Bill Buckner Much More Than One Play

Boston Globe Red Sox writer Pete Abraham weighed in on the legacy of Bill Buckner, who passed away Monday at 69

May 28, 2019 - 12:49 pm
Fenway Park

USA Today Images


Boston Globe Red Sox writer Pete Abraham dropped by CBS Sports Radio to discuss his article on Bill Buckner, who passed away Monday at the age of 69. For some fans, Buckner is known for one play – a defensive blunder in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series. For others, however, he is known for so much more.

“I was really surprised to see he had more career hits than a number of Hall of Famers, including Ted Williams, Joe Morgan, Ernie Banks – it’s a long list,” Abraham said on Ferrall on the Bench. “This is a guy who got MVP votes in six seasons, he was an All-Star, he had a batting title, a beloved player with the Cubs, a beloved player with the Dodgers. It was a shame people remember him for a defensive play because he really was one of the best hitters of his time.”

Unfortunately, that is often overlooked, as Buckner was unfairly criticized for the Red Sox losing to the Mets in the World Series.

“I think that to some degree people in New England got a little bit of a bad rap,” Abraham said. “Every time he came back to Boston – and it was a number of times – he got standing ovations at Fenway Park. So I think the Red Sox fans – the actual Red Sox fans, people who pay money to go to games – they understood that there were a lot of reasons they lost the ’86 World Series, and he wasn’t necessarily even the primary one. They had a lead in Game 7 and couldn’t hold it. So from the people who actually go to Fenway Park, he was well-received.”

Still, there were incidents to the contrary. 

“He went to a Triple-A game in Rhode Island and had an incident with a fan there,” Abraham said. “There was a long period of time where he kept to himself and lived in Idaho with his family. You didn’t hear much about him. But in the last maybe 10 years, I thought he handled it with a good sense of humor. He did that episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm, he did autograph shows, he did things with fans, I think he learned to live with it it – and I think people learned to understand what a good player he (was).”

Click below to listen to Abraham’s interview in its entirety.