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In honor of actor Andy Garcia and his (unintentionally) hilarious reaction to Sofia (Mary Corleone) Coppola's death scene in "The Godfather, Part III."
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White Sox-Kansas City A's "Unusual" Games trilogy-April 21-23, 1955-56, 1959

Posted 04-23-2010 at 07:55 PM by TommyJohn

Today marks the 55th anniversary of one of the greatest games in White Sox (and perhaps baseball) history-the Sox' legendary 29-6 thrashing of the newly-transplanted (from Philadelphia) Kansas City A's. The outburst tied the modern baseball record for most runs scored by a team in one game. The record had originally been set in 1950 by the Boston Red Sox when they laid a 29-4 bashing on the St. Louis Browns. The record held up through the 20th Century before finally being broken in 2007, when the Texas Rangers subjected the Baltimore Orioles to a 30-3 beatdown.

Some interesting facts about the the Sox-A's game: it was delayed by rain before it became official, and very nearly did not make the record books. Also, Walt Dropo and Sherm Lollar of the White Sox played in both this game and the 1950 Red Sox-Browns contest. In fact, they homered in both games. Dropo got to play on the winning side both times, while Lollar played for the Browns in the 1950 game. He undoubtedly enjoyed his experience better the second time around.

Funny thing-the White Sox and A's played three very unusual or record-setting games in Kansas City-and the three took place on consecutive calendar dates (though not in the same year, of course). The first was the 29-6 game, of course.

The second took place almost a year later-April 21, 1956. In that one A's pitcher (and future Yankee instigator) Art Ditmar twirled a 1-hit gem as the A's pounded the Sox 15-1. It was sweet revenge for the year before, and it also contained a record-setting event. In the 2nd inning, the A's scored 13 runs off normally stellar White Sox pitching. The kicker? All 13 A's runs were scored with two out in the inning. It remains a record for most runs scored with two out in an inning. Four White Sox pitchers were victimized by the onslaught-Sandy Consuegra, Bill Fischer, Harry Byrd and Morrie Martin.

The White Sox took a break and waited three years to get even, taking the rubber match of the "Strange Games Against the A's" trilogy. On April 22, 1959 the Sox scored 11 runs in the top of the 7th against A's pitching. There was something about this one, too-the 11 runs were scored on 1 hit, a single by Johnny Callison that was misplayed into a three-base error by the KC right fielder, one Roger Maris. Three A's pitchers-Tom Gorman, Mark Freeman and George Brunet suddenly started hurling the ball as if home plate were high and outside-they issued 8 walks and hit a batter. The A's committed 3 errors in the inning-as a result only 2 of the runs were earned. Jim Landis and Bob Shaw probably didn't have too much fun in this inning-they were involved in two of the inning's three outs-Landis grounded to the pitcher, who threw home to force off Shaw. The second out came when Shaw batted again and struck out. After two more gifts from the KC pitcher, Landis grounded out to end it. Interesting note: Tom Gorman, traumatized perhaps by his inability to find home plate that night, went in search of strikes by becoming an umpire.

Here are the two innings of those games, copy and pasted from retrosheet.org:

April 21, 1956-A's pound White Sox for 13 runs after two out (bolding of outs done by me)

ATHLETICS 2ND: Finigan singled to pitcher; DeMaestri doubled to
left [Finigan to third]; LOPEZ RAN FOR FINIGAN; Ditmar grounded
out (shortstop to first); Per NYT Finigan turned ankle at
3B; Power grounded out (pitcher to first); Jacobs singled to
shortstop [DeMaestri to third, Lopez scored]; Slaughter singled
to right [Jacobs to third, DeMaestri scored, Slaughter to second
(on throw)]; Simpson singled to right [Slaughter scored, Jacobs
scored]; Zernial walked [Simpson to second]; FISCHER REPLACED
CONSUEGRA (PITCHING); Ginsberg singled to center [Zernial to
second, Simpson scored]; Lopez tripled to right [Ginsberg
scored, Zernial scored]; DeMaestri singled to center [Lopez
scored]; Ditmar singled to center [DeMaestri to second]; BYRD
REPLACED FISCHER (PITCHING); Power doubled to center [Ditmar
scored, DeMaestri scored]; Jacobs singled to right [Power
scored]; Slaughter walked [Jacobs to second]; Simpson singled to
center [Slaughter to second, Jacobs scored]; Zernial singled to
left [Simpson to second, Slaughter scored]; MARTIN REPLACED BYRD
(PITCHING); Ginsberg grounded out (second to first); 13 R, 13 H,
0 E, 2 LOB. White Sox 0, Athletics 13.

April 22, 1959-White Sox score 11 runs on 1 hit (bolding again by me)

an error by DeMaestri [Boone to first]; Smith reached on an
error by Smith on a sacrifice bunt [Boone to second]; Callison
singled to right [Boone scored (unearned), Smith scored (error
by Maris) (unearned), Callison to third]; Aparicio walked;
Aparicio stole second; Shaw walked; TORGESON BATTED FOR
(walk was charged to Gorman) [Callison scored, Aparicio to
third, Shaw to second]; Fox walked [Aparicio scored, Shaw to
third, Torgeson to second]; Landis forced Shaw (pitcher to
catcher) [Torgeson to third, Fox to second]; Lollar walked
[Torgeson scored (unearned), Fox to third, Landis to second];
(unearned), Landis to third, Lollar to second]; Smith walked
[Landis scored (unearned), Lollar to third, Boone to second];
Callison was hit by a pitch [Lollar scored (unearned), Boone to
third, Smith to second]; SKIZAS RAN FOR CALLISON; Aparicio
walked [Boone scored (unearned), Smith to third, Skizas to
second]; Shaw struck out; PHILLIPS BATTED FOR TORGESON; Phillips
walked [Smith scored (unearned), Skizas to third, Aparicio to
second]; Fox walked [Skizas scored (unearned), Aparicio to
third, Phillips to second]; Landis grounded out (pitcher to
first); 11 R (2 ER), 1 H, 3 E, 3 LOB. White Sox 19, Athletics 6.

Ya know, I'd love to see this year's version of the White Sox invoke the memory of the 29-6 and 11-run, 1 hit games in style by doing something similar. Hell, they need them.
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