RIP Bill Buckner

Al Zarilla

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Only a couple of times have I been 100% sure a manager was wrong before the play even happened. Mac not puttin gin Stapleton, and Grady leaving Pedro in were obvious to everyone. So unfair that Buckner got the blame, when the real bad stuff had already happened.
Mac wanted Buckner to be on the field when the Sox closed out the Mets, is the story you hear. Like others said, he had nothing to do with the two run lead being blown.
 

Papo The Snow Tiger

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In '04 when Pokey Reese went into play 2nd base and Gabe Kapler went into play right in the 9th inning of Game 4, and in Game 4 of '07 when Coco Crisp went into play CF with Jacoby Ellsbury going to LF I remember thinking that Tito wasn't taking anything for granted and wasn't going to repeat John McNamara's mistake.

I was there on Opening Day '08 and cheered as loud as I could when Bill Buckner came out to throw the first pitch.

RIP Mr. Buckner.
 

Coachster

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Buckner was among the group of young guys the Dodgers brought up together that formed the nucleus of those LA teams in the early '70's. He was the the same age as Valentine, a year older than Garvey and Bill Russell, two years older than Ron Cey, and in the ballpark with Don Sutton and Willie Crawford. I was in high school in LA then, and these were our guys. When they traded him in '77 for Rick Monday I was pissed.

I felt like I was reunited with Buckner (and Don Baylor) when I moved to New England in 1986. Although I wasn't a Sox fan immediately, it was great having my two west coast guys on my new home team. My first Fenway game ever was in July of '86 (the Angels beat the crap out of Jeff Sellers).

The guy played hard. I won't remember that one play any more than I'll remember him grinding it out every day. RIP Billy Bucks.
 

Lose Remerswaal

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Buckner was among the group of young guys the Dodgers brought up together that formed the nucleus of those LA teams in the early '70's. He was the the same age as Valentine, a year older than Garvey and Bill Russell, two years older than Ron Cey, and in the ballpark with Don Sutton and Willie Crawford. I was in high school in LA then, and these were our guys. When they traded him in '77 for Rick Monday I was pissed.

I felt like I was reunited with Buckner (and Don Baylor) when I moved to New England in 1986. Although I wasn't a Sox fan immediately, it was great having my two west coast guys on my new home team. My first Fenway game ever was in July of '86 (the Angels beat the crap out of Jeff Sellers).

The guy played hard. I won't remember that one play any more than I'll remember him grinding it out every day. RIP Billy Bucks.
Great post, putting that part of his career in context
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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RIP.

He is one of the main reasons I despise the term "choker" especially when used by the knights of the keyboard and armchair fans who have never played a sport a high level. Buckner wasn't a choker - he was a hell of a baseball player and one of the main reasons the Sox even had a shot to end their drought in 1986. You can pretty much use a person's take on Buckner as a good indicator of their knowledge of baseball and sports in general.
 

Philip Jeff Frye

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The Seaver news of dementia a few months ago was a blow (he was one of my favorites when I was a kid), but Buckner seems far to recent to have died from something like this. I was surprised to see that he was 69, but I guess I'm getting older too. Scary how baseball players used to seem so much older than me, then pretty quickly they were all younger than me (Jamie Moyer's retirement was another blow), and now the names of my youth are starting to pass.
For better or for worse Bill Buckner makes up a large part of DNA of both a baseball and a Sox fan. I absolutely would have it no other way. Not only was he a player to admire during my peak formative years but had 86 never happened then The Pedro Years, 04, the subsequent championships would have been less sweet. He’s an integral part of the story of the past 30 years
This is absolutely correct. It was torture at the time, but it made 2004 all the sweeter in the end. I tell this to all my long suffering Cleveland Indian, San Diego Padre, New York Jet, [insert name of luckless franchise here] friends whenever they are enduring their latest humiliation.
Buckner was among the group of young guys the Dodgers brought up together that formed the nucleus of those LA teams in the early '70's. He was the the same age as Valentine, a year older than Garvey and Bill Russell, two years older than Ron Cey, and in the ballpark with Don Sutton and Willie Crawford. I was in high school in LA then, and these were our guys. When they traded him in '77 for Rick Monday I was pissed.
Funny how important those names were to the history of baseball in the 1970s and yet only Sutton ended up having a Hall of Fame career.
 
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heavyde050

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RIP Bill Buckner. I was really young in 1986, but my Dad steadfastly reminds me that the Sox probably don't make the World Series without Bill.
 

