Posted at 2:04 PM on April 9, 2008
by Chris Dall
After all the success they've enjoyed over the past few seasons, it was good to see Red Sox nation finally put to rest the ghosts of 1986 by having Bill Buckner throw out the first pitch at yesterday's Fenway home opener. There haven't been too many players more maligned for one single play than Buckner, who has had to endure the abuse of the Boston fans and media for more than 20 years.
Even though he was only one of the culprits in that infamous Game Six loss to the Mets, and even though he should have been taken out of the game for a defensive substitute, he became the ultimate symbol of Red Sox futility when that slow roller to first went through his legs. Buckner's comments yesterday gave a sense of what life has been like for him since that play.
"I really had to forgive," Buckner told reporters after the game, "not the fans of Boston per se, but I would have to say, in my heart, I had to forgive the media ... for what they put me and my family through. So I've done that. I'm over that. And I'm just happy that I just try to think of the positive. The happy things."
Hopefully, yesterday was a happy day for Bill Buckner.