Fenway Park

Oct. 1, 1967: Rebirth of the Red Sox

Since this started a weekend of baseball at Fenway Park that forever etched itself deeply in the heart of a 9-year-old boy from Exeter, forgive him if he seems to linger over it in this space.

George Scott homered to tie it and Carl Yastrzemski smacked his 44th home of the season, a three-run shot, to settle it, the Red Sox topped the Minnesota Twins, 6-4.

The triumph assured the Red Sox no worse than a tie for first place in the American League. The California Angels staged a six-run, eighth-inning rally to topple the Tigers, 8-6. That loss put the Tigers in the precarious position of having to sweep a Sunday doubleheader to stay afloat.

But the hindsight of history, at least for those of us sufficiently aged to recall it, insists that the Red Sox’ two wins that weekend were of secondary importance.

The renaissance of baseball in New England greatly overshadow the final American League standings.

It is close to unfathomable for young Red Sox fans to grasp how far the team had fallen in the years since Ted Williams retired. Crowds of less than 10,000 became the norm; Opening Day, 1967, brought in no more than 8,324 fans to the lyrical little bandbox.

Three months later, Red Sox owner Tom Yawkey spoke of mounting financial losses and his feeling that Fenway was no longer sufficient to house Major League Baseball. He wanted a new stadium, paid for by the city and state, and a separate stadium for his tenants, the Boston Patriots.

The Red Sox’ season ended with an American League pennant and a loss to St. Louis in a seven-game World Series. Losing the Series, for the uneducated, meant that the 1967 season wasn’t really that big a deal.

“They didn’t even win a championship,” the doubters chatter.

They finished first in the 10-team American League, giving it the AL pennant. There were no playoffs; the season ends, the World Series begins, and about 10 days later football season finally kicks in.

Winning the pennant was a big deal.

But rekindling passion for the Red Sox throughout New England was priceless.

You May Have Missed…

One win in the books

Celtics take charge in Game 1 What did we learn in Game 1 of the NBA Finals? The time outs are too damned long. ABC must be making the gazillion dollars Donald Trump will end ...

A few thoughts …

Red Sox still look like a .500 team Floating down a lonesome stream of consciousness, hoping that ABC’s presentation of the NBA Finals achieves the worst ratings in the history of TV ratings … Two ...

Fresh Content Direct to Your Inbox