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<I was a big Buckner fan growing up.>

Buckner was a great player who never should have been on the field when the ball rolled through his legs. He was usually taken out for defensive purposes in the late innings. The manager kept him in for sentimemtal reasons and paid the price.

Now people with better memories may recall that before Mookie Wilson hit the ball to Buckner, the Boston pitcher Bob Stanley threw a wild pitch that allowed the tying run to score and put the winning run into scoring position. All of the scorn and derision went to Buckner while absolutely none of it attached itself to Stanley.

There is some irony there as Stanly also happend to be the same guy who gave up the fourth and fifth runs to the Yankees in their infamous 1978 playoff game that put the name Bucky F Dent into the Boston vocabulary. Again those with good memories may recall that Dents HR turned a 2-0 Boston lead into a 3-2 Yankee lead. Stanley gave up the next two Yankee runs which only made it more excriciating when the Sox put up two more runs of their own to ultimately lose 5-4.

The bottom line is that had Stanley done his job in both big spots, the Sox would have vanquished the hated Yankees in 1978 (while creating a another WS appearance) and brought a WS championship to Boston in 1986. Stanley was a guy that the fans liked for his hard work for the team over the years. They didn't turn on him despite him being the guy who could have brought home the proverbial bacon. They turned their wrath on Mike Torrez, Bucky Dent and Billy Buckner.

Your other point about liking Buckner as a kid hits home for me. I grew up a Mets fan in their earliest years. Ron Hunt was my favorite player for them. He always had the dirtiest uniform at the end of most games. He was a real scrapper. He was the first Mets player voted to a starting position in an all star game. Later on while playing for the Expos, Hunt set the record for being hit by a pitch 50 times in a season.

Anyway, I can easily rattle off the names of quite a few of the players from those early Mets squads. I contrast that with our annointed president who was in the broadcast booth a few years back talking about his beloved White Sox and how he was such a fan of them growing up. The braodcaster asked him who some of his favorite players were from back then and Obama couldn't come up with any names. He bebopped and scatted all around with his answer. The announcer politely let him off the hook. However, as any true adult fan of ANY team since they were a kid knows, you should be able to give 10 names without having to come up for air. It's burned into who you are.

Heck I could give you an easy 10 names from the late 60s Cubs teams who were the Mets biggest competition in 1969. From memory their starting 9 was usually Banks, Backert, Kessinger and Santo from 1B to 3B with Billy Williams, Jim Hickman, Donnie Young and Al Spangler in the OF with Hundley catching and Fergie Jenkins, Bill Hands, Kenny Holtzman and Dick Selma starting pitchers with people like Regan, Abernathy and Aguirre in the bullpen. Of course Leo the lip was the manager. Leo was known for running his team ragged as most of the regulars played in 150 or more games including his catcher Hundley. Some say that was just as much responsible for their loss in 1969 as the Mets success was.

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