50 years ago today the Red Sox opened the 1967 World Series at Fenway Park against the Cardinals in furtherance of their Impossible Dream season. Jim Lonborg, on the mound for the dramatic pennant clinching final game of the season, was not available. So Manager Dick Williams turned to the 27 year old Jose Santiago from Puerto Rico. A below .500 pitcher the year before, Santiago brought a 12-4 record to game one and was a hero in his own right, having won the second to last game of the season which enabled Lonborg's heroics. He was slated to face future Hall of Famer Bob Gibson, 13-7 on the season with a 2.98 ERA and 10 home runs allowed. Gibson got the better of the Sox in game one and he would go on to dominate the 1967 World Series, winning 3 games with a 1.00 ERA.
However, Santiago would expose a chink, albeit very small, in Gibson's armour on this day. Trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the third inning he strode to the plate carrying a Don Demeter model bat, sporting a fair amount of pine tar. (Demeter had been traded away earlier in the year). And for the second and last time in his career he slammed a home run, in what would account for the Sox' only score of the game, a tough 2-1 loss. Pictured above is the bat that he used to hit that home run and carve out his part of the incredible story that is the 1967 Impossible Dream Team.