Wednesday, April 09, 2008

The Return of Billy Buck

Here is the clip from YouTube of Bill Buckner's emotional return to Fenway Park yesterday, to throw out the first ball to Dwight Evans. It was truly a special moment. The clip, from NESN, lasts just over 3 1/2 minutes.

I'm really glad Bill decided to return to Fenway yesterday. It was time to finally turn the page on what happened 22 years ago. Like I wrote yesterday, most Red Sox fans I know never held anything against him, and the majority of the blame for the failure in 1986 lies with others. (I do remember the big ovation Buck got when came back to the Sox for a short-lived stint he did in 1990 before he retired. This one went on four minutes, and was a bit more emotional.)

Right after the 1986 World Series, I always said that if I ever met Bill in a bar, I'd buy him in a drink and thank him for the memories. I'll always remember he was a warrior who played hurt all the time. He had to wrap his bad ankles before every game and wear those Johnny Unitas-type hightop shoes. I'll never forget how hot he was in August and September of 1986, and he wound up driving in 102 runs in leading the Red Sox to the World Series. But unfortunately, that is totally overlooked because of one error he made in the Series.

It was a great moment in the history of Fenway Park. Good to have you back, Billy Buck. And if we ever do meet in a bar one day, the drinks are on me.

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