Character Lessons from Bill Buckner

Every obituary about Bill Buckner mentions the former Red Sox baseball player’s fatal error in the 10th inning of “Game 6.” Playing against the Mets during the 1986 World Series, Buckner let a ball go through his legs and lost the championship, which would have been their first since 1918.

In 2008, with tears in his eyes and to a standing ovation, Buckner threw out the first pitch at Fenway Park when the team was honored for winning the World Series in 2007.

How does someone overcome such a mistake? The New York Times reports that fans were gracious, cheering him when he appeared on field in later years. Buckner did say that it’s “the ugly part of sports” that we focus on just one play in an otherwise stellar career:

"I don't think that in society in general that's the way we should operate. What are you teaching kids? Not to try because if you don't succeed then you're going to buried, so don't try?"

Buckner image source.


  • What character lessons can we learn from Buckner’s experience?

  • What mistake have you made and recovered from? What did you learn about yourself in the process?