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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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April 7, 1970

Posted 05-25-2017 at 09:55 PM by TommyJohn
Updated 06-22-2018 at 06:52 PM by TommyJohn

April 7, 1970
vs. Minnesota Twins
at White Sox Park

Opening Day. Those two words sound like music to a baseball fan's ears. They roll off the tongue so sweetly, like honey. O-PEN-ING DAY. The sign that spring is here, summer is coming, baseball is back for another year and all is right with the world.

White Sox fans going into the 1970 season didn't really feel all that optimistic. The team was pretty much the same as the previous year's, sans stars like Gary Peters, Pete Ward and Ron Hansen, all sacrificed to the youth movement. In their place were guys like Gerry Janeski, John Matias and Syd O'Brien.

The turbulent 60s were behind the White Sox and America. War still raged in Vietnam; hippies, yippies and dippies still raged on college campuses, white and black militants raged everywhere and the main target of their wrath, Richard Nixon, had completed his first year as President. Still, there was a feeling of hope for many that things would calm down and get better in the fresh set of ten years that lay ahead.

Rookie owner John Allyn cautioned fans not to expect too much, however. He warned them that the team was going to go through some rough times, probably worse than 1969. Nothing boosts a fan's confidence quite like a team owner all but telling them not to bother.

With this in mind, 11,473 turned out for the inaugural game of the new decade.

There was one bit of good news. Carlos May was in the lineup, playing his first game since August 8 of the previous year and since his accident. May had gone through a painful rehabilitation process. He also changed his swing by shortening it and choking up on the bat to compensate for the lack of power that the lack of a thumb would bring. He had also practiced throwing and more throwing to get used to gripping the ball with his abbreviated digit.

The gathering of fans gave May a standing ovation when he stepped up to the plate in the bottom of the 1st. He tipped his cap to the fans and became so overwhelmed that he had to step out of the box to compose himself.

By this time the defending AL West champs had socked starter Tommy John for 3 runs. He would give up 3 more before Don Gutteridge came and rescued him. The Twins happily piled on, slapping Tommie Sisk and Danny Murphy for a trey apiece before it was all over. Brant Alyea, an outfielder dumped on the Twins by Ted Williams' Washington Senators, was the hitting star of the game, going 4-for-4 with 2 HRs and 7 RBI.

Final score; Twins 12, White Sox 0. More than a few of the small crowd shuffled out probably thinking that it was going to be a long season. If so, they were right.
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