Friday, October 29, 2004

Billy Buck

Yesterday, I caught part of an interview on the Dan Patrick Show with Bill Buckner. Obviously, he was on to talk about 1986 and his feelings now that the Red Sox had finally won a title. Buck was clearly non-plussed about the Red Sox win. “This is a different team now,” he said (I paraphrase). Winning now doesn’t make up for 1986. The 1986 team still blew it.

What was really interesting was what Patrick asked next. Dan asked if Buckner would now be willing to accept an offer to throw out the first pitch at a game in Fenway next year. Buckner said that he would NOT. He loves visiting the cities he played in and named LA and Chicago, specifically. But he also said that he does not like visiting Boston and that he really would not want to go there.

That’s very sad. Here’s a guy who, in 1986, drove in 102 runs for Boston, and then played a World Series on one leg. He made an error, but only after Bob Stanley and Calvin Schiraldi blew the game. Buckner gets the goats horns for life because of the video of the error, but Stanley and Schiraldi deserve them. All that, yet Buckner doesn’t feel welcome in a town to which he helped bring a pennant.

The Boston Red Sox and their fans owe it to Bill Buckner to reach out and make amends to this man. He was one of my favorite players because he gave his all for his team and the paying customers. For him to feel unwelcome in any city in which he played is wrong on so many levels.

I lived in Boston for a summer. It’s a great city. I’d live there again in a minute. The city owes this man.

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