In June I was honored to participate in a panel discussion to kick off the “’Impossible Dreamers’: The Pennant-Winning 1967 Boston Red Sox” exhibition at the Massachusetts Historical Society in Boston (http://www.masshist.org/calendar/event?event=2265). The MHS was nice enough to post video of the talk:
— Recorded 24 June 2017 at Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston, MA —
Moderated by Red Sox historian Gordon Edes, panelists include authors Herb Crehan (The Impossible Dream 1967 Red Sox: Birth of Red Sox Nation), Bill Nowlin (The 1967 Impossible Dream Red Sox: Pandemonium on the Field), and Tom Whalen (The Spirit of ’67: Cardiac Kids, El Birdos, and the World Series That Captivated America). The panel discussion was in conjunction with the wonderful exhibition of Red Sox pictures taken by Boston Globe photographer Frank O’Brien in 1967. O’Brien, who also participated in the panel discussion had almost unlimited access to the 1967 red Sox team.
In the spring of 1967, the Boston Red Sox were coming off a season in which they had lost 90 games, and seemingly were locked in a state of mediocrity. Owner Tom Yawkey was discussing the need for a new ballpark and even hinted he might move and/or sell the club. Boston was in the midst of one of its worst economic downturns and fan interest had tapered off, with attendance barely half of what it had been in the 1940s. That all changed when a 100 to 1 longshot ballclub led by a rookie manager, Dick Williams, and a superstar left fielder, Carl Yastrzemski, won the American League pennant on the final day of the season after one of the closest races in history. “The Impossible Dream Red Sox” built the foundation of what we now know as Red Sox Nation and transformed the franchise forever.