Cardinals versus Red Sox one more time in
the World Series. The last time they met in
the Fall Classic the guys from Fenway swept
the Midwesterners. They also had a showdown
in October in 1967.
1966, the Sox lost 90 games and finished
ninth. Attendance at Fenway Park was
811,172, an average attendance per game of
10, 095. It was pitiful.
MONTVILLE: I was a sportswriter at the New
Haven Journal Courier and convinced my boss
to send me to Opening Day of the 1967
season. “Okay,” he said, “you can take the
train but you have to come right back after
the game is over. I don’t want you staying
my matching sport coat and my tie and my new
portable typewriter. I took the train up
and got off at Back Bay. It was cold. I tell
the cab driver, “Fenway Park.”
are you going there?”
“Because I’m a sportswriter and I’m covering
game is postponed. Too Cold,” he said.
to get a story so I went in the locker room
and talked to Dick Williams. I was terrified
because I had read all this stuff about how
gruff he was.
ANDREWS: Dick was a tough manager, very,
very tough. He wasn't one who gave you a
lot of accolades.
MONTVILLE: I didn’t know they had a press
room so I went across the street to a grille
to type up my story while knocking back a
couple of beers.
BoSox pilot Dick Williams realized he had a
tough job ahead. Coming off a 90-loss
season, the Red Sox were a 100-1 shot to win
the American League pennant in 1967.
young, crew-cutted disciplinarian promised
that the team would win more than it lost in
1967. He vowed changes, and said that if
blowing up the Country Club atmosphere was
what was needed, he would do that, too.
had been tremendous teams at Boston,”
Williams said, “but they had won just one
pennant in twenty-one years. At home they
were excellent, but they just could not win
on the road because it was a team
manufactured to play at Fenway Park."
Williams said he would not allow the
dimensions of Fenway to influence his
managing style and the play of his ball
players. "I made it clear," he said, "the
Green Monster was not going to be a factor.
I had seen too many players ruining
themselves taking shots at the wall. I made
my pitchers concentrate on pitching to
right-handed batters who always came up
there looking for the ball away thinking
we'd get them to avoid pulling. I knew that
the way to pitch at Fenway is to get the
ball inside and gradually back the batter up
Tony Conigliaro RF
LONBORG: It started off as a typical Red
Sox season. There were 8,324 fans on a cold
and dreary April 12th, Opening Day, a
cold and dreary one. We beat the White Sox
5-4. Petrocelli hit a three-run homer. And
I got the win.
next day there were only 3,607 at the
ballpark. And then we went on a road trip.
We came back having won 10 straight games.
And when our plane landed there were
thousands of fans waiting at the airport.
That moment was the start of the great
relationship between the fans and the
SULLIVAN: I went to Dartmouth, and we used
to road trip down to Fenway and get standing
room without any trouble. It was eight
dollars for grandstand seats. But so many
seats were empty. You would flip an usher
a quarter and you could move down into the
seats. Then it changed. What happened was
of the buzz in Boston was about rookie Billy
Rohr who on April 14th one-hit the Yankees
and Whitey Ford at the Stadium.
MARKEY: Billy Rohr in the early part of that
season became the symbol of our renaissance
- the lefthander we so needed over all those
and thousands of other Red Sox fans were at
Rohr’s next start on April 21st.
MARKEY: Fenway Park was electric. This was
our chance to vanquish the Yankees. He won
that game, too, 6-1, subduing the Yankees a
second time, beating Mel Stottlemyre, 6-1.
Despite his promise, Rohr never won another
game for the Red Sox and finished the season
in the minors. Although Rohr wasn’t in a
Red Sox uniform for all of Boston’s
“Impossible Dream,” he helped set the pace
Rohr was 1967,” Peter Gammons wrote, “even
if he only won two games and was out of town
ANDREWS: My 1967 salary was 11 thousand
dollars. And in July Tom Yawkey called me
into his office and gave me a four
thousand dollar raise. I was told he was
always doing things like that.
the All-Star break, Boston took off on a
10-game winning streak. In July, crowds
topped 25,000 a game.
August, they numbered 30,000 or more.
September, there would be standing-room
JOHN D’ARCY: There was a tradition that
every rectory in the immediate Boston area
would get a free pass to Fenway. It was
indeed a wonderful perk. The rectory was the
priests’ home, but if somebody worked there
and was not a priest, he could probably use
it as well. I think you had to pay 50 cents
or a dollar to get it. You would go in and
find your own seat, but it was not hard to
find a seat in those days. In 1967, when
the crowds came back, that was the end of
crowded Fenway Park in that era before ’67
was an anomaly. Weird weather conditions
were not. Fans from the start of play in
1912 brought umbrellas, jackets, blankets
with them – even in mid-summer. On April
25,1962 the ocean breeze dropped the
temperature at Fenway from 78 to 58 degrees
in 10 minutes. One August day in 1967
pea-soup fog caused a couple of stoppages of
a game -- outfielders could not see.
even stranger sensation was at Fenway Park
on the 18th of August - - pennant fever.
