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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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September 9, 1967

Posted 02-18-2017 at 02:17 PM by TommyJohn
Updated 06-04-2018 at 08:37 AM by TommyJohn

September 9, 1967
vs. Detroit Tigers
at White Sox Park

Yee-owwwwch. This one hurt. This one was epic. This was potentially crushing.

The Sox fall out of 1st on 9/7 when they are idle and both the Twins and Red Sox win that day.

The next day, the Tigers roll to town and keep the Sox down with a win. On Saturday the 9th the two teams meet in a nationally televised NBC Game of the Week.

The Sox score three runs in the game, the first on a Tommie Agee single in the 4th. Ken Boyer's 6th inning triple scored Don Buford and a single by Pete Ward drives in Boyer pinch-runner Joel Horlen. Ward was thrown out trying to stretch it into a double, but no matter. With the Sox' elite pitching staff, the game was all but locked up.

Gary Peters, normally not used to this much run support, took the mound in the top of the 9th on cruise control, with a three hit shutout going. The Sox were three outs away from knocking the Tigers a half game back and re-taking a share of the league lead. And then it happened.

AL Kaline opened the inning with a harmless single. Willie Horton flied out, but Bill Freehan singled and Eddie Mathews walked.

That was it for Peters, with Bob Locker coming in to close the door. Locker, however, gives up two RBI singles to Don Wert and Jim Northrup, the second of which drives in two runs and ties the game. Locker gives way to Wilbur Wood, who promptly gives up a single to Norm Cash which gives Detroit a 4-3 lead.

Eddie Stanky, running out of firemen to stem the blaze, summons Don McMahon. He walks the bases loaded before inducing Dick McAuliffe to foul out. The Sox are on the verge of escaping only one run down.

Al Kaline has other ideas. He watches ball four go by, forcing in a run. Willie Horton singles to drive across Cash and Mickey Stanley.

Roger Nelson, the fifth pitcher of the inning, comes in and plonks catcher Bill Freehan with the very first pitch he ever throws in the major leagues. Finally, Eddie Mathews flies out. The fire is out at last. Final tally: 7 runs, 6 hits, no errors.

The Sox go down 1-2-3 in their half of the 9th. A sure 3-0 victory dissolved into a crushing 7-3 defeat that knocked the Sox down to 4th place, 2 games back with 21 games remaining. Bob Locker, responsible for the go-ahead run, is tagged with the defeat. Detroit appeared ready to deliver a double header KO the next day.

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