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Bill Buckner Returns To Massachusetts Baseball With Brockton Rox

It's been over a decade since Bill Buckner last suited up with a baseball team--then as the hitting coach for the '97 White Sox--but the man who broke a million Bostonian hearts in 1986 is returning to the area as the manager of the Can-Am League's Brockton Rox.

Presumably, he will not be coaching fielding.

While it's no Major, or even affiliated Minor League job, Buckner's return to the area just goes to show how well those old wounds have healed with the end of the Sox' championship drought in 2004. Ten years ago this probably would've been a much more controversial move, with the attraction for the Rox as much about bringing in hecklers as supporters.

But then there was 2004, and 2007, and the first pitch in 2008. It's actually surprising how thorough the reconciliation has been. In fact, it seems like Buckner is thought of all the more fondly now for having been so vilified. After all, Buckner only played two full seasons with the Sox, and while his RBI numbers were impressive, the rest of his stats don't really stand up to modern scrutiny. He's not seen as the villain, any longer, but just another victim of those 86 torturous years.

So welcome back, Bill Buckner, to Baseball and to Boston.