BOSTON (CBS) — Red Sox fans got to see a blast from the past on Thursday night.
Toeing the rubber for the first two batters of the annual Old Time Baseball Game was none other than 73-year-old Jim Lonborg, who helped guide the 1967 “Impossible Dream” Red Sox to their first pennant in 21 years.READ MORE: Small Earthquake Reported In Peabody
“Gentleman Jim” took the mound at St. Peter’s Field on in North Cambridge, dressed in the Red Sox uniform he wore for the 100th birthday bash at Fenway Park back in 2012.
“The whole concept is fantastic. To see all the old-time uniforms is a special treat,” said Lonborg, who hadn’t pitched off a mound in 15 years until Thursday night.
He received a rousing ovation from the crowd on hand, a reminder of what he felt during that magical Red Sox run to the World Series nearly 50 years ago.
“It always makes you feel good and feel wonderful about having been part of Red Sox history in 1967 and the World Series,” he said. “It just reminds me of how fortunate I’ve been over the years and come out and pitch tonight.”
The Old Time Baseball Game is now in its 22nd year, and raises funds for a different charity every year. This year it benefited the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, a cause very close to Lonborg.READ MORE: Donna McNulty Of Billerica, Dylan Barron Of Norwood Announced As Second VaxMillions Winners
One of the batters he retired was long-time family friend Skip Flanagan of Framingham, an alumnus of the NTID who currently plays college ball for Rochester Institute of Technology.
“To have them donate the funds to different charities over the years, especially this year with Skip Flanagan and the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, it was just a great thrill to be part of the whole festivities,” Lonborg said with a big smile.
As for his performance on the hill, Lonborg was happy with the results but doesn’t expect a comeback anytime soon.
“I felt pretty good. Not tomorrow though,” he joked.
In seven seasons for the Red Sox, Lonborg went 68-65 with a 3.94 ERA. He was an All-Star in 1967 when he went 22-9 and led the American League with 246 strikeouts. He was 2-1 with a 3.16 ERA against St. Louis in the World Series, winning Games 2 and 5 before taking the loss in the deciding Game 7.MORE NEWS: 21-Year-Old Woman From Boston Killed When SUV Crashes Over Guardrail On I-95 In Canton
Lonborg went 157-137 over a 15-year career in baseball, which also included stops in Philadelphia and Milwaukee.