By Jack Healey
Bill Buckner died yesterday at the age of 69. It is sad that he will be remembered for what happened in game 6 of the 1986 World Series, but he was a great player and you could argue that he was at least a borderline Hall of Famer. He had 2,715 career hits. Ted Williams had 2,654 career hits. Buckner had a .289 career batting average and won the National League batting title with the Cubs in 1980 with an average of .324.
He was once traded from the Cubs to the Red Sox for Dennis Eckersley. Eckersley himself had a low point moment in the World Series. He gave up the game winning home run to Kirk Gibson in game 1 of the 1988 World Series. Eckersley played on a World Series winner the following year and of course went on to the Hall of Fame.
Buckner was the left fielder when Hank Aaron hit his 715th career homer against the Dodgers in 1974.
Many fans were absolutely brutal in their criticism of him. I was not one of them. I never blamed him for the 86 World Series. There were others in game 6 who I put most of the blame on and no need to get into that right now.
People forget that the game was already tied when Buckner made the error so there was no guarantee they were going to go on and win the game anyway plus the Sox went up 3-0 in game 7 and couldn’t hang on.
I remember being the MC at a banquet in Rutland in the early 90’s when Bill Buckner was the guest speaker. He was a very nice man and didn’t deserve what he had to go through.
Heard a call or two from Chris Berman on the radio on the Red Sox and he is pretty damn good on the play by play.
The NBA Finals start on Thursday night and I have an urge to go with Toronto and I would love to see them win it, but I can’t go against Golden State. I say the Warriors in 6!
By Jack Healey