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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 1,1973

Posted 10-21-2017 at 04:15 PM by TommyJohn
Updated 06-25-2018 at 09:34 PM by TommyJohn

May 1,1973
vs. Baltimore Orioles
at White Sox Park

In earlier entries on Dick Allen, I wrote of how he had flair, panache, a knack for rising to the occasion. I even overdosed on hyperbole by pretty much describing Allen as a cross between John Shaft and Roy Hobbs. That may have overdone it a bit, but the only reason I implied that he was like Shaft and Roy is because, well, he was. On this night Allen once again showed off his knack for rising to a special occasion.

The special occasion was Allen being presented with his (rather chintzy-looking, to be perfectly honest) plaque for being voted the AL Most Valuable Player. (Little known piece o' trivia-the official name of it is the Kenesaw Mountain Landis Award). Allen accepted the award, gave a quick speech and waved to the small, cheering crowd who had turned out on a cold, wet night.

Allen's first at-bat of the evening after accepting the award saw a bit of the old Shaftian, Hobbsian swagger. He stepped into a Mike Cuellar pitch and hit a thunderous blast high, high, high out towards left field. The ball disappeared for a moment as it flew in front of the light tower, then hit the roof and bounced off into the night. Allen calmly trotted the bases as the crowd cheered and the scoreboard blasted in salute to his feat. His home run was the 15th to hit either roof of the park since the outfield double decks had been added in 1927. He was the 6th Sox player to do it, joining company with Eddie Robinson, Minnie Minoso, Dave Nicholson, Buddy Bradford and Tom Egan.

The reigning MVP wasn't happy to rest on that laurel, however. In the 4th, after Brooks Robinson had tied it with a homer, Allen stepped up and fired another cannon blast. This one didn't go quite as far, landing in the bullpen right of center, a mere 420 feet away.

Ed Herrmann homered later in the inning to increase the lead to 4-1, but the Orioles made it a 1 run game. The Sox padded the lead in the 6th with a RBI single from Rick Reichardt and a sacrifice fly from Herrmann. They needed both runs, as it turned out, because Baltimore rallied again to make it a one run game.

Dick's MVP award night would come down to a nail-biting finish. Terry Forster would attempt to close it out, but the Orioles put runners on 2nd and 3rd with two out. That brought out fearless, gutsy reliever Cy Acosta, who faced down pinch-hitter Terry Crowley and induced him to fly out to end it. Sox take it 6-5, their 5th win in a row. Their record is now 11-5 and they sit atop the AL West by 1 game.

Dick Allen could not have picked a better night to demonstrate why he so richly deserved the MVP plaque that had been presented to him before the game. And what of that plaque? It was discovered years later by a maintenance worker deep in the bowels of Comiskey Park, gathering cobwebs.

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