You might recall that the 1989 Toronto Blue Jays were 12-24 at the time of Williams’ firing. That didn’t put them in last place, because the Detroit Tigers were in the division, and they were awful, but it put them pretty close.
You might also recall that the Blue Jays won the 1989 AL East title by going 77-49 the rest of the way. Sure, they got thumped by Jose Canseco and the Oakland A’s in the ALCS, but just getting there was impressive after a start like that.
Ol’ Jimy One M went on to a pretty successful career as a coach and manager in the majors. Although he was also fired mid-season by the other two teams he managed, the Boston Red Sox (2001), and the Houston Astros (2004), his career record as a manager is 910-790, a .535 winning percentage.
He did win the 1999 AL Manager of the Year award with Boston, and was the bench coach for the Philadelphia Phillies when they won the World Series in 2008.
No explanation has ever been given for why he only had one “m” in his first name.
So, the Kansas City Royals are currently in the World Series. I don’t know about you, but I didn’t see that coming in 2014… and wouldn’t you know it, they’re fairly likeable. Hard to really hate a team like the one they’ve got. Somehow, they’ve turned the also reasonably likeable Giants into the hated Yankees.
Now, since you’re watching the World Series, you might have heard of a World Series legend named Bill Buckner. He was a first baseman with an unbelievable moustache. Whether it was his fault or not (it wasn’t) that the Red Sox lost in 1986, he’s a bit famous for missing a ground ball that October that a gentleman named Mookie hit for the New York Mets.
While with the Royals in 1988 and 1989, a time in the twilight of his career that few remember, Buckner made his first trip back to Fenway as a player, and then he actually returned to Boston for 22 games in 1990, before staying away for a long, long time… but then, this happened. Try not to get emotional.
But, let’s talk about the card above. Do you notice the tarpaulin rolled up along the wall in the background of the picture which forms a neat little black hole between Buckner’s legs? Well played, Upper Deck, you cheeky bastards.