William Hayward "Mookie" Wilson was born February 9, 1956.
He's in the New York Mets Hall of Fame for his play in the 1980s, but Mookie will forever be tied to one of the most memorable plays in MLB history. He hit the ball the went through Red Sox first basemen Bill Buckner's legs.
The Boston Red Sox scored twice in the top of the tenth inning to go up 5-3 in a series they led 3 games to 2 in the 1986 World Series. After retiring Wally Backman and Keith Hernandez, Red Sox relief pitcher Calvin Schiraldi surrendered singles to the next three batters to bring the score to 5-4 with runners on first and third. That's when Wilson stepped to the plate and one of the worst moments in Boston sports history happened.
Bob Stanley had replaced Schiraldi on the mound. What made Mookie's moment even more special was how he battled during the at-bat before the ground ball. During his ten pitch at-bat, Wilson avoided being hit by a wild pitch that scored Kevin Mitchell from third and tied the score. Two pitches later he hit a slow rolling ball toward Buckner. Buckner was aware of Wilson's speed and he charged the ball, only to see the ball roll under his glove and through his legs into right, allowing the winning run to score from second base. Buckner may get all the blame, but if it wasn't for Wilson's great at-bat and his speed it would not have ever happened.
In Game 7, Wilson went one for three, scoring one of three runs the Mets plated in the sixth inning while trailing 3-0. The Mets went on to win that 1986 World Series.
Wilson had a great career, hitting .274 and stealing 320 bases. But he will always be remembered for that moment in time in 1986.
Happy birthday, Mookie.