Bill Buckner
American baseball player and coach
Bill Buckner
William Joseph "Bill" Buckner is a former Major League Baseball (MLB) first baseman. He appeared in MLB from 1969 through 1990. During his career, he played for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago Cubs, Boston Red Sox, California Angels, and Kansas City Royals. Buckner won a batting title in 1980, and represented the Cubs at the All-Star Game the following season. He accumulated over 2,700 hits in his twenty-year career.
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Reflections From a Mets Fan
Huffington Post - over 1 year
As a Mets fan since their hapless start in 1962, I have been with them through thick and thin -- a whole lot more thin years trying to slog through thick than the other way around. I was, for example, with my father at the 1964 doubleheader with the Giants at Shea Stadium, which remains the longest doubleheader in baseball history. The second game went 23 innings. At one point Willie Mays was playing shortstop. The Mets had a triple play. The second game was the longest in time in major league history, seven hours, 23 minutes, and the doubleheader remains the longest ever at nine hours, 52 minutes. We were there to the end. Of course, the Mets lost both games. There was the magic of 1969. I was at Shea for the first two games of the 1986 World Series and saw the Mets lose both, only to come back with an assist from Bill Buckner to win the World Series for a second time. It is in the context of that more than a half century that I reflect on the last two nights, which w ...
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Huffington Post article
Mets Or Royals? 6 Ways To Decide Who To Root For In The 2015 World Series
Huffington Post - over 1 year
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Huffington Post article
Analyzing the Pitchers of the 2014 MLB Hall of Fame Ballot: Part 1
Huffington Post Sports - about 3 years
On January 8, 2014 the Baseball Writers Association of American (BBWAA) and the Veterans Committee will give out keys to the most important shrine in all of baseballdom. It is difficult to argue that baseball's Hall of Fame is not the most exclusive of any of America's big four sports. This year, baseball fans will get to see one of the most talent-laden ballots in many years. But which players should get in during this competitive year? For the purposes of this article, I will only be examining the pitchers who are up for induction. Let's see what we've got! Roger Clemens Pros: If you looked at Clemens's stats without looking at all the other intangibles, he would be one of the greatest pitchers in history. Clemens has 354 wins (ninth all-time), 4672 strikeouts (third all-time) and career pitching WAR of 139.4 (third all-time). Along with these amazing stats he has a record seven Cy Young Awards, two World Series Rings and the 1986 MVP award. (Fun fact! In 1986, the season in ...
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Huffington Post Sports article
Far From Cursed, Red Sox Fans are Spoiled These Days
Huffington Post Sports - over 3 years
I was in an Irish pub in Madrid when I watched the Red Sox come back against the Yankees in 2004. Because Spain is nine hours ahead, the games aired in the middle of the night. I'm not even a Red Sox fan, but it was clear something special was happening. As someone who loves the game, I needed to be there to watch it happen, even if it meant swigging Guinness pints at 4 a.m. on successive school nights. Plus, it's our collective duty to root against the Yankees, so I was doing my part. The comeback from three games down and the World Series sweep that followed were uniquely incredible. Last night was special, especially in the wake of the Boston bombings, but it's a speck of dust compared to what happened in 2004, and i think it's important to explicitly recognize it as such. In 2004, decades of torture were lifted in the most improbable of ways. Icing was applied to the cake just three years later when the Red Sox did it again. Now the team has three championships in less t ...
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Huffington Post Sports article
Belt turns into Buckner with one strike to go, and SF Giants lose
San Francisco Chronicle - over 3 years
By Henry Schulman Bruce Bochy rose after the off day to find the fourth-place team he manages ranks last in the league in rotation ERA and fielding percentage, while the city is abuzz with talk of which players the front office might move by Wednesday’s nonwaiver trade deadline. Then, Bochy watched the Giants lose 3-2, when Brandon Belt turned into Bill Buckner on what should have been the game’s final out, letting the tying and go-ahead runs score. Happy Orange Friday, Bruce! The Cubs had runners on the corners with two outs when Sergio Romo got Anthony Rizzo to hit a 3-2 pitch up the line, exactly where Belt was [...]
