Buckner Returns to Fenway Park

Former Red Sox first baseman Bill Buckner, famous for booting a grounder in the 1986 World Series, returned to Fenway Park in Boston to throw out the first pitch this week.

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SCOTT SIMON, host:

This week Bill Buckner returned to a place that dared not speak his name, Fenway Park. Buckner was a solid career ballplayer. He's still best remembered for letting a ground ball roll through his injured legs. That prevented the Boston Red Sox from winning the 1986 World Series. The New York Mets went on to win that game and the next one and the series.

Plenty of players were probably at least as responsible for Boston's loss including the team's pitchers. Mr. Buckner has always been ghost as the goat. Media mockery became so great Mr. Buckner had to move his family out of town.

He returned to Boston this week to throw out the ceremonial first pitch of the season. He received an ovation that went on for several minutes and wept openly.

Mr. Buckner had at first declined the invitation from the World Champion Red Sox to appear, but then changed his mind saying, 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. I'm over that and I'm just happy that I just try to think of the positive, the happy things.

By the way, his pitch was a strike.

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