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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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July 20, 1969

Posted 04-29-2017 at 10:59 AM by TommyJohn
Updated 06-05-2018 at 07:27 AM by TommyJohn

July 20, 1969
vs. Kansas City Royals
at White Sox Park

Walt Williams strode to the plate to lead off the bottom of the 7th inning of Game 1 of a Sunday doubleheader. The Sox were trailing 5-4 and hoping to get a rally going. On the mound stood well-traveled Moe Drabowsky of the Royals. Moe wound up and fired one plateward. At 3:17PM Walt slapped the pitch into right field for a single.

At that, the centerfield "Monster" scoreboard erupted into fireworks. This was unusual, as fireworks were only deployed for Sox home runs, not routine hits like singles. What was unusual was the historic message flashed on the Sox-o-Gram:


Apollo 11, the first manned mission to the moon, had launched three days earlier. The fireworks were set off at the moment that the Eagle had landed. The crowd at the park broke into sustained cheers, then the PA announcer asked everyone for a moment of silent prayer, in whatever manner they chose, for the safe return of the astronauts.

The games themselves were typical of the 1969 Sox. They managed to take a 6-5 lead in that 7th inning, only to blow it and lose 8-6. They also lost Game 2 of the DH.

The losses dropped the team to 40-56. The three day 1st place oasis of April was now a distant memory. Any hopes of attaining a respectable .500 or close to it record were also swirling down the drain.

The only other highlight of the day happened between games, when the team celebrated the 10 year anniversary of the 1959 AL pennant-winning Go-Go Sox. The crowd cheered heartily as each member of the 1959 team was introduced, a reminder of glory days long gone.

NOTE: In lieu of my usual b-r.com boxscore, here instead is a highlight of ABC News coverage of Apollo 11, which includes a special report by Channel 7 newsman Hugh Hill from the ballpark. (He is introduced at 1:20)

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