Combining work and play is a home run.

Bucky Dent is a man of moments. One moment triumphantly defined his career, but lately, he is busy making new memories here at Reynolds Lake Oconee.

For the past 32 years, Dent has been defined by one such moment. It’s a moment that made him a hero to Yankees fans. In Boston, it made him an enemy of the entire Red Sox nation.

At a recent baseball clinic at Reynolds Lake Oconee, Dent talked to approximately 40 kids in attendance about the moment that came to define his career.

On a cool and crisp fall day in October of 1978, Dent etched his name into the history books with a long, deep fly ball that drifted just over the famous Green Monster at Fenway Park. The home run sent the Yankees up 3-2 over the Red Sox in a one-game playoff to decide the AL East division.

But it nearly didn’t happen, and it certainly wasn’t supposed to. In fact, Dent — then the number nine hitter with four home runs on the season — borrowed a bat from fellow teammate Mickey Rivers to try and break his slump.

With new bat in hand, Dent took the plate. And with two runners on and two out, Mike Torrez threw a pitch and Dent connected. As it carried down the left field line, each inch it moved pulled more and more air out of Fenway Park. As it coasted over the fence, you could only hear the sound of Dent’s cleats pelting the baselines. “You could hear a pin drop in Fenway Park,” remembers Dent of the ’78 shot that stunned the Red Sox nation. “I think every kid dreams of hitting a big home run that’s going to win a ball game.”

Reynolds became a love of ours and we just absolutely love coming back here.

Dent’s extension of the Red Sox curse was probably a bit more significant to the parents standing by at the Reynolds clinic than the kids, but that doesn’t bother Dent one bit. He’s more concerned with sharing moments with the kids who cross his path each year than reliving his own fame. In fact, had he simply grounded out that fateful day in October of 1978, not much would have changed for the three-time All-Star and two-time World Champion.

Dent would undoubtedly have continued to bring baseball instruction to youth. And he would still be providing clinics such as his annual clinic at Reynolds, where Dent and the general manager of the Bucky Dent Baseball School, Larry Hoskin, are current Members and property owners. After all, these are the types of moments Dent enjoys the most.

Now located in Delray Beach, Florida, Dent’s school consists of a 25-acre campus that includes seven new fields, eight batting cages, a bullpen with six mounds and an infield training wall, bleachers, lighting, a press box and more. Kids ages five through college benefit each year from the hands-on instruction and various specialty clinics offered. More than 4,000 baseball players attend the Bucky Dent Baseball School each year.

And when the coaching duo isn’t focused on their specialty clinics, Dent and Hoskin also share another passion — the lifestyle here at Reynolds Lake Oconee. “We’ve been coming to Reynolds with our families probably for 20 years,” Dent explains. “We started a long time ago, and we came on the lifestyle package and just loved it. We were looking at the time, Larry and me, to find a place we could retire that had everything we wanted.”

It was a process that took a great deal of time for the coaching duo and their families, but in the end, there was one place that just kept calling them back. “We were looking around and we kept coming back here. It just has everything that we want. It has the golf, it has the fishing and it has the Lake Club. It’s close to Atlanta, so if we have to travel someplace, back and forth, we can get to a major airport. Reynolds became a love of ours and we just absolutely love coming back here.”

Retirement looks as though it may be a bit of a wait as Dent continues to hone the skills of the baseball players of future generations. But when the time does come to hang up the cleats for good (or at least for a more extended period of time), he’s found the perfect place to do so.

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