Carl Yastrzemski made the Red Sox's impossible dream a reality during the 1967 baseball season. Ninth-place finishers a year earlier, the Sox owed their success in 1967 to a midseason transformation that brought them pitcher Gary Bell, infielder Jerry Adair, catcher Elston Howard, and outfielder Ken Harrelson. It was, however, Yaz who defined the team. His .326 season with 44 home runs and 121 RBI led the American League, and he took both the Triple Crown and the 1966 American League Most Valuable Player Award.
Though Yaz and company pushed the 1967 World Series to the full seven games, they couldn't beat the Cardinals' ace, Bob Gibson, in the biggest game.
Gibson had to overcome adversity to even get to the Series that year, missing the second half of the season after having his leg broken by a Roberto Clemente line drive. In his absence, San Francisco journeyman Mike McCormick (22-10, 2.85 ERA) won the National League's Cy Young Award.
St. Louis had an award-winner in MVP Orlando Cepeda (.325 average, 25 homers, a league-high 111 RBI). Pittsburgh's Clemente led batting with a .357 average. Hank Aaron topped the league with 39 homers. Phil Niekro of Atlanta led the circuit with his 1.87 ERA. Houston's Don Wilson pitched a no-hitter against Atlanta on June 18. The league's top rookie was the Mets' Tom Seaver (16-13, 2.76 ERA).
Tom Seaver was the
1967 National League
Rookie of the Year.
With the collapse of the Orioles, four teams in the American League battled in a close pennant race. Boston's Jim Lonborg won the Cy Young Award with a 22-9 record and a 3.16 ERA. The Twins had Harmon Killebrew (.269 average, a league-leading 44 homers, 113 RBI), Dean Chance (20-14, 2.73 ERA, a no-hitter in August), and Rookie of the Year Rod Carew (.292 average, eight homers, 51 RBI).
The Tigers were spearheaded by Al Kaline (.308 average, 25 homers, 78 RBI) and Earl Wilson (tied for the circuit-lead in wins with Lonborg at 22).
ERA champ Joe Horlen (19-7, 2.06 ERA) led the White Sox to a league-low 2.45 team mark. Meanwhile, Mickey Mantle of New York hit his 500th homer on May 14.
Down the stretch went the four teams. On September 7, there was a four-way tie for first. The White Sox fell from the race while the Red Sox, who had lost right fielder Tony Conigliaro to a near-fatal beaning in August, could have been eliminated by losing either of its two games to the Twins. Yastrzemski went 7-for-8 in those games, executing a game-winning homer and a game-saving throw, and the Red Sox won both. Yaz clinched the 1967 MVP Award by going 23-for-46 with five homers and 16 RBI down the stretch. Detroit could still have tied by sweeping California in a doubleheader. The Tigers won the first game but lost the second, 8-5. The Red Sox won the 1967 pennant by one game over Detroit and Minnesota.
The 1967 Series unexpectedly went the full seven, though the Cards, winners of 101 games during the season, clearly were superior. In the end, Gibson was the difference, winning three complete games 2-1, 6-0, and 7-2, striking out 26 and walking only five. Lonborg won his first two games 5-0 and 3-1, but could not beat Gibson in the 7-2 seventh game.
Lou Brock (.414 average) and Roger Maris (.385 average, seven RBI) were the hitting stars for St. Louis; Brock stole a Series-record seven bases and scored eight runs. Yastrzemski, not surprisingly, led the Red Sox with a .400 average, three homers, and five RBI.
You can read headlines of the 1967 baseball season on the next page.
To learn more about baseball, see:
- 1966 Baseball Season
- 1968 Baseball Season
- Baseball History
- How Baseball Works
- How the Baseball Hall of Fame Works
- How Minor League Baseball Teams Work
- Babe Ruth
1967 Baseball Season Headlines
In 1967, some serious on-field injuries turned out to be lucky escapes, and competition among teams was fierce to the end. Here are some of the headlines of the 1967 baseball season:
Hank Aaron Zeroes in on 500 Home Runs
In the mid-1960s, Hank Aaron said that he hoped to hit around 500 home runs in his career. He had 481 dingers at the end of the 1967 season, his fourth and last as the National League-leader. Aaron cleared the 500 mark in 1968.
