Editor?s note: Fenway Park opened on April 20, 1912. NESN.com will be celebrating Fenway?s 100-year anniversary with unique content from now until April 20, 2012.
After eight straight losing seasons in Boston, new manager Dick Williams told the Fenway faithful that his club would “win more games than we lose.”
After Tony Conigliaro broke his shoulder blade and George Scott suffered a concussion from running into a wall during spring training, Williams’ words didn’t carry too much weight. Only 8,324 fans showed for the Sox 4-3 Opening Day victory.
However, Conigliaro hit a walk-off home run against Chicago in June after manager Eddie Stanky called Carl Yastrzemski an “All-Star from the neck down,” sparking the Impossible Dream season.
Yaz would go on to win the Triple Crown in 1967 with a .326 batting average, 44 home runs and 121 RBIs. Since 1967, no player has won the Triple Crown in either league
Despite rumors of a move to Milwaukee, the Red Sox won 10 straight games in June that saw Conigliaro become the fastest player to hit 100 home runs.
However, a Jack Hamilton fastball came up high on Conigliaro on Aug. 18, fracturing his cheekbone and ending his season.
Despite the loss of the young phenom, Boston remained in the hunt for the AL pennant. Chicago was the first team eliminated and a Red Sox win and Tigers loss would clinch it on the final day of the season. Jim Lonborg defeated the Twins and thousands of fans rushed the field before hearing about the Tigers loss.
Boston clinched the AL pennant for the first time in more 20 years before falling to St. Louis in the World Series. Along with Yastrzemski’s Triple Crown, Lonborg won the Al Cy Young and Williams was named manager of the year
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