(I recently decided to write a quick letter to Bill Buckner, of Major League Baseball infamy, about our shared name and my experience of being a Masshole with the unluckiest of monikers. The contact form was limited to 100 characters so I share my whole letter, lightly edited, below.)
I understand the purpose of this contact form is to contact Mr. Buckner regarding appearances and will likely be seen by a representative and very possibly skirted off to the "whatever" pile but I thought it about time I dropped y'all a line. My name is H Buckner, I'm 28 years old, was born in Massachusetts and I've lived my entire life as a Red Sox fan inextricably tied to Bill Buckner and his legacy.
The first time someone asked me if I was related to Bill was in kindergarten. I said yes because it sounded important and did not discover until much later why people were asking. As I began to understand the connection I learned more and more about Bill’s entire career and became defensive on his behalf; No person can be judged by the world on a single moment in time, except maybe that Steve Bartman guy – kidding, just kidding. I can’t count the amount of times a TV show or movie would drop in a Buckner reference and I would visibly chafe. My college ID was snapped at the moment the photographer asked if I was related to Bill and the evidence of my annoyance is still clear in that photo.
Though my name is H, I prefer and am usually called Buckner. It’s a good strong name, unique and American. But I understand and proudly accept that it will always be shared. There hasn’t been a time in my life when my name hasn’t been Bill’s name and I appreciate the opportunity I’ve been given to be a Buckner ambassador of sorts. I moved to Texas in 2007 and watching Red Sox games was a good way of keeping a couple of scraggly Massholes connected to home. We were barbequing on a beautiful Texas afternoon in 2008, watching the season opening game when you appeared on Fenway Park's field for the unveiling of the 2007 World Series pennant and threw the first pitch. The crowd gave you a 5 minute standing ovation. It brought me a catharsis I wasn't aware I needed. I felt it for you and I felt it for me.
While looking for a Red Sox Bill Buckner jersey on eBay for the umpteenth time I caught a glimpse of your website and thought, “maybe I should finally drop a line.” I guess the only thing I have to say is that I appreciate you, from one Buckner to another.
Cheers, H Buckner