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James Reynold "Jim" Lonborg (born April 16, 1942) is a former Major League Baseball right-handed starting pitcher who played with the Boston Red Sox (1965-71), Milwaukee Brewers (1972) and Philadelphia Phillies (1973-79). He was known as "Gentleman Jim" during his 15 year career for his fearlessness for pitching on the inside of the plate.
Born in Santa Maria, California, Lonborg graduated from Stanford University.
He enjoyed his best year in the Carl Yastrzemski-led 1967 Red Sox' "Impossible Dream" season, when he led American League pitchers in wins (22), games started (39), and strikeouts (246). That year, the Red Sox were involved in a four-way race for the American League pennant with the Detroit Tigers, Minnesota Twins and Chicago White Sox; the race was reduced to three teams after the White Sox lost a doubleheader to the Kansas City Athletics on September 27. The Red Sox and Twins faced each other in the season's final series and entered the final day (October 1) tied for first place; the Tigers were 1/2 game out of first and needed to sweep a doubleheader from the California Angels to force a playoff between the winner of the Red Sox-Twins game. Lonborg outdueled Twins ace Dean Chance in that finale, while the Tigers defeated the Angels in the first game but lost the second, putting the Red Sox in the World Series for the first time since 1946. In that World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals, Lonborg pitched what was only the fourth one-hitter in Series history. In addition, he received the Cy Young Award (becoming the first pitcher in Red Sox history to win the Cy Young Award), played in the All-Star game, and finished prominently in voting for the MVP award (6th in the voting, Yastrzemski winning the award).
After retiring, Lonborg attended the Tufts University Dental School and has worked as a dentist in Hanover, Massachusetts since. He is active in many nonprofit organizations including Catholic Charities, Little League Baseball, and The Jimmy Fund. He currently lives in Scituate, Massachusetts.
On the Boston-based sitcom Cheers, the photo of Sam Malone pitching is that of Lonborg. Sam also wore Lonborg's number 16.
- List of Major League Baseball strikeout champions
- List of Major League Baseball wins champions
- MLB All-Time Hit Batsmen List
|American League Strikeout Champion|
|American League Wins Champion|
(with Earl Wilson)
|American League Cy Young Award|
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