I posted a tweet today about feeling old because today is the 34th anniversary of Carlton Fisk’s famous walk-off home run in Game 6 of the 1975 World Series. A friend responded to my tweet by reminding me that the Sox lost Game 7.
My response takes longer than 140 characters:
Game 7 of the 1975 World Series was a painful memory, just one of many for the fans of what was once the most snake bit team in pro sports :
Losing the 1946 World Series in Game 7 when Enos Slaughter scored the winning run in Game 7 of the 1946 Series, running from first to home on a single, allegedly because Johnny Pesky hesitated on throwing the relay home.
Losing the 1948 pennant in a one game playoff to Cleveland when Ted Williams was flustered by the “Boudreau shift.”
Losing the 1949 pennant to New York by losing the last two games of the year to the Yankees.
Losing the 1967 World Series in Game 7 to the Cardinals when light hitting Julian Javier hit a home run off an exhausted Jim Lonborg, pitching on short rest.
Losing the 1978 pennant to the Yankees in a one game playoff, featuring the pop fly home run by less than light hitting Bucky “F***ing” Dent.
Losing Games 6 and 7 of the 1986 World Series to the N.Y. Mets–both blown by the Sox in horrific fashion. (Vin Scully’s call of Game 6: “So the winning run is at second base, with two outs, three and two to Mookie Wilson. (A) little roller up along first… behind the bag! It gets through Buckner! Here comes Knight, and the Mets win it!”)
Losing the 2003 ALCS to the Yankees when Grady Little left an exhausted Pedro Martinez in too long and light hitting Aaron Boone homered for the win.
That was then, this is now. 2 World Championships, 2 American League pennants, 6 playoff appearances in the past 7 years. The Sox are arguably the best team of the new millennium. Especially since coming from down 3 games to-none to beat the Yankees in 2004, the old hurts don’t hurt as much. Sox fans were able to let go of the pain and the fatalism. I, like many Red Sox fans, made a pilgrimage to my father’s grave to let him know that the Sox had finally won–his 76 years overlapped the Sox’s 86 years of futility. He saw many games at Fenway in the 1940’s while in the Navy and stationed in Portsmouth N.H.
So the short answer to your tweet is–1975 was a hell of a Series, the Sox played well, but the Reds played a little better. I still remember that I hit my elbow on the drop ceiling in my parent’s basement when I leapt out of my chair as Fisk waved his homer fair. It’s still the greatest Series ever–and my Sox took the ’75 Reds (perhaps the greatest team ever–certainly the best team of the 1970’s) to seven games and almost won the damn thing. (I’m so much calmer now, I will not even mention Larry Barnett’s missed call on Ed Armbrister’s interference that cost us Game 3.)