Mets great Mookie Wilson a hit at Ridge bookstore

“It gets through Buckner! Here comes Knight and the Mets win it!”

Those are the words of legendary broadcaster Vin Scully during the Game 6 of the 1986 World Series at Shea Stadium. Many baseball fanatics regard the moment Scully describes as the single most memorable play in the history of the fall classic.

It’s also a play that has defined former New York Mets star Mookie Wilson’s career and life. Nearly 30 years after that unlikely stroke of fortune (or misfortune for Bostonians), Wilson has written a book, alongside co-author Erik Sherman, entitled Mookie: Life, Baseball, and the ’86 Mets (Berkley Books; $26.95).

On May 1 at the Bookmark Shoppe in Bay Ridge, Wilson paid a visit to the nabe to promote the read and mingle with fans, who formed a line around the block.

It’s awesome. I didn’t know I was that interesting, said the modest Wilson, followed by his signature infectious laugh.

Despite most baseball historians remembering Wilson for racing to first base trying to beat out a slow roller that eventually went through the legs of infamous Red Sox Bill Buckner to help the Mets stay alive in the World Series, he’s had many other thrilling and satisfying moments during his life. When the time came to tell his story, Wilson approached the project like he does with any job: enthusiasm.

I think it’s probably one of the greatest decisions I’ve ever made, said Wilson. Everyone else was writing about the ball clubs and stuff, but I think this is my opportunity to write about me and my relationship with the ball club right now.

In his memoir, Wilson touches on everything, from his upbringing in South Carolina in the 1960s to his family to his journey to the big leagues and stories of the 1986 Mets team, famous for its eccentric personalities and determination.

(With this book) I’m most proud of the honesty,” he said. “I didn’t cut any corners.

Despite some former ballplayers being guarded and nervous about sharing their life stories, Wilson shook off trepidation. “I thought it would be but no, he said I think when you know it’s time to do it, you don’t have any reservations about it.

Fans were excited to meet the switch-hitting speedster in person. I’ve been watching them since mid-1970. He’s one of my favorite Mets, and unlike the other 1986 Mets, he’s one of the few guys who was on the team when they weren’t that good,” said 46-year-old diehard Mets fan Pat Noonan. He always played the game right. He always hustled and that goes a long way in New York and he seems like a nice guy.

“Just look at the line around the block here in Bay Ridge, added John Quaglione, Mets fan and deputy chief of staff to State Senator Marty Golden, That will tell you that Mets fans remember what he did and his talents. A good number of folks here are proud to have him right here in their backyard.”

It wouldn’t be a Mookie Wilson meet-and-greet without retelling personal stories of the infamous play. “I was a senior in high school. I was working a job on a Saturday night at a restaurant. Locals and employees were watching. I thought we had no chance. The rest is history,” added Noonan

Sherman, who also co-wrote A Pirates for Life with Steve Blass, described his experience working with Wilson as memorable one. Without any exaggeration, it’s been the highlight of my writing career and one of the highlights of my life in general, Sherman said. Every day was a pleasure and there were several times when our interviews would go eight hours straight. Mookie had tremendous energy and enthusiasm throughout the process and he made it a joy to work with him.

Wilson is currently employed by the Mets as an ambassador. Since he’s been involved

with today’s MLB teams and players, he’s experienced vast differences in the game between now and when he took the field.

Expectations are different. What they expect from the ballplayers and what ballplayers expect from management, he said. I don’t think it’s as close a relationship with the fans as the ballplayers had when I played.

Despite his current role with the team, the fan favorite has hinted at higher ambitions. He’s already managed in the minor league level, coached in the major league level (as recent as 2011 as the Mets first base coach) and wishes to take his career to the next step: managing a Major League team.

Hopefully, he said. “It would be real nice.”

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