Jim Lonborg's all-too-brief tenure with the Red Sox will always be remembered for what he accomplished during a two-week span in 1967 and his help to lead the Sox in their "Impossible Dream" season.

Jim focused on baseball and basketball at San Luis Obispo High in California. He didn't make the varsity pitching squad as a sophomore, but by his senior year was its ace.

Good enough as a 6-foot-5 basketball center to be by Stanford, Jim earned an academic scholarship from the school. He made the baseball team, was on his way and left basketball behind.

After an MVP junior season at Stanford, Jim was invited by the Orioles to join the highly competitive Basin League in the summer of 1963. Playing in rural South Dakota on a team with future big leaguers Jim Palmer and Merv Rettemund, Jim stood out.

In a game where he struck out 17 batters, Bobby Doerr was in the stands and that's when the Red Sox started to make a strong move to get him. Jim wound up signing with the Red Sox and after two more quarters at Stanford, he reported to spring training with the Triple A Seattle Rainiers. He split the year between Seattle and Single A Winston Salem.

The next spring he was invited to the Red Sox big-league camp in 1965. The Sox were desperate for pitching help, and the 22-year-old was given a strong chance to make manager Billy Herman's club.

Jim's image seemed to capture the handsome young bachelor with a perfect meld of culture and cool. He was capable of taking the short stroll to Symphony Hall one night, then hitting the nightclubs in Kenmore Square the next. He also had pitching sense and confidence well beyond his years.

Jim became one of the four starters along with ace Bill Monbouquette, Earl Wilson, and Dave Morehead. In his big-league debut at Baltimore, he let up just two hits over six innings, while notching four strikeouts. It was a strong first impression and more strong starts followed.

With the Sox coming together as a team in 1966, Jim was solid. Hoping he had the makings of a big winner, the Sox management sent him to work on his breaking ball in the Venezuela winter league. After play there ended around Christmas, he went back to California and one of his off-season passions of skiing.

In 1967, awaiting the Red Sox in Winter Haven was new manager Dick Williams, a stern disciplinarian and Jim welcomed the change. No pitcher looked better in camp than Lonborg.

He got the season off to a good start, when he hurled 6-plus strong innings in a 5-4 victory over the Chicago White Sox. While compiling a 6-1 record during the first two months, Jim emerged as a certified power pitcher. He had a 13-strikeout, zero-walk shutout against the A's in one April game and 71 strikeouts overall in his first 70 innings.

Forced several times to leave the team between starts for Army Reserve duty, he would fly in on a private plane sent by Tom Yawkey in time to pitch another gem.

With Yaz guiding the offense, Jim set the tone for the pitchers. His low-key, friendly demeanor in past seasons had earned him the nickname "Gentleman Jim," but with the help of Red Sox pitching coach Sal Maglie, he was asserting himself more on the mound by throwing high-and-tight fastballs to keep hitters on edge.

Named an AL All-Star, he was 11-3 and leading the AL in victories by early July. Just before the break, he pitched one of the forgotten gems of the season. In a 3-0 win, in which he lost 12 pounds over seven stellar innings on a hot, muggy day in Detroit, the win halted a stretch of five straight losses by the team and was quickly followed by a 10-game winning streak.

When Jim earned his 20th win over Catfish Hunter and the A's on September 12th, it put the Red Sox in a tie for first place. A usually weak hitter, Jim aided his own cause with an eighth inning triple that scored the winning run, while moments later scoring an insurance run on a sacrifice fly.

Williams had his pitching rotation set so Jim could start twice during the last week of the season, including (if necessary) in the season finale. Fate and the schedule had the Twins in at Fenway for the last two games of the season, and after a 6-4 win by the Sox on Saturday, the teams were tied again at the top. Sunday's winner-take-all affair would feature a duel between Dean Chance (20-13) against Lonborg (21-9).

When uncharacteristic defensive miscues led to two unearned runs and a 2-0 Twins lead, entering the bottom of the sixth, there was reason for concern. But then came what might have been the biggest of the Sox hits, from the unlikeliest source in the lineup. Jim had an opportunity on the first pitch to lay down a bunt. Thirdbaseman Cesas Tovar couldn't handle it, and just started things off.

