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  • Bill Buckner

    Any Red Sox fans get this far?

    If we can try our best for a moment to forget about the ball trickling through his legs, does anyone think that Buckner's career deserves more than 2% he received by the writers in his only year of eligibility, 1996?

    Now I'm not trying to suggest that Buckner was a Hall of Famer by any stretch, just that he was a much better player than history tends to give him credit for. Six times he was in the top 10 in batting; four times in the top 5; and he does have a batting title. He was only once an all-star (but probably deserved a couple more), and topped 100 RBIs three times, including 1986 with the Sox. With the exception of the error, he was a good fielder but was prevented from the gold glove by competing with the great fielding of Keith Hernandez, Eddie Murray, and Don Mattingly.

    Buckner also had 2715 hits, a pretty high total, and that alone should certainly merit him more than just 2% of the vote. He could have passed 3000 had he not missed 30+ games in 9 seasons of his career. Had he been a bit healthier in his career, we'd may likely have a very solid all around player with 3000 hits, yet only one all-star appearance and the biggest gaffe of all-time...would he be a hall of famer in that scenario?

  • #2
    Buckner was a much better player than the casual fan realizes. Having said that, I don't think he should have wound up in the Hall of Fame even (perhaps) had he limped over the 3,000 hit mark.
    "It is a simple matter to erect a Hall of Fame, but difficult to select the tenants." -- Ken Smith
    "I am led to suspect that some of the electorate is very dumb." -- Henry P. Edwards
    "You have a Hall of Fame to put people in, not keep people out." -- Brian Kenny
    "There's no such thing as a perfect ballot." -- Jay Jaffe

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    • #3
      Maybe it would have been nice to see him get 10-15%.
      If Al Oliver could get 2x+ the %, why not Buckner?

      But since he wasn't going to get 75%, it's only a slight slight.

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      • #4
        I agree. It would be a very tricky situation if Buckner stayed a bit healthier and scraped out 3000 hits. He's almost certainly be the worst player with 3000 hits. It should be enough to at least keep him on the ballot as a straggler. Even without the 3000 hits, I still think he deserved more than just 2% of the vote, though I'm not sure how much more. It's a shame that his whole very solid, albeit largely unspectacular career, is overshadowed by that one (very ghastly) moment. I tend not to blame him so much, I'm a believer in the curse - that ball was not going to be fielded by anyone it wash it to, fate just picked Buckner to be the unfortunate soul to harbor the burden. The things that happen to the Sox time and time again are made of the stuff that only Hollywood could write.
        Last edited by DoubleX; 08-18-2004, 08:37 AM.

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        • #5
          Buckner gets the blame, but Scheraldi was the one who blew the game. Just like last year, when Pedro was the true goat but somehow the blame fell on Grady Little for not pulling his ace in favor of the weak bullpen. Not to mention the Cubs' collapse, in which a fan who interfered in one play got blamed for Cubs pitchers giving up eight runs in one inning. It's almost ridiculous how people will try to find one guy to point to and ignore everything else.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by abacab
            Buckner gets the blame, but Scheraldi was the one who blew the game.
            Yeah. Maybe if Scheraldi had thrown a different pitch it wouldn't have happened.
            It's not the pace of life that I mind. It's the sudden stop at the life.

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            • #7
              --I agree its a shame that the one error overshadows everything else Buckner accomplished in a fine career. I don't agree he should have gotten more Hall of Fames votes. The election is about deciding whether or not a player is worthy of the Hall of Fame, not paying your respects to a good player. Buckner is clearly NOT a Hall of Fame quality player and I'm not sure why anyone should vote for him. As for the comparison to Oliver and his support, Oliver was a similar but better hitter. More importantly he played CF where the offensive expectations aren't quite as high.
              --If you're going to make the Hall as a firstbaseman, you've got to be an elite level slugger (or Tony Perez or have some friends on the VC when that time rolls around - and while Perez was a marginal selection he was much better than Buckner). He only made one All Star team because there were always at least 3-4 better firstbaseman in his league. There are better 1B's from every post-war decade better than Buckner outside the Hall. 40's: Micky Vernon, 50's: Gil Hodges, Ted Kluzewski, Joe Adcock, 60: Norm Cash, Boog Powell, Dick Allen, 70's: Steve Garvey, Cecil Cooper, George Scott, 80's: Kieth Hernandez (similar, but clearly better), Will Clark. If I was to put a little time into it, I'm sure I could come up with 20 eligible firstbasemen not in the Hall who deserve it more than Bill Buckner - and at least half dozen more not yet eligible.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Gonzo
                Yeah. Maybe if Scheraldi had thrown a different pitch it wouldn't have happened.
                Schiraldi was the losing pitcher in both game 6 and game 7. In game 6, he came in with the Sox up 2, and gave up three straight singles (including an RBI single by RAY KNIGHT of all people). Bob Stanley relieved him, and threw a wild pitch that tied the game. Then came Buckner's error, which ended it. Everyone who didn't see the game or read a summary seems to think that if Buckner makes the play, the Sox win the series, which is why he gets all the blame today.

