this post covers the 1967 boston red sox and cards number 13 to 17 in the set. here are the fronts:
for the first time, upper deck goes to five players to represent a team. and the 1965 twins are still the only team without a 'memorable moment'.
let's break it down.
what team is this: 1967 boston red sox
why this team?: the red sox went 92-70 in 1967 to win the american league pennant by one game over the twins and tigers. in their first fall classic appearance since 1946, the red sox took the cardinals to 7 games before faltering and losing the series.
which players are featured: carl yastrzemski, jim lonborg, george scott, sparky lyle, rico petrocelli
why these players?: well, we have the american league mvp who also won the triple crown and a gold glove, the american league cy young award winner, another gold glover and the starting shortstop for the american league all-star team. 1967 rookie reliever sparky lyle also makes the cut, probably because he is 'checklist friendly'.
carl yastrzemski was, at 27, the oldest regular on the team. he was named the starting left fielder for the american league in the all-star game, won the gold glove, and earned the mvp award thanks to his triple crown numbers - 44/121/.326. then, in the world series, yaz hit .400 with 3 homers and 5 rbi. notice how upper deck declared him the last man to win the triple crown on his memorable moments card. maybe this year matt kemp will make that claim incorrect.
jim lonborg, the pride of santa maria, won 22 games for the red sox in 1967. he was voted the cy young award winner for the american league as he led the league in wins, strikeouts (246) and games started 39. his 3.16 era, however, was over a full run greater than league leader joe horlen. otherwise, the red sox would have boasted a pitching triple crown winner as well. in the world series, lonborg was spectacular in his first two starts. he threw a 1-hit shutout to even the series in game 2, and then tossed a 3-hitter in game 5, allowing just a solo home run to roger maris in the 9th inning. in game 7, however, lonborg was pitching on 2 days rest and gave up 7 runs as the cardinals dashed the hopes of red sox nation.
george scott won a gold glove at first base in 1967 while hitting over .300 as a 23-year old. he finished 10th in the league mvp voting, but hit just .231 in the world series with a double and a triple to his credit.
sparky lyle made his big league debut on july 4, 1967. he wound up appearing in 27 games for the bosox on their run to the pennant, going 1-2 with 5 saves while posting an era of 2.28. of course, we know that he made all of those appearances in relief as he never made any starts in his career. lyle did not appear in the fall classic as the red sox went with 18-year old ken brett as their lefty reliever instead.
rico petrocelli was named the starting shortstop for the american league in the all-star game in 1967. according to baseball reference, petrocelli had 13 go-ahead hits in 1967, so maybe the text on the back of his card is not just lip service. petrocelli hit only .200 in the world series, but 3 of his 4 hits were for extra bases, including 2 home runs.
the stadium on the back is...?: fenway park, of course. that's where the red sox have played since 1912.
did upper deck get it right?: knowing that the set also includes the world champion cardinals (they'll be next up on the blog) i won't complain about the team selection. they also got the stadium right, but it looks to be a photo from 2003 or so. the monster seats are in place above the green monster in left, and those weren't installed until that year.
as far as the players go, yaz is a no-doubter, although upper deck used a photo from much later in the hall-of-famer's career. i take no issue with the lonborg selection, and george scott and petrocelli make sense, too. it seems like lyle is a stretch for the sake of the team, but for the sake of the set checklist he may be appropriate as he was a big part of the yankees' 1977 team which is featured later on.
i would suggest that instead of lyle, maybe lee stange or reggie smith would have been better surviving representatives of the 1967 red sox. at least we didn't get stuck with ken harrelson.
the photos for lonborg, lyle and petrocelli seem to be of the period, but scott's photo, however, shows him with a uniform from the 1969-1971 era. those were the years scott played in boston when the navy 'boston' lettering was outlined in red.
is this team timeless?: i suppose so. it was the first red sox team to get back to the world series since ted williams' time in boston, and they battled back from a 3-1 deficit to force a 7th game. throw in the numbers that yaz and lonborg put up in '67 and you've got a keeper.