- 1967 Boston Red Sox season
MLB yearly infobox-pre1969 alt
name = Boston Red Sox
season = 1967
misc = 1967 AL Champions
current league = American League
y1 = 1901
y4 = 1912
city = Boston,
y5 = 1901
general manager =
television = WHDH-TV Channel 5
radio = WHDH-AM 850
Ken Coleman, Ned Martin, Mel Parnell)|
The Impossible Dream is the popular term used for the 1967
Boston Red Soxseason. During this season, the Red Sox shocked New Englandand the rest of the baseball world by winning the American League Championship (also called the "AL Pennant") and reached the World Seriesfor the first time since 1946. The season had one of the most memorable finishes in baseball history, as the AL pennant race went to the very last game, with Boston beating out the Detroit Tigersand Minnesota Twinsby 1 game. The 2007 season marked the 40th anniversary of "The Impossible Dream", which was honored and marked with Opening Dayceremonies featuring members of the 1967 Red Sox team and an hour-long documentary on NESN(a regional sports network part-owned by the Red Sox) called "Impossible to Forget". ["Impossible Dream" remembered on Opening Day. http://boston.redsox.mlb.com/news/press_releases/press_release.jsp?ymd=20070409&content_id=1888385&vkey=pr_bos&fext=.jsp&c_id=bos]
In 1967, Dick Williams became the manager of the Red Sox. Previously, he had coached the Red Sox’ farm club in Toronto. Williams was a stern disciplinarian and enacted a get tough policy. He stressed the fundamentals. In spring training, he had called George Scott "a fat". The Boston Red Sox, Milton Cole and Jim Kaplan, p.35, World Publications Group, North Dighton, MA, ISBN 1-57215-412-8 ]
As a 21-year-old rookie,
Billy Rohrmade his first start at Yankee Stadium facing Whitey Ford(April 14). He was one strike away from a no-hitter when Elston Howardhit a soft single into right-center field. Rohr proceeded to retire the next batter for a 3–0 shutout. Four days later at Fenway Park, he beat the Yankees again, 6–1. Mel Stottlemyrewas charged with the loss.
A four way race between the Boston Red Sox, California Angels, Detroit Tigers, and the Minnesota Twins, emanated for the American League pennant. A huge setback for the Red Sox occurred on August 18th. In a game against the California Angels,
Tony Conigliarowas hit by a pitch. Angels pitcher Jack Hamiltonfired a high fastball in the eighth inning and the pitch hit Conigliaro beneath his left eye. The Boston Red Sox, Milton Cole and Jim Kaplan, p.37, World Publications Group, North Dighton, MA, ISBN 1-57215-412-8 ] Conigliaro suffered from a fractured cheekbone, a dislocated jaw, and part of his face was pushed into his eye. Later in the season, the Red Sox acquired catcher Elston Howardfrom the New York Yankees and signed outfielder Ken Harrelsonafter the Kansas City Athletics released him. The Boston Red Sox, Milton Cole and Jim Kaplan, p.38, World Publications Group, North Dighton, MA, ISBN 1-57215-412-8 ] In the last weekend of the series, the Sox faced the Minnesota Twins at Fenway Park. The Twins were in first place and were ahead by one game over the Red Sox. The Red Sox had to sweep the Twins to have any opportunity to win the pennant. Another variable was that the Detroit Tigers would have to lose one more game. Ironically, they were playing the California Angels. In the last game of the season, Jim Lonborggot the start for the Red Sox. Lonborg would win the game and he would finish the season with 22 victories. The Red Sox had won their first American League pennant in 21 years.
The Red Sox entered the 1967 season as "doormats" of the American League, with low expectations, low attendance to begin the season, and little known talent, outside of team captain,
Carl Yastrzemski. Entering the 1967 season, the Red Sox were in the middle of an eight-year streak of losing seasons. Two years prior, the Red Sox finished the 1965 season with a league-worst 100 losses.
The season's low expectations were personified by the measly 8,324 fans who attended Opening Day, which about matched their average attendance throughout the 1960s."Red Sox: A Retrospective of Boston Baseball." ISBN 1-4027-2796-8. page 104.] However, right out of the gates, the Red Sox showed contender capabilities and entering August, were only two and a half games behind the league-leading
Chicago White Soxand were eight games over .500. By month's end, the White Sox lost hold of first-place and on August 26, the Red Sox sat atop the American League at 72-56.
Red Sox Second Baseman,
Mike Andrews, accounts of the times of the '60s: "This chaotic war was going on while we were playing baseball. To think that baseball could be meaningful to these wounded soldiers was unbelievable." Four Red Sox players — All-Stars Jim Lonborg and Tony Conigliaro, along with Dalton Jones and Jim Landis — were drafted for military service. The four served two-week stints in the military reserve.
