Boise Hawks hitting coach Bill Buckner retires from baseball

bmurphy@idahostatesman.comMarch 3, 2014 

— Boise Hawks hitting coach Bill Buckner has retired from baseball, the 64-year-old former Major League All-Star told the Idaho Statesman. The Boise Hawks announced the news earlier Monday.

"Just too much time away. My wife has put up with it for 30-something years," Buckner said.

Buckner and wife Jody moved to Boise after he retired from playing in 1990.

Buckner said he has been "kicking around" the idea for a few weeks.

"It just was the right thing to do," he said. "I've been doing it a long time and it's been great."

Buckner served as the Hawks' hitting coach in 2012 and 2013. The Hawks set several offensive records with Buckner as hitting coach.

"I will miss it. I enjoyed it," Buckner said of his years as hitting coach. "I enjoyed working with the kids. Some of them I worked with the last couple years are getting at-bats in spring training now. It's fun to watch that."

Boise Hawks manager Gary Van Tol said in a statement: "It goes without saying the type of influence Bill Buckner had on our young hitters the last two years, especially in the Northwest League where we lead the league in hitting. It was special for me to witness up close how Buck influenced all of our young hitters throughout the course of a long season.

"Hitting is the toughest skill to teach in baseball but Buck kept it simple and consistent. He was at his best in the cage helping players build their swing before the game and in the dugout helping them with their approach and plan during the game. The confidence and progress our hitters showed from the start of the season to the end was a direct reflection on Buck’s efforts and the trust he instilled with every hitter he worked with."

Buckner broke into the big leagues in 1969, registering one at-bat with the Dodgers. He played parts of 22 seasons in the bigs. He had 2,715 hits in the major leagues.

He said physically he feels fine, but decided it was time to hang up his spikes.

Jesus Feliciano will replace Buckner as hitting coach for the Hawks.

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