Flashback Friday: Earl wonders if Boston is that damn good

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Earl Weaver

Sept. 27, 2013

"But if the Red Sox do it, then I'll have to say 'dammit, they're a pretty good ballclub."

-Earl Weaver, Sept. 17, 1975 

The Orioles close out the 2013 campaign versus the Boston Red Sox this weekend in Baltimore but are no longer chasing a playoff berth. The O's still had postseason dreams the last time they faced Boston, a mid-September match-up that gave just enough reason to keep hope alive.

This week's Flashback Friday looks at the 1975 pennant race when the O's were chasing the Red Sox with only one playoff spot up for grabs in the division. Then, like now, a mid-September series at Fenway provided a glimmer of hope that was soon dashed.

There wasn't a single Wild Card to be had in 1975, much less two. If there were, the Orioles would have been making their third consecutive playoff appearance and their sixth in seven years. Instead, the O's came up four-and-a-half games short of first place Boston with a 90-69 record, the fourth-best mark that year in the American League. 

The three-game deficit the Orioles faced in mid-September of 1975 didn't stop skipper Earl Weaver from expressing some bravado down the stretch. Behind three games in the standings after a two-game split at Fenway, Weaver slyly suggested the O's would win their final 10 contests.

"They still have to win seven of ten," said Weaver of the Red Sox. "We made a nine-game lead disappear in 10 days last year so we can hope that 4 1/2-game lead will disappear in five or six."

Then Weaver added the kicker.

"But if the Red Sox do it, then I'll have to say 'dammit, they're a pretty good ballclub."

Well, it turned out the 1975 Red Sox were indeed a pretty good ballclub. The Orioles won four straight after Weaver's proclamation to run their win streak to five games; however, they picked up only one game in the standings. The Yankees put an end to the O's playoff aspirations by winning three of four in the Bronx to close out the season.

The Red Sox of course lost the 1975 World Series in seven games despite Carlton Fisk's dramatic walk-off homer in the 12th inning of game six at Fenway. It made for good theater then and again more than 20 years later in Good Will Hunting.


1 comment

The 1975 pennant race, it's a

Submitted by Chao Guang (not verified) on Thu, 2013-10-10 12:19.

The 1975 pennant race, it's a true classic!!

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