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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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September 8,1974

Posted 01-14-2018 at 03:59 PM by TommyJohn
Updated 07-05-2018 at 08:32 PM by TommyJohn

September 8,1974
vs. California Angels
at Anaheim Stadium

The Sox continue to slog along at .500, a team neither here nor there. At this point pennant dreams have long since evaporated and the Sox are playing for second place, their second straight disappointing season after 1972 had ended with so much hope.

Bee Bee Richard, the shortstop that at one time was supposed to make everyone forget Luis Aparicio, was the star of this game. Bee Bee had spent the better part of 1972-74 bouncing between the White Sox and the minors trying to cure his penchant for bobbling grounders. The Sox, meanwhile, finally plugged the gaping hole between second and third base with Bucky Dent. Bee Bee was now being utilized mostly as a pinch-runner and late inning defensive replacement. He was in the lineup for this series at 3rd base to replace a gimpy, aching Bill Melton.

He may not have had much of a career, but Bee Bee could boast that he was a part of baseball history that occurred during the September 7 game between the Sox and Angels. He was at the plate facing Nolan Ryan when the hurler fired a pitch that was clocked at 100.9 miles per hour by a new-fangled creation called a radar gun. It went down in the Guinness Book of World Records as the fastest pitch ever thrown (since broken).

Bee Bee's moment in the September 8 game came in the 3rd inning. He led off with a double against Andy Hassler, the Sox' first hit of the game. Bucky Dent was plonked by a pitch and Dick Allen moved them to second and third on a ground out. Ken Henderson grounded to Dave Chalk at 3rd. Bee Bee broke for the plate on the grounder and Chalk fired a throw towards catcher Tom Egan that hit Bee Bee right in the back. Richard scored to make it 1-0. Ron Santo then came up and grounded into an inning-ending double play.

Hassler was absolutely terrific after that, not allowing a hit to the White Sox after Richard's double. Jim Kaat was almost as good, allowing five hits and no runs for 6.2 innings. Terry Forster relieved in the 7th and allowed only two hits the rest of the way. Two Angels also reached base on errors by-guess who?-Bee Bee. He just couldn't help himself.

A pivotal at-bat happened in the 8th inning, although no one realized it until later. Dick Allen, 0-for-2 this night, came up to the plate against Andy. Allen had been in a slump of late. He still led the AL in home runs with 32, but hadn't hit one since August 16th. Allen grounded to Denny Doyle at 2nd, who tossed to Bob Oliver at 1st to retire him. Allen walked off the field and was replaced at 1st base in the bottom of the 8th by Tony Muser.

Forster put the Angels down in the 9th to wrap up the 1-0 win. Andy Hassler had pitched one of the best games of his career-he allowed one unearned run on one hit-and walked away the loser.

TRIVIA ASIDE: Andy Hassler is also a footnote in Chicago baseball history. He was one of the pitchers that John Holland acquired in the Cubs-Angels trade that Ron Santo aborted. Ronnie, in this game, went 0-for-4 against Hassler with one strikeout.

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