Carl Yastrzemski Leads Across the Board
Although Carl Yastrzemski led the American League in almost every major offensive department in 1967 -- .326 batting average, .622 slugging average, 112 runs scored, 189 hits, 44 homers (tied for first), 360 total bases, 121 RBI, .421 OBP -- he was not a unanimous MVP selection. One New York writer voted for Cesar Tovar of the Twins. Some observers felt the reason for the choice was that the Red Sox took the flag while the Yankees finished ninth.
Lou Brock: Best in Runs, Steals
Lou Brock topped the National League in thefts in 1967 with 52, tied for first in runs scored with 113, and was second in total bases with 325 and hits with 206. Defense was another story: For the fourth consecutive year, Brock led National League outfielders in errors.
Dick Williams Wins American League Pennant
Dick Williams of the Red Sox joined a select fraternity in 1967 when he won a pennant in his first season managing. Three years earlier, in his last season as a player, Williams hit .159 for the Crimson Hose. He then managed the minor league Sox affiliate in Toronto for two campaigns before assuming the Boston helm.
Orlando Cepeda Wins Unanimous MVP Vote
Reaping the rewards that came with playing on a pennant-winning team, Orlando Cepeda was a unanimous choice for the National League MVP Award in 1967. He hit .325 that year, tallying 25 home runs and a league-high 111 RBI. Six years earlier, he posted a better season (.311 with 46 home runs and 142 RBI) yet finished second in the voting because his team at the time (the Giants) was an also-ran.
Jim Lonborg Leads Loop in Wins, Ks
A skiing accident deprived Jim Lonborg of the greatness that might have been his. He was the top pitcher in the American League in 1967 at age 24, tying for most wins in the circuit with 22 and topping the loop with 246 strikeouts. He did not again hurl more than 200 innings in a season until five years later. In 1978, his final full season, Lonborg logged 22 starts yet just 114 innings.
Ron Santo's 96 Walks Lead National League
Although Ron Santo led the National League in bases on balls four times during the 1960s, he never walked more than 100 times in a season. Between 1964 and 1968, no National League player broke the 100-walk barrier. In 1964, Santo topped the senior circuit with just 86 walks, the fewest since 1933 by a leader in either league. In 1967, he posted a loop-high 96 walks, 35 fewer than the American League-high.
Tommy John: 2.47 ERA, Ten Wins
Although Tommy John placed fourth in the American League in 1967 with a 2.47 ERA, he had only a 10-13 record. His team, the White Sox, batted .225 and scored just 531 runs that year, making life miserable for all the club's hurlers. No regular on the Pale Hose hit above .241 that season.
Additional headlines from the 1967 baseball season are on the next page.
To learn more about baseball, see:
More 1967 Baseball Headlines
Harmon Killebrew Nails 44 Homers
Harmon Killebrew tied Carl Yastrzemski for the American League home-run crown in 1967 with 44 and came in third in the circuit with a .413 OBP (despite hitting just .269). Three years earlier, Killebrew had led the junior loop with 49 homer yet collected only 61 extra-base hits (one triple and 11 doubles).
Mike McCormick Nabs Cy Young Award
Signed for a large bonus by the Giants while they were still in New York, Mike McCormick made his major league debut in 1956 when he was just 17. Traded back to the Giants in 1967 by Washington, McCormick went 22-10 with five shutouts and a 2.85 ERA to unexpectedly snare the Cy Young Award.
Lew Burdette Winds Up Career in Pen
Lew Burdette ended his career in 1967 as he began it 17 years earlier -- in the bullpen. His 203rd and last victory came as a reliever with the Angels. Burdette, one of the few 200-game winners who gave up more than a hit an inning, seemed an unlikely stopper but was actually quite successful.
Bill Mazeroski Nabs Every Ball in Sight
In his early teens, Bill Mazeroski was a shortstop. He never played a single inning at that position in the majors, however. Mazeroski's fielding prowess as a second baseman was such that batters despaired when they hit anywhere near him. In 1967, he accepted 158 more chances than any other second sacker in the National League.
