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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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1973 Offseason Pt. 2

Posted 12-11-2017 at 07:29 AM by TommyJohn
Updated 07-05-2018 at 07:25 PM by TommyJohn

The 1973 White Sox may not have been a success on the field, but they were at the gate. Buoyed by preseason expectations and the fast 27-15 start, the Sox' final attendance for the season came to 1,302,527, their highest total since they last defended the AL pennant in 1960. They also had increased attendance four years running for the first time since 1942-45. It was also 807,172 more than the woebegone 1970 team had drawn. AT the very least they seemed to be doing well in terms of drawing fans back to the park.

Tribune "Man in Motion" John Husar dropped a surprise on fans in February when he wrote a column titled "Ex-Sox Doctor says Allen could have Finished Year."

The doctor in question was Dr. Gerald Loftus, who departed the team after a falling out at the end of the season. "I don't want to be a bomb thrower" said Loftus, before proceeding to throw bombs. "But that image of Allen in the locker room, tears in his eyes, dying to play, really gave me a wrench. Because it wasn't the case as far as I knew about it. I don't know what his motives were, but he didn't want to play the rest of the season."

Loftus continued that Allen could have come back as a designated hitter, but he was discouraged by the injury and lost his will to play. He didn't want to come back and sit around on the bench.

The next day Husar wrote Roland Hemond's defense.

"If we had been in the thick of a championship race, he probably would have been along" said Hemond, before going on to say that it was his idea to send Allen home for the year and have him healthy for 1974 rather than risk further injury.

In his column, Husar was also sure to make mention of Allen's salary figure, and how it was "inflated."

Allen, for his part, showed up for spring training early, much to the surprise of Chuck Tanner, who had predicted that Allen likely wouldn't show up for several days. Also showing up early and heaping praise on the Sox' facilities and team spirit was Ron Santo. He liked how much bigger the Sarasota park was than the Cubs' spring home in Arizona.

Tanner saw his charges and was brimming with his usual optimism. "I've got a special feeling about the team this year. They have the look of a team that's going places." He beamed.

Ron Santo found himself second only to Chuck Tanner in his admiration of Dick Allen.

"Dick is fantastic" Santo said, then proceeded to list all of Allen's manly baseball virtues. As to being with the White Sox, Santo said "I love it here." He gushed about how much he was learning and how relaxed the atmosphere was.

John "NO WAY" Holland contacted the White Sox about the possibility of dealing pitcher Milt Pappas, who in 1973 had gone 7-12 with a 4.28 ERA, to the south side. "we said we weren't interested" said Hemond.

George Langford forecast that the Sox would not lack for power. Pitching, catching and their inexperienced double play combination of Jorge Orta and Bucky Dent were another matter, though. He noted that NL powers Pittsburgh and Cincinnati had similarly constructed teams, but that the guys behind the plate (Manny Sanguillen and Johnny Bench) were both stars.

"Now if the Sox can somehow 'catch' on, they'll be writing books about 35th Street's summer of '74" he wrote. "Either way, it ought to be full."
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