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Series Wrapup

Story

The American League experienced a thrilling four-team pennant race in 1967 that went right down to the season’s final day.  The Boston Red Sox, Minnesota Twins, Detroit Tigers, and Chicago White Sox spent most of the year vying for the top spot in the American League, with the four clubs engaged in a four-way tie as late as September 7.  The White Sox ended up being the first team to fall out of contention, although they still had a mathematical chance to capture their first league championship in eight years going into the final week of the season.  

Boston, Detroit, and Minnesota all entered the last day of the regular season with an opportunity to claim the American League flag.  The Red Sox clinched at least a tie for first place when they defeated the Twins in a head-to-head match-up.  They then clinched their first league championship in 21 years when the Angels defeated the Tigers later in the day.  The Red Sox finished the regular season with a record of 92-70, just one game ahead of both the Twins and Tigers.  The White Sox finished fourth, only three games back, while the Angels came in fifth, 7 ½ games off the pace.

The White Sox remained in contention as long as they did even though they posted a team batting average of just .225, had no one in their everyday lineup that batted higher than .241, and finished ninth in the league with only 531 runs scored.  The White Sox owed whatever success they experienced solely to their pitching staff, which compiled a league-leading 2.45 team ERA.  Joe Horlen finished 19-7, threw 258 innings, and led all A.L. hurlers with a 2.06 ERA and six shutouts.  Gary Peters won 16 games, struck out 215 batters, tossed 260 innings, and placed second to his teammate with an ERA of 2.28.  Although Chicago’s feeble offense limited Tommy John to 10 victories, he finished fourth in the league with a 2.47 ERA.

While the White Sox depended heavily on their superior pitching, the Twins, Tigers, and Red Sox were more balanced ball clubs.  Minnesota placed near the top of the league rankings in both runs scored and fewest runs allowed.  Harmon Killebrew paced the Twins on offense, tying for the league lead with 44 home runs, topping the circuit with 131 walks, and also finishing among the leaders with 113 runs batted in and 105 runs scored.  Dean Chance headed Minnesota’s pitching staff, posting 20 victories, a 2.73 ERA, and 220 strikeouts, and topping the circuit with 283 innings pitched and 18 complete games.
 
Detroit’s offense, which finished second in the league with 683 runs scored, featured Al Kaline.  The veteran right-fielder hit 25 home runs and placed among the league leaders with 94 runs scored and a .308 batting average.  Detroit’s starting rotation included Earl Wilson, who tied for the league lead with 22 victories, compiled a 3.27 ERA, and finished third in the league with 264 innings pitched.

The pennant-winning Red Sox had the American League’s best pitcher in Jim Lonborg.  The big right-hander finished 22-9, to tie Wilson for the league-lead in wins.  He also compiled a 3.16 ERA, threw 273 innings and 15 complete games, and led all A.L. hurlers with 246 strikeouts.  George Scott contributed significantly to Boston’s league-leading offense, hitting 19 home runs, driving in 82 runs, and batting .303.  Tony Conigliaro also posted outstanding numbers before a serious beaning ended his season prematurely in mid-August.  The All-Star right-fielder hit 20 homers, knocked in 67 runs, and batted .287 in his 95 games with the club.

However, Boston’s unrivaled leader throughout the 1967 campaign was left-fielder Carl Yastrzemski, who carried the team on his back for much of the year.  Yaz earned A.L. MVP honors by winning the Triple Crown with a batting average of .326, 44 home runs, and 121 runs batted in.  He also topped the circuit with 112 runs scored, 189 hits, 360 total bases, a .421 on-base percentage, and a .622 slugging percentage - all while playing a brilliant left field.  Particularly effective down the stretch, Yastrzemski batted .522, hit five homers, and drove in 22 runs during the final two weeks of the season.  His magnificent play made Boston’s “impossible dream” a reality, leading the Red Sox into the World Series after they finished ninth in the American League one year earlier, 26 games off the pace, with a record of only 72-90.   

Yastrzemski continued to perform at an extremely high level against the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series, batting .400, with three home runs and five runs batted in.  In the end, though, the Cardinals’ superior team balance and the dominating pitching of Bob Gibson proved to be too much for the Red Sox to overcome.  Lou Brock hit .414 for St. Louis, scored eight runs, and stole seven bases.  Roger Maris batted .385 and knocked in seven runs.  Meanwhile, Gibson earned Series MVP honors by defeating the Red Sox three times.  After posting earlier victories in Games One and Four, Gibson threw his third complete game of the Series in the decisive seventh contest, beating the Red Sox by a score of 7-2.  He ended the Series with 26 strikeouts and an ERA of 1.00.  Jim Lonborg also pitched extremely well for Boston winning his first two starts by scores of 5-0 and 3-1.  However, working on only two days’ rest, he failed to match Gibson in Game Seven.  

Other notable events from around the league and players who distinguished themselves over the course of the season included:

• April 14 - In his major league debut, Billy Rohr of the Boston Red Sox had a no-hitter broken up with two men out in the ninth inning on a single by Yankee catcher Elston Howard.  Rohr finished the game with a one-hit, 3-0 victory.  

• May 14 - Mickey Mantle became the sixth member of the 500-home run club when he homered against Baltimore’s Stu Miller during a 6-5 Yankee victory at Yankee Stadium.

• August 18 – California’s Jack Hamilton ended Tony Conigliaro’s season (and almost his life) when he beaned the Red Sox slugger.  Hit on the left cheekbone, just below the eye socket, Conigliaro missed the rest of 1967 and all of 1968.

