Editor's note: This story was originally published on Dec. 18, when Showalter's hiring was announced. Showalter will be introduced as the new manager of the Mets today at 1 p.m. over Zoom.
New York Mets owner Steve Cohen is an avid collector of art, his collection of Picasso and Doig and others reportedly worth many hundreds of millions of dollars. But one of his favorite pieces is round: the baseball that rolled between the legs of Bill Buckner to end Game 6 of the 1986 World Series to give the Mets their greatest victory ever.
The ball had been sold repeatedly, and when it became available in 2012, Cohen was told by a business associate that it would probably cost something in the range of $100,000 to $150,000, as he explained last year to SNY. "All right, I'll do it," Cohen recalled saying. "It's a great moment in Met history. 'Buy it.'"
A deal was struck on Cohen's behalf, and it wasn't until afterward that Cohen asked about the final price -- $410,000, as it turned out. He remembered not being happy about it at the time.
But in the end, Steve Cohen got exactly what he wanted, and an episode that mirrors how he'll continue to run his baseball team. There was one managerial candidate available who checked every need for the best possible Mets hire -- an experienced manager who would have instant credibility with players, was considered an excellent tactician and someone who had worked in New York -- and this is how Buck Showalter was hired. A win-now manager for a win-now team operated by a win-now owner.