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Mookie Wilson and Bill Buckner attend inaugural Green and Gold Event at Herkimer College

By Fred Berowski

Forever linked in baseball history, Mookie Wilson and Bill Buckner at the inaugural Green and Gold Event
Forever linked in baseball history, Mookie Wilson and Bill Buckner at the inaugural Green and Gold Event

On Saturday night, May 16, Herkimer College held its first, of what is to be annual going forward, Green and Gold Event. The Green and Gold Event was held to raise money to support the Herkimer Generals athletic endowment. The endowment exists to support the college’s nationally-ranked program’s participation in post-season tournaments. Herkimer College is part of the NJCAA, and unlike the NCAA, the school is responsible for funding its team’s trips to the National Championships. Currently, the school’s woman’s softball team is competing in the national tournament in Rochester, Minnesota.

The event kicked off with a dinner, including carving stations and desert and was culminated by an appearance by nationally renowned speed painter and mentalist, America’s Got Talent’s Robert Channing. But for most in attendance, the highlight of the night was an appearance by two baseball greats who will forever be linked by one of the most notorious plays in World Series history— former Boston Red Sox star first baseman Bill Buckner and New York Mets legend Mookie Wilson.

The former Red Sox and Mets stars talked about everything from family and faith, to their early days in the game, with Mookie at one point proclaiming, light-heartedly “nobody likes the Yankees”.  The discussion culminated with a candid talk about the 1986 World Series, and inevitably, the play that ended Game Six. As the inning was recounted, Mookie recalled being up with two outs in the ninth, down by one, praying to just “not strike out”. But that point was moot after a wild pitch plated the game’s tying run at which point Mookie said “I can’t lose the game now so no worries”. Mookie got his perfect pitch to hit, down and away and hit it down the first base line.  Wilson said “then I ran. That’s what I was paid to do. I was paid to run”, and recalled watching the ball get by Buckner. Buckner still can’t recall exactly how or why the ball got past him, but that play, as he put it, “allowed them to play Game Seven”.

Wilson and Buckner left to a standing ovation and a good time was had by all in attendance.

Recollections of the notorious 1986 World Series.
Recollections of the notorious 1986 World Series.
Mookie Wilson, Bill Buckner, and Matt Park, the voice of the Syracuse Orange.
Mookie Wilson, Bill Buckner, and Matt Park, the voice of the Syracuse Orange.
Attendees enjoy dinner before the Green and Gold Event.
Attendees enjoy dinner before the Green and Gold Event.

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