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Bill Buckner: Just Can't Quit the Cubbies

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Another October, another chance for Cubs fans like myself to take stock of our lives and wonder why we continue to care. The other day, someone actually asked me, "Are you being ironic?" when I was wearing my size 7-5/8 royal blue dunce hat with the red "C" last week.

But apparently I'm not the only one who has trouble growing out of the Cubs. Here's a lengthy factoid: Bill Buckner, the man most famous for playing London Bridge with a Mookie Wilson ground ball during Game Six of the World Series in 1986, and not quite as famous for opening a car dealership in Emmett last month, also played for the Chicago Cubs, from 1977 to 1983. How much did those years mean to him? Plenty, apparently, because Buckner kept wearing his Chicago Cubs batting glove well into his infamous subsequent stint with the Boston Red Sox, according to archival photo analysis released by ESPN last week.

I'm seriously not making this up--and you know where this is going. Sure enough, 20 years ago tonight, when Buckner's E-3 error (debatably) cost the Boston Red Sox a world title, he was wearing his Cubs batting glove underneath his first basemen's mitt. Another career ruined by the cursed Cubs. Simply tragic.

My attempts to reach Buckner through his local car dealership were unsuccessful--and I'm not surprised. He has rarely commented in recent years about 1986, but there are links to the pics online at www.boiseweekly.com.

--Nicholas Collias