Schechter: How the Boston Red Sox won the 1967 AL pennant

From SABR member Gabriel Schechter at The National Pastime Museum on September 1, 2017:

One month remained in the 1967 season when Al Naples explained why the Boston Red Sox would prevail in the hotly contested American League pennant race. We saw no reason to dispute his analysis. We were 11th graders in the wilds of suburban New Jersey, and Al Naples was our math teacher. Once, he had played in the Major Leagues. Or, more precisely, twice. You could look it up.

Aloysius Naples, a native of Staten Island, had just finished up at Georgetown University and was playing sandlot ball in June 1949 when a scout for the St. Louis Browns, who already had a grip on last place, spotted and signed him.

When Naples joined the Browns at Fenway Park, they had lost eight of 11 games on the current road trip. He arrived in time to watch Ted Williams drive in seven runs in a 21–2 drubbing. The next day, June 25, Al Naples made his pro debut. He played shortstop and batted eighth as they faced Red Sox ace southpaw Mel Parnell and his 9–3 record.

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Originally published: September 1, 2017. Last Updated: September 1, 2017.