#35

Tom Brunansky's dramatic game ending catch
clinches the 1999 A.L. East title for the Red Sox

 

 

TOM BRUNANSKY

October 3, 1999 ... It ended with Tom Brunansky making the most sensational Sox catch since Dwight Evans’ Game 6 grab in the ‘75 World Series. It ended with Wade Boggs, near tears, raising his arms over his head and screaming “Be-lieve” to the hysterical masses applauding behind the first base dugout.

The 1990 Red Sox regular season ended last night. On the 162d and final date, under a giant pumpkin of a moon, the Olde Towne Team won its third division title in five seasons, beating the Chicago White Sox, 3-1, to finally eliminate the Toronto Blue Jays.  Last night’s Fenway victory averted a midnight Sox flight to Toronto for what would have been the third one-game playoff in American League history. Instead, the Red Sox are AL East champs and have two days to prepare for the World Champion Oakland A’s. The American League Championship Series starts Saturday night on Yawkey Way and the A’s will be prohibitive favorites -- just as the Jays were a lock to win the American League East.

Their run for the finish line furnished non-stop drama and fed fears cultivated by 72 years of failures and near misses. The Red Sox had a 6 1/2- game lead Sept. 5, lost Clemens, then lost their composure and direction. Everything came together when Clemens returned and they took two of three from Toronto in Fenway last weekend. Last night, the Sons of Joe Morgan finally sipped champagne with their wives in a private celebration in the Fenway Diamond Club under the left-field stands.

The Red Sox won the division title on the field, the way it should be won. Sammy Sosa started the ninth inning with a single to center.  Jeff Reardon then hit Scott Fletcher, putting Sosa on second and the potential tying run on first. Then up came Ozzie Guillen.  He hit a line drive to right curving behind the Pesky pole.  But Brunansky would not be denied. The final out -- Brunansky’s diving catch was a classic. Get used to watching the clip; this is footage that will grow old and yellow on the shelf next to Carlton Fisk’s Game 6 Series homer and Dave Henderson’s Game 5 ALCS shot.

 
 

WBZ TV, Channel 4
 

 

F   E   N   W   A   Y     P   A   R   K

 

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CHICAGO WHITE SOX

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BOSTON RED SOX

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W-Mike Boddicker (17-8)
L-Alex Fernandez (5-5)
Attendance - 33,637

 2B-Fisk, (Chi), Greenwell (Bost)

 3B-Brunansky (Bost)