John Buck comes home in hopes of returning to the Majors

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Sports) - John Buck has had one of the most successful major league careers of any player to ever come out of Utah.

The 34-year-old Taylorsville High grad has played 10 seasons, over 1,085 career games, hit 134 home runs, and he was a 2010 All-Star. Buck played with six teams in the Majors, but after getting released by the Seattle Mariners a couple weeks ago, Buck was at a crossroads. He wasn't ready to call it quits, but go back to the minors? Well, Salt Lake City was the only place he'd be willing to do that.

"It's the reason I'm here," said Buck, who lives in Bluffdale. "I was maybe even thinking of retiring once I got let go by Seattle, but this presented itself as an opportunity to be able to keep playing and be at home with the kids, sleeping in my own bed. So, I figured being at home has softened the blow a little bit."

It's been 10 years since Buck last played in the minors on an everyday basis, but if he was going to try to get back to the Majors once last time, what better place to be than his hometown? In nine games so far with the Bees, Buck is hitting .306.

"I think he has a real good chance," said Bees manager Keith Johnson. "Obviously, a guy with his resume and his track record speaks for itself."

"I haven't really thought about it that way," Buck said about this being his last shot. "I'm just trying to enjoy the opportunity to play here and play literally on the field that I got piled on for a high school tournament."

The Taylorsville High grad has become sort of a mentor to some of the younger players, and even if he doesn't get back to the Majors, at the very least, Buck will go out on his own terms.

"As a baseball player, not many people get to pick how they go out," Buck said. "It's just kind of the nature of the game. If I want it to be, this could be a way that I get to choose how I go out."

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