Starting September — the last month of the season — the Red Sox sat atop of the American League, but were caught in a dog-fight with Chicago, the
Minnesota Twinsand Detroit Tigers. The four teams were separated by half a game and all jumped between first to fourth sporadically. The pennant race was coming down to the last weekend of the season.
Unfortunately for the White Sox, after a three-game sweep at the hands of the Washington Senators to end the season, Chicago ended the season three games back of first-place and left the pennant scramble a three-team race. On
September 29, Boston defeated Minnesota 6-4, bettering their record to 91-70, tied with the Twins at the top of the American League standings. Detroit was not far behind at 90-70 and half a game back. The pennant, as anticipated, would be won on the last day of the season. October 1would end the race for the title.
Boston and Minnesota were scheduled to finish their series leaving one team able to "take care of its own business." Detroit had a double header on their schedule against the California Angels. Boston defeated Minnesota in a day game 5-3 on the arm of their
Cy Young Awardcandidate Jim Lonborg. Minnesota was eliminated, finishing their season 91-71. Scheduled to start the same time as the Boston-Minnesota game was the first game of the Detroit-California match-up. Detroit defeated California 6-4, upping their record to 91-70, and half a game behind league leader Boston. Accounts from Boston newspapers and books written about the "Impossible Dream" claim the Boston club was glued to a radio in their locker room to listen to the second game of Detroit-California. The Tigers needed to complete the doubleheader sweep in order to force a playoff with the Red Sox for the pennant. When California won the game 8-5, elation broke out in the locker room "and" inside Fenway Parkas crowds of people heard the news that Detroit was eliminated. The Boston Red Sox were the 1967 American League Champions.
Although the Red Sox did not complete the unbelievable task and lost to the
St. Louis Cardinalsin the 1967 World Series, the overachieving club is considered among the greatest Red Sox teams in club history. Beyond Yastrzemski completing one of the best single season offensive campaign, Red Sox players dominated the American League across the board. Pitcher Jim Lonborg won the Cy Young Award. The two Sox All-Stars, joined by Tony Conigliaroand Rico Petrocelli, comprised the four Red Sox named to the American League All-Star team.
Boston historians consider the 1967 Red Sox season as the "re-invention" of Boston Red Sox baseball. Every aspect of Boston baseball was transposed at the hands of this club. For instance, in 1966, the Red Sox ranked eight out of ten in home attendance (811,172). The 1967 season set a Fenway Park record and the Sox finished first in the league in home attendance (1,727,832).
Jerry Remy(Red Sox television broadcaster for NESN) is quoted as saying, "The 1967 created the Red Sox craze and Red Sox Nation we have today. They re-invented baseball in New England."
*November 29, 1966: Amos Otis was drafted by the New York Mets from the Boston Red Sox in the 1966 minor league draft. [ [http://www.baseball-reference.com/o/otisam01.shtml Amos Otis Statistics - Baseball-Reference.com ] ]
*July 15, 1967: Norm Siebern was purchased by the Boston Red Sox from the San Francisco Giants. [http://www.baseball-reference.com/s/siebeno01.shtml]
*August 3, 1967:
Elston Howardwas traded by the New York Yankees to the Boston Red Sox for a player to be named later and Pete Magrini. The Boston Red Sox sent Ron Klimkowski (August 8, 1967) to the New York Yankees to complete the trade. [ [http://www.baseball-reference.com/h/howarel01.shtml Elston Howard Statistics - Baseball-Reference.com ] ]
etback: Tony Conigliaro
Throughout the season of 1967, the Red Sox were clicking offensively and defensively right from Opening Day. One of the keys to the Red Sox instant success was young, fan-favorite
Tony Conigliaro. Entering his fourth season in 1967, Conigliaro set the bar for his personal success very high, as he achieved immediate success his first three years in the major leagues. In fact, Conigliaro slugged an amazing 24 home runs his rookie season in 1964, followed by an AL leading 32 home runs his sophomore season in 1965 and 28 in 1966. As the Red Sox showed promise in the early part of the 1967 season, Conigliaro's expectations from the fans rose exponentially.
Throughout Conigliaro's first three seasons, minor and typical baseball injuries struck the young player. He had broken his left arm his rookie season, broken his left wrist his sophomore season after being hit by a pitch, and missed day-to-day action on other various minor injuries. Nothing serious had prevented Conigliaro from bouncing back and continuing to see offensive success at an unparalleled rapid pace. Some Red Sox die-hards in fact predicted Conigliaro would finish his career with better numbers than the great
August 18, 1967, In the fifth inning of a mid-summer game between Boston and the California Angels at Fenway Park, Conigliaro was beaned by a pitch from Angels pitcher Jack Hamiltonright above the left cheek bone. Conigliaro was immediately knocked unconsciousand was taken off the field on a stretcher. It was later announced that the slugger had sustained severe damage to his cheek bone and the retinaof his eye. Conigliaro missed the remainder of the 1967 season and, as Boston held its breath for their young phenom, memories of the long drought of being a winning team in baseball had crept over the Fenway crowd. (No mentions of a curse, however. The idea of the " Curse of the Bambino" would not be entertained for another 20 years.)
