Bill Buckner

Bill BucknerBill Buckner

Birthday:  December 14

Chicago Cubs (1977-1984)

Hitting coach for Cubs minor league affiliate, Boise River Hawks (2012-2013)


  • NL All-Star (1981)
  • NL Batting Average Leader (1980)
  • Led NL in Doubles in 1983 and 1985
  • Led the NL in Singles in 1982
  • Led the NL/AL in AB per Srikeout 4 times (NL-1980 & 1982, AL-1985-1986)
  • Finished in the Top 10 in batting average (NL/AL) 6 times  (1974, 1978, 1980-1982-NL), (AL-1985)
  • His 2,715 Career Hits rank him 65th on the All-time list (after the 2017 season) 



January 11, 1977 

Cubs trade Mike Garman & Rick Monday to the Dodgers for Jeff Albert, Ivan Dejesus & Bill Buckner

May 25, 1984

Cubs trade Bill Buckner to Red Sox for Dennis Eckersley and Mike Brumley 


Yesterday's Cubs, Today's Metrics:

Looking at the advanced statistics for Bill Buckner is a little sad for me.  I grew up as a Cubs fan when Buckner and Dave Kingman were the Cubs best hitters.  In one of my early trips to Wrigley Field, I recall seeing Buckner actually walk onto the concourse at Wrigley.  

Overall, the advanced metrics aren't kind to Buckner.  Even though most of his best MLB seasons were with the Cubs, his best WAR with the team was 3.1 in 1982.  Even the year he won the batting title (1980), his WAR was just 1.8.  Looking at it closely, it appears that Buckner was an extreme contact hitter, with a very low strikeout rate, but also a very low walk rate as well.  His career batting average is a very good .289, but his obp is .321, which is not that high.  Buckner never hit a lot of home runs (career high of 18 with the Red Sox in 1986).  Buckner did have speed as a part of his offensive performance in his early years with the Dodgers.   Buckner stole 183 bases in his career and 31 with the Dodgers in 1974, but bad knees certainly hurt his speed performance in his years with the Cubs and beyond which was more than 10 years.  So, essentially, Buckner was still a great hitter (any player that racks up 2715 hits in MLB is a great hitter), but his lack of stolen bases late in his career, not walking that much and with medium to below average home run power, his overall offensive performance is really just average.  His WRC+ in his Cubs career is 104 (slightly above league average) and for his career, hisWRC+ is 97 (slightly below league average).  His defensive WAR was also in the negative category throughout his career.  I'm sure his health problems contributed to some defensive problems as well.  

Bill Buckner will still always be a great Cubs player to this Cubs fan.  The stories of the treatments he went through all the time just to get on the field is a great inspiration and reminds me of how Ron Santo struggled with diabetes throughout his Cubs career.    



Bill Buckner-This Day in Chicago Cubs History

1977

August 9, 1977

At Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh, the Cubs defeat the Pirates, 4-1.  Bill Buckner gets 3 hits including a 2-run home run.  Ray Burris gets the win and Willie Hernandez the save.  


August 19, 1977

Cubs defeat the Dodgers 6-2 at Wrigley Field.  Bill Buckner homers twice, gets 4 hits and drives in 5 of the 6 Cubs runs.  


August 20, 1977

Trailing 3-1 into the 8th inning, Bill Buckner's 2-out, 3-run, home run off Mike Garman (the player he was traded for in the off-season) gives the Cubs a 4-3 lead.  George Mitterwald's 8th inning RBI single gives the Cubs a 5-4 victory.  Buckner goes 7 for 9 with 3 home runs & 8 RBI in an  8/19 doubleheader against his former team (Dodgers).


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1978


April 9, 1978

Bill Buckner's 8th inning home run gives the Cubs a 4-3 over the Pirates at Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh.


September 1, 1978

Bill Buckner scores 2 runs, walks once, has 2 doubles, a home run & 4 RBI as the Cubs score in every inning (8) in a 14-11 victory over the Astros at Wrigley Field.  Bobby Murcer, Manny Trillo & Dave Radar also homer in this game.  


September 19, 1978

Bill Buckner doubles, homers and drives in 4 runs, but Cubs lose 12-11 to the Pirates at Wrigley Field.  


