Thursday, September 20, 2007

Gordon Mackay's Memories

The beginning!

It was late Fall 1966, and the signs of Winter were all around. After the 1966 season few were thinking about baseball. I was not prepared for a phone call from my friend Tom Brown of the State Street Bank saying a number of people were interested in putting together a Red Sox Club and I would be receiving a letter from Dom DiMaggio.

A few weeks later I was at the old press room atop the roof in back of home plate at Fenway. Dom DiMaggio opened the meeting and spoke about the need for support for the Red Sox team. Ken Coleman spoke about the “Yahoo Club” and how important it was to the Indians. Bill Crowley, the Sox public relation person, promised support and The BoSox club was born.

We left the roof top press room with applications for memberships. 1967 - a sluggish season and our team was subject to many jokes which did not stop until the All-Star Game! Turn about came and the series became a reality and all of the doubters were now seeking tickets! At the beginning of the game, I sat there not able to call it “Red Sox Nation”, but it was indeed a new beginning!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Bonnie (Wilcox) Richard's Memories

My sister and I were 14 and 15 years old that year. We "cut" school for a World Series day game and went in to Fenway wearing homemade uniforms (there were no t-shirts or team jerseys for sale) My sister, Janice, wearing # 8 and me wearing #25 were interviewed and photographed by the Record American (now the Herald). We still have that photo along with my Tony C charm bracelet. Photo shows that I painted my room red that year in honor of my team.—Bonnie (Wilcox) Richard

Friday, September 7, 2007

Brian Savage's Memories

I was driving with my parents and an aunt from Boston to attend my freshman year of college at Nebraska. While listening to the World Series on radio we needed to turn our car around and head back East to hear the remainder of the game. (We lost radio coverage). When the game was almost finished we reversed direction and listened to the Red Sox win. When finally arriving in Nebraska, the Dream Team started in Boston, a memory formed and a friendship began at Nebraska.

A Classmate of mine by the name of Buddy Hunter and I became good friends. Buddy eventually became a member of the Boston Red Sox from 1971 to 1975 and I went to his games at Fenway Park, most of the time as his guest. Buddy, eventually ended his career as replacement to Manager Joe Morgan with the Pawtucket Red Sox when Joe was promoted to the Boston Red Sox.

Currently, I volunteer my time with the Red Sox Alumni on weekends at Fenway Park. My memory of that long drive will always be treasured.

Brian Savage
BoSox Club Director

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Bill Nowlin's Memories

My main memory of the year was attending the season's final four games. That was a roller-coaster, with them losing the first two but then winning and clinching at the last moment like the Cardiac Kids they were. I wasn't much more than a kid myself, younger than almost anyone but Ken Brett at age 22. I had to leave for the University of Chicago on a late-night bus the very evening of October 1, but I still made the game. I went with my younger sister Lisa who was 15. I don't have any idea where we sat and wasn't wise enough to keep the ticket stubs, but I do know that late in the game I led her down into the lower box seats. We were on the third base side in front of section 24. I can tell you that Red Sox security had no idea what was about to happen. We stayed in the aisle and worked our way down to the very front couple of rows.

The moment Rico caught the ball for the final out, I sprang over the fence and ran to the mound. I couldn't say now whether I had that in mind beforehand or if it just happened spontaneously. Whatever the impulse, many others had the same impulse. I found myself out on the field for the first time in my life, and was one of the first 20 or so people to get to Jim Lonborg. I patted him on the back, probably saying something inane like "Good job!" and then saw that there were hundreds of people flooding out from the stands. I got out of there quick, before I was mobbed myself. I met up with my sister back by the third base foul line and saw people running all over the field. I ripped a handful of grass out of the field (sorry about that!) and stuffed it in my pocket - but haven't got the slightest idea what I did with it later. People were tearing up the scoreboard; that didn't seem like a good idea. There were about 20 or so people who were climbing up the screen in back of home plate, up toward the broadcasters in the sling that underhung the roof. That seemed like a REALLY BAD idea. People in the booth were waving at them to get down. It's a wonder the screen didn't give and that a couple of kids didn't get killed.

We were all pretty excited. Even now, I don't ever remember seeing a single policeman or security person. Maybe if we'd stayed longer, we would have. Sooner or later, they must have had to clear the field. We left pretty soon, since I still had to get back to Lexington, get my gear together, and then get back to the bus station for the late bus, which I think left around 11 pm. Then we heard that the Tigers had lost and the Red Sox were in the World Series for sure.

I never saw a '67 Series game, and most of the fans watching in the student union building (I didn't have a TV then) were Cardinals fans. And it didn't work out the way us Bosox fans hoped. But it was still a great, great year - one I was happy to help chronicle while working with Dan Desrochers and the 60-plus members of SABR who created the book we published earlier this year.

Bill Nowlin

Dick Ossen's Memories

In 1967, I was working in the advertising business in Manhattan, when I learned from a colleague that a new Red Sox fan club had been started in New York. It was called the BLOHARDS, an acronym for Beloved Loyal Order of Ancient Die-hard Red Sox Sufferers of New York, and had been patterned after the BoSox Club founded in Boston earlier in the year.

