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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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August 20,1972

Posted 09-18-2017 at 10:22 PM by TommyJohn
Updated 06-25-2018 at 10:15 PM by TommyJohn

August 20,1972
vs. Boston Red Sox
at White Sox Park

The Sox stay white hot following the A's series. After the final game loss on the 13th, they go on a four game winning streak, taking two each from Milwaukee and Boston. Luis Tiant snaps the streak with a shutout on the 19th, but the White Sox head into a Sunday DH with Boston a mere 1/2 game behind the A's.

Wilbur Wood took the mound questing for his 22nd win, which would equal his win output for 1971.

Boston drew first blood in the top of the 2nd when rookie catcher Carlton Fisk smacked a double that scored Rico Petrocelli.

Boston starter Lynn McGlothen kept it that way until the 5th inning, when Luis Alvarado locked it at 1-1 with a home run. The White Sox broke the tie a few batters later when Jay Johnstone singled and Dick Allen drove him home with a booming double.

The Sox added 3 in the 6th when Ed Herrmann hit a run scoring single, then, after a walk to Alvarado, Wilbur Wood helped his own cause by slapping a bases-loaded single that scored two more.

The Red Sox hit Wood for 3 in the 8th, so Terry Forster came out to stem the tide. The White Sox entered the 9th leading 5-4, but Forster was unable to to keep them at bay and get the save. With two out and the bases loaded, Forster surrendered a two run single to Petrocelli. Fisk then reached when his grounder went under Alvarado's glove, scoring Smith and giving the Red Sox a 7-5 lead going into the bottom of the 9th.

Let us not forget, though, that this is the 1972 White Sox we are talking about, not the 1970 version.

The White Sox put two on base, but Marty Pattin came in and retired the next two. Two out, two on for Walt Williams, who sliced a single to centerfield that scored a run to make it 7-6.

That brought up Pat Kelly who, perhaps seeing how much fun Dick Allen and Carlos May had by being home run heroes, decided to get in on the fun. He sent a 1-2 Pattin delivery on a long, arcing journey that ended in the centerfield bullpen for a 3 run homer and a 9-7 win. The Sox pounded Kelly as he crossed the plate and Sox fans yelled themselves silly.

On August 20,1970 the White Sox were 44-81, a comfy 30 1/2 games out and in last place. Two years later, they were 67-47, and the Sox-o-Gram delivered the news to roaring fans "WHITE SOX ARE NOW IN FIRST PLACE IN THE AMERICAN LEAGUE WEST."

The 1/2 game lead only lasts a few hours. Boston took the nightcap 5-4 to push the Sox back into a 1st place tie with the A's.

Tribune reporter Bob Logan's game story is as giddy as the Sox were after Kelly's dramatic home run: "Since Kelly's heroics marked the 11th time this season the Sox have won a game in the ninth inning, it could be a miracle if they DON'T capture their division, the A. L. playoff, and the World Series"

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