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Bill Buckner dies at 69 after battling dementia

BOSTON  — Bill Buckner, a star hitter who became known for making one of the most infamous plays in major league history, has died. He was 69.

Buckner’s family said in a statement that he died Monday after a long battle with dementia.

Buckner won an NL batting title, was an All-Star and got 2,715 hits in a 22-year career.

But it was a little groundball in the 1986 World Series that forever changed his legacy.

Trying for their first crown since 1918, the Boston Red Sox led the New York Mets 5-3 going into the bottom of the 10th inning in Game 6 at Shea Stadium. The Mets tied it with two outs, then Mookie Wilson hit a trickler up the first base that rolled through Buckner’s legs, an error that let Ray Knight rush home from second base with the winning run.

The Red Sox lost 8-5 in Game 7, and their World Series drought continued until they won the championship in 2004.

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