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Sandlot Baseball – The Impossible Dream, 1967

October 2, 2010

(continuing the 1967 Boston Red Sox Impossible Dream season)

October 2, 1967

We were on the field playing ball at South Junior High in Braintree while my bench-warming, 3 by 3-inch transistor radio relayed Red Sox announcer, Ned Martin’s account of what was happening between the Sox and Twins in the final game of the season at Fenway Park. Though the skies were clear, anxiety reigned. If the Sox won the game, they would, at least, tie for the American League pennant. If Detroit won their game, the Sox would play a one-game playoff against Detroit for the championship. If Detroit lost and the Red Sox won, well… who would believe that could happen?

In fact, the Sox were losing to the Twins, 2-0 after 5 and a half innings. No one wanted to acknowledge that if the Sox lost this game, it was all over, period. Disappointed, I thought to myself, the end was near. BUT, the Sox came up in the bottom of the 6th and pitcher Jim Lonborg led off with a surprise bunt – and got on base! We gathered round the transistor. Another guy got on. And then Yaz came up. This is the picture that says it all:

(source: Patriot Ledger)

And to think we never saw that hit – we heard it on the radio.  The Sox came up with 5 runs in the 6th. That would be enough to win the game. But the season was still alive. In order for the Sox to win the pennant, Detroit had to lose.

(source: Patriot Ledger)

Jim Lonborg had pitched a gem and Yaz once again did his thing. The Boston Red Sox – American League champs!!!

(sources for above: cartoon and Lonborg photo – Record American; standings – Patriot Ledger)

The World Series was next. The headlines in the Boston Globe read:

“The Whole Town’s Jumping;

For Sox, Next Year Is Now”

Below that was a photo with grandstand fans holding up a banner that said:

“Bring On St. Louis”

The Cardinals were coming to Boston for Game One of the 1967 World Series…

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