Our first speaker was Manager Dick Williams, who promised at our September luncheon that the Red Sox would win the pennant. And so they did. That luncheon (and being a charter member of the BLOHARDS) will stand out in my memory forever.The BLOHARDS are still in existence, make an annual pilgrimmage to Fenway every Opening Day and host a luncheon on each trip the Red Sox make to Yankee Stadium.

The other great memory was being at Fenway for the last two games of the season. While visiting my parents over Labor Day, I was able to buy 6 tickets to each of the two games against the Twins. I left them up there, figuring my parents could give them away in the event we were no longer in the race.

Well, you know the rest. Three of us came up from New York, stayed at my parent's home and went to both games. The final game, Lonborg vs. Dean Chance, was the greatest sports thrill I had ever experienced up til that point. When Rico caught that pop-up the place went crazy. People all over the field grabbing a fistful of Fenway grass. People singing the BC fight song. It was a great ride back to New York and was made even better when we heard on the radio that the Angels had beaten the Tigers in their second game, giving us the pennant.

In a sense, the World Series was anti-climatic. It would have been nice to win, but we already had our Impossible Dream. I believe that was the beginning of Red Sox Nation.

Dick Ossen
Former BoSox board member

Greg Ambrose's Memories

It was a “coming of age” year for me in ’67. I was 19 that summer, hanging out more and more with my friends, listening to some wild music that my parents definitely did not understand. Definitely on the precipice of the “generation gap.” The one thing that held it together, especially for my Dad and me, was the Sox. Through thick and thin, before ’67 and well after, we could always discuss baseball. We didn’t always agree but we definitely did share the passion.

I went to around 20 games that summer, in the bleachers, grandstand, standing room only. Two stand out. In June, I think, the Sox played a twi-night doubleheader (where have those gone?) against the White Sox. The day before, WS manager Eddie Stanky had referred to Yaz as an “all-star from the neck down.” In the first game of the doubleheader, he came out of the dugout to talk to the pitcher. When he returned, Stanky was showered with trash by some boisterous fans, apparently resentful of his description of our main man. That’s when I knew we were onto something.

As the summer rolled on, you could feel the growing excitement for the team. There was, of course, the 10-game winning streak after the all-star game with the big welcome home crowd at Logan. There were a lot of day games then. We would listen at work as much as possible. I was a camp counselor that summer and I remember one game where the whole camp stopped to listen to the last of the ninth against who I can’t remember, as the Sox rallied to pull another one out.

In late August, my family was in Manomet for summer vacation. My Dad would work until Thursday night, then drive down for the weekend. I’ll never forget him walking into the house and waving two tickets (for him and me, of course) for the next to last game of the season, declaring that they were “the tickets for the pennant winning game.” Between then and September 30th there were certainly a lot of ups and downs, but on that beautiful Saturday we went to Fenway together and reveled in the Sox victory. My father was a man of little emotion but, on that day, when Yaz hit the three run homer, he waved his cap. A memory that lives forever.

The ’67 season showed me how sports could be a unifier. That year had the Vietnam War and continued racial strife throughout the country. It was the Summer of Love, long hair, and psychedelic music. But, at least in Boston, the baseball brought us together in ways that last until today. Long live Red Sox nation!

Greg Ambrose
Lynn, MA

Bonnie Brewer's Memories

I came to Sarasota, Fl after college graduation because the Sox trained here. (they left and went to Arz and I stayed as a teacher).

Itaught Jr High, social studies and PE. At that time there was no ML team in Florida. I immediately started teaching my students about the RedSox . During the 60's many of the games were played during the weekday afternoons. I was able to take a TV to school, rig up an antenna with old coat hangers and aluminum foil and we watched the
Series! Because most students walked to school, they stayed after dismissal to see the end of the games. Several teachers became interested also!

Each summer that I returned to Newton and Fenway I collected the wonderful throw away soda cups and brought them back with me. We used those cups while watching the games.

I still see former students at the Trop when the Sox are here to play the Rays. The spread of the nation that started in my classes in 1967.

Bonnie Brewer
Sarasota, Fl.

Joe Innocenti's Memories

My aunt knew Tony Congliaro. The night before he got hit in the eye, he came to my house while I was asleep. My mother and father answered the door. He gave me a signed baseball, still have it, "To Joe Best Wishes, Tony C". I am going to my local paper Friday to get interviewed about this.

Joe Innocenti

Rich Rediker's Memories

I was one of the few huge Sox fans before 1967. My credentials include being one of only a few hundred fans at the last game in 1966 when I was 14 years old.

As always, I was one of only 8000 or so fans who attended opening day in 1967 two times and I still have the program. I had to cut Physics twice to attend opening day as the first day it was snowed out.

