07 July 2010
Bill Buckner played an incredible 22 seasons in the major leagues.
He piled up 2715 hits, with 174 home runs and 1208 runs batted in.
In 1980 he posted a career-high .324 batting average, which led the National League.
In 1982 he hit .306 with 15 homers and 105 RBI.
When he hung up his cleats for the final time, Buckner had played in an amazing two thousand, five hundred and seventeen games.
2517 games, tying him for 47th all-time in the HISTORY of baseball.
But even with those impressive numbers, William Joseph Buckner is known for just one thing.
Well two things if you count having the best mustache this side of Tom Selleck.
But by far, Billy Buck is known for letting the ball go through his legs in the 10th inning of Game 6 of the 1986 World Series.
If you don’t believe me, type BILL BUCKNER ERROR into your Google search window.
In .20 seconds you will get “about” 28,200 results.
In case you were hibernating in the fall of 1986, Buckner was playing first base for the Boston Red Sox, a franchise that had not won a World Series since 1918.
And while the error didn’t cost the Red Sox the series or even the game, it is the moment that crushed the legacy of an otherwise stellar career.
Baseball can be a cruel game, but it is no different than real life.
Yesterday I had the opportunity to interview with a former colleague about a possible job opening.
We had a very nice visit.
I told him how much I have enjoyed being at home for the last year (plus).
I also told him how much I would love to get back into the working world.
He nodded again.
Then he asked me about an experience I had on a specific project.
10 years ago!
I knew exactly where he was headed before he finished his sentence.
I have been fortunate to have some incredibly positive moments in my career, but like any one person from the human race, I am not perfect.
About ten years ago, I was involved with a project where I played the role of oil, working with a group of water.
Let’s just say we didn’t mix very well.
When the high-profile project ended, the job was completed and it was quite a success.
But it wasn’t fun.
Much like Larry King’s 7th divorce, there was no one to blame, it just happened.
I consider myself a people person and I really enjoy connecting with people, but it’s not always as simple as it sounds.
When the subject was brought to my attention yesterday, I knew immediately where the cross-examination was headed.
I answered quickly and honestly, saying that I learned a lot from that experience – which I did.
Deep down, I truly believe that my experience of the last 25 years will far outweigh any shortcomings from a brief hiccup ten years ago.
And I definitely believe that my track record of the last ten years will erase any bumps in the road that may have taken place before that time.
But the fact that the subject came up was frustrating.
I left the meeting feeling really good about the possibilities, but I also realize that a black cloud by any other name is still a black cloud.
I am hopeful that sunny days lie ahead.
After the meeting, I had dinner with a couple of close friends to talk about the events of the day.
As you might imagine, the featured item on the menu of our discussion was a ten-year-old spoiled egg.
But before I could crack the shell, the wife of one of my friends made a great point.
She said since it was on his mind, it’s a good that he brought it up and gave me a chance to discuss it instead of not bringing it up at all.
I really hadn’t thought of it that way, but she is absolutely right.
The fact that it was on his mind may have been unfortunate on one level and unfair on another, but the fact that we talked about it was definitely a good thing.
We had a chance to discuss any concerns he may have had and I had my chance to clear up those concerns.
I have no doubt that he is a lot more focused on what I have done in the more present tense than what may have happened in the past.
But either way, there are no skeletons.
And there is no closet.
It’s too bad Bill Buckner never got that chance.