Jim Lonborg

Gentleman Jim is mainly remembered for his gutsy performance in the 1967 World Series, after a Cy Young 22-9, 246-strikeout career season. The tall and articulate Lonborg had compiled just a 19-27 record in his first two seasons before leading the Red Sox to their first pennant in 31 years. He ensured the pennant by beating the Twins and Dean Chance on the last day of the season, the only time the Red Sox were in first place in a wild three-team race between the Red Sox, Tigers, and Twins. Four days later in the World Series, he beat the heavily favored Cardinals with a one-hitter 5-0 to knot the Series at one game each. He lost the perfect game when he walked Curt Flood with two out in the sixth on a 3-2 pitch, then lost the no-hitter when Julian Javier doubled with two out in the eighth. Lonborg then tossed a three-hit, 3-1 victory in Game Five to give Boston a 3-2 Series edge. A Roger Maris homer in the ninth spoiled the shutout and Lonborg’s 17-inning scoreless skein. By the seventh game and on only two days’ rest, however, Lonborg finally gave out, losing a 7-2 decision to Bob Gibson, who won his third Series game. After the dream season, Lonborg was largely ineffective, winning just 27 more games for the Red Sox in the next four years. He won 14 games after being traded to Milwaukee in 1972, then spent the remaining seven years of his career in Philadelphia. In 1974 he won 17 games, but the highlight of his season was a grand slam he hit on June 29 against Montreal, only his third career homer. He won 18 games in 1976 and went 11-4 in 1977 before fading out two seasons later.