September 24, 1978

Bill Buckner goes 3 for 5 in a 5-4 win over the Cardinals at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.  His 1st inning home run gives the Cubs an early lead and his 9th inning single in between Mike Vail & Larry Biittner's RBI singles help the Cubs get the comeback victory.  


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1979


May 1, 1979

Bill Buckner homers twice as the Cubs defeat the Red 5-1 at Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnatti.  Ken Holtzman & Bruce Sutter combine on a 6-hitter.  


May 17, 1979

In the crazy 23-22 Phillies win over the Cubs, Bill Buckner has 4 hits, a grand slam and drives in 7 runs in this historic Cubs game at Wrigley.  


June 10, 1979

Cubs defeat the Dodgers 10-3 at Wrigley Field.  Bill Buckner has a big day against his former team, getting 3 hits, a home run, a bases loaded triple & 5 RBI.


August 5, 1979

Trailing 2-0 to the Cardinals in the 4th inning, Bill Buckner homers to cut the lead to 2-1 and he wins it for the Cubs in the 8th inning with a 2-run double scoring Barry Foote & Scot Thompson as Cubs defeat the Cardinals 3-2 at Wrigley Field.  


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1980


May 10, 1980

At Wrigley Field, the Cubs defeat the Giants 15-9.  Bill Buckner doubles twices, homers, scores 3 runs and drives in 3.  Mike Vail homers and drives in 4 runs. 


June 22, 1980

Trailing 2-1 into the 6th inning, Bill Buckner's solo home run ties the game and Jerry Martin's home run wins it for the Cubs 3-2 over the Braves at Fulton County Stadium in Atlanta.  


August 16, 1980

At Busch Stadium in St. Louis, the Cubs defeat the Cardinals 9-4.  Bill Buckner homers, gets 4 hits, 3 runs and 3 RBI.  


August 19, 1980

Bill Buckner drives in 3 of the Cubs 4 runs, including an 8th inning RBI single that gives the Cubs a 3-2 lead, but Braves come back and win it in the 11th inning on a RBI double by Glenn Hubbard.  


October 4, 1980

Bill Buckner gets 3 hits, a home run & 2 RBI as the Cubs defeat the Pirates 6-0 at Wrigley Field.  Lynn McGlothan pitches a 4-hit, complete game shutout. 


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1981


September 5, 1981

At Candlestick Park in San Francisco, the Cubs defeat the Giants 8-2.  Bill Buckner goes 3 for 5 with a double, home run & 4 RBI.  


September 27, 1981

Cubs & Phillies split a doubleheader.  Bill Buckner goes 6 for 9 with 2 doubles, a home run, 4 runs scored & 5 RBI.  


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1982


June 17, 1982

Cubs defeat the Expos 12-8 at Wrigley Field.  Bill Buckner goes 4 for 5 with 2 runs scored, a home run & 3 RBI.  


July 11, 1982

At Wrigley Field, the Cubs defeat the Reds 9-2.  Bill Buckner goes 3 for 5 with a home run & 3 RBI.  


August 19, 1982

Bill Buckner goes 4 for 5 with a double, home run & 2 RBI as the Cubs defeat the Dodgers 9-2.  


August 23, 1982

At Wrigley Field, the Cubs defeat the Giants 8-5.  Bill Buckner goes 4 for 4 with 2 RBI & 3 runs scored.  


September 13, 1982

At Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh, the Cubs defeat the Pirates 7-3.  Bill Buckner drives in 3 runs with 3 hits (2 triples).  


September 29, 1982

Bill Buckner goes 4 for 4 with a home run & 2 RBI as the Cubs defeat the Mets 4-1 at Shae Stadium.  Mike Proly & 3 Cubs relievers combine on a 6-hitter.


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1983


May 27, 1983

Cubs come from behind to defeat the Braves 8-6 at Fulton County Stadium in Atlanta.  Jody Davis homers twice, including the one that gave the Cubs a 7-6 lead.  Bill Buckner goes 3 for 5 with a triple & 3 RBI.  Mike Proly, Warren Brusster & Lee Smith give up just one run in 7 relief innings.  


June 18, 1983

Cubs defeat the Cardinals 10-1 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.  Bill Buckner doubles, homers, gets 4 hits and drives in 3 runs.