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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 15,1974

Posted 12-18-2017 at 07:18 AM by TommyJohn
Updated 07-05-2018 at 07:27 PM by TommyJohn

May 15,1974
vs. Minnesota Twins
at White Sox Park

The Sox keep winning more than they lose and at one point grab a share of 1st place.

They are 15-14 going into this game against the Twins in front of a small crowd at White Sox Park. "Stanley Struggle" Bahnsen took the mound and pitched one of the best games of his career.

Stan showed absolutely no signs of struggle this night. He finished off the Twins 1-2-3 for seven innings. Meanwhile the Sox got 1 run in the 2nd when Carlos May singled, stole second and proceeded home on a single by Ron Santo, playing his preferred position of 3rd base this night; something he had not done much of in the young season.

Bahnsen went into the top of the 8th well aware that he had a perfect game-he told George Langford that he would relax in the clubhouse between innings, and he heard Harry Caray telling his audience about it as early as the 4th inning.

"I wanted the perfect game, but at the same time I was preparing myself in case somebody got a hit" said Bahnsen, perhaps remembering how crushed he was to lose a no-hitter with two out in the 9th the previous year.

Bahnsen set down Harmon Killebrew and Larry Hisle in the 8th to come within 4 outs of perfection. Bobby Darwin stepped up to the plate. Bahnsen and Ed Herrmann knew that Darwin had trouble with the curveball, so Herrmann called for an inside curve. Darwin stepped into it and sent a drive out to centerfield. As soon as it took off, Bahnsen knew his perfect game was over, so he simply hoped it would stay in the yard. Ken Henderson was unable to get it and it hit the centerfield wall (which had been raised in the offseason from five feet in height to nine feet-before this season it would have been a game-tying home run).

Funny enough, even after the ball hit the wall, Bahnsen had a chance to preserve his perfect game. Darwin, perhaps surprised that he had connected with a curveball, was watching the flight of the ball and missed touching 1st base as he went around. He was halfway to 2nd before he realized his mistake and backtracked. By the time he got back and touched 1st base the ball was being tossed back to the infield, holding Darwin to a 400 foot single.

Sox coach Al Monchak and the 2nd base umpire noted Darwin's failure to touch 1st. Had he stayed on 2nd and the Sox appealed and touched 1st, Darwin would have been called out and the perfect game, despite a long, 400 foot smash to the wall, would still be alive with one inning to go.

Bahnsen got out of the inning, then gave up one more hit in the 9th before finishing off the Twins for a 2-hit shutout win. The game was over in 1 hour, 58 minutes.

The next night the Sox beat Oakland 4-3 to get to 17-14, 1st place in the AL West. The team was now 16-6 since the disastrous 1-8 start.
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