Home News Former Yankee shortstop Bucky Dent sees great potential in Anthony Volpe

Former Yankee shortstop Bucky Dent sees great potential in Anthony Volpe

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An OLD familiar face, a bleeping face forever to Red Sox Nation, was in a Yankee Stadium suite watching the rubber game of the series on Sunday night.

It was Bucky Bleeping Dent’s second visit this season to the Stadium, and even though Aaron Bleepin’ Boone decided to rest Anthony Volpe, the former Yankees shortstop has seen more than enough of the precocious rookie shortstop to believe that his growing pains will eventually end.

“I think he’s got a chance to be a really, really good player,” Dent told The Post. “I just think he hits too many balls in the air.”

Volpe was batting .187 with 78 strikeouts in 225 at-bats. He has committed seven errors.

“I think he’s been fine … he’s shown he’s got good range,” Dent said.

Dent came from the White Sox to the Yankees in 1977 when he was 25. So it was different for him than it is for the 22-year-old Volpe.

“I played in a big city, so coming over to play in New York was not a big thing,” Dent said. “It just took me a while to settle in because I didn’t know a lot of the guys — the [Thurman] Munsons, the [Reggie] Jacksons, the [Graig] Nettles and all those guys. I got traded last day of spring training, so it took me a little while, but I loved playing in New York. I loved playing shortstop in New York.”

Former player Bucky Dent of the New York Yankees is introduced during the New York Yankees’ 72nd Old Timers Day game in 2018.
Getty Images

Volpe loves playing shortstop in New York. It was his dream, just as it was Derek Jeter’s dream.

“I was with Texas in ’96 when we played ’em in the playoffs,” Dent said. “Derek had that confidence when he played. He was just a gifted athlete, a guy that really could do it all. He was a bigger shortstop. That was in the era where shortstops really started to get bigger — the A-Rods [Alex Rodriguez], the Cal Ripkens. Derek had tremendous ability. He’s a Hall of Famer.”

The Yankees would not have thrown Volpe to the wolves had they not been convinced that his makeup was Jeter-esque.

“From what I’ve seen of him, I’ve watched quite a few games,” Dent said, “I think his makeup has been fine. He’s going through a little bit of growing pains of playing in the big leagues, facing big-league pitching day in and day out, but I think he’ll grow into the position fine. I think he’ll be fine.”

Volpe will head into the Subway Series against the Mets on Tuesday night with nine home runs and is 14-for-14 in stolen bases, the first Yankee to do so.

“His swing will come,” Dent said. “I’d like to see him hit more line drives. … I don’t know what they’re trying to do with him … but he’s gonna get a chance to be a really, really good player. He runs well, he runs the bases well. He’s got all the ability.”

The Yankees have new rivalries with the Rays and Blue Jays, but Boston versus New York will always resonate long and loud with both fan bases.

“It’s still one of the greatest rivalries in all of sports,” Dent said. “I don’t think it’s as tense as it was when I came over in ’77. … Boston-New York’s always the biggest rivalry, I think.”

Dent won’t soon forget what those Yankees-Red Sox battles were like following The Bucky Dent Game that helped win the epic sudden-death playoff at Fenway Park in 1978.

Anthony Volpe takes a break before Mets series on Tuesday.
Anthony Volpe did not start in the Yankees vs. Red Sox series finale on Sunday.
Corey Sipkin for the NY POST

“Those games were electric,” Dent said. “The teams didn’t like each other. They respected each other, but they didn’t like each other.”

Dent loved every second of those games.

“You want to play in games like that,” he said, “where the fans are into it, both teams are into it, you don’t want to lose. … It’s just fun to be a part of that.”

Boone felt the buzz in the air.

“It feels like summer baseball, Yankee Stadium, the Red Sox in town,” Boone said.

Shortstop Bucky Dent in action during a game in 1978 at Yankee Stadium.
Shortstop Bucky Dent in action during a game in 1978 at Yankee Stadium.
Getty Images

Billy McKinney got his first taste of the rivalry this weekend.

“The fans are the ones that kinda make it happen, that’s for sure,” McKinney said. “They get the players going, they get the adrenaline pumping. It makes for a fun game for sure.”

Reliever Ron Marinaccio (Toms River, N.J.) made his Yankees debut on April 9, 2022 against the Red Sox.

“I think there’s a couple of teams that bring that buzz,” Marinaccio said, “but they’re definitely one of ’em. You look up in the third deck, and you see the corners up in the third deck full. Whenever the Red Sox are in town, especially on the weekend, you get that. Seats fill up, people are standing in the concourse everywhere … you definitely feel the buzz a little bit more.”

Only right that Bucky Bleeping Dent was there to feel that buzz.

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