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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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May 22,1972

Posted 08-28-2017 at 10:57 PM by TommyJohn
Updated 06-25-2018 at 10:01 PM by TommyJohn

May 22,1972
vs. Texas Rangers
at Arlington Stadium

Vicente Romo stood on the Arlington Stadium mound, awaiting his signal. Texas Ranger hitter Don Mincher stepped in against him with a man on 1st and one out. Romo was out there to protect a 7-6 Sox lead in the bottom of the 10th. Ranger fans cheered for Don to end it with one swing, or least get on base.

The game, the first one the Sox played in the Lone Star State, had been a good ol' fashioned Texas shootout thus far. Texas had taken a 2-1 lead in the 7th behind Dick Bosman, who had the Sox pretty much figured out.

At this point Chuck Tanner paid a visit to home plate ump Larry Barnett and asked him to inspect Bosman's glove. The umpire found pine tar, which was a definite no-no. Bosman was ordered to switch to a new glove. Lo and behold, once he did, the Sox touched him for four unearned runs, the big blow being a bases loaded, three run double by Carlos May.

The Rangers rallied to go up 6-5 in the bottom of the 8th; but for the second game in a row, May delivered a clutch 9th inning hit, this one a single that tied the game. Tom Egan gave the Sox a 7-6 lead in the top of the 10th with a double that scored Bill Melton.

And that is where things stood when Romo fired a pitch that Mincher cracked for a base hit. Runners on 1st and 3rd, one out, Sox up by one, Rangers appearing ready to break it open.

But "hold everything!" as Harry Caray occasionally yelled. Tanner came out of the dugout and casually showed his line up card to Barnett. The umpire took one look, motioned Mincher out and ordered Harrah back to 1st. This brought Ranger manager Ted Williams bounding out of the dugout demanding to know what the hell was going on.

In the top of the 9th, pitcher Paul Lindblad came on to replace Mike Paul, who had been lifted for a pinch-hitter in the 8th. At the same time, Mincher came on to replace Frank Howard at 1st base. Barnett said that Williams told him Lindblad would bat 9th, Mincher 3rd. "I asked him if he wanted to criss-cross them, he said no" said Barnett of Williams, so the ump relayed the message to Tanner.

When Mincher came up in the 10th, Tanner noticed that it was the 9th spot in the order and Lindblad should have been batting. When Mincher got the hit, Tanner reported the error to Barnett, who called Mincher out for batting out of turn. Instead of two on and one out, Texas now had one on and two out. Elliott Maddox proceeded to strike out to end the game, giving the Sox the 7-6 win.

Williams said after the game that Barnett had never asked him if he wanted to criss-cross. Still, the umpire and Tanner had a different Ranger line up card than Williams, so Mincher was out and the Ranger skipper let it go at that.

The wacky situation seemed like something that would've bedeviled Don Gutteridge's hapless 1970 charges. Now, though, Chuck Tanner's winning White Sox were enjoying such gifts from other hapless teams.

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