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.
When Cohen purchased the Mets, he had suggested that he would win a World Series within three to five years. After Year 1 — the 2021 season — was a complete disaster, Cohen has doubled down, paying a record amount ($130 million over three years) for future Hall of Famer Max Scherzer. The Mets' clubhouse culture was perceived to be a problem last year, so Cohen's new general manager paid high prices for Eduardo Escobar and Mark Canha, two players known to strongly influence teammates. The Mets needed a center fielder, so Cohen OK'd the signing of the best available center fielder, Starling Marte, to a staggering four-year, $78 million contract.