BOSTON — The Impossible Dream celebrated 50 years on Wednesday night, when Carl Yastrzemski, Jim Lonborg and a slew of other pennant winners were feted before the Red Sox played the Cardinals at Fenway Park.
The 1967 team fell to Bob Gibson’s Cardinals in a seven-game World Series. Before that, they injected life into a stadium that was dull and dim following years of losing.
“Well, I think it’s great because it brought the fans back to the ball park,” Yastrzemski said. “How many people showed up for Ted Williams’ final game, 10,000 at the most? How many did we have Opening Day? I don’t think it was full. And I know my previous six years, we were lucky to have 10,000 people on a Friday night. So it brought baseball back to New England.”
Lonborg, who won the Cy Young that year as a foil to Yastrzemski’s triple crown, didn’t have any regret that the Sox didn’t wind up winning it all.
“I don’t see the magic of this Impossible Dream team would have had this same feeling had we won everything,” Lonborg said. “I think the fact that we got so close and didn’t win almost was a better ending than having won it all and then expecting things to be perfect after that. It was bittersweet, but if I was a writer, I probably would have written that into the script.”
Reggie Smith, Rico Petrocelli, Mike Andrews, Gary Bell and Ken Harrelson were among the others to return to Fenway Park on Wednesday.