The heartbreak of 1986 seems like a long time ago for the Boston Red Sox now that they've won two world championships in four years.
Long enough that Bill Buckner, whose 102 RBIs for the Red Sox that season were eclipsed by his error at first base in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series, was chosen to throw out the first pitch of Boston's home opener at Fenway Park on Tuesday as the Red Sox celebrated their 2007 title and gave out World Series rings.
Loud cheers and a long ovation greeted Buckner, who occasionally dabbed at his eyes as he walked to the mound to throw out the first pitch. Former Red Sox outfielder Dwight Evans caught his throw from the mound.
It wasn't that long ago that we were all so sure that Bill Buckner would have to live the rest of his days in hiding or in shame after the gaffe in '86. That's why it's so great to see Buckner come back to Fenway and receive a standing ovation. Maybe now history can finally start to remember the guy for his outstanding play rather than the one error that defined him for so long.
Full Disclosure - I love the Yankees and hate the Redsox
Good for him, the man deserves atleast that much. I've maintained for years that John McNamara should be the goat of the 1986 World Series. He should have pulled Buckner in the late innings for a defensive sub. He had been doing that all year long, why change now?
If Evans had let the first pitch roll through his legs, that would've been the meanest (and greatest) practical joke of all time. We also would've gotten to see an awesome Buckner beatdown on Evans at home plate. Man, if only.
“How is it that I am a good actor? What I do is I... pretend to be the person I’m portraying. You’re confused. Case in point: in Lord of the Rings, Peter Jackson comes to me and says ‘I would like you to be Gandalf the Wizard,’ and I said ‘You are aware that I am not really a wizard?’ and Peter Jackson said ‘I would like you to use your acting skills to portray a wizard for the duration of the show.’ So I said ‘Okay’ and then I said to myself ‘Mmm.. How do I do that?’ And this is what I did: I imagined that I was a wizard, and then I pretended, and acted, in that way on the stage. How did I know what to say? The words were written down for me in a script. How did I know where to stand? People told me where to stand." -- Sir Ian McKellen, Extras
The full results. 405 votes were needed for election, and 27 were needed to stay on the ballot: Ricky Henderson- 511 Jim Rice- 412 Andre Dawson- 361 Bert Blyleven- 338 Lee Smith- 240 Jack Morris- 237 Tommy John- 171 (Final year of eligibility)