October memories: 2014 Royals resemble 1967 Red Sox – The Republican – masslive.com
To some of us, the date of Oct. 1 will always be special.
On that date in 1967, the Red Sox beat the Minnesota Twins on the final day of the season, and claimed the American League pennant when the Detroit Tigers lost their final game.
The Red Sox edged both the Twins and Tigers by one game. It capped the “Impossible Dream,” that saw Boston rise from a 100-loss season in 1965 and a 90-loss campaign in ’66 to win their first pennant in 21 years.
Life was simpler then, and so was baseball. With Jim Lonborg’s 5-3 complete game win in the books on Oct. 1, the Red Sox headed straight to the World Series, where they lost to the St. Louis Cardinals in seven games.
This year, Oct. 1 was equally memorable for the Kansas City Royals. They could celebrate, one day after a game they won’t forget.
Having made the playoffs for the first time in 29 years (the longest such dry spell by any North American pro team), the Royals rallied from deficits three times Tuesday for a 9-8, 12-inning wild-card thriller over the Oakland Athletics.
The 1967 Red Sox did not run with the abandon of this year’s Royals; base-stealing, in fact, was mostly a National League thing in the 1960s. Kansas City’s seven stolen bases Monday were accomplished by seven different players.
But there are other similarities between the teams, starting with how each managed to shed decades of frustration and break through to success with exciting young talent that ignored their franchises’ dismal histories.
The Royals have no modern Carl Yastrzemski, the 1967 Triple Crown winner. Their best approximation of Lonborg is James Shields, who was lifted in the sixth inning Monday – a blunder by manager Ned Yost that his team overcame.
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