James Francis Buccheri
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 11", Weight 165 lb.
- School Golden West College
- High School Cibola High School
He was drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the 24th round of the 1988 amateur draft and began his professional career that same year. He played for the Southern Oregon A's, hitting .289 with no home runs and 25 stolen bases in 58 games. In 1989, Buccheri played for the Madison Muskies, hitting .233 with two home runs and 43 stolen bases in 115 games. He showed minimal extra base power, managing only 11 total extra base hits (9 doubles, 2 home runs) in 101 hits overall, for a slugging percentage of .263.
Splitting the 1990 season between the Modesto A's and Huntsville Stars, Buccheri hit a combined .231 with no home runs, 30 stolen bases and .256 slugging percentage (he had only 6 doubles and 2 triples in 93 hits). Although it was a poor season overall, he did show a good eye at the plate, walking 65 times and striking out only 54 times. In 1991, Buccheri again played for the Stars, hitting .212 in 100 games. With 15 doubles as his only extra base hits that year, his slugging percentage was once again paltry, coming in at .256. There were two bright spots to his otherwise bad season, however. He stole 35 bases and he walked 71 times while striking out only 60 times.
Buccheri played for the Reno Silver Sox, Tacoma Tigers and Modesto A's in 1992. He showed a dramatic improvement in many categories, hitting a combined .318 with 5 home runs, 22 doubles and 6 triples in 129 games for a .428 slugging percentage. He had a .435 on-base percentage, aided in part because of his 92 walks and only 83 strikeouts. Buccheri scored 97 runs and stole 48 bases. 1992 was perhaps the best season of his American minor league career.
He had another solid, albeit unspectacular, season in 1993 as he played for Modesto (two games) and Tacoma (90 games). In 300 at-bats he hit .277 with a .364 on base percentage and .347 slugging percentage. He stole only 12 bases. In 1994, Buccheri played for Tacoma, hitting .304 with 32 stolen bases in 121 games that year.
Despite improving markedly over the past couple of seasons, Buccheri left the Orioles organization and joined the Montreal Expos organization in 1995. Playing for the Ottawa Lynx, he hit .268 with 44 stolen bases in 121 games. In 1996, he again played for the Lynx, hitting .257 with 33 stolen bases in only 65 games. That year, he walked 33 times and struck out only 28 times.
On the road again, Buccheri played in the Tampa Bay Devil Rays organization from 1997 to 2000. He spent the 1997 season with the St. Petersburg Devil Rays, hitting .245 with 25 stolen bases in 58 games. His slugging percentage slipped below .300 for the first time since 1991, as it measured in at .289. Despite 1997 being a lackluster season, he did manage to show his usual good eye at the plate - he walked 27 times and struck out only 20 times. He rebounded in 1998, however, hitting .305 with 37 stolen bases and a .413 slugging percentage in 106 games with the Durham Bulls.
In 1999, Buccheri played in both the Devil Rays and New York Mets organizations, hitting a combined .277 with 11 stolen bases in 87 games with the Binghamton Mets (4 games), Orlando Rays (45 games), Durham Bulls (6 games) and Norfolk Tides (32 games). He played his final season in affiliated American baseball in 2000, with the Durham Bulls. In 84 games, he hit .256 with 18 stolen bases.
He retired following the 2000 season, however in 2002 Buccheri went to Italy to play baseball. He played for Semenzato Rimini in 2002, hitting .318 with 36 stolen bases in 220 at-bats.
In the 2004 Olympics, Buccheri played for the Italian team. He hit .269 with one home run and four RBI in 26 at-bats.
In 2004, Buccheri played for the Telemarket Rimini team, hitting .336 in 152 at-bats. He stole seven bases. In 2005 with them, he hit .290 in 207 at-bats, stealing 10 bases. He had 13 hits in the 2005 European Championship. In 2006, he was on the Italian team's roster for the World Baseball Classic, although he never played in the series. Back in Italy, he again played for Telemarket Rimini in 2006, hitting .324 in 185 at-bats, stealing 35 bases.
He was with a new team in 2007, T&A San Marino, and he hit .298 in 178 at-bats with eight stolen bases with them. He had the most stolen bases in the 2007 European Cup, with 2. He was also on Italy's roster for the 2007 European Championship.
Buccheri played for T&A San Marino in 2008 as well, hitting .327 in 147 at-bats. He stole 12 bases. After not playing in 2009, he hit .216 in 14 games for Caffe Danesi Nettuno in 2010. A no-show again in 2011, he returned for 2012 and hit .370 in 24 games for the Montepaschi Orioles Grosseto. He returned to Rimini for 2013 and hit .214 in 12 games. He also played in the 2013 European Cup.
He seems to have retired from playing following the 2013 campaign and now holds baseball camps and lessons in California. He also coaches youth baseball.