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Former Cubs first baseman Bill Buckner has died

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He was a big part of the team in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Photo by: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

A few hours ago, the verified Twitter account of former big-league player and manager Bobby Valentine sent out this tweet:

The tweet implied that his former teammate and friend Bill Buckner had passed away, but there was no direct statement and no confirmation.

Sadly, we now have confirmation that Bucker has died:

Bill Buckner was a Cub from 1977 through mid-season 1984, when he was traded to the Boston Red Sox for Dennis Eckersley. He was always a popular player on the North Side and had over 1,100 hits in a Cubs uniform, leading the National League in batting average in 1980 with a .324 BA.

Buckner also played several seasons for the Los Angeles Dodgers before coming to the Cubs in a deal before the 1977 season (along with Ivan De Jesus) for Rick Monday and Mike Garman.

I’ll have lots more to say about Bill Buckner tomorrow. He was a significant part of this franchise’s history for almost eight full seasons. In the meantime, condolences to his family, friends, fans and all he knew throughout baseball.