10/04/11 3:25 PM ET
Buckner ball to be put up for auction
By Spencer Fordin / MLB.com
Seth Swirsky, who purchased the ball from actor Charlie Sheen, said that he's willing to find the treasured keepsake a new home. Sheen purchased the ball in 1992, and Swirsky bought it at auction in 2000. Now, he wants to sell it by the 25th anniversary of the 1986 World Series.
"People ask, 'Why would you have a ball about sorrow?'" said Swirsky. "To me, it encompasses the two emotions of the game. The highs and lows, all encapsulated in one ball."
Buckner, Boston's first baseman in 1986, made one of the most infamous plays in baseball history by letting a grounder hit by the Mets' Mookie Wilson roll through his legs to cap a winning rally for New York in Game 6. Boston went on to lose Game 7 and didn't exorcise its World Series demons until winning the title in 2004.
The ball itself has an interesting history. Right-field umpire Ed Montague picked it up after the play and drew a tiny "X" near the seam to authenticate it, and he gave it to Mets executive Arthur Richman. Wilson signed the ball with the inscription, "The ball won it for us."
Swirsky will put the ball up for auction on eBay on Oct. 15, and he plans on closing the bidding late on Oct. 25, the 25th anniversary of Game 6. Swirsky said he decided to sell the ball last week, one day after watching the Red Sox play a dramatic regular-season finale.
"The myth of Buckner continues," he said. "There he was on 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' last month. Everybody knows where they were when that play happened. ... I wasn't in a gloating mood. This isn't about, 'Ha, ha, the Red Sox lost.' I'm not a Red Sox hater, I'm a baseball history lover."
Swirsky, nominated for a Grammy in 1988 for co-writing the track "Tell It To My Heart" by Taylor Dayne, also owns merchandise from players like Joe Jackson, Johnny Vander Meer and Eddie Gaedel. Last year, he allowed the Buckner ball to be displayed at the Mets Hall of Fame.
Swirsky said he plans on donating part of the proceeds to the Baseball Assistance Team, and he said his $1 million asking price is based on previous sales. Mark McGwire's 70th home run ball went for over $3 million, and Hank Aaron's last career home run ball went for $850,000.
"We should share this," said Swirsky, "with the people who created these memories for us."
Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.