Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Buckner

The prodigal son returns:

Fairly or unfairly, Buckner, who had 2,715 career hits, is best known for a play he did not make. Buckner let Mookie Wilson’s grounder to first base roll between his legs in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series. That error enabled the Mets to complete a two-out, three-run rally and win.

“It was hard for me to do,” a teary-eyed Buckner said about returning to Fenway.

When the Red Sox first invited Buckner, he said he figured he would decline. But he said he prayed about it and decided to accept. Two titles in the past four years for Boston have lessened the sting of what happened in 1986.

I had forgotten about this, but it seems that Buckner played 22 games for the Red Sox in 1990, just before he retired. Was he slagged on then? Was there even a big to-do?

9 comments:

Chipmaker said...

Buckner got a minute-long ovation when he was introduced at the 1990 home opener, which is more than any other player got.

How many times does Bucks get to "come back" or "be forgiven" anyway? Consider, which will be in his obituary, "missed grounder in World Series" or "cheered in (every) return to Fenway"?

Chipmaker said...

Oh, just to expand -- that 1990 game would have been populated by the generation of fans that witnessed 1986. That's important.

Me personally, I cannot recall ever ragging on Buckner for the error. Baseball happens; that particular, dismal event simply had immaculately bad timing.

Anonymous said...

I too recall BB getting a huge standing O that day. It was pretty awesome. He also his his final HR that April at Fenway: an inside-the park HR (!), made possible when the Angels RF (Claudell Washington, I think) fell into the stands while going for the catch.

Drew said...

Mookie still says he'd have beaten it out anyway. Watch the tape and remember Buckner didn't run well at that point. Mookie might have been right.

Anonymous said...

Also remember that the game was tied when Buckner made that error. Stanley and Schiraldi contributed far more to that loss than Buckner did.

Nick said...

^Not to mention, there was an entire game left to be played, one in which the Sox were ahead AGAIN, and blew AGAIN. A lot of people seem to think that Bucker's error came on a play that: A) would have won Boston the World Series (which isn't true since the game was tied) and B) won the World Series for the Mets (which isn't true since they still had Game 7 to play)

Conrad said...

You guys, and every Boston fan, and EVERY media member, missed the point of Buckner's "return" and teary eyed moment --- He said he had to try really hard to forgive . . . THE MEDIA. It ran on ESPN. Of course, the morning clowns didn't touch that part, and went on talking about FAN abuse . . . but Buckner, in an interview after the game, made it very clear that he didn't have a problem with the fans. It was the MEDIA that harassed him, it was the MEDIA's response that harassed his family, and it was the MEDIA that made it hard for Buckner to come back. All the stories published, all the headlines --- I know these guys are ball players, but there is a line that exists, and the MEDIA crossed it when crucifying Buckner, and he admitted as much. That was his real issue.

Anonymous said...

"He also his his final HR that April at Fenway: an inside-the park HR (!), made possible when the Angels RF (Claudell Washington, I think) fell into the stands while going for the catch."

I was at that game! I was sitting behind the 3rd base dugout with a clear view of Claudel going over the low barrier in right! It was great. Buck almost needed an assist from the third base coach to get hoe!

Anonymous said...

Hilarious that Buckner blamed the media for his troubles in Boston. I didn't realize it was the media sending him hate mail and vandalizing his property and harrassing his children in school. I thought it was the actions of Red Sox fans that eventually ran him out of the state. Learn something new every day.