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Buckner happy for Red Sox

CHICAGO — Bill Buckner hopes the Boston Red Sox's first championship in 86 years ends the animosity aimed at him ever since his blunder in the 1986 World Series.

"They're a fun team to watch and a good bunch of guys, and they certainly deserved to win the World Series this year," Buckner told Sporting News Radio on Thursday.

Fans blamed Buckner for ruining Boston's previous chance at a World Series title, in 1986 against the New York Mets. Buckner's error on Mookie Wilson's grounder down the first-base line, which gave the Mets a victory in Game 6, became a symbol of the team's postseason failures. Even though the Mets tied the game on a wild pitch earlier in the ninth inning and won the championship in seven games, Buckner's blunder is replayed repeatedly in programs about the Red Sox.

"Personally, on my end of it, I'm just a little disappointed with the whole thing. This whole thing about being forgiven and clearing my name, you know, I mean . . . cleared from what? What did I do wrong? It's almost like being in prison for 30 years and then they come up with a DNA test to prove that you weren't guilty.

"I've gone through a lot of, what I feel, undeserved bad situations for myself and my family over a long period of time, and for someone to come up to me and say, 'Hey, you're forgiven,' I mean, it just kind of brings a really bad taste in my mouth."

Any chance of Buckner showing up for this weekend's victory parade in Boston?

"Not a chance," he said. "Like I said, I don't want to take anything away from this team. This is their championship, this is what they did and I'm happy for them. But my team in '86 didn't win and this team did."

RATINGS SWEEP: Boston's 3-0 World Series championship-clinching victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday night received a 18.2 rating and 28 share, the highest for Game 4 of a Series since 1995.

The average audience of 28.8 million was the largest for a Game 4 since 1991, when Minnesota and Atlanta went seven games in one of the most exciting series.

In Boston, the game averaged 59.0/77, beating each of the New England Patriots' Super Bowl victories but falling short of the 59.9/77 for Game 7 of the 1986 World Series against the Mets. In St. Louis the game earned a 42.6/57 rating.

The Red Sox's sweep of St. Louis got a 15.8/25 rating overall, 23 percent higher than the Florida Marlins' six-game win over New York last year and the highest rated Series since the Yankees swept Atlanta in 1999, which was on NBC.

Overall, postseason ratings were down six percent from last year.

The rating is the percentage of television households tuned to a telecast, and the share is the percentage tuned to a telecast among those households with televisions on at the time.

COLLECTIBLES: Nearly a dozen items commemorating Boston's first title since 1918 are headed to the Hall of Fame.

Among the memorabilia on the way to Cooperstown are Derek Lowe's jersey, the glove used by shortstop Orlando Cabrera and the cap worn by starting pitcher Pedro Martinez in winning Game 3.

Also going on display will be Keith Foulke and Curt Schilling's spikes; Johnny Damon's hat, and bat from Game 4; and World Series MVP Manny Ramirez's bat used in Game 4.

The artifacts will be added to the museum's postseason exhibit, Autumn Glory, and will remain on display until the end of the World Series next year.

The Hall also expects to obtain AL championship series MVP David Ortiz's home jersey and bat he used during the World Series.

BREAKFAST IN BOSTON: The Red Sox will be the first World Series winner featured on a Wheaties box since the 1999 Yankees.

The special edition package will picture slugger David Ortiz on the front of the box, along with his teammates, cereal maker General Mills said Thursday. The box will be available in mid-November.

DUELING HEADLINES: Boston's two largest newspapers rolled out extra editions after the Red Sox swept the St. Louis Cardinals, carrying single-word headlines that sought to concisely express the joy of fans who waited 86 years for a championship.

"YES!!!" proclaimed The Boston Globe's front page above a half-page photo of players celebrating moments after Game 4's final out. The Boston Herald trumpeted "AMEN!" and ran its own picture of on-field, post-game jubilation.

The Herald published three editions with a press run of 750,000, compared with the usual 300,000.

The Globe ran just over 1 million copies, compared with a normal Thursday run of about 525,000. The run was the largest in the newspaper's history for a non-Sunday edition, Globe spokesman Maynard Scarborough said.

By Thursday afternoon, copies of the Globe were selling on EBay for $8.99. The paper sells for 50 cents on weekdays.

DOMINICAN PRIDE: Thousands of Dominicans rushed into the streets of their nation's capital, Santo Domingo, dancing and honking horns to celebrate the World Series sweep by the Boston Red Sox.

Three Dominicans — Pedro Martinez, David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez — played a major role in the Red Sox's first title since 1918.

"This is a special team where Dominican players take the lead," celebrant Raquel Rojas said.

Martinez started for Boston in Game 3, allowing only three hits while shutting out the Cardinals through seven innings. Ortiz, the designated hitter and first baseman, had many key hits throughout the series. Ramirez won MVP honors.

In Martinez's hometown, Manoguayabo, a small town outside Santo Domingo, partygoers became so rowdy police had to shoot tear gas in the air to disperse crowds. No one was reportedly injured.