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San Francisco Chronicle article
Bloody Sock Expected To Sell For $100,000
Huffington Post - about 4 years
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling – whose video game company underwent a spectacular collapse into bankruptcy last year – is selling the blood-stained sock he wore during the 2004 World Series. Chris Ivy, director of sports for Texas-based Heritage Auctions, says online bidding begins around Feb. 4. Live bidding will take place Feb. 23. The sock previously had been on loan to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. It has been at Heritage's Dallas headquarters for several weeks and will be displayed at the auction house's Manhattan office before it is sold, according to Ivy. He said the sock is expected to fetch at least $100,000, though he described that as a conservative estimate. "I do expect the bidding to be very spirited," Ivy said. Schilling's company, 38 Studios, was lured to Providence, R.I., from Massachusetts with a $75 million loan guarantee in 2010. In May, it laid off all its employees and it filed for ba ...
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Huffington Post article
WATCH: Kenyan Orphans Reenact Iconic NBA Moment
Huffington Post - about 4 years
"Now, there's a steal by Bird Gishohe. Underneath to D.J. Nyagah. He lays it in. Right at one second left! What a play by Bird Gishohe!" In a video certain to bring back fond memories for Boston Celtics fans, a group of children at an orphanage in Kenya reenact an iconic moment from the 1987 NBA Playoffs. With the Celtics battling the Detroit Pistons in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals, Larry Bird (played in this video by Samuel Gishohe) nabbed an inbounds pass, thrown by Isiah Thomas, and passed to Dennis Johnson (portrayed by Peter Nyagah), who scored the game-winning bucket in one of the most memorable, and unlikely, wins in postseason history. Twenty-five years later, the moment has been recreated under the direction of Dan Freiman, who uploaded this footage to YouTube. Don't be confused by the dubbed in audio from the original broadcast. This action isn't truly "From the Boston Garden." The carefully staged NBA reenactment was filmed at the Grace Care Centr ...
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Huffington Post article
Blown 4th-and-29 vs Ravens was San Diego's Bill Buckner moment of 2012
Fox News - about 4 years
In a sense, it was the San Diego Chargers' Bill Buckner moment of 2012.
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Fox News article
Len Berman: Top 5 Sports Stories
Huffington Post - over 4 years
Happy Monday everyone, here's my Top 5 for September 10, 2012 from Len Berman at 1. Quick Hits Peyton Manning's debut with the Denver Broncos is a success as they beat Pittsburgh 31-19. What does the preseason mean? The Jets scored 31 total points in their four preseason games. They scored 48 yesterday in their regular season opening day win against Buffalo. Heeding his family's request, the late Browns owner Art Modell was not honored at the Cleveland Browns opener. Serena Williams wins her fourth U.S. Open beating Victoria Azarenka in three sets. The men's final will be played today between defending champ Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray. Rory McIlroy made it back to back wins, taking the BMW Championship. How many times can you par the same hole? Paula Creamer and Jiyai Shin parred the par-four 18th hole eight times each, as they kept playing the same playoff hole at the Kingsmill Championship. Darkness prevented a ninth try. They'll try ...
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Huffington Post article
WATCH: Kenyan Students Recreate 1986 World Series
Huffington Post Sports - over 4 years
If you say the words "Game Six" to a sports fan they will likely know what you mean. They'll likely remember that historic night in Queens and the infamous gaffe of a certain first baseman. Some will even recall Vin Scully's baritone narrating the unbelievable action, if you just say those magical words. Game. Six. Apparently, the fascination with this pivotal moment in the 1986 World Series -- when the New York Mets forged another miracle at Shea (with some help from Bill Buckner) -- transcends borders and even the ability to speak Scully's native language. A video recently uploaded to YouTube features a group of children reenacting the fateful bottom of the 10th inning at Shea Stadium. According to the video's description on YouTube, these are students in Kenya who expressed interest in making a video about a famous American sporting event. After watching live clips, the group decided on the infamous Buckner error over the "Music City Miracle" play that helped pro ...
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Huffington Post Sports article
'Buckner' Ball Gets $418K at Auction
My Fox- Tampa Bay - almost 5 years
The infamous baseball that trickled between the legs of Red Sox first baseman Bill Buckner in the 1986 World Series fetched $418,250 at auction Friday.  
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My Fox- Tampa Bay article
Infamous Bill Buckner “Error” Ball Sells for $400K
The Inquisitor - almost 5 years
The infamous Buckner Ball — a baseball that somehow managed to scoot past the glove and through the legs of former Red Sox first baseman Bill Buckner during the 1986 World Series — reportedly sold Friday at an auction in Dallas for more than $400,000. USA Today writes that the sell-off, hosted by Heritage Auctions, opened with a bid of $110,000 at 11:54am and within minutes, several bidders had ran that figure up to a total cost of $448,125, including the “buyer’s premium,” a fee charged by the auction house. According to the ball was sold to a Dallas buyer who wished to remain anonymous. It was auctioned off by songwriter Seth Swirsky as the centerpiece of his collection. As for an explanation on how Swirsky got his hands on the valuable souvenir in the first place, the story goes that right field umpire Ed Montague picked up the ball moments after it rolled through Buckner’s legs and later gave it to Mets executive Arthur Richman. Charlie Sheen bought it for more than ...
