1967: The Impossible Dream
For Joe Albiani, his favorite Fenway Park memories stem from the 1967 season, otherwise known as “The Impossible Dream.”
“In 1967, I went to the first and the last game of the year. This was back when they weren’t always sold out,” Albiani said. “They had ladies days when women got in free and they had double headers with one admission — it was a very different time at Fenway Park.”
Such a different time, that when Albiani tried to catch a foul ball at the season’s home opener and fell onto the field, he wasn’t kicked out of the game.
“I reached up to get [the ball], it hit my hand it landed on the tarp and I jumped on the tarp and just before I did the guy next to me just reached over and pulled the ball in,” Albiani said. “I skidded on the tarp face first onto the field. So I got up and a clambered back in the box. Today you’d be thrown out of the park.”
The Red Sox shocked everyone when they won the American League Championship that year and made it to the World Series for the first time since 1946, securing a spot in history for team members like slugger Carl Yastrzemski and pitcher Jim Lonborg.
“Yastrzemski did everything except sell programs. He never seemed to miss when it was an important time at bat and he played a great field,” Albiani recalled, “and Jim Lonborg pitched and he was a great fast ball pitcher, so it was a great year.”
Albiani was there when the the Sox beat the Minnesota Twins on October 1, 1967 to win the AL pennant and move on to the World Series. The score was 5-3.
“They won the last game, we ran out on the to field. I remember dancing on second base. Never danced — you can tell by looking at me I’m not a dancer, but I was dancing then,” Albiani said. “Kenmore Square was packed. People were stopped at the lights — couldn’t get through — they didn’t care. You know, for about a hour or so it was a different world.”
The Red Sox went on to lose the World Series to the St. Louis Cardinals, but for Albiani the memory of that season is still a happy one.
“Memories fade over time but the joy is still there. It was what baseball could be. It was wonderful.”
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