In 1967, in the midst of a nail-biting six-week pennant race, the Red Sox, Tigers, Twins and White Sox stood deadlocked atop the American League. Never before or since have four teams tied for the lead in baseball’s final month. The stakes were highthere were no playoffs, the pennant winner went directly to the World Series.
Here, for the first time, all four teams are treated as equals. The author describes their contrasting skill sets, leadership and temperament. The stress of such stiff and sustained competition was constant, and there were overt psychological and physical intimidations playing a major role throughout the season. The standings were volatile and so were emotions. The players and managers varied: some wilted or broke, others responded heroically.
|Publisher:||McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers|
|Product dimensions:||5.90(w) x 8.70(h) x 0.90(d)|
|Age Range:||18 Years|
About the Author
A lifelong sports fan, Cameron Bright lives in Freeport, Maine.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
1“A bastard every day” 15
2“Hairy-chested home run hitters” 23
3“A bucket of warm spit” 30
4“Watch where you are going, Bush” 39
5“What are you crying for?” 46
6“A great manager from the ankles down” 53
7“I can win in the big leagues” 62
8“Hope like hell it goes somewhere” 69
9“The dry side of a fastball” 78
10“Getting an alligator to play the piano” 86
11“155,000 rounds of ammunition” 95
12“The dumbest pitcher I ever caught” 103
13“Sometimes you wonder what these kids are thinking” 112
14“Die right here in the dirt” 121
15“A menace to baseball” 126
16“That runt” 136
17Four-Way Tie 147
18“That friggin’ skinny, shallow body” 154
19“A well-mannered colored boy” 164
20“Too big for us” 176
23“We are now out of tomorrows” 204
24“Black Wednesday” 212
25“I’ll make sure I hit one for you” 225
26“It was a dumb play” 236
27“Surprised the hell out of me” 243
28The Last Game 256
The 1967 World Series 263
Epilogue: After 1967 275
Chapter Notes 287
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
One of the closest and craziest pennant races in baseball history occurred in 1967. Four teams in the American League – the Boston Red Sox, Minnesota Twins, Detroit Tigers and Chicago White Sox – were tied for the lead with six weeks left to play. Each of these four teams, as well as the California Angels, who nearly made this a five team race, are dissected in this excellent book by Cameron Bright. Also, it should be noted that this is a book that covers these teams for the entire 1967 campaign, not just the exciting last month of that season While the Red Sox chase to their “Impossible Dream” pennant has been the subject of numerous books and writings, they are merely one of four teams that Bright portrays in equal doses throughout the book. Unlike other volumes about the team led by Carl Yazstremski and Jim Lonborg, this book not only talks about the Triple Crown and leadership of Yazstremski (not a lot is written about his last month when he practically carried his team) and Lonborg’s courage in pitching so often, but it also exposes some of the flaws of the team such as their lack of speed and inconsistent play that kept the other three teams in the race. This is refreshing because if one looks at only the standings, the Red Sox had most of the same strengths and flaws of the other three teams. Those other three teams are not only given equal space, but their strengths and flaws are covered in excellent detail as well. The White Sox lived off their outstanding pitching staff, with Gary Peters leading the way. The hijinks of the grounds crew at White Sox park to keep the grass tall in the infield to help the pitching staff. But of course, the biggest story for the White Sox was their manager, Eddie Stanky, who was very outspoken about not only his team, but opposing teams as well. His frankness as well as how he handled his team makes for great reading. Coverage of the Tigers in the book is not quite so centric around one person or one aspect of the team, but nonetheless the reader will learn a lot about manager Mayo Smith and his team that was more balanced than the other three contenders, but fell short on the last day when they lost to the Angels. As for the fourth team in the group, the Twins had chemistry issues and were the only team of the four that had a managerial change in the middle of the year. This was illustrated quite well in the book when the players were voting on their World Series shares and the players decided to NOT allow their fired manager Sam Mele to collect a share - that was later reversed, but the damage to their team chemistry was done. The other major weakness of the Twins, their infield defense, was also discussed in detail and overshadowed the excellent production from their batters and starting pitchers. Many of the games played between the four contenders are recapped as well, making the reader feel like he or she went to those games even though they took place over fifty years ago. Readers who were following the sport at that time will enjoy reading about a thrilling pennant race in which they probably recall where they were when the Red Sox defeated the Twins on the last day to win the pennant. For those readers too young to have witnessed any of these teams, this book will help them understand why that season is fondly remembered by Red Sox fans.
It started a little slow for me because I had to learn all the teams, players and managers, but it was worth it. I really enjoyed following the pennant race, week by week and then day by day. I also thought all the side stories about the players and managers were very informative and entertaining. The research was incredible...5 star/excellent.