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Jim Lonborg
Julia Morrill
July 02, 2007
Folks around Boston don't mind a trip to the dentist when the man behind the drill is a legend of '67
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July 02, 2007

Jim Lonborg

Folks around Boston don't mind a trip to the dentist when the man behind the drill is a legend of '67

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The fans´┐Żat Fenway Park were tearing at the buttons of Jim Lonborg's uniform. It was Oct. 1, 1967, and the Red Sox hurler had just thrown a complete-game, 5-3 victory over the Minnesota Twins on the final day of the season to clinch the Sox' first pennant in 21 years. Says Lonborg, 65, "I had to get back in the clubhouse to see what I had left on."

In Games 2 and 5 against the Cardinals, Lonborg set a World Series record by giving up just four combined hits in back-to-back starts. But in the seventh game, on just two days' rest, his right arm gave out, and Boston fell 7-2. Still, after finishing the regular season 22-9 with a 3.16 ERA and 246 strikeouts in 273 innings, Lonborg was the first Red Sox to win the Cy Young Award.

Of course, those were the days before free agency and multimillion-dollar contracts. So after Lonborg, who graduated from Stanford as a pre-med, hung up his cleats in 1979, his wife, Rosemary, suggested dentistry. Lonborg graduated from the dental program at Tufts in 1983 and three years later opened his own practice in Hanover, Mass., 10 miles from his home in Scituate. Among Lonborg's 3,000 patients are his former catcher Jerry Moses and more than a few Sox fans for whom '67 remains a beautiful dream. "Life as a successful ballplayer is the best in the world," says Lonborg. "Dentistry is more grounded. It gives you a great sense of community."

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