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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 24,1975

Posted 02-18-2018 at 10:14 PM by TommyJohn
Updated 06-16-2018 at 11:25 AM by TommyJohn

July 24,1975
vs. New York Yankees
at White Sox Park

Lost in all the off-the-field turmoil involving Harry Caray's criticisms and John Allyn's financial ledger was the fact that there was still a schedule of games to be played.

The steadily improving White Sox took the field this Thursday to match up against the Yankees in an afternoon doubleheader in front of a modest crowd of 13,910.

Wilbur Wood took the mound for game one and once again put on a great performance. He got into trouble early, however, allowing Bobby Bonds and Rick Dempsey to reach base in the top of the 1st with one out. Thurman Munson drove Bonds in with a single, but Wood knuckled down and induced Lou Piniella to ground into a double play to end the inning.

Wood held the Yankees in check after that 1st inning, allowing six baserunners but no runs. The Sox, meanwhile took a 3-1 lead in the 6th when they put runners on 1st and 2nd with one out. Nyls Nyman, Bill Stein and Brian Downing all followed with run-scoring singles, the last of which chased Yankee starter Doc Medich in favor of Sparky Lyle.

Wood allowed Chris Chambliss and Walt Williams to reach in the top of the 7th before he gave way to Rich Gossage. The Goose, entering with two out, induced Bobby Bonds to pop out to end the inning, but ran into trouble in the 8th when he allowed a double to Roy White and hit Thurman Munson with a pitch. Graig Nettles stepped up with two out and whacked a bases clearing triple to tie the game. After intentionally walking Chambliss, Gossage got pinch-hitter and former battery mate Ed Herrmann to fly out to end the inning.

The game went into extra innings and the Sox had a chance to win it in the 10th when they put two on with two out, but Harry Caray's favorite rookie Nyls Nyman grounded out to end the inning.

Finally catcher Brian Downing had enough. He came up in the bottom of the 11th with one out and smacked a Lyle offering to left field. Roy White could only stand and watch as the ball landed in the first row of seats for a game-winning home run.

https://www.baseball-reference.com/b...97507241.shtml

Game two saw Jesse Jefferson lock in a pitcher's duel with Larry Gura. Both hurlers put up zeros for 7 innings before both gave away to relievers in the 8th. Jefferson put runners on 1st and 3rd with two out before being relieved by Dave Hamilton, who got Chris Chambliss to fly out to end the inning.

Gura's relief staff wasn't quite as crackerjack. Pete Varney opened the bottom of the 8th with a single and was pinched for Brian Downing. Pat Kelly grounded out and Bee Bee Richard singled and used his speed to get to 2nd on a throw to the plate. Gura was relieved by Dick Tidrow, who intentionally walked Ken Henderson to load them up for Deron Johnson. Deron flied out to shallow center, with Brian Downing staying put at 3rd.

That all went out the window when Bill Melton came up. Melty had been hit by a Tidrow pitch two days earlier, so he decided to try and break his never-ending slump by crowding the plate. The strategy worked-a Tidrow fastball plunked him in the elbow. Melton dropped to the dirt in pain as Downing trotted home to score the game's first run.

It turned out to be the only one needed. Hamilton came out for the top of the 9th and set the Yankees down 1-2-3 to seal the 1-0 win.

Brian Downing, who had the distinction of scoring the winning run in both games, said afterward "realistically, we can't hope to catch the A's." He explained that if they could at least beat the A's, they'd have something to "live with during the winter."

"Last year, we kind of crashed at the end. The Dick Allen thing was emotional for all of us, and that down feeling probably carried with us to spring training. But this year, we can close on the upswing."

The DH sweep gave the Sox a record of 47-48.
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