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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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Games and Moments May 2, 1969

Posted 03-26-2017 at 05:32 PM by TommyJohn
Updated 08-04-2017 at 07:14 PM by TommyJohn

Games and Moments

May 2, 1969

The day after the extra inning loss to the Royals, Ed Short called what he termed "a reluctant press conference." At the meeting Sox manager Al Lopez announced his resignation, effective immediately. The Senor wanted to tough it out until season's end, but his distressed stomach could no longer hold out. He was in too much pain. Managing a team like the 1969 White Sox will do that to a guy. The Sox announced that Lopez's faithful coach, 56 year old Don Gutteridge, would assume the reins.

Lopez had been brought in to the White Sox by Charley Comiskey and John Rigney in 1957 after he resigned from the Indians, whom he had managed from 1951-56, including their pennant winning year of 1954. He managed several Sox contenders, including the 1959 "Go-Go" Sox pennant winners and the 90+ game winners of 1963-65. He had quit after 1965, but agreed to come back in 1968 to right Eddie Stanky's sinking ship.

Lopez was quite simply, one of the best managers in White Sox, if not baseball, history. He is the only other AL manager to win a pennant in the 1950s besides Casey Stengel. He got much out of teams with solid defense and pitching but very little hitting. Who knows how those Sox teams would have done with another manager?

Sadly, all the good that Lopez did for the team seems lost on some current Sox fans, who only want to blame him and hold him accountable for the things he didn't do, like not starting Billy Pierce in the 1959 World Series or blocking Nellie Fox from the Hall of Fame. Lopez stated his reasons for both actions (Tony Cuccinello told him Pierce hadn't looked good in the final 1959 regular season series vs. Detroit; Lopez also said he felt that Fox just wasn't a Hall of Fame caliber player and often wasn't the best player on the team) but speculation over his motives continues. One of his former players, Larry Doby, even accused Lopez of being a racist.

Still there is no denying that some of the best years the White Sox ever had occurred under the leadership of Al Lopez. I'm sure "The Senor" had more than a little to do with that.

Al Lopez's managerial record:

1951...Indians.......93-61....2nd
1952...Indians.......93-61....2nd
1953...Indians.......92-62....2nd
1954...Indians......111-43....1st
1955...Indians.......93-61....2nd
1956...Indians.......88-66....2nd
1957...White Sox...90-64....2nd
1958...White Sox...82-72....2nd
1959...White Sox...94-60....1st
1960...White Sox...87-67....3rd
1961...White Sox...86-76....4th
1962...White Sox...85-77....5th
1963...White Sox...94-68....2nd
1964...White Sox...98-64....2nd
1965...White Sox...95-67....2nd
1968...White Sox...21-26....8th
1969...White Sox...8-9........5th
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