CHATHAM, N.J. -- They arrive to their latest autograph show in a silver Nissan Altima, and in case you think a quarter century has altered their respective places in the universe, here is proof to the contrary:
Mookie Wilson rides shotgun.
Bill Buckner sits in the back.
They are 33 minutes late to the show at Legends Gallery, a local memorabilia and framing shop, but the customers in a line snaking through the exhibits don't seem to mind. They are mostly Mets fans, including one who lugged a piece of the old outfield wall from Shea Stadium here to get it signed, but there are a few citizens of Rex Sox Nation, too.
This is their moment of shared history, one personified by the two graying former ballplayers who sit on tall stools behind the counter.
You can't help but marvel at how utterly uncomfortable this must have been at first -- Buckner signing his name on that same iconic photo, the one where the slow roller slips into right field as Wilson storms up the first-base line into history, as Wilson waits to do the same -- but those days are long gone.
There is a sixth stage of grief, it turns out, when it comes to sports infamy. Denial. Anger. Bargaining. Depression. Acceptance. And, finally, monetization. Wilson and Buckner have been cashing in on Game 6 of the 1986 World Series for longer than they can remember now.