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Annual Sports Banquet Features Bill Buckner
11/28/2012 12:49 PM ET
Bill Buckner will speak at this year's Annual Sports Banquet
Bill Buckner will speak at this year's Annual Sports Banquet 
The third paragraph of Bill Buckner's Wikipedia biography says he ...

"... is best remembered for a fielding error during Game 6 of the 1986 World Series against the New York Mets, a play that has since become prominently entrenched into American sports lore."

While it's certainly true that he was the focal point of the historic "E3," that single event often overshadows the fact that Bill Buckner was also one of the finest Major League players of his generation.

The RockHounds & Sockers are proud to welcome Bill Buckner as the keynote speaker of the 2013 West Texas Sports Banquet & Memorabilia Auction.

In 22 big league seasons, Bill was a career .289 hitter and collected 2,715 hits. By comparison, the average number of hits for a Hall of Fame batter is 2,399. He won the National League batting title in 1980 and represented the NL in the All-Star Game the following year.

Since its inception in 1991, the event has raised more than $400,000 for local charities that support kids in the Permian Basin.

The 2013 banquet will, again, benefit Casa de Amigos and the St. Ann's School Athletic Association. The Scott Seator Foundation (see below) has been one of the beneficiaries since 1997, but, in the wake of recent events, proceeds will instead also aid the Hunt For Heroes and victims of the November 15 tragedy.

In addition to "live" and silent auctions of sports and other memorabilia, the program also includes presentation of the Scott Seator Community Achievement Award, named in honor of the franchise's former Communications Director who passed away, at age 26, from a rare form of cancer in 1996. The award which bears Scott's name recognizes those who make outstanding contributions to the Permian Basin community through sports (see list of past winners, right).

The banquet has, for all intents and purposes, been held every calendar year since 1991 (the lone exception being 2011, when it was rescheduled to coincide with the RockHounds' hosting of the 2010 Texas League All-Star Game). The year's event will be the 22nd in the banquet's rich history.

In addition to keynote speaker Bill Buckner, other guests and speakers will be announced in the near future.

With all due respect to Wikipedia (and baseball's unofficial history), Bill Buckner's truly defining moment came on April 5, 2008, at Fenway Park in Boston. On that date, the Red Sox unveiled their 2007 World Series championship banner, and Bill was asked to throw the ceremonial first pitch. He was greeted by a Fenway Park standing ovation that lasted four minutes.

Past Kenote Speakers have included:

 

Ralph Backstrom

Montreal Canadiens
Gary Bender National network sportscaster
Bert Blyleven Hall of Famer (fomer Midland Angel)
Vince Cotroneo MLB Broadcaster (Oakland A's)
Ken Forsch MLB
Joe Galloway Author & Bronze Star winner
Whitey Herzog MLB
Ken Hitchcock (then) Dallas Stars head coach
Art Howe (then) Oakland A's manager
Bowie Kuhn Former Baseball Commissioner
Tommy John MLB
Jay Johnstone MLB
Bob Lilly Dallas Cowboys
Sparky Lyle Nw York Yankees reliever
Tug McGraw Major League relief pitcher
Barry Melrose NHL / ESPN
Durwood Merrill American League umpire
Keith Moreland Philadelphia Phillies
Jim Morris "The Rookie" (Disney film based on his life)
Buck O'Neil Baseball Ambassador
Jethro Pugh Dallas Cowboys
Bobby Richardson 1960 World Series MVP (NY Yankees)
Greg Riddoch MLB manager
Nolan Ryan Texas Rangers / Hall of Famer
Lee Smith 478 Career Saves (Former Midland Cub)
Bill Valentine Texas League Hall of Famer
Bobby Valentine (then) Texas Rangers manager

 

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.
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