Ken Harrelson of BOSTON (4-3) gained a measure of renown with the A's because of his ability to ride Charlie O.—both the mule and the owner. Last week, Harrelson made news with his bat, hitting a homer in his first at bat for the Red Sox and then, in a 10-2 win over the White Sox, unloading another home run, a triple and a double and driving in four runs. "I read a lot of history," Harrelson said, "and history proves that things happen in cycles. The Red Sox are on an up cycle. Everything that has happened to them leads up to the pennant." But Eddie Stanky of CHICAGO (3-3) managed to rally his team. Sharp pitching by Rookie Francisco Carlos, Joe Horlen and Reliever Don McMahon, plus homers by Tommie Agee and Pete Ward, beat the Red Sox twice and knocked them out of the league lead. MINNESOTA (4-2) fell a game and a half behind by midweek and was in danger of falling even farther back. Then Rich Reese hit a two-run pinch homer in the last of the ninth to beat the Orioles 10-9. DETROIT (3-3) suffered the opposite fate. The Tigers took three in a row from the Angels to move within half a game of first place, then lost 3-2 to the Angels in the bottom of the ninth. Joe Sparma spent the next afternoon listening to recorded lectures on the power of positive thinking. It was to no avail, for negative fielding by his teammates (four errors) led to a 5-4 loss to the Twins. Fifth-place CALIFORNIA (3-3) was homerless for the week and its lead over sixth-place WASHINGTON (3-3) was cut to 4½ games. Bob Priddy of the Senators beat the White Sox 2-1, Dick Bosman stopped them 3-0 and then Frank Bertaina shut out the Yankees. CLEVELAND (2-3) and KANSAS CITY (2-3) played three straight extra-inning games. The Indians won the first two, 8-7 and 9-8, the A's the finale 6-5 on Danny Cater's fifth hit of the night. Those games averaged four hours apiece, which prompted Umpire Larry Napp to call the Indians "the slowest club in baseball...a disgrace." Asked why he had ejected Indian Manager Joe Adcock from the second game, Napp replied, "I just wanted him out of the game. I used any excuse." Jim Bouton of NEW YORK (3-4) won his first game of the season when Horace Clarke drove in the winning run in the 20th inning against the Red Sox. Mike Hegan's first major league homer, in the 12th inning, gave Fritz Peterson a 2-1 win over the Senators. A 10th-inning homer by Frank Robinson of BALTIMORE (3-3) slowed the Twins momentarily. A year ago the Orioles had the World Series on tap. Now things are different. Brooks Robinson is booked to be a model in a fashion show and will wear "a black double-breasted blazer of worsted hopsacking with pearl buttons, slim, tapered black-and-white slacks and a white wool turtleneck sweater."
Standings: Minn 76-58. Bos 77-60. Chi 74-60. Det 74-61, Cal 68-65, Wash 64-72, Clev 63-73, Bait 60-72, NY 61-75, KC 56-77
September 10, 1967
In a week crammed with fine pitching, no one did a better job of it than Gaylord Perry of SAN FRANCISCO (4-2). He started off with a three-hit shutout over the Dodgers, then added 16 scoreless innings in a 21-inning game against the Reds, the longest 1-0 game ever played. In response to the ovation he got when he left the game. Perry tipped his cap with his left hand. "I couldn't raise my right one," he explained. The win, however, went to Reliever Frank Linzy of the Giants when Dick Groat got an RBI walk in the 21st inning. Jack Lamabe of ST. LOUIS (5-2) beat the Mets 6-0, and Ron Willis came on in relief to help Larry Jaster and Ray Washburn wrap up four-and five-hit wins. PHILADELPHIA (1-5) began the week by beating CINCINNATI (3-3) for its eighth straight win, which moved the Phillies up into second place, but then the Reds came back to win 1-0 and 2-1 as Ted Abernathy saved victories for Gary Nolan and Milt Pappas. The Phillies went on to lose their next three games to PITTSBURGH (5-1) and tumbled back into fifth place. Those Pirate wins were at home, where they have a 41-27 record. The Pirates also beat the Braves twice on the road, where their 25-42 mark is, as Manager Danny Murtaugh put it, "one of the mysteries of this season." Matty Alou, last year's baiting champion, hit .500 for the week and took over the fourth spot among NL hitters with a .330 average. Clete Boyer of ATLANTA (3-3) brought his RBI total up to 82, 14 more than he had in his best year as a Yankee. Despite heavy hitting by Boyer, Henry Aaron and Joe Torre, the Braves couldn't get out of the second division. CHICAGO (5-3) moved 10 games over .500 as Ferguson Jenkins earned his 17th win and Al Spangler won another game with a pinch single in the 11th inning. Pitchers have been blown off the mound in San Francisco's Candlestick Park before, but the wind had to be stronger than ever to do it to 218-pound Don Drysdale of LOS ANGELES (2-4) last week. Drysdale managed to stay on the mound long enough to win his 10th game. Don Wilson of HOUSTON (1-5) also won his 10th game, and Cal Koonce and Don Cardwell of NEW YORK (4-5) pitched shutouts. Ron Swoboda hit the first Met homer in two weeks. Even so, the Astros and the Mets were the first teams to be mathematically eliminated from pennant contention.
Standings: StL 85-51, Cin 73-63, Chi 74-64. SF 72-64 Phil 68-64, Atl 68-65, Pitt 66-69, LA 61-72, Hou 55-82, NY 53-81
"I'm just swingin' the bat and lettin' wood meet horsehide." That is the way Jim Wynn of the Houston Astros explains the long-ball-hitting prowess that has made him the No. 2 RBI producer in the majors this season and that twice last week enabled him to tie Henry Aaron of the Braves for the league lead in home runs. Wynn already has 97 RBIs and 32 homers, and these achievements are all the more remarkable because of his size—he is 5'10", 165 pounds—and because the air in Houston's Astrodome is so well conditioned that helpful winds are nonexistent. Still, last June he became the first player to hit three homers in one game in the Dome. His first drive went 400 feet, his next 410 and the third 405. He has also hit prodigious drives in other parks this year. In Pittsburgh he hit a ball well beyond the 457-foot marker. And in Cincinnati he hit two home runs in one game over the 45-foot-high scoreboard in left field, one of which landed on an exit ramp of an expressway some 500 feet away. Thirteen months ago Wynn ran full force into a wall while chasing a fly ball and suffered fractures and dislocations of both his left elbow and wrist. Surgeons were not sure he would play again, but he came back strongly, perhaps because he exerted much the same perseverance that helped him in his earlier days when he was upset about his limited vocabulary. Carrying a pocket dictionary wherever he went and working on crossword puzzles helped repair that shortcoming, and extensive work with weights last winter strengthened his left arm. Wynn's speech is still not notably eloquent, but his slugging certainly has been.