Lou Brock Scores in Series
Lou Brock scored the Cardinals' first run in game six of the 1967 World Series. The Red Sox catcher was Elston Howard. Brock scored eight runs in the event, batting .414 and stealing seven bases. Howard was behind the plate in all seven contests, despite hitting a meager .147 after joining Boston in August. He replaced Mike Ryan, who hit .199 during the regular season.
Tony Perez Stars at Third
To free a spot for Tony Perez in 1967, the Reds moved Pete Rose to left field and switched Tommy Helms to second base, Rose's former position. The shift paid immediate dividends. Perez knocked home 102 runs to lead all third basemen and nailed 26 homers to top the Reds that season.
Tony Conigliaro Beaned
Tony Conigliaro had a .287 average and 20 home runs when he was struck by a pitch thrown by Jack Hamilton of the Angels in mid-August 1967. His place was taken by Jose Tartabull, who averaged .223 and didn't hit a single homer all season.
Carl Yastrzemski Hits Home Run in Game Two
Carl Yastrzemski unloaded his second home run in game two of the 1967 World Series. The Cardinal catcher was Tim McCarver. Yaz's clout came in the seventh and cemented the 5-0 win for pitcher Jim Lonborg. Boston clubbed a total of eight homers in the tournament, including a dinger by pitcher Jose Santiago in his first Series at-bat.
Injured Bob Gibson Stars in Series
Shelved for much of the season due to a broken leg, Bob Gibson acquired just 13 wins in 1967. In 1966, he had been the first pitcher since the end of the dead-ball era to win 20 games two years in a row for a second-division team. Gibson more than made up for the 1967 season in the World Series, collecting a 1.00 ERA, and 26 strikeouts in 27 innings pitched.
Additional highlights from the 1967 baseball season are on the next page.
To learn more about baseball, see:
1967 Baseball Season HighlightsThe 1967 baseball season featured 500th homers by two players -- Mickey Mantle and Eddie Mathews -- while Harmon Killebrew and Carl Yastrzemski tied for the American League home run crown. Below, you will find the highlights from the 1967 baseball season:
- The Cards breeze to a National League pennant.
- The Red Sox win the American League flag on the last day in four-team race.
- The Cards win the 1967 World Series in seven games.
- Bob Gibson wins three Series games for the Cards despite missing a third of the season with a broken leg.
- Jim Lonborg wins two games for the Red Sox in 1967 Series, but is beaten in game seven when he pitches on three days' rest.
- Cardinal Lou Brock hits .414, steals a Series record seven bases, and scores eight runs.
- Carl Yastrzemski hits .400 for Red Sox, and cracks three homers.
- Yaz is the near-unanimous 1967 American League Most Valuable Player after winning Triple Crown (.326 BA, 44 homers, 121 RBI).
- Yaz leads the American League in runs (112), hits (189), total bases (360), runs produced (189), OBP (.421), and SA (.622).
- St. Louis' Orlando Cepeda wins the 1967 National League Most Valuable Player Award.
- Tom Seaver wins a club record 16 games for the Mets.
- Seaver named 1967 National League Rookie of the Year.
- Boston's Tony Conigliaro is beaned by Angel Jack Hamilton; his vision is impaired and he's out of the game until 1969.
- The Twins lead the American League by one game with two to play, but they lose their last two games to Boston at Fenway.
- The Tigers also finish one game out, as they split two doubleheaders with the Angels on the last two days of the season.
- The Red Sox jump from ninth place in 1966 to first in 1967 -- the first team to do so in the 20th Century.
- Two Cy Young Awards are given for the first time.
- Jim Lonborg is the easy Cy Young winner in the American League.
- San Francisco's Mike McCormick wins the 1967 National League Cy Young and leads loop with 22 wins.
- National League wins the longest game in All-Star history, 2-1 in 15 innings at Anaheim, as Red Tony Perez homers to win it.
Tony Perez knocked
102 home runs in the
- Al Kaline wins last of ten Gold Gloves as American League outfielder.
- Mickey Mantle hits his 500th homer on May 13.
- The Mets trade Bill Denehy and $100,000 to Washington in order to obtain Gil Hodges as their manager.
- Don Wilson of Houston no-hits Atlanta on June 18.
