history is the mistake made by Bill Buckner in game Six of the 1986 World Series.
Boston led the best of seven series 3 games to 2. The teams were tied in the bottom of the tenth inning. New York had just scored two runs to tie the score. Boston reliever Bob Stanley faced Mets Centerfielder Mookie Wilson. Mookie Wilson hit a routine groundball to Buckner at first base. Buckner reached down to field the ball, missed, and the ball rolled under his legs into shallow right field. Ray Knight scored from second and the Mets won the game. The Mets went on to win the World Series in seven games.
The oddity of the play is that Bill Buckner was a major reason why the Red Sox were in the World Series that year. He hit eight home runs in September and drove in 22 runs. He was also a very good fielder. Yet despite this, and a solid overall career, Buckner will always be remembered as the man who let the ball go between his legs.
On Opening Day 2008, Bill Buckner returned to Fenway Park to throw out the first pitch. The Boston faithful welcomed Buckner home with a long standing ovation. Buckner threw a strike.
Grady Little And Pedro Martinez
It was Game 7 of another epic battle between the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees. With the Red Sox leading 5-3 in the eighth inning Boston Manager Grady Little allowed his starting pitcher Pedro Martinez to continue to pitch. Martinez had been dominant in the game and was one of Baseballs best pitchers.
Martinez got the first batter out. Then Martinez game up a double to Derek Jeter and a single to Bernie Williams to bring the Yankees within two. Little then stepped out of the dugout and headed towards the pitcher’s mound. Left-hander Alan Embree was warmed up in the bullpen and ready to face Hideki Matsui. Little decided instead to stick with Pedro Martinez and Matsui followed with a run-scoring double. Jorge Posada then hit a bloop double to center to tie the game. Little then took Martinez out of the game.
The Yankees won the game in extra innings with the historic home run hit by Aaron Boone.
Grady’s mistake was so big he lost his job.
For years, Pete Rose was considered one of the best players in Baseball History. Known as “Charlie Hustle,” Rose was an excellent hitter and base runner. Rose still holds the record for most career hits in baseball history.
However, Pete Rose is not in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Why? Because Pete Rose bet on baseball why he managed the Cincinnati Reds. In fact, Pete Rose bet on his own team why he managed the Reds. After Baseball Commissioner Bart Giomatti concluded his investigation, Rose was found to have bet on Baseball. This was an illegal act by a current player or manager. Rose voluntarily accepted a ban from Professional Baseball but refused to apologize for his mistake. Rose will never be in the Hall of Fame and the Reds will never officially be able to retire his number. However, no Red has worn number 14 since Rose.
Rose's mistake ruined the legacy of a truly great player.
They Blame It On Bartman
Cubs Fans Were Not Happy
It was October 14, 2003. The Chicago Cubs and Florida Marlins were playing Game 6 of the National League Champioinship Series. The Cubs were only five outs from winning the game and playing in the World Series for the first time since 1945. However, the Cubs ended up losing the game and went on to lose the deciding game of the NLCS the next night. The reasons: Bartman.
Steve Bartman was sitting in the front row along the left field corner wall behind the bullpen. Castillo hit a pop foul towards Bartman's seat. Cubs left fielder Moises Alou drifted over to catch the foul ball. When Alou reached up with his glove, Bartman reached out to try to catch the ball. Bartman knocked the ball away. Alou slammed his glove down in disgust and shouted at Bartman. The Crowd booed the earphoned man. The Cubs argued for an interference call but the umpires ruled that ther ball was in the stands and therefore no fan interference.
The Aftermath is the stuff of legends. Following Bartman's intervention, Castillo drew a walk, Ivan Rodriguez singled to drive in a run and Alex Gonzalez misfielded a routine ground ball. In all, the Marlins scored 8 runs in that fateful eighth inning and went on to win the game. The next night, the Marlins won the series and went on to win the World Series.
As for Bartman, he was led away from Wrigley Field by security (for his own safety). Cubs fans shouted obsenities and threw debris on the field and at Bartman. The police protected his home for weeks. Florida Governor Jeb Bush offered Bartman asylum.
Bartman's mistake very well could have cost the Cubs their chance to win the World Series. Some say Bartman is a continuation of the Curse of the Billy Goat allegedly laid on the Cubs after Billy Sianis and his pet goat were ejected from Wrigley Field during the 1945 World Series. The Cubs have not been as close since.