Baseball Great Bill Buckner Dead at 69
Former baseball great, Bill Buckner suffered from Lewy Body Dementia. The sportsman passed away after a long battle with the disease.
Bill Buckner was a baseball stalwart who compiled 2,715 hits for five different teams over a 22-year career. He died on Monday at the age of 69.
His wife Jody Buckner confirmed the news to ESPN. She also discussed his illness. Lewy Body Dementia causes Alzheimer’s-like symptoms combined with movement issues and other problems.
"Bill fought with courage and grit as he did all things in life," Jody Buckner said. "Our hearts are broken but we are at peace knowing he is in the arms of his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."
Buckner broke into the big leagues with the Los Angeles Dodgers before moving to the Chicago Cubs. He was an All-Star in 1981 and finished in the top 20 of MVP voting in 1978, 1980, 1981 and 1982.
As I clear my head and hold back the tears I know I will always remember Billy Buck as a great hitter and a better friend. He deserved better. Thank god for his family. I ll miss u Buck!— Bobby Valentine (@BobbyValentine) May 27, 2019
Buckner later played for the Boston Red Sox, California Angels, and Kansas City Royals. He returned to the Red Sox in 1990 but injuries and ineffectiveness at the plate saw him leave baseball in June that year.
Buckner was best remembered for the infamous October night when Mookie Wilson hit a ground ball that rolled through his legs. Mounting criticism and pressure from fans after the incident at Shea Stadium led to Buckner and his family moving from Massachusetts to Idaho.
Just got off the phone with Jody Buckner, who called to me that her husband, the great Bill Buckner, one of the finest men I've known, died this morning. She wanted to share this statement: "After battling the disease of Lewy Body Dementia, (cont.)— Jeremy Schaap (@JeremySchaap) May 27, 2019
On Monday, Wilson said that he and Buckner "had developed a friendship that lasted well over 30 years.
"I felt badly for some of the things he went through," Wilson added. "Bill was a great, great baseball player whose legacy should not be defined by one play."
Bill Buckner passed away early the morning of May 27th surrounded by his family. Bill fought with courage and grit as he did all things in life. Our hearts are broken but we are at peace knowing he is in the arms of his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."— Jeremy Schaap (@JeremySchaap) May 27, 2019
Bill was 69.
Mayor of the City of Boston, Marty Welsh tweeted, "Sad to hear of the passing of the great Bill Buckner, who had a long and overwhelmingly successful career with the @MLB & @RedSox. May he rest in peace."