The Red Sox were in fourth place, were
hosting the fifth place California Angels in
a four game series.
Conigliaro singled his first time up off
Angels starter Jack Hamilton. In the fourth
George Scott led off with a blooper to short
left center field and was cut down trying to
stretch the hit into a double. A fan in the
leftfield grandstand tossed a smoke bomb
onto the outfield grass delaying play.
play resumed, Reggie Smith stroked a line
drive single. Conigliaro batted next.
MOREHEAD: I was sitting on the top step of
the dugout, charting pitches, right there by
the corner closest to the on-deck circle. I
was talking to Fitzie, the clubhouse man. I
was watching Tony. Jack Hamilton threw the
inside and high fastball hit Tony C. him
flush on the cheek below the left eye.
Dropping to the ground, his cheekbone
crushed, his eye ball imploded, Conigliaro
writhed in pain.
MOREHEAD: He had to have lost sight of the
ball. It was frightening. His left eye was
closed before our trainer, Buddy Leroux, got
Coaches and players raced out to the
unconscious young star. A silent and stunned
crowd watched as one of their favorites was
taken off the field on a stretcher.
than a year and half later, Conigliaro would
return to play baseball for the Sox. He had
some small successes. But the injury left
him with some brain damage and vision
problems and ended what should have been a
days after the “beaning” there was a
doubleheader against California. They won
the second games. Yaz popped two three-run
homers‚ one in each game of the
the 30th of September, Carl Yastrzemski
slugged his 44th home run as the BoSox
nipped the Twins 6-4 to tie for first
TUCKER: That 30th of September was my first
time at Fenway, I was 18. I paid a dollar to
an usher at the gate to get in. It was the
end of the ‘67 season. Fenway was jammed
with people. The “grown ups” in the stands.
Guys wearing shirts and ties.
no seats. We just went from place to place,
sat on the stairs until some usher would
come over and tell us to get out of there,
and then we’d sit on the stairs somewhere
else until another usher told us to move.
But we saw the game.
Senator Ted Kennedy, his father Joseph P.
Kennedy, his brother New York Senator Robert
Kennedy and Minnesota Senator Hubert
Humphrey were at the game. Winning pitcher
Jose Santiago gave Senator Kennedy the game
LONBORG: I was on the mound on October 1,
the winning pitcher as we clinched the
pennant. All of my teammates and thousands
of Fenway fans seemed to run at me. It’s
what you dream about in Little League. I
was trying to get back into the dugout.
Thank God for the Boston police – they were
able to control the crowd.
Red Sox beat the Twins, 5-3, but the “The
Impossible Dream'' was still a dream until
Detroit lost to California to finish a game
behind the Red Sox. Listening intently to
the radio in their locker room, Boston
players and officials reacted with glee as
California nipped Detroit, 8-5. Inside
Fenway Park loyal fans rejoiced.
TUCKER: The Sox finished 20 games ahead of
the 9th-place Yankees. Boston was going
into the World Series. People started
tearing apart the scoreboard, ripping the
sod off of the field, just trashing the
attendance at Fenway Park that “Impossible
Dream” season jumped from 811, 172 in 1966
to 1, 727,832. Winning 20 more games than in
’1966, Boston was 49-32 at Fenway, 43-38 on
TUCKER: We went back for the World Series,
all of us taking the day off from school,
taking the bus into Boston, asking the usher
to let us in.
much you got?” he asked.
we got change.”
what you got!”
a time, we gave him whatever we had in our
pockets and he let us through the gate.
Fall Classic match up was Boston versus St.
Louis. Cardinals Ace Bob Gibson irritated
Red Sox management, fans and players.
Looking around Fenway Park prior to the
series, the power pitcher asked: “Where's
the upper deck? Where are all the seats?''
was disappointed that Detroit was not the
competition. "Their bigger ballpark would
have meant more fans, more money,” he said.
“I don't know about you, but $1,500 is a lot
of money to me.''
one, the fourth day of October, Lou Brock
of the Cardinals collected four hits and
Gibson fanned 10 Red Sox. Jose Santiago
pitched a beauty for Boston and even
homered. But St. Louis won, 2-1 scoring on
two RBI ground balls from Roger Maris.
home runs by Carl Yastrzemski, Jim Lonborg’s
masterful pitching (no-hit ball for 7 2/3
innings) and a one hit 5-0 gem evened the
series for Boston. Sal Maglie, Boston
pitching coach, said that Lonborg’s
performance was “a better pitching effort
than Don Larsen's perfect game in 1956”
against him and the Dodgers.
next three games, two of which were won by
the Cardinals, were played at Busch Stadium.
That set up games 6 and 7 at Fenway Park on
October 11 and 12th. The Sox won Game 6,
8-4. setting up the decisive seventh game.
Lonborg, with a lot of mileage on him from a
long season, started with two day’s rest. He
was ineffective. Bob Gibson was most
effective. Fanning ten, yielding but three
hits, the Cardinal ace led his team to a 7-2
victory and the world championship.