Bucky Dent (born November 25, 1951), born Russell Earl O'Dey, is an American former Major League Baseball player and manager. He earned two World Series rings as the starting shortstop for the New York Yankees in 1977 and 1978, and was voted the World Series MVP in 1978. Dent is most famous for his 3-run home run in a tie-breaker game against the Boston Red Sox at the end of the 1978 season on the first day of Rosh Hashana. The Red Sox had led the American League East Division by as much 10 games (July 6th) that season and led the New York Yankees by as much as 14 games (July 19th).
Born in Savannah, Georgia, Dent grew up in Sylvania, Georgia and Hialeah, Florida, graduating from Hialeah High School. Dent was the sixth pick in the 1970 major league draft. By the age of 21, he was playing shortstop for the Chicago White Sox. He wore uniform number 30 on the White Sox. The pressure of succeeding Luis Aparicio at the position was problematic, however, and in 1977 the White Sox traded him to the Yankees for Oscar Gamble, LaMarr Hoyt, a minor leaguer and $200,000. The Yankees gave him uniform number 20.
Though Dent was not known as a home-run hitter — he hit just 40 in 12 years in the major leagues — his place in the annals of baseball has been secured by his three-run homer that gave the Yankees a 3-2 lead in the 1978 AL East division playoff game with their archrivals, the Red Sox. With a fierce wind blowing out to left field, Dent connected with a badly hanging breaking ball thrown by Mike Torrez (who had pitched for the Yankees only the previous season), and hit a fly ball to left that just cleared Fenway Park's Green Monster (310 feet from home plate) for a 3-run home run (following singled by Chris Chambliss and Roy White) giving the Yankees a one-run lead. The Yankees went on to win the game 5-4 and the division title. Since the event, Red Sox fans have held a great deal of animosity toward Dent, and gave Dent a profane nickname usually printed for public consumption as "Bucky (F---ing) Dent" or reduced to a middle initial as Bucky "F." Dent. (Aaron Boone received a similar nickname after his walk-off home run defeated the Red Sox in the 2003 ALCS.)
Bill White provided the call of the home run on WPIX-TV:
|“||Deep to left! Yastrzemski will not get it -- it's a home run! A three-run home run for Bucky Dent and the Yankees now lead it by a score of three to two!||”|
A three-time All-Star, Dent remained the Yankees' shortstop until 1982, when he was traded to the Texas Rangers for outfielder Lee Mazzilli. On the Rangers, his uniform number was 7. Dent returned to the Yankees briefly in 1984 (but never played a game) before finishing his career that season with the Kansas City Royals, wearing uniform number 21. He retired having spent his full 12-year playing career in the American League, with a .247 batting average and 423 RBI.
After retiring as a player, Dent managed in the Yankees' minor-league system, notably with the Columbus Clippers. He served the Yankees as manager of the big-league club for portions of two seasons, compiling an 18-22 record in 1989 and an 18-31 record in 1990. In 1992, George Steinbrenner called upon Dent to help train Derek Jeter, the Yankees' first-round pick that year.
In November 2005, Dent became the bench coach for the Cincinnati Reds. The Cincinnati Reds released Dent on July 3, 2007; just a few days after releasing manager Jerry Narron. At the time, the Reds had the worst record in Major League Baseball.
Dent also runs a baseball school in Florida (Bucky Dent's Baseball School) that teaches young children baseball fundamentals. It is located in Delray Beach, Florida, and the primary baseball field is a replica of Fenway Park, with the Green Monster stuck in time to the moment when Bucky hit his famous home run.
He now lives in South Florida with his wife and 4 children, Scott Russell, Stacy Lynn and twins Cody Joseph and Caitlin Ann.
In 1979 Dent posed for a pin-up poster. That year he also appeared in the TV movie Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, portraying a Cowboys wide receiver who was the love interest of Jane Seymour's character. He appeared, wearing a swimsuit, in the September 1983 issue of Playgirl magazine. Dent once acted in a beer commercial with another former baseball player, Marv Throneberry.
- Baseball-Reference.com - Major league career statistics
-  - His page on reds.com
- Baseball Library - biography
- Bucky Dent's Baseball School
- Bucky Dent's Home Run - an essay on the Baseball Library site
- Baseball Almanac
- The Sporting News' Baseball's 25 Greatest Moments: Over The Green Monster
|World Series MVP|
|Babe Ruth Award|
|New York Yankees Manager|