Hurst feared worst

IAN BUSBY -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:23 AM ET

Bruce Hurst had given up on the Red Sox just like most of Boston's fans when it seemed the Curse of the Bambino reared its ugly head again in October.

But as the last pitcher to win a World Series game for Boston, Hurst couldn't believe what he saw: The most amazing comeback in baseball history.

"I was glued to the TV but I kind of took on a New England persona, so my family was really disgusted at me," said Hurst, who was in Calgary last night to speak at the Calgary Dinos baseball banquet.

"When they were down two and three games to nothing, I thought no way would they come back.

"When they won those two games in New York, we were bouncing off the couches. When they won the World Series, it was such a great feeling. I was so happy on so many different levels."

Up until the Sox put away the St. Louis Cardinals in four games in October, Hurst was the last player to be voted a Series MVP for Boston.

The crafty lefty never collected the award. It was 1986 and the famous Bill Buckner error turned the tide of the Series towards the New York Mets in Game 6.

By winning his first two starts, Hurst was voted the MVP in the waning moments of the game before the Mets got one lucky break and made their comeback in one of best Series in history.

"I was MVP of the World Series for about 15 minutes," said Hurst, who admits his career would have gone differently if the Sox would have won.

"I think there would have been some changes. My worth and value might have been higher after that.

"If we would have won and I would have been MVP of the World Series, it would have been hard for me to accept.

"If you remember Spike Owen, Marty Barrett, Rich Gedman, Dave Henderson ... we had some guys who really played well.

"It would have been one of those awards

I would have accepted, obviously, but there would have been a lot of guys who were deserving of it."

Through his career, Hurst won 145 games in 15 seasons with Boston, San Diego, Colorado and Texas but his best campaign was in 1988 with the BoSox when he went 18-6.

The 46-year-old retired in 1994 and now lives near Phoenix with his wife and four children, two of which are on missions in Europe right now.

The couple spent the weekend in Banff on a early anniversary vacation before Hurst spoke about the Red Sox and baseball at the Dinos fundraiser last night.

In his time with the Sox, Hurst was part of a great one-two punch with fire-baller Roger Clemens and the Rocket became one of his good friends.

But whenever the talk comes back to the '86 Series with his playing pals, Hurst is always sympathetic for Buckner and the way his legacy has been tainted over the years.

Now that the Sox have ended the 86-year championship drought, Hurst hopes the first baseman gets forgotten a little.

No one seems to remember Hurst had a three-run lead in the sixth inning during Game 7 and couldn't hold onto it.

"I feel bad for Buck," Hurst said.

"He didn't have to fall on the sword for us. If there's anything that comes from the win, is we're able to put that in the distance."


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