All is Forgiven Bill Buckner

Yesterday I was fortunate enough to get a chance to go to Fenway Park for Opening Day. Now, I’ve never been to any opening day before and to get to go for a ring ceremony too, that’s simply amazing. And it was. The early festivities were great with famous champions of the Boston sports scene bringing out the rings to the Red Sox ownership group. The group included legends like Bobby Orr, Bill Russell, Tedy Bruschi, John Havlicek and Curtis Leskanik. Truly awesome.

After presenting the rings, the Sox players all went out to center field to raise the banner. Unfortunately the wind didn’t cooperate at first, and the banner just hung there, but then, the wind, which previously had been steadily blowing picked up again and unfurled the banner to a big cheer from the Fenway Faithful.

But the festivities were not done. Arriving through the garage door in center field, Bill Buckner came out to throw the first pitch. It was funny how Joe Castiglione introduced him, saying amongst other things, “the Red Sox would never have won the 1986 American League pennant without him,” clearly so that there wouldn’t be people in the stands booing. Even though we’ve won the Series twice now, people in Boston are definitely still miserable about ’86 and that could have put quite the damper on the whole afternoon if people had booed. I can’t seem to get the damn video to embed, and I have a bus to catch, so for the moment, the link is here.

Instead the crowd stood on its feet and gave a loud, hearty cheer as Buckner walked slowly in from center to the mound. When he got to the mound, the crowd started cheering wildly again. Clearly he was choked up. I was sitting high up in the rafters and could see the emotion on his face and him wiping his eyes. It was the first time he’d been back at Fenway since being the hitting coach for the White Sox in the late 90s. All in all, it ended up being a 4 minute ovation from the crowd. Add in the amazing music from the Boston Pops and Dwight Evans (one of my all-time favorites) catching the ball, and it was a truly epic moment and one I’m glad I was there for.

I’ll have some more on this later, but again, gotta catch a bus…

1 Response to “All is Forgiven Bill Buckner”

  1. 1 the sister
    April 9, 2008 at 6:46 pm

    Check this out for grand ironies:

    During the 6th inning, Buckner was talking to DO and Remy in the broadcast booth while Lugo was at bat.

    Lugo proceeded to hit a ground ball up the middle for a single . . . through Grilli’s legs.

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