Yesterday on Twitter, someone was telling an acquaintance of mine, "Happy Bill Buckner Day."
Yes, people still try to harp on Buckner, I guess just to see if it works. Even though anyone who's really taken the time to learn about what happened on Oct. 26, 1986 doesn't blame Buckner, or at least puts him further down the blame list than his manager and teammates in the bullpen. Even though it's all different now.
I told this acquaintance, "Don't worry. Tomorrow you'll get to say 'Happy Red Sox Make Bill Buckner [Taunts] Officially Irrelevant Day'." (Added 'taunts' here because obviously the player Bill Buckner remains an important figure in Sox history.)
2004 irrevocably changed the equation for Red Sox fans. Now there is something to think back to and take comfort in, even in years like this one when things don't go the way we'd like. Now there is something to respond with when some behind-the-times heckler yells out "Buckner."
I will always be grateful to the 2004 Red Sox for that alone, but there's plenty more that they did to be grateful for.
So, to commemorate another anniversary of their victory, below is the World Series section of my multi-part essay on 2004. It's long and self-indulgent, but that's appropriate in a way; today is a day for basking in the memories among Red Sox fans.
And yes, we know all the rest of you miss heckling us about '1918' and 'The Curse' and poor old Billy Buck. Oh, well.
The World Series
And when the band you're in starts playin' diff'rent tunes I'll see you on the Dark Side of the Moon... --Pink Floyd