ON THIS DATE (August 26, 1972)
Just like in 1967, when wild things were happening to the Red Sox,
when it looked as though they were certain to lose and they made
furious finishes, today was an example of what might be ahead. The
Red Sox were trailing 6 to 2 going into the ninth-inning and all of a
sudden the place came alive, as the local nine beat the Texas
Rangers, 7 to 6.
There were five runs in the ninth-inning and Phil
Gagliano had ended it with a pinch-hit double down the left-field line, to score
the final two runs, while leftfielder Larry Biittner couldn't grab the rolling
ball after bobbling it twice. It was an inning to remember.
Jim Panther was on the mound to start the inning and Carl Yastrzemski drew a
walk. Ted Williams, the Texas manager, was in the dugout pacing around, but it
didn't seem to bother him too much seeing Yastrzemski walking to first. But when
Panther threw two balls to Reggie Smith, Ted motioned to his pitching coach, Sid
Hudson, to walk out there and get the guy off the field.
In came Casey Cox and he completed Smith's at bat by walking him also. Rico
Petrocelli was next and he smashed a long line drive to left-center field. It
went between the outfielders for a double and Yaz scored the first run, with
Reggie stopping at third. With the count 2-0 on Carlton Fisk, he hit a pop into
short right field that was caught for the first out. But he would be the last
man the Rangers would retire.
Ben Oglivie took it inside slider that broke in on his fist. The ball broke
his bat at the handle and dribbled down the first base line. Frank Howard, the
firstbaseman, was about to grab the ball when it hit the bag and bounced to his
right for single, as Reggie scored the second run.
Little John Kennedy was up next and whipped a single through the hole into
left field and Rico scored the third run, with Oglivie stopping at second. Out
of the dugout came Ted to talk to his pitcher. He pointed out toward left field
and ambled back into the dugout.
Up was Phil Gagliano and only once this year, had he come through with a
pinch-hit. There he was again while the fans were going berserk. Cox got the
ball inside to him and he hit a soft line drive down the left-field line that
landed inches fair. On came Oglivie with the tying run and there was Biittner
out in left field trying to find the handle on the ball. He reached for three
times and still didn't have it. Then third-base coach, Eddie Popowski, jumped up
and down, waiving for Kennedy to come on with the winning run. There was the
wildest of scenes at the plate once Kennedy slid across.