• October 5 – Boston’s Jim Lonborg turned in one of the greatest pitching performances in World Series history in Game Two of the Fall Classic.  Lonborg retired the first 19 Cardinal batters he faced, before he allowed Curt Flood to reach first base on a walk with one man out in the top of the seventh inning.  He subsequently had his no-hit bid broken up with two out in the eighth by a Julian Javier double.  Lonborg ended up settling for a one-hit shutout, as the Red Sox evened the Series at one game apiece with a 5-0 victory.  The one-hitter was the fourth in the history of the Fall Classic.

• Boston’s jump from ninth place in 1966 to the top of the league standings in 1967 made them the first team to do so in the 20th Century.

• Each league presented its own Cy Young Award for the first time.

• Al Kaline won the last of his 10 Gold Gloves as an American League outfielder.

• Dean Chance of Minnesota threw a no-hitter against Cleveland on August 25.

• Joe Horlen of Chicago tossed a no-hitter against Detroit on September 10.

• On April 30, Baltimore’s Steve Barber and Stu Miller lost a combined no-hitter to Detroit, 2-1, in nine innings.

• Whitey Ford retired with a .690 career winning percentage - the best in history among 200-game winners.  He ended his career with a record of 236-106.  Ford also retired with a 2.74 career ERA – the lowest of any pitcher who competed exclusively after the end of the Dead-ball Era.

• The Hall of Fame inducted Red Ruffing, Branch Rickey, and Lloyd Waner.

• Minnesota's Rod Carew captured A.L. Rookie of the Year honors.

• Jimmie Foxx died.

• Bert Campaneris captured his third straight stolen base title, leading the league with 55 steals.

Batting

TM G AB R H RBI AVG 2B 3B HR SB CS TB OBP SLG OPSLG GIDP SF SH
BAL 1990 5456 654 1312 624 .181 215 44 138 54 37 2029 .296 .273 .593 103 54 82
BOS 2071 5471 722 1394 666 .188 216 39 158 68 59 2162 .271 .283 .579 103 40 85
CAL 2153 5307 567 1265 524 .184 170 37 114 40 36 1851 .316 .243 .616 114 23 88
CHA 2308 5383 531 1209 491 .172 181 34 89 124 82 1725 .276 .235 .543 102 32 67
CLE 2119 5461 559 1282 514 .187 213 35 131 53 65 1958 .266 .273 .558 102 28 85
DET 2141 5410 683 1315 619 .178 192 36 152 37 21 2035 .296 .271 .624 114 35 78
KC1 2142 5349 533 1244 481 .174 212 50 69 132 59 1763 .295 .242 .568 79 36 59
MIN 2141 5458 671 1309 619 .192 216 48 131 55 37 2014 .295 .288 .613 114 34 66
NYA 2051 5443 522 1225 473 .185 166 17 100 63 37 1725 .309 .256 .588 115 35 78
WS2 2180 5441 550 1211 521 .148 168 25 115 53 37 1774 .281 .206 .522 114 31 63

Pitching

Team G W L IP SO BB BF H HR ERA ER R GC SH SV WP BK
BAL 409 76 85 1458 1034 566 6037 1218 116 83.500 538 592 29 12 36 59 5
BOS 416 92 70 1460 1010 477 6098 1307 142 63.980 545 614 41 7 44 56 4
CAL 462 84 77 1427 892 525 5948 1246 118 67.910 507 587 19 10 46 61 7
CHA 454 89 73 1491 927 465 6074 1197 87 62.620 406 491 36 17 39 54 6
CLE 398 75 87 1477 1189 559 6148 1258 120 58.630 533 613 49 12 27 64 6
DET 417 91 71 1443 1038 472 5956 1230 151 66.730 532 587 46 16 40 44 2
KC1 426 62 99 1429 990 558 6019 1265 125 74.330 584 660 26 9 34 44 4
MIN 383 91 71 1462 1089 396 6053 1336 115 91.360 509 590 58 16 24 49 3
NYA 414 72 90 1480 898 480 6191 1375 110 61.00.00 533 621 37 13 27 32 2
WS2 491 76 85 1475 878 495 6144 1334 113 55.700 554 637 24 10 39 44 8

Fielding

Team ID G TC PO A E Fld% InOuts SB CS CS% PB
BAL 2331 7219 5329 1747 143 .966 17490 79 48 2.00 17
BOS 2480 7166 5352 1652 162 .970 17512 63 38 1.00 8
CAL 2550 7175 5302 1740 133 .968 17159 49 63 3.00 13
CHA 2696 7537 5403 1976 158 .971 17885 70 53 2.00 30
CLE 2591 7112 5342 1633 137 .948 17730 65 47 2.00 29
DET 2642 7141 5294 1691 156 .941 17321 79 38 0 19
KC1 2494 7016 5280 1580 156 .976 17138 76 36 1.00 17
MIN 2544 7151 5381 1624 146 .945 17532 70 48 1.00 14
NYA 2367 7532 5373 1979 180 .972 17768 71 54 1.00 8
WS2 2615 7451 5407 1881 163 .965 17679 57 46 0 16

West

Central

East

Awards

Silver Slugger

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Tagged:
1967 World Series, Al Kaline, Bert Campaneris, Billy Rohr, Bob Gibson, Boston Red Sox, Carl Yastrzemski, Dean Chance, Earl Wilson, Elston Howard, Gary Peters, George Scott, Harmon Killebrew, Jack Hamilton, Jim Lonborg, Joe Horlen, Mickey Mantle, Rod Carew, Steve Barber, Stu Miller, Tommy John, Tony Conigliaro, Whitey Ford

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