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The Inquisitor article
Buckner 1986 World Series ball fetches $418,250 at auction
CBS Sports - almost 5 years
The baseball that rolled through the legs of Boston Red Sox first baseman Bill Buckner in the 1986 World Series has been sold at auction for $418,250.
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CBS Sports article
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Bill Buckner
  • 2014
    Age 64
    Buckner announced his retirement from baseball on March 3, 2014.
    More Details Hide Details Buckner was inducted into the Napa High School Hall of fame in 1997 and the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Hall of Fame in 2010. With his wife, Jody, Buckner has two daughters, Brittany and Christen, and a son, Bobby. Bobby is a member of the Texas A&M–Corpus Christi Islanders baseball team. Buckner also has two brothers, Jim and Robert, who played minor league ball but did not make it to the majors. He also has a sister, Jan, who is Jim's twin. Warren Brusstar who also graduated from Napa High School was a teammate with Buckner for a year and a half while they played for the Cubs.
  • 2012
    Age 62
    In December, Buckner became the hitting instructor for the Boise Hawks for 2012.
    More Details Hide Details The Hawks are the Cubs' affiliate in the Class A-Short Season Northwest League.
  • 2011
    Age 61
    On January 4, 2011, Buckner was named the manager of the Brockton Rox of the Can-Am League.
    More Details Hide Details The Rox posted a 51–42 record in 2011, but after the season, the Rox dropped the professional format to join the Futures Collegiate Baseball League.
  • 2008
    Age 58
    On October 23, 2008, during former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan's testimony in House hearings on the economic crisis of 2008, Representative John Yarmuth referred to Greenspan as one of "three Bill Buckners."
    More Details Hide Details During WrestleMania XIV, Pete Rose cut a promo against the city of Boston, facetiously saying "I left tickets (to the event) for Bill Buckner, but he couldn't bend over to pick 'em up. How 'bout it?" or Baseball Almanac, or The Baseball
    He lent his name to and was a minority owner of a local car dealership, Bill Buckner Motors in Emmett, which was in business from to 2008.
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  • 2007
    Age 57
    On April 8,, Buckner threw out the first pitch to former teammate Dwight Evans at the Red Sox home opener as they unfurled their 2007 World Series championship banner.
    More Details Hide Details He received a four-minute standing ovation from the sell-out crowd. After the game, when asked if he had any second thoughts about appearing at the game, he said, "I really had to forgive, not the fans of Boston, per se, but I would have to say in my heart I had to forgive the media for what they put me and my family through. So, you know, I've done that and I'm over that." Buckner was a speedy baserunner until his ankle surgeries in 1975 and '76 for a severe ankle sprain and bone chips, respectively. He twice finished in the top-ten in the league in stolen bases (and 1976), and twice led the league in doubles (1981 and 1983). After moving to first base, he played 1,555 regular season games and made only 128 errors in 13,901 chances.
  • 1990
    Age 40
    Bill Buckner’s last home run was against Kirk McCaskill on April 25, 1990, at Fenway Park – and was the only inside-the-park home run of his career.
    More Details Hide Details Despite his infamous bad legs, the 40-year-old Buckner circled the bases in the fourth inning when Angels’ outfielder Claudell Washington fell into the grandstands behind the short right field wall while attempting to retrieve Buckner’s drive over Washington's head. His return was short lived, as he retired on June 5 with a .186 batting average, one home run and three RBIs.
  • 1987
    Age 37
    Upon his release from the Red Sox, Buckner signed with the California Angels. For the remainder of the 1987 season, Buckner batted .306 and drove in 32 runs in just 57 games.
    More Details Hide Details At 38 years old, Buckner was released by the Angels on May 9, just before a road trip that would have brought him to New York against the Yankees and Boston. He signed with the Kansas City Royals shortly after his release, and walked into Fenway Park as a player for the opposing team for the first time on July 15. He went one-for-two off Roger Clemens with a walk. Buckner returned to the Red Sox in as a free agent, and received a standing ovation from the crowd during player introductions at the home opener on April 9.