Marciano490

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Nobody mentioned his amazing appearance on Curb Your Enthusiasm, so here are some clips:



 

hoothehoo

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Great hitter and one of the classiest players to play here. Everyone will hear that he was roasted and vilified by Boston fans for over 20 years, but the reality is outside of the ignorant minority, he was quickly "forgiven". Here is the article from his return in 1990.
https://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/redsox/1990/04/10/fenway-park-faithful-willingly-gave-bill-buckner-second-chance/4o6Ji8lG5vHLTjPtqzs3uN/story.html

I cut that article of the Globe that day.

I still have it.


Edit. For some reason it won’t let me upload a scan of it.
 

Anthologos

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The Seaver news of dementia a few months ago was a blow (he was one of my favorites when I was a kid), but Buckner seems far to recent to have died from something like this. I was surprised to see that he was 69, but I guess I'm getting older too. Scary how baseball players used to seem so much older than me, then pretty quickly they were all younger than me (Jamie Moyer's retirement was another blow), and now the names of my youth are starting to pass.
This is absolutely correct. It was torture at the time, but it made 2004 all the sweeter in the end. I tell this to all my long suffering Cleveland Indian, San Diego Padre, New York Jet fan, [insert name of luckless franchise here] friends whenever they are enduring their latest humiliation.
Funny how important those names were to the history of baseball in the 1970s and yet only Sutton ended up having a Hall of Fame career.

If you had asked me this morning whether Garvey was in the Hall, I would have bet money on it. He was such a constant All-Star and legend when I was a kid, I guess I just put him in mentally, and glossed over the reality.
 

DoyleCanBoyd

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I had a 1987 Topps Bill Buckner that I had autographed by the man himself (which I believe I got at a signing at the Burlington Mall). After the 2003 season, I was so disillusioned that I gave it to my friend that was a Mets fan kind of as a gag gift. Well, you all know what's happened since then.... I was 7 in 1986, so I didn't really understand that it wasn't all his fault, I just blindly blamed him for it. As an adult, I could see the bigger picture, and I'm glad he got his moment in 2008, and the Curb episode, to sort of reclaim his own narrative. 69 is way too young. RIP.
 

Bleedred

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I lost my dad to LBD, concurrent with Parkinson's. It is a terrifying and horrible disease of the mind to witness, even more terrifying to live with.
+1. Four years ago April Fool's Day, my dad passed away from complications due to LBD (people afflicted with LBD and other dementias often lose the ability to swallow which leads to their ultimate demise). The insidiousness of LBD is the horrific witnessing of someone you've loved your whole life losing any ability to know who you are and the physical decline can be slow and is always excruciating. RIP Billy Buck, and hopefully his family takes comfort in his passing, knowing his quality of life in the last few years was likely no quality of life at all.
 

joe dokes

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The incomparable Roger Angell described Buckner running the bases on his 1990 inside the park HR as looking like a packed suitcase springing open while falling down a flight of stairs. And it read as a tribute, not as disparagement.
 

fieldslikebuckner

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The ovation he received when he returned in 1990 was really special.

I know that ground ball will live in infamy, but the man played hard and played hurt and deserves to be remembered as the tough, good ball player he was for the Red Sox.
 

joyofsox

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Every writer will say Red Sox fans waited 21 years to forgive Buckner.

But they are wrong. Red Sox fans They gave him a huge ovation during a public rally for the team in Boston on October 29 ,1986, two days after the team lost the World Series.

On October 30, 1986, the Associated Press reported that "hundreds of thousands of fans ... offered prolonged cheers for first baseman Bill Buckner".

Peter Gammons wrote in Sports Illustrated (November 10, 1986):
The Hub Hails Its Hobbling Hero

He awakened on the morning after the morning after, knowing that he had two more rivers to cross. First, there was a parade in downtown Boston. ... As he started to get out of bed, he heard some mention of the Mets' parade on the radio. "More than two and a half million people honored the world champions yesterday in New York," said the announcer, "and the parade finished with the Mets' team bus going through Bill Buckner's legs."

"Here I just experienced the best year of my life with a team, and I feel rotten," Bill Buckner said to his wife, Jody, as they drove down Route 93 toward Boston last Wednesday morning. "This whole city hates me. Is this what I'm going to be remembered for? Is this what I've killed myself for all these years? Is a whole season ruined because of a bad hop? I've got to go through the humiliation of this parade, partly because I know I don't deserve it. Oh well, there'll only be two or three players and about 50 people who'll show up to boo us." ...

It was a crystal-clear autumn morning ... when the truck neared Copley Square, he saw that the street was lined with faces and banners as far as he could see. Buckner had asked not to speak at the rally at City Hall Plaza, and so he stood at the end of the stage. But when he heard the ringing one-minute ovation that followed his name, Buckner stepped forward and thanked the crowd.

"That was the most incredible experience of my career," he said to Jody ...
 