- Dean Chance of Minnesota no-hits Cleveland on August 25.
- Joe Horlen of Chicago no-hits Detroit on Sept. 10.
- On April 30, Orioles Steve Barber and Stu Miller lose a combined no-hitter to Detroit 2-1 in nine innings.
- Whitey Ford retires with .690 career win pct., the best in history among 200-game winners, as he compiles a 236-106 record.
- Ford retires with a 2.74 career ERA, the lowest of any pitcher active exclusively since the end of the dead-ball era.
- While on leave during military service, Cubs pitcher Ken Holtzman posts a 9-0 record.
- Cleveland pitchers fan an American League record 1,189 hitters.
- Eddie Mathews hits his 500th homer on July 14.
- Television revenue is now up to $25 million.
- Roberto Clemente leads the major league with 209 hits and 190 runs produced.
For more 1967 season highlights, continue on to the next page.
To learn more about baseball, see:
More 1967 Baseball Season Highlights
In 1967, the St. Louis Cardinals won the World Series in seven games, their second championship in four years. Find this and other highlights below.
- Hank Aaron leads the National League in home runs (39), slugging (.573), and total bases (344).
- White Sox pitchers Joe Horlen, Gary Peters, and Tommy John finish one-two-four in ERA in American League, Horlen leading at 2.06.
- Yankees finish ninth in 1967 and are last in the American League in runs (522).
- American League BA is down to .236, as Red Sox are only team to hit above .243.
- Charley Finley is called a "menace to baseball" by KC's Hawk Harrelson; Finley then lets Harrelson leave as a free agent.
- White Sox finish only 3 games out with a club that has a .225 team average and no regulars who hit above .241.
- Ninth-place Astros are the only team in major league with a staff ERA above 4.00.
- Owners create the Player Relations Committee to cope with burgeoning Players Association.
- Minnesota's Rod Carew is 1967 American League Rookie of the Year.
- Boston's George Scott wins first of American League record eight Gold Gloves by a first baseman.
- Bill Mazeroski wins the last of a National League record eight Gold Gloves by a second baseman.
- Mazeroski tops National League second basemen in DPs a record eighth consecutive year.
- Cardinal Curt Flood's record streak of 568 consecutive errorless chances in the outfield ends.
- Roberto Clemente tops National League outfielders in assists a record fifth consecutive year.
- Jimmie Foxx dies.
- Mets use National League record 54 players in a vain effort to escape the cellar.
- White Sox use a record four pinch runners in an inning on September 16.
- Boston trades Tony Horton and Don Demeter to Cleveland for Gary Bell.
- Pittsburgh trades Don Money and three other players to the Phils for Jim Bunning.
- 1967 World Series winner's share is below $10,000 for the last time.
- Dean Chance wins 20 games and tops American League in CGs (18) and innings (284).
- Jim Lonborg leads American League in Ks (246).
- Jim Wynn sets Astros record with 37 homers.
- Mickey Lolich loses ten in a row, a Tigers record.
- Lou Brock tops National League in runs (113) and steals (52).
- Orlando Cepeda paces National League in RBI (111).
- Rusty Staub of Houston tops major league with 44 doubles.
- Vada Pinson leads majors with 13 triples.
- Chicago's Ron Santo leads National League in walks with 96.
- Phillie Dick Allen has National League's top OBP (.404).
- Harmon Killebrew ties Yaz for homer crown (44), leads major league in walks (131).
- Tony Oliva tops American League in doubles (34).
- Oriole Paul Blair's 12 triples lead American League.
- Bert Campaneris repeats as steals champ in American League (55).
- Jim Bunning, pitching for the Phils, leads the major league with 302 innings and 253 Ks, and ties for ML lead with six shutouts.
- Atlanta's Phil Niekro tops National League in ERA (1.87).
- Rookie Dick Hughes of Cards leads National League in win pct. (.727).
- Ted Abernathy, now with the Reds, paces major league with 28 saves.
- Minnie Rojas of the Angels leads American League with 27 saves.
- Fergie Jenkins of the Cubs tops major league with 20 CGs.
- Joe Horlen leads the American League in win pct. (.731) and ERA (2.06).