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Former Red Sox first baseman Bill Buckner dies at 69

Red Sox Bill Buckner returned to the dugout after a home run. –Frank O' Brien /Globe Staff/File

The Red Sox took a 3-0 lead in Game 7 of the 1986 World Series, and had they held on to win, the error Bill Buckner committed that cost them Game 6 would have gone down in history as a minor detail.

But, of course, they did not, and Mr. Buckner became a protagonist in what was then the tortured history of the franchise.

It was an unjust blot on an otherwise exemplary career and, over time, Mr. Buckner handled it with good humor and grace until his death Monday at the age of 69.

Buckner posed in front of a replay of his infamous Game Six 1986 error during a reunioin with Mets outfielder Mookie Wilson in New York in 2011. —Stan Grossfeld/Globe Staff
Buckner returned to Fenway Park to a hero’s welcome, as he recieved a prolonged standing ovation as he was introduced to throw out the ceremonial first pitch in 2008. —Jim Davis/Globe Staff