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A second Buckner shows up at spring training for the Cubs

Published: Friday, March 1, 2013 8:49 p.m. CDT

(MCT) Bobby Buckner grew up playing baseball in his father's shadow.

So he should feel at home going through spring training with the Chicago Cubs while his father, Bill, helps the organization as a batting coach.

Bobby, who played at Boise High before making three college baseball stops, including Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, has signed a non-drafted free agent minor-league contract and has been working out with the Cubs in Mesa, Ariz.

"He's enjoying it," Bill said from Arizona on Wednesday. "He's been able to take batting practice with some of the big-league players."

And Bobby has been getting some valuable instruction from a familiar source, too. "I do drills with him in the morning, just like everybody else," Bill said.

Despite his famous last name, Bobby won't have anything handed to him.

"He's got to take it one day at a time," Bill said. "He has some challenges ahead of him." Bobby had ACL surgery about a year ago.

"Speedwise, he's about a half a step from where he needs to be," Bill said. Bobby was a switch-hitting shortstop at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, but the Cubs are converting him to the outfield.

Bill, who lives in Boise, will be returning to Idaho after spring training for his second season as the Hawks' hitting coach. He doesn't rule out his son joining him on the short-season Class A team this summer.

"I'd say there's a decent chance," Bill said.

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