After Bill Buckner misplayed a ball in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series, he sold his Boston area home and moved his family to Idaho. It's a much different story deep in the heart of Texas for this year's playoff goat.

Nelson Cruz, who misplayed Cardinals third baseman David Freese's Game 6 fly ball into a two-run triple that could have cost the Rangers the world championship, didn't run and hide after the Fall Classic. Cruz drove his own car to Mesquite, Tex., for an appearance at a sports academy less than 24 hours after the World Series.

Despite being the World Series villain in the eyes of some, Cruz drew a crowd of more than 400 fans, who created a line that wrapped around the Academy Sports and Outdoors location. One fan, Mireya Fraire, camped out overnight to be first in line.

"I have a torn ACL and I've been here all night and I haven't gone home and I slept outside and slept in the car and just really want to see him that bad", Fraire told KDAF-TV in Dallas.

Cruz agreed to sign autographs -- win or lose -- well before the Rangers' disappointing finish in the World Series. He admitted to being stunned that so many Texas fans came out to meet him.

"I was shocked to see all the people," Cruz said. "It made me feel happy and it made the pain go away quickly."

He was thankful for the support, even after the loss.

"It definitely shows how good they are as fans," Cruz told KDAF. "They support us all year. They're behind us whatever happens."


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The ALCS MVP, Cruz hit .364 with six homers and 13 RBI against the Tigers, but batted just .200 in the World Series, with two homers and three RBI against the Cardinals.

The Republic of Texas proved it really is light years away from Red Sox Nation.

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