                In game 7, Schraldi came on in a tie game (after the Sox had blown a 3 run lead) and gave up a home run to RAY KNIGHT, and the Mets held the lead the rest of the way. Though the Sox scored two more, the Mets got three more. It was the shoddy bullpen work by Schiraldi and co. that lost the Series, not one missed grounder.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Buckner wasn't going to get to 3,000 hits unless he was given a regular job by a team that played him KNOWING that he wasn't the best player for the job.

                  If Buckner could have made it to 3,000 hits, he might have gotten into the HOF, but he was never that good after his leg injuries that pushed him to 1B. Had Buckner never had his leg injuries early in his career, he may well have ended up as a 3,000 hit outfielder, where his less than Ruthian power would have been less noticable.
                  "I do not care if half the league strikes. Those who do it will encounter quick retribution. All will be suspended and I don't care if it wrecks the National League for five years. This is the United States of America and one citizen has as much right to play as another. The National League will go down the line with Robinson whatever the consequences. You will find if you go through with your intention that you have been guilty of complete madness."

                  NL President Ford Frick, 1947

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                  • #10
                    The only HOF he might get into is the mets.2% sounds reasonable to me.

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                    • #11
                      I feel bad for poor Bill Buckner. Had a pretty good career but it is all overshadowed by one error. And he really didnt cost the game, pitching just could not get that one out, Mookie may have beaten him to the bag anyway and people seem to forget the game was tied. How unfair. Anyways I dont think he had a HOF career but one that should get some reconition. He was very close to 3000 hits, had a .289 batting average and 1208 RBI's. But he has only 1 all star game apperance, his highest finish in MVP voting was 10th(81,82) Wasnt really that great offensivley for a first baseman and his glove wasnt all that great either. His Ink tests are also pretty low.

                      (baseball-reference.com)
                      Black Ink: Batting - 9 (237) (Average HOFer ~ 27)
                      Gray Ink: Batting - 94 (237) (Average HOFer ~ 144)
                      HOF Standards: Batting - 25.7 (428) (Average HOFer ~ 50)
                      HOF Monitor: Batting - 69.5 (248) (Likely HOFer > 100)
                      Overall Rank in parentheses.

                      If not for injurys he very well could be in the HOF. A underated player who deserves alot more respect than he gets but not a HOFer.
                      go sox.

                      Pigskin-Fever

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by RedSoxVT92
                        If not for injurys he very well could be in the HOF. A underated player who deserves alot more respect than he gets but not a HOFer.
                        This can be said for a lot of guys, of course.

                        Buckner would have had better totals if he hadn't had the leg injuries, and his career would have been more impressive if he had been able to stay in the outfield. Whether or not he could have overcame his impatience at the plate enough to be able to hang on for 3,000 hits is debatable; Buckner's lack of plate discipline may have extinguished his playing time prior to him getting 3,000 hits.

                        Had Buckner gotten his 3,000 hits, he would have gone into the HOF. He's an example of a guy who NEEDS 3,000 hits to get in. Roberto Alomar and Albert Belle don't need 3,000 hits to get in; they have other things to sell. Bill Buckner does, and he doesn't have what he needs, ergo . . .
                        "I do not care if half the league strikes. Those who do it will encounter quick retribution. All will be suspended and I don't care if it wrecks the National League for five years. This is the United States of America and one citizen has as much right to play as another. The National League will go down the line with Robinson whatever the consequences. You will find if you go through with your intention that you have been guilty of complete madness."

                        NL President Ford Frick, 1947

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I must disagree with the general feeling that Buckner should have gotten more votes. Buckner was a nothing special player, who lasted a long time. The prime example of a long lasting journeyman. His peak OPS+ were around 115, which is an okay total for a 1Bman but nothing special. His career OPs+ was 99, which is right around the replacement level for a 1Bman. Is that a HOFer? The guy who was around a replacment level hitter for his position? He wasn't anything special as a fielder either.

                          I'm glad that the voters were able to look past the career totals and not vote for him.

                          I do agree that it is too bad a fine career was overshadowed by an error, but Buckner really wasn't a good player at all-he just lasted a long time.

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                          • #14
                            Bill Buckner was simply an average player who somehow got 5 teams to give him 10K PA's. He was fortunate to play in an era when no one looked past BA. He simply wasn't as good a hitter as Harold Baines.
                            Buck O'Neil: The Monarch of Baseball

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                            • #15
                              Very similar career K rate to Tony Gwynn. I don't mean to suggest anything by it, its just a nice little nugget. Buckner was very difficult to strikeout.
                              THE REVOLUTION WILL NOT COME WITH A SCORECARD

                              In the avy: AZ - Doe or Die

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