Though their young All-Star was out indefinitely, the Red Sox won the game and continued on to win the
American LeagueChampionship. However, faith from Red Sox fans had to be found without Conigliaro. He had returned a year later, and earned Comeback Player of the Year Award in 1969. Though his return seemed miraculous at the time, his numbers never returned to the level of his first three years. In 1970, Conigliaro retired because of permanent damage to his eye and blindness.
Today he is being remembered at Fenway Park. Next to the Budweiser Right Field Roofdeck, 200 bleacher seats have been added as what is called "Conigliaro's Corner". These seats are sold at $25 in honor of Conigliaro's number.
Conigliaro suffered a heart attack on
January 3, 1982. Shortly after, he suffered a massive stroke that left him in a coma until his death on February 24, 1990.
During the "impossible dream" of 1967, Red Sox slugger and the 1963 batting champion,
Carl Yastrzemski, led the Red Sox in his break-out season, transforming his young career and elevating himself from All-Starto Most Valuable Player. "Yaz" led the Red Sox in batting average, hits, home runs, runs batted in, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, on-base + slugging, games played, at bat appearances, runs scored, total bases, doubles, base on balls (walks) and extra base hits. He was also named to his fourth All-Star Game, which was the third straight year he received this honor.
All of these team categories in which he led the club is overshadowed by his accomplishments in offensive statistics league-wide. Yastrzemski batted .326 on the season, slugged 44 home runs, and drove in 121 RBIs, which was good to lead the American League in all three of these main offensive categories. In leading the league in home runs, RBIs, and batting average, Yastrzemski achieved the
Triple Crown. Only one Red Sox player in history had reached this milestone (Red Sox legend Ted Williamsdid it twice — 1942 and 1947). Yastrzemski still stands as the most recent baseball player to accomplish this feat in the offensive categories. In the scope of this season that had began with low expectations for the Boston Red Sox, the leadership and outstanding batting by Yastrzemski added to the "impossible" feeling that the season overall had overwhelmed the New England region.
Yastrzemski ended the season with numerous awards and honors: 1967 All-Star, 1967 Most Valuable Player, 1967 Outfield Gold Glove, 1967 Major League Player of the Year. Statistically, Yastrzemski dominated the American League, as he had his own team. He led the league in: batting average, runs batted in, home runs, runs, slugging percentage, on-base plus slugging, hits, on-base percentage, and total bases.
"Note: G = Games played; AB = At Bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting Average; HR = Home Runs; RBI = Runs Batted In"
Awards and honors
Individual awards and leaders
* American League Most Valuable Player: Carl Yastrzemski
* American League Cy Young Award Winner: Jim Lonborg
* American League Gold Glove Award Winner: George Scott (first base), Carl Yastrzemski (outfield)
* American League Batting Champion: Carl Yastrzemski (.326)
* American League Home Run Champion: Carl Yastrzemski (44)
* American League RBI Leader: Carl Yastrzemski (121)
* American League All-Stars: Carl Yastrzemski, Rico Petrocelli, Tony Conigliaro, Jim Lonborg
Associated Press Athlete of the Year, Carl Yastrzemski [ [http://www.nndb.com/honors/906/000166408/ Associated Press Athlete of the Year (male) ] ]
* Associated Press AL Manager of the Year, Dick Williams
* Batting average: 1st (.255)
* Runs/game: 1st (4.46)
* Hits: 1st (1394)
* Home Runs: 1st (158)
Farm system[Johnson, Lloyd, and Wolff, Miles, ed., "The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball," 2nd edition. Durham, N.C.: Baseball America, 2007]
* Class AAA: Toronto Maple Leafs (
International League; Eddie Kasko, manager)
* Class AA:
Pittsfield Red Sox(Eastern League; Billy Gardner, manager)
* Class A:
Winston-Salem Red Sox( Carolina League; Bill Slack, manager)
* Class A:
Waterloo Hawks( Midwest League; Rac Slider, manager)
* Class A:
Greenville Red Sox( Western Carolinas League; Matt Sczesny, manager)
* [http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/BOS/1967.shtml 1967 Boston Red Sox team page at Baseball Reference]
* [http://www.baseball-almanac.com/teamstats/roster.php?y=1967&t=BOS 1967 Boston Red Sox season at baseball-almanac.com]
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