Bucky Dent returns to Fenway for Yankees-Red Sox clash

BOSTON — He’s bleeping here.

Bucky Dent, hero of the 1978 play-in game between the Yankees and Red Sox at Fenway Park, made an encore appearance for Tuesday night’s American League wild-card game.

“[Great] to be back!” Dent wrote in a text message from the ballpark.

The 69-year-old Dent, who lives in Bradenton, Fla., told The Post on Monday that he and his representative, Andrew Levy, were looking into the possibility of attending the game. They found tickets, and Dent flew from Tampa to Boston on Tuesday morning.

On Oct. 2, 1978, Dent’s seventh-inning, three-run homer off Mike Torrez, over the Green Monster, swung the Yankees from down 2-0 to up 3-2, and the Yankees proceeded to hold on, 5-4, to capture the AL East in the tiebreaking 163rd game. The Yankees proceeded to win their second straight World Series.

“I haven’t seen him or talked to him yet, but hopefully I can connect with him before the game,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said before Tuesday’s game. “One of the reasons I know Bucky now a little bit is I guess our connection. We’ve thrown out first pitches together. We’ve done signings together. We have that sort of bond together.”

Boone of course stroked the walk-off homer in Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS at Yankee Stadium, leading the Yankees past the Red Sox into the World Series. Just as Red Sox fans rechristened the Yankees’ shortstop as Bucky Bleeping Dent in 1978, they began to refer to Aaron Bleeping Boone 25 years later.

“Yeah, middle name together,” Boone said, smiling. “So that’s been cool for me to get to know him a little bit. Such a good dude, too. And for me growing up in the game and a fan of the game, I knew who Bucky Dent was, you know, playing in the ’70s and ’80s. So, yeah, that’s a cool connection.”

Both men were of course hoping to adopt a younger brother of sorts into their club. Dent predicted to The Post that Brett Gardner would be the guy.

Bucky Dent seen at Fenway in 2016.
Paul J. Bereswill

“Maybe someone else will have a moment,” Boone said, “hopefully for the [pin]stripers.”

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