Roger Clemens at Fenway Park in 2013.

Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports

Roger Clemens shares memories of Bill Buckner

WEEI
June 21, 2019 - 5:14 pm
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There will be a memorial service Saturday in Idaho for Bill Buckner, who passed away last month after a battle with dementia.

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Buckner spent part of 22 seasons in the majors, appearing in games with a number of teams, most notably the Red Sox.

Roger Clemens, who played with Buckner, shared his memories of his former teammate in a statement to WEEI.com.

"As a young and upcoming Boston Red Sox player I was fortunate to have several veteran leaders on our team that would lead by example while also passing along words of wisdom," Clemens said. "Bill Buckner was just that type of teammate! A fierce competitor, but also a very soft hearted, funny man that kept us all smiling.

"On a handful of occasions during the season Billy Buck wouldn't hesitate to be my second pitching coach. He would jog over to the mound, spit his chewing tobacco down by (and almost on) my new game cleats and say, ‘Rocket, you know this dude can¹t hit your fastball,’ or, ‘this guy will have big problems hitting your slider.’ Then Buck would just throw me a quick smile and jog back to first base.

"I had a saying, ‘My only day off is the day I pitch!’ Well Billy B had no days off. I watched this man come to the stadium at around 2 p.m. to start getting his body ready to play a 7:35 p.m. game. It was nothing short of amazing. I can't say it any clearer.

"Men like Jim Rice, Dwight Evans, Marty Barrett, Rich Gedman, Bruce Hurst, Wade Boggs and BILL BUCKNER changed the landscape of the Red Sox and brought back the winning ways that eventually lead to championship seasons. Let it be known as we all do...BILL BUCKNER IS A WINNER in every since of the word.

"The entire Clemens clan send love and prayers to the Buckner family."

Related: How can pitchers be clubhouse leaders? Rick Porcello explains