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September 11, 1967
Like worms in a bait can, four American League teams squirmed and twisted at the top of the standings as the best pennant race in years writhed into September. Home runs that would have been routine in July were saluted with extravagant cheers; errors that would have been anonymous in May glared as brazen as Biblical sin. The most startling turned worm in the race was Boston, up from last year's ninth place, drawing capacity crowds day after day to antiquated Fenway Park, refusing to quit, reacting to a disaster—the disabling injury to Tony Conigliaro (his cheekbone was fractured by an errant pitch)—by winning 17 of their next 22 games. The Red Sox lost a 20-inning game to the Yankees, the second half of a twinight doubleheader, but came back to win the next afternoon when team leader Carl Yastrzemski hit a home run in the 11th. The White Sox had their fans, the Twins had theirs and the Tigers had theirs, but the long-shot Red Sox were fast becoming the nation's favorites, like the Brooklyn Dodgers of the 1940s and the Milwaukee Braves of the 1950s.
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September 11, 1967

American League Frenzy

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The Fenway Park crowd answers Stanky's needling with a caustic banner, lusty boos and a sustained chant: "Stanky is a bum!"

Looking to the World Series, the contentious Stanky said, "We're fighting for $10,000 each, and I'm managing for 25 men."

Cisco Carlos (center) pitched beautifully in game White Sox won on home runs by Pete Ward (left) and Tommie Agee.

Early in the week Detroit had won three straight from California but then was stunned by the Angels 3-2 after Earl Wilson, an 18-game winner, had taken a 2-1 lead into the ninth. Still, they had 11 victories in 16 games when they moved into Minnesota for three games with the Twins, and they were in splendid position to challenge for the lead. But the edgy Tigers made four errors in three innings, gave the Twins three unearned runs and lost 5-4. Next day they were shut out by the Minnesotans and, just like that, instead of leading the race, the Tigers were back in fourth place.

"You can't give away three runs." said Tiger Manager Mayo Smith, "and expect to win too many games in a race like this."

Picked off first, Twins' Valdespino reaches second safely after Detroit's Norm Cash chased him all the way, did not throw.

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