Buckner puts nightmare well behind him

IAN BUSBY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:27 AM ET

Bill Buckner played in the majors for 20 years, recorded 2,715 hits and won a batting title, but he's only remembered for one error.

And that's a mistake. Buckner, who was in Calgary last night to speak at the University of Calgary Dinos baseball fundraising dinner, is still barraged by questions about the 1986 World Series some 23 years later.

"I have more hits than 50 percent of the guys in the Hall of Fame," said Buckner.

"I played 20 years in the big leagues. How many guys have done that? I got to play in three great cities (Chicago, Boston and Los Angeles). How can you feel bad about that?

"I got to live out a childhood dream. How can you feel bad about that?"

In the infamous Game 6, the Boston Red Sox were tied with the New York Mets when Mookie Wilson's grounder went through Buckner's legs. The Mets won the game and would clinch the series in Game 7.

For years, people would associate Buckner's name with the Curse of the Bambino. Even after the Sox have won two titles (in 2004 and 2007), his play is still run in top-10 lists.

"People expect me to feel bad about it," Buckner said. "Come on. It's a game. There are a lot of people out there struggling physically, mentally and financially. To worry about a baseball game seems kind of a small thing."

So when Buckner gets a chance to speak publicly his message is about forgiveness.

It's not exactly about people forgiving him, but of his forgiveness to the awful things said and written about him over the years.

The Red Sox also made amends with Buckner, as the 59-year-old was brought back last season for a ceremony at Fenway Park.

"The fans appreciated what I did for them and didn't appreciate the way I was treated," Buckner said. "There was a lot of love involved, which we need more of in this world."


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