Bill Buckner Retires As Boise Hawks Hitting Coach

Darryl Norenberg-US PRESSWIRE

Normally, the retirement of a short-season hitting coach wouldn't be worthy of much notice. But Bill Buckner was no ordinary minor league hitting coach.

The Boise Hawks announced today that their hitting coach for the past two years, Cubs legend Bill Buckner, is retiring, effective immediately. The reason given is the standard "I want to spend more time with my family" although in this case, I'm sure that Buckner means what he says. In the article linked to above, Buckner said although he still enjoyed the game, his wife had put up with him being away long enough.

Throughout most of baseball, the 64-year-old Buckner is most remembered for the error with Boston in the 1986 World Series. But Cubs fans remember him first as their all-star first baseman and batting title champion who played with the club from 1977 to 1984. On some bad teams, Buckner was often the best player, providing a link from the end of the PK Wrigley era into the early Chicago Tribune/Dallas Green era. Green, it should be noted, was no fan of Buckner and traded him in the middle of the 1984 pennant-winning season for Dennis Eckersley.

But Cub fans have always been fans of Buckner, and when he returned to the organization two years ago as Boise's hitting coach, he was embraced by minor leaguers and fans alike. He generally got good notices for the work he did in Boise.

Good luck with your retirement, Billy Buck. You've earned it. You will be missed, however.

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