The Red Sox win the 1967 pennant
As most Red Sox fans who are well-versed in the team’s history know, the Red Sox of the 1950s and 1960s were bad…really bad. Since being one of the best teams in the American League during the 1940s, the Red Sox sank to the bottom of the standings for the entirety of the 1950s and into the 1960s. When the 1967 season started, there was little reason to expect anything different in Boston.
The 1966 Red Sox had gone 72-90 and finished ninth out of ten teams in the American league. Heading into the 1967 season, Sox fans had no reason to expect anything other than more of the same, but a funny thing happened. The season started and the team started winning… and they never stopped. Even the tragic incident that injured Boston slugger Tony Conigliaro and ended his season on August 18 couldn’t slow the Sox down.
The final month of the season was a battle between the Red Sox, Tigers, Twins, and White Sox for the top spot in the American League. The teams traded places atop the standings all month heading into the final day of the season. The Red Sox finished the campaign with two games against the Twins while the Tigers had two games against the Angels. The Red Sox swept the Twins and then had to listen to the Tigers game on the radio in the clubhouse to learn their fate.
With the Tigers losing, the Red Sox finished the season at 92-70 and completed what came to be known as the Impossible Dream. Their star player Carl Yastrzemski finished his Triple Crown-winning season and the Red Sox won their first pennant in twenty-one years. They would go on to lose the World Series to the powerhouse Cardinals in seven games.
While the Red Sox didn’t complete their dream season by winning the World Series and ending their then-49 year drought, winning the pennant was still one of the biggest and most important victories in Red Sox history. The 1967 season ended up being the first winning season the Red Sox had since 1958 and they won their first pennant since 1946.
More than that, the 1967 team saved baseball in Boston and gave birth to Red Sox Nation. Prior to that season, the Red Sox were dead last in the American League in attendance and New England had long lost interest in the team. During that magical season, the Sox led the American League in attendance and re-energized the entire region, giving birth to the baseball-crazed region that’s so well-known to the present day.