On October 12, 1967, the St. Louis Cardinals and the Boston Purple Sox met at Fenway Park in Sport 7 of the World Sequence. Bob Gibson, winner of Video games 1 and Four, each full video games and one in all them a shutout, was on the mound for St. Louis. Boston countered with Jim Lonborg, winner of Video games 2 and 5, each full video games and one in all them a shutout.
The distinction was that Gibson was engaged on three days relaxation; Lonborg on solely two.
However how essential was this? In 1958, Lew Burdette shut out the New York Yankees in Sport 7 on two days relaxation. In 1964, Gibson defeated the Yankees on the identical brief relaxation, pitching a whole recreation. In 1968, Mickey Lolich would outduel Gibson in Sport 7 on the identical schedule, yielding only one run in his full recreation.
St. Louis used the identical beginning lineup it had employed the complete collection:
Lou Brock – LF
Curt Flood – CF
Roger Maris – RF
Orlando Cepeda – 1B
Tim McCarver – C
Mike Shannon – 3B
Julian Javier – 2B
Dal Maxvil – SS
As I mentioned right here, having Maris bat third appears odd even by the traditional knowledge of the period. As a basic matter, McCarver was a extra logical selection. Nevertheless, on this Sequence Maris was hitting effectively and McCarver was struggling.
Boston supervisor Dick Williams had juggled his lineup all through the early portion of the Sequence earlier than profitable Video games 5 and 6. For Sport 7, he wrote-out the identical lineup utilized in these two video games:
Joe Foy — 3B
Mike Andrews — 2B
Carl Yastrzemski — LF
Ken Harrelson — RF
George Scott — 1B
Reggie Smith — CF
Rico Petrocelli – SS
Elston Howard — C
Absent was Dalton Jones, the workforce’s hottest hitter apart from Yastrzemski, and a left-handed batter besides. Jones had managed three hits in opposition to Gibson in Sport 1. Superstition looks like the one believable clarification for preferring Foy to Jones on today.
Gibson and Lonborg breezed via the primary two innings, however Lonborg encountered problem within the third. Gentle-hitting Dal Maxvil led off the inning with a triple. Lonborg would later say he knew proper then that his stuff was beginning to “flatten out.”
Lonborg retired the subsequent two batters, however then Flood singled dwelling Maxvil and Maris adopted with a single that despatched Flood to 3rd. With the slumping Cepeda on the plate, Lonborg threw a wild pitch permitting Flood to attain. Cepeda grounded out to finish the inning.
Gibson, in the meantime was pitching one other masterpiece. Via 4 innings, he allowed no runs and no hits, whereas putting out seven. A stroll to Foy within the first inning was the one blemish.
Gibson enhanced his legend within the high of the fifth. With one out, he homered off of Lonborg. He hit a dangling slider to lifeless heart. Fifty years later, when the Playing cards celebrated their World Sequence victory at a reunion, Gibson referred to as the house run his most memorable Sequence second. “Don’t ever cling a slider to me,” the fierce competitor added.
The Playing cards weren’t finished. Brock adopted Gibson’s blast with a single. He then stole second base, and third as effectively on a stroll to Flood.
The clutch-hitting Maris drove Brock dwelling. Half manner via the sport, the Playing cards led Four-Zero.
Boston obtained a run again within the backside of the fifth. Reggie Smith led off with a triple and scored on an error by Javier. This was the Sox first hit of the day. Gibson set down the subsequent three batters.
There was no manner Williams ought to have despatched Lonborg out to pitch the sixth inning, however he did. McCarver greeted him with a double. Shannon grounded to Foy who did not make the play. Two on, no person out.
Absolutely that might be all for Lonborg. However no. With Williams reportedly anticipating a bunt and Lonborg asking to remain on, the Purple Sox supervisor continued together with his exhausted ace.
Javier smashed a 3 run homer to take away no matter suspense was left. Lonborg left the mound to a standing ovation from the Purple Sox devoted. Teammates within the dugout mentioned they noticed tears within the large right-hander’s eyes.
Years later, McCarver paid tribute to the Boston followers. “We’d by no means encountered that kind of fan,” he mentioned. “I solely bear in mind their rabid need to win.”
With the sport mainly within the bag, Gibson began throwing “outs,” somewhat than swing-and-miss choices. Having struck out eight batters via 5 innings, he struck out solely two the remainder of the way in which. This was the identical method the good right-hander had used to shut out Sport 7 of the 1964 Sequence in opposition to the Yankees.
The Yankees scored 5 instances within the second half of that recreation, dropping 7-5. On today, Boston scored just one extra run. That got here within the eighth inning. Petrocelli led off with a triple and scored on a wild pitch. Dalton Jones, lastly getting his likelihood to bat (as a pinch hitter for Howard) drew a stroll. However Gibson set down Norm Siebern, Foy, and Andrews to finish the inning.
Yaz led off the underside of the ninth with a single, his tenth hit of the Sequence. Harrelson, although, hit right into a double play and Gibson fanned Scott to finish the sport. St. Louis 7, Boston 2.
Right here is Gibson’ line for the 1967 World Sequence: 27 innings, three runs (all earned), 14 hits, 5 walks, and 26 strike outs. Plus that dwelling run.
Lonborg had come up brief. As a comfort, he would quickly be named the Cy Younger award winner, changing into the primary Purple Sox pitcher to achieve that honor.
Sadly, Lonborg broke his leg snowboarding in the course of the low season. He would by no means carry out anyplace near his 1967 degree, although he had a number of good years within the 1970s, first for Milwaukee after which for Philadelphia.
To today, nevertheless, he’s a legend in Boston.