    The Red Sox released Buckner on July 23, 1987, after recording a .273 batting average, two home runs and 42 RBI through 95 games.
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  • 1986
    Age 36
    He entered Game five of the 1986 American League Championship Series batting just .111 in the ALCS, and was 0-for-three in the game when he singled to start the ninth inning rally, which was capped off by Dave Henderson's famous home run.
    More Details Hide Details He went three-for-six in the final two games, as the Red Sox came back from the brink of elimination to defeat the California Angels, and win the American League pennant. Boston was leading the heavily favored New York Mets three games to two in the 1986 World Series when Game Six of the series went into extra innings. For his part, Buckner was batting just .143 against Mets pitching, and was 0-for-5 in Game 6. When the Sox scored two runs in the top of the tenth, Boston manager John McNamara chose to have Buckner take the field in the bottom of the inning instead of bringing Stapleton in as a defensive replacement for the ailing Buckner as he had in games one, two and five. New York came back to tie the game with three straight two-out singles off Calvin Schiraldi and a wild pitch by Bob Stanley. Mookie Wilson fouled off several pitches before hitting a slow roller to Buckner at first base. Aware of Wilson's speed, Buckner tried to rush the play. As a result, the ball rolled to the left side of his glove, through his legs and into right field, allowing Ray Knight to score the winning run from second base.
    In September 1986, Buckner hit .340 with eight home runs and 22 RBIs, while missing just three games in spite of chronic ankle soreness.
    More Details Hide Details Dave Stapleton, the Bosox first baseman prior to the acquisition of Buckner, began seeing more playing time as a late inning defensive replacement for Buckner in September and October. Buckner, meanwhile, became the first major league player to wear Nike high-top baseball cleats professionally in an effort to relieve pressure from his ankles. Buckner drove in over 100 runs for the second season in a row, and was a key member of the team that won the American League East by 5.5 games.
  • 1985
    Age 35
    In 1985, he also set the Major League record for assists by a first baseman in a season with 184.
    More Details Hide Details His record stood for almost 25 years; in, the St. Louis Cardinals' Albert Pujols had 185 assists.
  • 1979
    Age 29
    When manager Herman Franks resigned late in the 1979 season, he made negative comments about several players, including calling Buckner "nuts."
    More Details Hide Details Early in the season, the Boston Red Sox were in the market for an upgrade at first base. On May 25, they acquired Buckner from the Cubs for Dennis Eckersley and Mike Brumley. The Red Sox were 19–25, and in sixth place in the American League East at the time of the trade, and improved to 67–51 the rest of the way to finish the season in fourth. Buckner appeared in all 162 games for the Red Sox in, and batted .299 with sixteen home runs and a career high 110 RBIs. Buckner was a prototypical contact hitter, and struck out just 36 times in 718 plate appearances to lead the league in that category (he also led the league in most at bats per strike out in, &, and placed second in,, &).
    On May 17, 1979, in a famous slugfest at Wrigley Field that included three homers by Dave Kingman and two by Mike Schmidt, Buckner went four-for-seven with a grand slam and seven RBIs.
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  • 1968
    Age 18
    Buckner was selected by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the second round of the 1968 Major League Baseball draft.
    More Details Hide Details His friend, Bobby Valentine, was the Dodgers' first round pick. Upon signing with the Dodgers, Buckner was assigned to the Ogden Dodgers of the Pioneer League. He also briefly attended Los Angeles Valley College, the University of Southern California and Arizona State University and became a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity while a farmhand with the Dodgers. After two minor league seasons, in which he batted .323, Buckner made his major league debut with the Los Angeles Dodgers as a September call-up in at the age of 19. He appeared in one game, September 21 against the San Francisco Giants, and popped out to second baseman Ron Hunt, pinch hitting for Jim Brewer in the ninth inning. Buckner began the season with the Dodgers, but after batting .121 with no home runs and no RBIs, he was returned to Triple-A Spokane. His .335 batting average with the Spokane Indians earned him a second chance, and he returned to the Dodgers when rosters expanded that September. He batted .257 in the months of September and October, with four RBIs and five runs scored.
    Buckner was born in Vallejo, California and grew up in American Canyon, California. He graduated from Napa High School in 1968 after playing on the school's baseball and football teams.
    More Details Hide Details While playing football, he was a two-time All-Statewide receiver Coaches and also achieved All-America honors twice.
  • 1949
    Born on December 14, 1949.
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