I was at the last two games against the Twins and was one of the many people running out on the field to try to get to Jim Lonborg after the famous popup. I still have a bag of grass I picked from Fenway that day as well as the program. If anyone would like a few pieces to try to clone a yard from that sacred turf, I would be happy to part with some. I also have the official 1967 schedule on which I marked each game. Before the season, I bet 5 cents at 100 to 1 odds on the Sox to win the pennant. I won $5 but re-invested it on a double or nothing bet on the World Series and ended up with nothing.

Rich Rediker
Hampden, MA

Rita Slom's Memories

I'm one of those fans who has kept our tickets from all of the "big" games", the Red Sox and PC Friars. My husband, Aaron, and I had been at a Kiwanis convention in NH in Sept. 1967. On the way home to Newport, RI, we decided to go to a RedSox game. Actually we went to 2 games -- Sept. 30 and Oct 1st. I have the stubs, sitting in Sec 17 for game # 72 and sec 16, 3rd row for game # 73. I came remember the thrill of that last win. I wanted to go down onto the field and grab one of the bases, but the field was jammed with people. We were all yelling and crying with the thrill of winning that season.

Unfortunately my husband died the year before WE won the series. Fortunately our old friend Lou Gorman had got us tickets for the series when Aaron was still alive, so Aaron, my sons and I were all able to be at Fenway when the Sox did play. We did see Carlton Fisk!!! Hopefully I will get to see the Sox play during our last week this year, before the playoffs. Go Sox.

Rita Slom

Rodney Collins' Memories

On October 1, 1967, I was at Fenway Park in celebration of my 9th birthday. I will never forget that final moment in which Rico Petrocelli's catch clinched it for the Redsox and Jim Lonborg was mobbed by cheering fans. It was only my second Redsox game ever but obviously a memorable one. I have been a loyal Redsox fan ever since and I have never had a greater birthday present than the 1967 pennant. Carl Yastrzemski was my hero and the "Impossible Dream" team provided me with memories for a lifetime.

Robert A. LaRosa's Memories

In 1967 for the final game I was painting the trim on my house. I had instructed my wife to move the TV to each window that I was close to so I could see the game. So when the final out was made, a pop up to short, I was there on a 50 foot ladder looking in the window at the final play. Thank God I was young and stable.

Being a member of the BoSox Club we had access to World Series tickets. I took games One and Seven. I remember everything out those two games. All the men were wearing top
coats and soft hats. In those days, you dressed up for the game. In game one I was in section three. There I saw many movers and shakers of the Boston business community all pretty happy with there seats. Every time I take my grandchildren to theBoSox game I think of 1967 and Section three.

Robert A. LaRosa
Member since 1

Bob Rutchik's Memories

I have wonderful, priceless, memories one from the beginning, middle, and the end of the 67 season and a tragic one from that magical season.

Iremember sitting in my mother's car on a Friday April afternoon waiting for her outside the beauty parlor where she was having her hair done listening to Ned Martin and Ken Coleman call the action as BillyRohr tried for immortality, only to be denied by Elston Howard with one out, I believe, in the 9th.

Iremember watching that remarkable play by Jose Tartabull where he caught Ken Berry's fly and with his rag arm threw a fly ball to Elston Howard, now a Sox, who blocked the plate and caught the ball and tagged out Duane Josephson. (Or was it Josephson who hit the fly and Berry who tried to score?) That made me a believer because the WhiteSox speed and pitching game, literally, ran circles around the slow, ponderous, Red Sox. The Red Sox could never beat these guys. Now, the Red Sox finally beat them.

I remember being at Wonderland Dog Track on an August Friday night and hearing over the PA system the news that Jack Hamilton had beaned Tony and getting sick to my stomach. I remember that picture of him and his swollen left eye the next day in the papers. I knew, as otherSox fans did then no matter how much we wanted to deny it, that was the end of the charismatic Tony C's burgeoning Hall of Fame Career.

Most of all I remember the last weekend against the Twins with Yaz going 7 for 8, a triple crown weekend for the triple crown year. I remember Kaat started the Saturday game and Killebrew, I think, started at 1st for that game and made a big error. Yaz also made a great catch, but can not remember if it was Saturday or Sunday.

I remember as if it was yesterday after Petrocelli caught the last out me and friends going on Route 128, in my Mother's car again, to a car show at Suffolk Downs and listening to the end of the Tigers v. Angels game and that magic moment when McAuliffe, later a Sox, hitting that popup to Knopp and every car, it seemed, on Route 128 touting their horns in celebration. I still hear those horns.

I also remember Gentleman Jim Lonborg not being a gentleman on the mound. He hit, I thnk, 19 batters that season. Today, that would get a pitcher suspended for the season. He also was no easy out at the plate. I remember him hitting a double in
some game.

Bob Rutchik
Now of Rockville, MD
Then of Gloucester (Gloucester High Class of 65)

H. Tracy Mitchell's Memories

In September of 1967, I am just finishing my tour of duty with the US Navy, and all New Englanders on board the USS Randolph, CVS 15, home based in Norfolk, Virginia, were stuck to the "tube" for the summer, watching, or listening to "The Red Sox". I think there were more New Englanders on board than any other team fans.

H. Tracy Mitchell
Medfield, MA