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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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April 13,1976

Posted 03-10-2018 at 08:52 AM by TommyJohn
Updated 12-19-2018 at 08:37 AM by TommyJohn

April 13,1976
vs. Minnesota Twins
at Metropolitan Stadium

Opening Day on April 9 at Comiskey Park was a lovefest all around. 40,318 turned out to greet Veeck as a returning hero. One highlight was a pregame ceremony in which Veeck, Paul Richards and Rudie Schaeffer dressed up as the Revolutionary War soldiers in the famous "Spirit of '76" painting and marched out to the field. Veeck then worked the crowd, meeting and greeting fans during the game. Wilbur Wood blanked the Royals 4-0, aided and a betted by a two-run home run from newcomer Jim Spencer (see: Game of the Year, 1976)

The next game with the Royals was postponed due to cold weather, so this game on the 13th, which was the Twins' home opener, would be the second game of the season.

Rich Gossage, the 1975 AL Fireman of the Year, drew the starting assignment for this game. He and fellow bullpen ace Terry Forster had been moved to the starting rotation for this season. The move was made of desperation more than anything else. After Wilbur Wood and Bart Johnson (returning after spending all of 1975 on the disabled list with his injured back) the pitching cupboard was barren. Claude Osteen had returned for 1976, but after having gone 7-16 in 1975, it was obvious he didn't have much left and was released at the end of spring training. Veeck offered the rotation spots to Gossage and Forster and explained it by saying "they won't have many leads to protect."

The Sox got on the board in the top of the 2nd when another newbie to the Sox, Jack Brohamer, singled with two men on to score Carlos May.

Gossage went out and breezed through the Twins lineup for three innings before giving up a run in the 4th. Rod Carew walked, stole 2nd and scored on a single to tie it up.

The game remained tied until the 8th, when Chet Lemon, the player acquired for Stan Bahnsen the previous June, led off and reached base on an error. Ralph Garr bunted Lemon over to 2nd. Jorge Orta lashed a base hit that scored Lemon and wound up on 3rd when outfielder Dan Ford booted the ball.
Carlos May smacked a single to score Orta and Jim Spencer doubled to score May.

That finished the scoring for the day. Gossage finished off the Twins by inducing Larry Hisle to ground into a game-ending double play. All told Gossage gave up 3 hits and struck out 9.

"If I could get people out in relief, I was sure I could do it as a starter, but I wasn't sure I could go nine innings" Gossage told the Tribune's Bob Logan. "About the seventh, I got my second wind, and so wanted the complete game."

He got it, and the Bicentennial Sox were off to a 2-0 start.
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