Monday, January 22, 2007
It's one of the sad facts of life that great people and institutions are sometimes remembered more for their one great failure than for their successes. Baseball fans, for example, remember Bill Buckner not as the guy who collected 2,700 career hits and batted over .300 seven times, but as the guy who let a ground ball go between his legs to cost the Chicago Cubs a World Championship.
If there's a Bill Buckner in the contract law field, it's Pickfords, a venerable firm that has been reliably moving stuff around the United Kingdom since the days when "William and Mary" was hot new style in English furniture. But in contracts classes, the firm is known chiefly for its most famous screw-up: mislaying the mill shaft in Hadley v. Baxendale.
Here, courtesy of Richard Dennery of Gloucester, are two images of the modern Pickfords your students may get a chuckle out of.
[NOTE: Thanks to the careful readers who pointed out that Bill Buckner was playing for the Boston Red Sox when he let Mookie Wilson's grounder roll through his legs. Buckner had been a Cub for a long time before joining the Bosox, and is said to have been wearing a Cubs batting glove under his mitt on the play.]