Red Sox's Buford at home as visitor

July 12, 1998|By Eduardo A. Encina

Former Oriole Damon Buford returned to Camden Yards for the first time in a Red Sox uniform this series and said the feel of returning to the place where he once was a top prospect has lost its luster.

"It was special the first couple of times [he visited in an opposing uniform], but it's been three years. Things are a lot different now," said Buford, the son of Orioles official and former player Don Buford.

"It's a different team with lots of different players, a different manager, a different GM," said Buford, who played under Johnny Oates and Phil Regan.

Buford, 28, played parts of three years for the Orioles from 1993 to 1995, but spent much time being shuffled between Triple-A Rochester and the majors. He never got more than 79 at-bats in a season and in July 1995, Buford was part of a deal that obtained Bobby Bonilla from the New York Mets.

Now following a two-year stint in Texas, Buford is part of a young five-man outfield rotation with the Red Sox and is having his best all-around year, hitting .286 with five homers and 19 RBIs in 119 at-bats.

"If I wasn't playing as much as I am, I might think about what might have been had I stayed," said Buford. "But now I am thinking of what can be right now."

Pub Date: 7/12/98

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