There was a time long ago when that photo and the words beneath it rang truer than the Liberty Bell.
Today, I'm not so sure anymore.
Believe it or not, Buckner's got his swagger back. Really. It's true. Seemed before 2004, Bill Buckner was doomed to a life of chastisement from The Nation. The Red Sox Nation, that is, and just like the character Ray Finkel in the movie "Ace Ventura Pet Dectective" , Buckner cold have gone down the wrong path into a life of crime. Fortunately for all of us, The Curse was reversed, we won the title, we embarrassed the Evil Empire and then we did it again 3 years later. Suddenly, Buckner's bauble between the legs heard round the world was silent and Billy wasn't such a bad guy after all.
Buckner groomed his manstache, cut his salt and pepper hair and got a job in the game that he had turned his back on. The Brockton Rox, a local minor league team in the CanAm league, hired Buckner in early 2011 as the team manager and he recently coached them into the CanAm League Playoffs (which begin tonite).
Then as the saying goes, "Hollywood came calling". It would now seem that the one thing Bill Buckner lived decades trying to forget, is now the one thing that Bill Buckner can cash in on. Buckner just wrapped up a guest stint as himself on HBO and Larry David's "Curb Your Enthusiasm", and word has it he hit it out of the park.
A mini SPOILER ALERT here: Larry Meets Buckner at a baseball memorabilia convention where he buys a Mookie Wilson ball as a gift for his agent/manager buddy Jeff Greene. The rest of the plot seems pretty self explanatory and pretty hilarious any time Larry David is involved.
"I thought he did really good," Baseball die hard fan Dennis Frawley said of Buckner after he screened the episode at a bar. “He was laughing the whole time and had a big smile on his face, and we gave him a standing ovation at the end.”
A standing ovation for Bill Buckner. In the city of Boston? Imagine that.
I guess we no longer need to imagine it because it's been happening quite a bit lately. In 2009 Buckner returned to America's most beloved ball park, Fenway Park, to toss out the ceremonial first pitch, a job usually reserved for dignitaries, and celebrities alike. It was a poignant moment, one that brought some much needed closure to Buckner and the fans. The local news stations led with the story as their top news of the night. The Fenway Faithful awarded him with a standing ovation that night and even the hardest of men wiped a tear or two from their eyes. The Nation let Billy know he has been forgiven, and that he's still one of our own.