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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 29 & 30,1972

Posted 09-10-2017 at 12:19 PM by TommyJohn
Updated 06-25-2018 at 10:06 PM by TommyJohn

June 29 & 30, 1972
vs. Oakland A's
at White Sox Park

The Sox go into a four game series with the 1st place A's trailing the defending division champions by only 5 games. It is the closest they are to 1st place this late in the season since the great pennant chase of 1967.

The Sox win the first game on the 28th 6-4 and the next night take the field for a twi-night doubleheader in front of 33,456 excited fans.

The first game featured a duel between two of the best pitchers in baseball, Wilbur Wood and Catfish Hunter.

The Sox offense has fun with Hunter. Luis Alvarado and Jorge Orta smack run-scoring doubles off the A's ace in the 2nd and 4th innings, respectively. The big hit comes in the 5th inning off the bat of (who else?) Dick Allen, who follows a Mike Andrews single by booming a thunderous drive into the left field seats for a two-run homer to give the Sox a 4-0 edge.

Those are all the runs Wilbur Wood needs. His knuckleball flutters all over the place, stymieing the A's offense. He gives up seven hits and no runs in getting the complete game shutout, moving the Sox to within four games of the A's.

The game itself is a dream for those who yearn for the glory days, when an epic Red Sox-Yankees 9 inning struggle didn't take four hours. Wood and the Sox win this one in 1 hour, 55 minutes.


Jim "Blue Moon" Odom and the A's turn the tables in game 2, stifling the Sox offense for 8 innings while Bill Voss drives in a run and Mike Epstein smashes a 2 run drive off Tom Bradley to give the A's a 3 run lead.

The Sox make it exciting in the 9th by putting three straight runners on, the last a run-scoring single by Jorge Orta. Rollie Fingers taps out Odom and retires Tom Egan and Walt Williams to end the game at 3-1 for the A's, who retain their 5 game lead.


The Sox and A's take the field for the conclusion of their four game series in front of 30,906 at Sox Park. The Sox need this game to take the series and keep pace with Oakland.

Taking the mound for Oakland this night is Ken Holtzman, who had been a popular hurler for the Cubs from 1965-71, with whom he authored two no-hitters, including one in Wrigley Field on August 19,1969 in which he famously did not strike out a single batter. Holtzman is making his first start in Chicago since being swapped to the A's over the winter for centerfielder Rick Monday. He is proving himself an ace with a record of 11-5 and a 2.13 ERA.

Holtzman doesn't have it this night, failing to retire a single batter. Walt Williams and Luis Alvarado start off with singles, then Dick Allen brings his giant bat up to the plate and sends the customers into a frenzy by crashing a three run homer.

The blast seems to unravel Holtzman, who gives up a single to Rick Reichardt, then wild pitches him over to second. Carlos May and Mike Andrews single, driving in Reichardt. Holtzman then plunks Tom Egan to load the bases.

Finally, Dick Williams rescues Holtzman and relieves him with another pitcher who had spun a no-hitter for a famous near-miss Chicago team, Joel Horlen. He gives up one run (charged to Holtzman) before getting them out of the inning.

Oakland quickly shows why they are one of the best teams in baseball, hitting Stan Bahnsen for four runs, including three in the top of the 5th. Joe Rudi's two run homer in that frame finishes Bahnsen for the evening.

The A's tie it in the top of the 8th and the game eventually goes into extra innings.

Things get exciting in the top of the 10th when Oakland loads the bases with one out. Dave Duncan steps up and works pitcher Cy Acosta to a 3 and 2 count before Dick Williams inexplicably calls for Duncan to bunt. The catcher obliges and lays a perfect roller down the 1st base line. Dick Allen is caught flat-footed by the bunt and is in no position to field it. Reggie Jackson, the runner on 3rd, is halfway down the line, leaving no chance for a force play at the plate. Allen has no choice but to take a chance and let the ball roll. His gamble pays off when the bunt goes foul. Duncan is out on a bunt strikeout and the runners return to their bases. Acosta retires the next batter to get out of the inning.

The game goes to the bottom of the 11th, when the White Sox load the bases on Rollie Fingers and Darold Knowles. The last batter, Mike Andrews, falls behind to 1-2 but hangs in there and works the count to 3-2 before Knowles issues ball four. The delighted crowd roars as Luis Alvarado trots home with the winning run.

The White Sox take the series 3-1 and remain 4 games out of 1st.

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