Jim quickly came around to score as the next three batters, Jerry Adair, Dalton Jones, and Yaz, all followed with first-pitch singles. The Sox had a 5-3 lead going into the Twins ninth when pinch-hitter Rich Rollins hit the first pitch he saw from Lonnie high into the air behind shortstop. Rico Petrocelli grabbed it, and the Red Sox were assured of a tie for the AL pennant. They claimed the flag outright a few hours later when second-place Detroit lost the second game of a doubleheader to California.

Jim finished the regular season 22-9 and led the league in wins, strikeouts (246), and starts (39) while placing second in complete games (15) and innings (273.1).

The thrilling finish left Jim unavailable to start Game #1 of the World Series against St. Louis at Fenway three days later. After the Cardinals had taken the opener, Jim was near perfect in evening up the series in Game #2. The Cards had no hits until Julian Javier's double with two outs in the eighth, and they did not get another as the Red Sox evened the Series with a 5-0 win.

St. Louis won the next two games to put the Sox on the brink of elimination. Then, starting his third crucial contest in eight days, Jim nearly matched his previous masterpiece in Game #5. Pitching a three-hitter, he had a shutout until Roger Maris homered with two outs in the ninth inning of a 3-1 Sox victory at Busch Stadium.

Through 18 innings, Lonnie had now allowed four hits with just one walk, the greatest back-to-back pitching performances in World Series history.

The Sox won Game #6 and Jim started the finale at Fenway on just two days rest against Bob Gibson. It was 7-1 in favor of the Cardinals when Jim struck out Curt Flood to end the sixth and the end of the "Impossible Dream".

After picking up the American League "Cy Young Award", the first Red Sox pitcher to do so, Jim signed a 1968 contract and then went to Lake Tahoe, California for some Christmas-time skiing a week later. There he wiped out while attempting a snowplow stop and severely tore ligaments in his left knee.

Flown back to Boston with his knee in a cast, the surgery was deemed successful, but Jim's pitching future was in doubt. He was in a waist-high cast for six weeks, then reported with the team to spring training and a rehab regimen.

Jim met his goal of a May return, but in compensating for his knee, he unknowingly altered his pitching motion slightly and placed added stress on his right shoulder. The resulting muscle and tendon damage would plague him the rest of his career.

Jim made his 1968 debut with a short relief stint in May but his final record of 6-10 and team-worst 4.29 ERA were seen as a major cause for the Sox fall to fourth place, 17 games behind pennant-winning Detroit.

Jim hoped another winter of rest would help him turn things around and for a while, this looked to be the case. By early June he was 6-0 with a 2.33 ERA. But he missed three more weeks after breaking his toe and then encountered more shoulder problems when he came back. He lost his last eight decisions to finish the season, 7-11, while the Sox wound up in third.

The 1970 season was even more frustrating for Jim. He had three strong starts to begin the year, but then his shoulder landed him on the disabled list again. When it failed to come around, the Sox put him on waivers and then sent him down to Triple A Louisville in July.

When he was brought back up from Louisville midway through the 1971 season, it appeared Jim had figured it out. He went 7-4 the last three months, and his final record of 10-7 and 100 strikeouts marked his highest totals since 1967, and he felt he was finally getting a handle on getting healthy.

The Red Sox, however, finished a distant third for the third straight year and wanted changes. In October, George Scott, Billy Conigliaro, and Jim were among those sent packing to the Brewers for pitcher Marty Pattin and speedy leadoff man Tommy Harper.

In retirement, with old Red Sox teammate Mike Andrews serving as chairman of the Jimmy Fund at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, the Lonborgs were longtime supporters. Dr Jim (now a dentist) earned recognition as one of it's leading celebrity fundraisers, and his wife, Rosie, worked part-time in the Jimmy Fund Clinic.

In 2002, Jim Lonborg was named to the Red Sox Hall of Fame.