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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 26,1976

Posted 03-18-2018 at 09:47 AM by TommyJohn
Updated 03-20-2018 at 07:35 AM by TommyJohn

May 26,1976
vs. California Angels
at Anaheim Stadium

The arrival of Ken Brett coincided with a sudden burst of winning from the White Sox. Bart Johnson outdueling Nolan Ryan kicked off a winning streak that saw the Sox take two from Minnesota, following that up with a four game sweep of Chuck Tanner's A's.

Brett made his Sox debut in the first game of the A's series and blanked Oakland for five innings before being relieved by Clay Carroll.

The Sox then swung out to the west coast to meet up with the Angels again and beat them in the first two games of their four game set to run the Sox' improbable winning streak to nine games. It marked their first nine game winning streak since, well, 1975.

Brett took the mound to try and extend the streak into the double digits. He was sharp as a tack, setting the Angels down 1-2-3 through seven innings, getting some help from the Sox defense-he struck out only three batters in the effort.

Meanwhile, the Angels' Don Kirkwood was just as effective, allowing only two hits and no runs in the same span while striking out seven, including the side in the top of the 2nd.

Brett took the mound in the 8th with his perfect game still alive. He set down Bill Melton and Bruce Bochte to bring his total to 23 consecutive Angels retired. That ended suddenly when Brett walked Leroy Stanton on four straight pitches. Orlando Alvarez then grounded out to end the inning.

The perfect game was over, but the no-hitter was intact as Brett and the Sox entered the bottom of the 9th. The score was still 0-0, but if Ken got through the inning without allowing a hit, he would receive credit for a no-hitter regardless of what happened in extra innings.

The first batter, Ron Jackson, grounded out on a bang-bang play that Jackson contested so hotly that he was ejected from the game. Andy Etchebarren grounded from Orta to Spencer, leaving only Jerry Remy between Brett and no-hit fame.

Remy connected with an 0-1 pitch and sent a slow roller to Orta. Jorge charged the ball, leaned down to scoop it up, but it went under his glove and stopped at the edge of the outfield grass. Bucky Dent was on it and grabbed the ball, but far too late to get Remy.

The entire stadium seemed transfixed as everyone awaited the official scorer's ruling. Don Merry, Angels beat writer for the Long Beach Independent-Telegram, ruled the play a hit.

He was just about the only one in the park who thought that it was. Other writers, Harry Caray, Angels broadcaster Don Drysdale and certainly Brett and the White Sox all thought it should have been ruled an error. Merry didn't back off from his ruling and the Angels had their first hit of the night.

Brett retired the next batter and the game went on to the 10th. In the bottom of the frame Bill Melton removed the stink of the tainted hit by socking a clean single off Brett.

The Sox finally broke the stalemate in the 11th when Bucky Dent rapped a two-out single to score Jack Brohamer. Clay Carroll then went out and retired the side to get the win.

Brett wasn't happy to lose a no-hitter in such a fashion, but said "What the hell. We won." He
then ridiculed Merry by saying "I understand the guy who made the call is short, so maybe he couldn't see out of the press box."

The win was the Sox' 10th in a row, running their record to 19-16. It was their first double digit win streak since 1967. Bob Verdi, who had up to this point been ridiculing the Sox, now called them "baseball's improbable darlings in clamdigger bottoms and pajama tops."

The Sun-Times was even more hyped, playing up the similarities between the 1976 Sox and the 1951 "Go-Go" Sox, also managed by Paul Richards, who had gone on a 14 game winning streak. The Sox were enjoying unexpected success. However, it would soon become apparent that when it came to the 1976 team and the Go-Go 1951 Sox, the similarities began and ended with Paul Richards.
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