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by Harold Friend
"Most ball clubs would have quit, but we didn't. I said last night's game was the best ever-played in baseball. Now I take it back. This one's got to be the greatest."
The Reds Rallied to Win
Pete Rose was speaking to reporters after the Reds overcame a three run Red Sox lead by scoring two runs in their half of the sixth inning, and single tallies in the seventh and ninth at fabled Fenway Park, one of the two greatest ball parks now in existence, to win the 1975 World Series.
Carlton Fisk's Game 6 Winner
Carlton Fisk's dramatic game-winning home run in the 12th inning of Game 6 has been viewed so often, it is likely that most fans, especially younger fans, think that it won the 1975 World Series, but Pete Rose got it right, as he usually does.
The Most Important Game
The sixth game was the most dramatic, but the seventh game was the most important. Fisk's home run gave the Red Sox life. It gave them a chance to become World Champions for the first time since 1918, but they lost. It would have been less memorable, but it might have been less painful if Fisk never hit the home run.
If the goal is to win the World Series, and your team fails, degrees of respectability in losing might be considered important, but the final result is still a loss. The Red Sox fought a valiant, magnificent fight, but the Reds were World Champions.
"It was an even Series and we didn't disgrace ourselves. The game was determined by a little flip here and a little flip there. That's how close it was." Red Sox manager Darrell Johnson was disappointed but prideful.
Red Sox starting pitcher Bill Lee summed it up succinctly. "They won by one run in seven games."
A team that loses the seventh game can look back and be proud that it gave its opponents a tough battle, while a team that loses in four games probably cannot, but the team that lost in seven games likely can point to one or plays that might have produced a different result. The team that was swept falls back on being pennant winners.
Pete Rose Again Leads the Way
Before a crowd of 35,205 enemy fans, Pete Rose opened the sixth with a single to right. After Joe Morgan flied out to right, Johnny Bench hit a hard ground ball to the left of second base. Shortstop Rick Burleson flipped to second baseman Denny Doyle to force Rose, but in avoiding Pete, Doyle made a high throw to first that went over Carl Yastrezemski's head.
Pete Rose prevented the inning ending double play. Given another out, the Reds scored two runs on Tony Perez' home run over the green wall to bring them within a run. They tied the game the next inning on a Pete Rose single.
Joe Morgan's Bloop Hit Wins It All
Ken Griffey Jr.'s father led off with a walk off lefty rookie Jim Burton. Cesar Geronimo bunted Griffey to second and left handed pinch-hitter Dan Driessen grounded to second, moving the potential lead run to third with two outs. Joe Morgan hit a little blooper that traveled about 200 feet into center that fell in for a single, scoring Griffey. It won the Series.
Carlton Fisk's home run is one of the most dramatic and memorable in history. It was a great clutch hit by a great clutch hitter. The only problem for the Red Sox was that it wasn't one of the most important hits in history.
By JOSEPH DURSO Special to The New York Times. (1975, October 23). Reds Win First Series in 35 Years :Reds Capture First Series Title in 35 Years By Defeating Red Sox, 4-3, in Seventh Game Morgan's Bloop Hit Snaps 3-3 Tie in 9th Reds Beat Red Sox, 4 to 3, Take Series in 7 Games . New York Times (1857-Current file),81. Retrieved June 7, 2009, from ProQuest Historical Newspapers The New York Times (1851 - 2005) database. (Document ID: 76617768).