|BUCK WAS SWINGING AWAY IN THE |
SEVENTH INNING ON OCT. 2.
|IRONIC HIS '78 CARD RECAPPED HIS FIRST SLAM.|
THE FRONT PAGE
- Red Sox manager Don Zimmer affectionately gave Bucky Dent his colorful middle name, "Fuckin'," after he lifted one over the Green Monster in the '78 one-game playoff to determine the AL East champion. The three-run homer off Mike Torrez capped an incredible Yankee comeback from 14 1/2 games back in July. With the Red Sox cruising 2-0 in the seventh inning, Dent shattered the dreams of New England with one swing. I can understand the angst. It wasn't Reggie, Chambliss, Munson or Nettles who destroyed its season; it was little ol' Dent, the ninth-hole hitter. I remember coming home from high school to watch the game with my dad. I really didn't care for either team, but the game -- and the season -- was pure theater.
THE BACK PAGE
- Not a fan of the '78 backs, but when I complete the set, I've made a promise to myself to give the "Play Ball'' game a whirl.
- Bucky shows off his bunting technique, further infuriating Red Sox fans.
- Dent was batting .140 with no home runs in his previous 20 games before the playoff.
- Before hitting the homer, he fouled a 1-1 pitch off his left leg. He went to the on-deck circle to receive treatment when on-deck hitter Mickey Rivers noticed his bat was cracked. Dent then received one of Mick's bats. Dent hit the next pitch out, giving the Yankees a lead they wouldn't relinquish in winning 5-4.
- Starter Ron Guidry earned the win, his 25th of his Cy Young season.
- The Yankees beat the Royals in four games in the American League Championship Series and the Dodgers in six games in the World Series, where Dent was named MVP after batting .417 and driving in seven.
- Dent hit 40 homers in his 12-year career and was a three-time All-Star.
- After retiring, Dent managed in the Yankees minor leagues and portions of two seasons in New York, going 18-22 in '89 and 18-31 in '90. Interestingly, he was fired as manager at Fenway Park, the scene of his greatest accomplishment. Karma's a bitch.
- When the Green Monster seats were added in '03, Dent attended the first game and sat in a seat near where his homer landed. Surprisingly, Dent was not caned to death and pushed over.
- Operates the Bucky Dent Baseball School in Delray Beach, Fla.