Detts

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Nobody mentioned his amazing appearance on Curb Your Enthusiasm, so here are some clips:



Thank you.

I really never watched curb, however I did watch that episode after the inter-webs warned me to watch. (I also caught the ‘juicing’ episode). Loved them both.

Any time it came up in conversation I always said one thing:

‘He didn’t lose game 7’.
 

Blue Monkey

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Thank you.

I really never watched curb, however I did watch that episode after the inter-webs warned me to watch. (I also caught the ‘juicing’ episode). Loved them both.

Any time it came up in conversation I always said one thing:

‘He didn’t lose game 7’.
Apparently they also had a draft of that scene where he dropped the baby but Larry David said he couldn’t do that to him.
 

Anthologos

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+1. Four years ago April Fool's Day, my dad passed away from complications due to LBD (people afflicted with LBD and other dementias often lose the ability to swallow which leads to their ultimate demise). The insidiousness of LBD is the horrific witnessing of someone you've loved your whole life losing any ability to know who you are and the physical decline can be slow and is always excruciating. RIP Billy Buck, and hopefully his family takes comfort in his passing, knowing his quality of life in the last few years was likely no quality of life at all.

Yes, all yes. My dad spent the last 16 months of his life alternating between living terror, not knowing the difference between his worse nightmares and his tepid reality, and feeling like he was being beaten and brutalized every single night. Short version. By the last year he hated all of us every day, and it was heartbreaking. Tuff stuff.
 

jose melendez

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Bob Lobel came to my middle school in maybe 89 and answered "Believe it or not, Bill Buckner" to a question about who was the worst person to interview. I always kind of assumed Buckner was a jerk from that, but stuff I've read in recent years really disputes that story.
 

Philip Jeff Frye

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Every writer will say Red Sox fans waited 21 years to forgive Buckner.
Yup, this is exactly what the Today Show just did. They introduced the piece with "And now, remembering a baseball great whose excellent career was overshadowed by a single notorious play." They then spent 98% of the story on the single notorious play and its fallout.
 

PseuFighter

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So was the hatred of the guy some revisionist narrative of the 90s? Keep reading more and more about how he was pretty well liked in the immediate aftermath of 86, and that the media created this thing as the years went on without another WS appearance. Really raw deal.
 

Ferm Sheller

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Bob Lobel came to my middle school in maybe 89 and answered "Believe it or not, Bill Buckner" to a question about who was the worst person to interview. I always kind of assumed Buckner was a jerk from that, but stuff I've read in recent years really disputes that story.
I remember before Game 6 of the 86 ALCS Lobel asked Buckner if “the big bats were coming out tonight.” That set Buck off. I think he scowled or otherwise reacted negatively and ended the interview.
 

joe dokes

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So was the hatred of the guy some revisionist narrative of the 90s? Keep reading more and more about how he was pretty well liked in the immediate aftermath of 86, and that the media created this thing as the years went on without another WS appearance. Really raw deal.
If you read some of his comments over the years, he explicitly said it was the media, not the fans.
 

Monbonthbump

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For some reason Billy Buck was the guest speaker at our monthly medical society meeting in 2009. To an audience of about 50 disinterested doctors and wives (most of whom didn't even know who he was) he spoke about his baseball experiences and the value of forgiving and forgetting. He was a good speaker, sharp and funny, at the top of his game and looked like he could still play. As probably the only baseball fan there, I visited pleasantly with him afterwards and thanked him for his Red Sox years. I brought a copy of Golenbock's "Fenway" and he autographed the end of Chapter 44, which deals with the '86 Series, to me, calling me "Nebraska's Greatest Red Sox fan". RIP Mr. Buckner and thanks again.
 

JimD

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So was the hatred of the guy some revisionist narrative of the 90s? Keep reading more and more about how he was pretty well liked in the immediate aftermath of 86, and that the media created this thing as the years went on without another WS appearance. Really raw deal.
 
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Obviously this thread is about Buckner, but in terms of clearing things up -

So was the hatred of the guy some revisionist narrative of the 90s? Keep reading more and more about how he was pretty well liked in the immediate aftermath of 86, and that the media created this thing as the years went on without another WS appearance. Really raw deal.
If you read some of his comments over the years, he explicitly said it was the media, not the fans.
F*** Dan Shaughnessy
 

Kliq

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Obviously this thread is about Buckner, but in terms of clearing things up -







F*** Dan Shaughnessy
Sorry if it was posted above, but Shanks wrote something on Twitter about how unfair people were to Bill Buckner and people just destroyed him by calling him out for profiting off his misfortune with that book.

