Mookie unveils painting of Game 6's famed play

Mookie unveils painting of Game 6's famed play

Mookie unveils painting of Game 6's famed play
NEW YORK -- Then a member of the Blue Jays, Mookie Wilson was stretching before a game in Kansas City one day in 1989 when a familiar foe walked over to him and made a request not often asked of Major League players by their opponents.

Bill Buckner, with the Royals at the time, wanted Wilson to hit him a few grounders. It was the first time the two had spoken since Wilson's grounder slipped through Buckner's legs in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series, and it began a prosperous, if unlikely, friendship and business partnership.

Since then the pair has signed countless photos at memorabilia shows across the country. And on Wednesday at Citi Field, Wilson, now coaching for the Mets, unveiled his and Buckner's latest business venture, a painting they commissioned of Wilson's historic grounder.

The unveiling was originally scheduled for two weeks ago, with Buckner in attendance, but Hurricane Irene disrupted those plans.

"We've been together on a couple of projects, a couple of signings before, and it got kind of old doing the same photo over and over," Wilson said. "[With a painting] we both could have the moment re-invented but yet express our personal side of it, and we thought that this would be the best way to do it."

"We have been signing the same photo for the past 25 years. It's a great shot, but we wanted something new and different," Buckner, who just finished his first season as manager of the Brockton Rox of the Canadian American Association of Professional Baseball, said in a press release. "That was a play that has come to define us, and this is a beautiful depiction of that play."

The painting was done by Toronto sports artist Rob MacDougall and has profiles of both Wilson and Buckner, as well as a rendering of "The Play."

Though it would seem painful for Buckner to relive the moment of error that has come to define his career, Wilson said that his longtime friend has accepted what happened and has moved forward with his life. In fact, the two guest-starred opposite each other in a recent episode of "Curb Your Enthusiasm" that referenced Wilson's grounder.

"It's not reliving some horrible event," Wilson said. "This is just part of our lives, whether we accept it or not. This is his way of saying that he's accepted what has happened, and we're going to just enjoy it as best we possibly can."

Framed prints of the painting are available for sale at www.theplay86ws.com. Each print has been signed by Wilson and Buckner, as well as authenticated by Major League Baseball. The original has been purchased by the Mets and will be presented to the team prior to Saturday's 4:10 p.m. ET game against Atlanta. The Mets will house the painting in the Mets Hall of Fame and Museum at Citi Field.

"It's really cool, and we think fans will really enjoy looking at it," said Tina Mannix, executive director of marketing, who is in charge of the museum. "Obviously, most Mets fans look at that moment as nothing but positive, and fans voted for it to be the No. 1 moment in our history at Shea Stadium, so our fans love it."

Aaron Taube is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.