October 30, 2018

In fairness to the champs, let’s remember the Red Sox, Twins and the ‘impossible dream’

The 2018 Boston Red Sox are World Series champions after they knocked off the Los Angeles Dodgers in five games to win their fourth series since 2004. The Dodgers won Game 3, the longest World Series game in major league history, but did little else in the series.

As the Red Sox marched through the postseason, I wrote about the number of times the Twins scored blow out victories over Beantown over the years. But in fairness to the champs, let’s remember a Red Sox team that finally put it all together in 1967, a year remembered as the “impossible dream,” when slugger Carl Yastrzemski put the team on his back and powered them to a winning season.

The Twins also had a good team in 1967. They led the American League and the Red Sox by one game going into the final two games of the season. The Twins had swept a three-game home series against the Sox in early August, and now looked to do the same at Fenway. The Red Sox had other ideas.

Harmon Killebrew

 

In Game 1, played before 32,000, Yaz went 3-for-4, including his 44th home run, and drove in four runs. Meanwhile, Harmon Killebrew also connected for his 44th dinger of the season, and doubled, but it wasn’t enough and the Red Sox won, 6-4. Now, both teams were 91-70 with one game to play.

In Game 2, played before an even larger Fenway crowd of 35,000, it was a match up of two, 20-game winning pitchers: Dean Chance for the Twins and Jim Lonborg for the Red Sox.

Once again, Yaz wouldn’t be denied and went 4-for-4 with 2 RBI. The Twins collected seven hits, but only had one extra-base hit, a double off the bat of Tony Oliva. Chance faltered after five innings, while Longborg went the distance and improved to 22-9 with a 3.16 ERA. The final was 5-3, Boston.

With the win, the Red Sox moved a game ahead of the Twins and clinched the American League to advance to the World Series to face the St. Louis Cardinals. Unfortunately for the Sox, they ran into a buzzsaw called Bob Gibson.

Gibson absolutely dominated the series. He won three complete games with an ERA of 1.00 (!) and struck out 26 batters in 27 innings pitched.

COMMENTS

Hi, I’m Rolf Boone and I love the Twins.

I became a fan of the Minnesota Twins after a friendly wager in the early 1980s. I survived Ron Davis, the meltdown in Cleveland, Phil Bradley at the Kingdome and then marveled at a rising generation of stars and two World Series wins in 1987 and 1991. Brad Radke made the 1990s bearable, while Kirby Puckett’s eye injury, exit from the game and eventual death made it almost too much to bear. The new century ushered in more talent — Joe Mauer, Johan Santana, Joe Nathan, Torii Hunter, Justin Morneau — and consecutive seasons of playoff baseball, followed by consecutive seasons of losing baseball. A winning season returned in 2015. So here we are. Go Twins.