Here's the Tweet:

 
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Max Power

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So was the hatred of the guy some revisionist narrative of the 90s? Keep reading more and more about how he was pretty well liked in the immediate aftermath of 86, and that the media created this thing as the years went on without another WS appearance. Really raw deal.
It doesn't seem like a raw deal to me. If the fans never really gave him a hard time and it was just a media creation, then he stayed as a story in the baseball world without getting any of the negative experiences from people. If not for that play he'd be remembered (or more likely not remembered at all) as a poor man's Mark Grace.
 
Dec 8, 2017
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I stopped reading any article written by Shaughnessy years ago. Won't be reading this latest, either. So I had assumed he was still just as big an asshole as he ever was, and his tweet confirmed it.
 
You can pretty much use a person's take on Buckner as a good indicator of their knowledge of baseball and sports in general.
Excactly this.

And we'll never know, but... I'll always believe that Stanley wouldn't have beaten Mookie to first, and even if he had we were done anyway.

You can listen to Eddie Andleman's call-in show after Game 6 on Youtube - Buckner wasn't even the main topic that very night. The error was blown up afterwards.
 

jmcc5400

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You always hear about McNamara screwing up by not having Stapleton replace Buck defensively in the bottom of the 10th. What drove me crazy at the time is that he let Buckner hit with two out in the top of the 8th with the bases loaded against Orosco when he had Baylor on the bench. Buckner should never have been in the game in the Bottom of the 10th - and the game may never have seen the 10th inning if McNamara had managed with any semblance of common sense.
 
I stopped reading any article written by Shaughnessy years ago. Won't be reading this latest, either. So I had assumed he was still just as big an asshole as he ever was, and his tweet confirmed it.
Same - as well as ceasing to read anything from the Boston Globe, or watch/read anything from ESPN, due to their associations with him.

If ever one person made a pile of money off of dragging another through the mud, this was one of them. Buckner deserved far, far better than what that repulsive person did to him.

And for him to post that Tweet in response to Buckner dying is disgusting.
 

BigSoxFan

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Excactly this.

And we'll never know, but... I'll always believe that Stanley wouldn't have beaten Mookie to first, and even if he had we were done anyway.

You can listen to Eddie Andleman's call-in show after Game 6 on Youtube - Buckner wasn't even the main topic that very night. The error was blown up afterwards.
I’ve long held this same belief. Stanley was slow off the mound and Buckner was hurt and on his back feet. To me, that was an IF single the entire way and it sucks that his entire life and career became defined by the play.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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It was always more about the bullpen, which even there, I mean, Calvin Schiraldi just wasn't up to the moment. There were no goats IMHO, just a team that fell short.
That's not really true about Schiraldi either. In the thread about Ron Darling's book, Darling ripped Schiraldi and basically called him gutless but if you look into the numbers a bit more (like some fellow SoSHers did), you'll see that Schiraldi was worked like a dog that game and was probably dead tired.

I hate to say it, because he had his share of problems, but McNamara was the guy to blame. He's the one that should have took Buckner out for Stapleton. He's the one that kept Schiraldi in after 55 pitches. He's the one that should have had Baylor bat for Buckner in the eighth inning. I mean, as a manager his job is to put his players in positions to succeed. He blew it every which way he could.
 

reggiecleveland

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When you lose in the finals fans tend to think they will be back. Clemens was 23, Boyd, Gedman 26, Henderson 27 (Marc Sullivan too LOL), Boggs Barrett, Hurst 28. Rice seemed to have recaptured his HOF swing, Evans looked ready for more years.

Only the frustration of the A's clobbering them brought Buckner's error back. I remember that all post season previews from 95 to 99 had the 'The Red Sox have lost X post season games in a row since the ball went through Buckner's legs.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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That's not really true about Schiraldi either. In the thread about Ron Darling's book, Darling ripped Schiraldi and basically called him gutless but if you look into the numbers a bit more (like some fellow SoSHers did), you'll see that Schiraldi was worked like a dog that game and was probably dead tired.

I hate to say it, because he had his share of problems, but McNamara was the guy to blame. He's the one that should have took Buckner out for Stapleton. He's the one that kept Schiraldi in after 55 pitches. He's the one that should have had Baylor bat for Buckner in the eighth inning. I mean, as a manager his job is to put his players in positions to succeed. He blew it every which way he could.

Bill James once said that if McNamara wrote an autobiography, it would be called "Just Let Them Play And See What Happens." He was impossibly passive as a manager and made very few moves at all during a game.
 

joe dokes

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Bill James once said that if McNamara wrote an autobiography, it would be called "Just Let Them Play And See What Happens." He was impossibly passive as a manager and made very few moves at all during a game.
He made very few moves..ever.
1986 Sox had 1 regular with over 700PAs, 5 with 600-700, 1 at 509, 1 at 453.