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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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June 18,1974

Posted 12-26-2017 at 08:04 PM by TommyJohn
Updated 07-05-2018 at 07:28 PM by TommyJohn

June 18,1974
vs. Cleveland Indians
at Municipal Stadium

The offense was in full flower this night in support of Jim Kaat, who had been struggling in the early part of the season. He hadn't won a game since May 5 and was demoted out of the rotation at the beginning of June. To make matters worse, Kaat, along with other Sox pitchers, were the target of barbs from Harry Caray, who didn't hesitate to tell his audience about the Sox' lack of pitching, again and again. The comments were beginning to get under the skin of Chuck Tanner.

Also unhappy were players who found it a bit unfair that Tanner was allowing the Big Man-Dick Allen-to come and go as he pleased. Allen didn't have to take batting practice with the rest of the peasants. He could simply come right before game time and go out and play-if he felt like it. Allen didn't much care for the Chicago media either, so Tanner let him take off after games without having to stick around and talk to them.

Allen swung a hot bat at the beginning of June, which put criticisms on hold for the moment, but then he hit an 0-for-16 slump that got the chorus started again.

Allen was one of the leaders of this night's offensive explosion, BP or no BP. He did, however, pull a mental blunder late in the game that thankfully did not adversely affect the outcome.

He got started right away, whacking a solo homer in the top of the 1st. Young Jorge Orta, coming into his own as a hitter this season, smacked solo shots in the 3rd and 5th innings. Carlos May, at this point hitting .260 with 0 home runs only a year after having one of his best seasons, added his first home run of the year one batter after Orta's second shot.

It stood 4-0 Sox in the bottom of the 7th when George Hendrick took Kaat deep to open the inning. Joe Lis followed with a walk and Oscar Gamble with a single. And that is when Allen inexplicably lost his head.

Dave Duncan bounced a grounder to Bucky Dent, who flipped to Jorge Orta to double off Gamble. Orta fired to first base to retire Duncan. Allen apparently had little birdies flying around his head tweeting and singing during Hendrick's at-bat, because he forgot how many outs there were. He turned, flipped the ball and trotted to the dugout, thinking the inning was over. The live ball bounded away while Joe Lis dashed home from 3rd base to make it 4-2.

Years later Allen talked about the incident with Sox broadcasters Ken Harrelson and Steve Stone, telling them that when he realized his mistake "I said 'Oh, fudge!' because I was eating a lot of chocolate then." He promised the team he would get the lost run back.

Allen was true to his word. He came up in the 9th with Orta on-and the Sox lead 5-2 thanks to a Ken Henderson home run-and crushed a tape measure blast over the centerfield wall to make it 7-2. It was the Sox' 6th home run of the night, one short of the team record set on April 23,1955, when they hit seven in a 29-6 annihilation of the Kansas City A's.

Jim Kaat coasted through the game, giving up nine hits and striking out five. He threw one more mistake to George Hendrick, who made him pay with another home run. But it was a harmless solo shot in the 9th. Kaat put down the rest of the Indians to walk off the mound a 7-3 winner. The victory was the 200th of his career and started to put him back on the right track.

NOTE: One guy missing from the lineup this night was Bill Melton. The 3rd baseman at this point in the season was hitting .214 and had as many errors as RBIs, 17. Tanner benched him the night before and replaced him with .249 hitting Ron Santo.

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