On this day 40 years ago, Fenway Park was a sorcery kingdom
October 21, 2015 - Picnic Time
It was 40 years ago today. And it was magical.
You have uninformed eyes when we are 22 years old, relocating from a universe of a fan to a universe of a press box. My transition came in a autumn of 1975, uninformed out of Holy Cross, when a late, good Associated Press sports editor Dave O’Hara hired me to run quotes during Fenway Park. Kevin Paul Dupont got there first, essay genuine stories for AP during Fenway. we was usually a quote child for 7 bucks a night. But a press room food and beers were free.
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We all have special seasons in a safe of Red Sox watching. In some-more than a half-century as a fan and a scribe, we can bring 3 round summers that mount above all others on a award platform. The 1967 Impossible Dream Red Sox remade a legendary authorization from black-and-white to tone and showed a Baby Boomer era what it’s like to have a Red Sox personification genuine games in October. The 2004 Red Sox scripted a biggest internal sports story ever told, violation an 86-year abuse during a responsibility of a hated Yankees. Biblical.
But a 1975 Sox are shoulder-to-shoulder with a leaders in my personal foe for a bullion award of Red Sox love.
The ’75 Sox were talented, colorful, and extravagantly entertaining. They were a group we could love.
Start with Fred Lynn and Jim Rice, dubbed a “Gold Dust Twins” by Hall of Fame author Peter Gammons, who was during a tip of his diversion essay a daily story of this group for a Globe.
Lynn was Rookie of a Year and Most Valuable Player. He was also a best core fielder we’d see until Jackie Bradley Jr. came around.
The ’75 Sox had Captain Carl Yastrzemski. They had Dwight Evans in right. They had New Hampshire’s Carlton Fisk behind a plate. They had Spaceman Bill Lee and Luis Tiant, a best big-game pitcher we would ever see.
They had a nonsensical two-toned hats, and a excellent Ned Martin adult in a booth. They had an extraordinary adversary with a Earl Weaver Orioles, who had blown past them in an epic Red Sox throttle pursuit in 1974. When a Sox had what seemed like a gentle lead down a widen in ’75, Weaver came into Fenway and warned us, saying, “We’ve crawled out of some-more coffins than Bela Lugosi.’’
The Sox finally separated those Orioles on Sept. 25, afterwards swept a three-time universe champion Oakland A’s in a American League Championship Series. Thomas A. Yawkey done a 3,000-mile outing west and drank champagne from a paper crater in a visitors hall during a Oakland Alameda County Coliseum.
Then came a World Series, a tumble classical that in a minds of many stands as a biggest of them all. The Reds won 108 regular-season games and clinched their multiplication on Sept. 7. They had Hall of Famers Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan, Tony Perez, and manager Sparky Anderson. They also had Pete Rose, a male who got some-more hits than anyone else in a story of baseball.
With a Reds heading a Red Sox, 3 games to dual (El Tiante threw 163 pitches in a dirty Game 4 win in Cincinnati), a teams came behind to Boston on Friday, Oct. 17. That night, there was a World Series celebration during a Park Plaza Hotel, and pup reporters Dupont and Shaughnessy sneaked in for some giveaway drink and lobster Newberg with a genuine sportswriters.
In a core of a round bacchanal, a Globe bureau called looking for Gammons, who was always good for 3 stories and 2,500 difference a day. On this day, there was no “World Series notebook.’’ Could we assistance out?
Sure thing. Typing in a smoke-filled room, with a smell of Seagrams wafting though, a slipshod mainstay of Series tidbits was fast crafted by child correspondents who would be covering a Dual County and Hockomock Leagues one day later. The story seemed a subsequent day with a names tagged during a bottom. We were strictly “covering” a 1975 World Series for a Globe. There was no larger thrill.
A World Series cover created by Kevin Paul Dupont and Dan Shaughnessy in 1975.
Three days of sleet followed. Saturday. Sunday. Monday. Even Hockomock League games were rained out.
Finally, we got Game 6 on Tuesday, Oct. 21.
At 12:34 a.m., after Tiant had been carried in a eighth, after Lynn had done a locate and crashed into a unpadded wall in center, after Bernie Carbo’s splash three-run (game-tying) homer in a eighth, after Dewey’s fantastic locate in a 11th . . . Fisk walked to a picture and clanged a Pat Darcy sinker off a tainted stick in left. Organist John Kiley pennyless into a “Hallelujah Chorus,’’ and Gammons started typing:
“And all of a remarkable a round was there, like a Mystic River Bridge, dangling out in a black of morning . . .”’
Dick Stockton’s call — “There’s a prolonged drive, if it stays satisfactory . . . home run!’’ — would go directly to a Hall of Fame. With a iconic picture of Fisk fluttering a round satisfactory as he ran down a baseline, NBC would change a approach live sports were covered. A integrate of small boys from Cambridge, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, usually 5 and 3 years aged that night, would one day write an Academy Award-winning book with Fisk’s homer as a pivotal moment.
The subsequent day, as we prepped for Game 7, internal radio publisher Clark Booth suggested, “Instead of personification a seventh game, they should widespread tables and mottled tablecloths opposite a outfields and usually have a picnic, a feast to a stately World Series, and toast one another until dawn.’’
They played Game 7 on Wednesday, Oct. 22. The Reds won, 4-3, on Morgan’s broken-bat bloop singular to core with dual outs in a ninth off 25-year-old rookie reliever Jim Burton — who would representation in usually one some-more large joining diversion for a rest of his career. None of us who gifted it, during Fenway and in vital rooms, dens, and barrooms of New England, will ever forget.
Forty years ago.
The Globe front page a day after Game 6 of a 1975 World Series.Dan Shaughnessy is a Globe columnist. He can be reached during firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @Dan_Shaughnessy.