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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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Coming soon, through the wonders of APBA....

Posted 06-20-2009 at 02:37 PM by TommyJohn
Updated 06-20-2009 at 02:47 PM by TommyJohn

It's the All-Time "My Special Pain is Greater Than Yours" Series, starring two teams who inflicted heartbreak on both sides of town, the 1964 White Sox and the 1969 Cubs.

This series will have it all-the speedy hustle of Don Buford, timely hitting of Floyd Robinson, home run heroics of Ernie Banks and Billy Williams, pitching galore from Gary Peters, Joel Horlen, Hoyt Wilhelm, Fergie Jenkins and Kenny Holtzman. This mythical World Series between two of Chicago's "What If" teams promises to be an exciting match up.

Personally, I would much rather have matched up the 1969 Cubs with the 1967 Sox of Buford, Agee, Peters, Horlen and John. Unfortunately, the 1967 season is not available through APBA. 1977 is, and a match up between the 1969 legends and the 1977 South Side Hitmen would be a fantastic one-but I wanted to match Banks Williams and Santo against Peters, Horlen, and John, not Steve Stone, Steve Renko and Ken Kravec. That did not move me. So I went with 1964, which had the same great pitching, minus John. And who knows, maybe Dave Nicholson will bomb one out off of Fergie Jenkins (after whiffing four times.) So the match up will be a great one.

Cubs fans and Sox fans will eagerly anticipate this series. After all, the 1969 Cubs are the greatest failure in the history of failures! No one failed as mightily as they! (Maybe the Edsel did, but the Edsel didn't lead the NL East for 155 days). They are gloriously remembered in book, song, movie, and a few art forms not yet known to us. They have been the subjects of books by Rick Talley and others! Bob Costas swoons when he speaks of them! Mike Murphy pictures them soaping and showering! They are the Greatest! Who could forget that glorious September Crash and Burn? In first place by as much as 10.5 games, knocked out of first on September 10 and eliminated a mere 14 days later. When it rains, it pours. Lord only knows how much more fondly they would be remembered had they won it all instead of the New York Mets.

The 1964 White Sox, meanwhile, are one of history's forgotten teams. No one outside of your own city remembers you if you don't win it all, except if your uni says "Cubs." So the Sox are gone and forgotten by all except their fans. (Sneering Cubbie fan says "Fans? What fans? And why do they want to remember those *sniff* losers? Ew.") They are remembered for sweeping the Yankees in August. Why? Because after that last game, the Yanks were snarled in traffic on the way to O'Hare airport. Phil Linz annoyed Yogi Berra by playing a harmonica. The Yog charged back there and Linz threw it at him. And the Sox are a supporting player in David Halberstam's "October 1964" but even there, they aren't mentioned much. They don't have songs, poems, plays, and books rhapsodizing eloquently about losing and their place in the universe. They lost, wait til next year. This is their chance to even the score, to say "hey world, we are in a lot of pain. We suffered, too. We lost on the next-to-last day of the season. We came closer than the 1969 Cubbies. We finished 1 game back, they finished 8! We even won more games! Not only did we win more games than them, we won more games than the team that won the World Series in 1964! Where's our books? Where's our Steve Goodman folk songs? Where's the play about our lovable bleacher creatures? Where's our documentary about Pete Ward, "This Old Sock"? Where's our obnoxious comedians to tell jokes about Dave Nicholson's whiff-itis? Where's our sports talk show host to make homoerotic remarks about soaping and showering with us? Why are we so ignored?????????" And on and on. So this will be a great show.

The particulars: The 1964 White Sox, at 98-64, will have home-field advantage over the 1969 Cubs, who were 92-70. Games 1,2,6 and 7 will be at old Comiskey Park. Games 3,4 and 5 will be at Wrigley Field. The first two tentative pitching match-ups will be Joel Horlen vs. Ferguson Jenkins and Gary Peters vs. Ken Holtzman. After that, crapshoot. It'll depend on how I want to do it. The tentative position players:

1964 White Sox:
J.C. Martin, C
Bill Skowron, 1B
Don Buford, 2B
Ron Hansen, SS
Pete Ward, 3B
Dave Nicholson, LF
Jim Landis, CF
Floyd Robinson, RF

1969 Cubs:
Randy Hundley, C
Ernie Banks, 1B
Glenn Beckert, 2B
Don Kessinger, SS
Ron Santo, 3B
Billy Williams, LF
Don Young, CF
Jim Hickman, RF

This promises to be a great show. Will AL Lopez bench Jim Landis in a fit of pique? Will Leo Durocher wear his regulars out, then run off to Wisconsin to Par-tay?? Will Ernie hit one onto the roof of old Comiskey? Will Dave Nicholson blast one into orbit, or whiff hard enough to fan the bleacher bums? Will Ron Santo click his heels, or kick Don Young's head off? Stay tuned......

Cub and Sox fans are already excited! The raves pour in!

Joe, Sox Fan: "I'm glad they'll be playing this series. This is our chance to show those North Side wimps that we have experienced pain and failure, too."

Brad, Cub Fan: "Like who cares? Only Low down, white trash Sox fans would. We have the most glorious failure in history. We don't need to prove it. I don't want to go to old Comissarky Stadium anyway. I'll get mugged."

Jack, Sox Fan: "Why are they playing this series? They both lost. It's stupid."

Chad, Cub Fan: "Typical Sox fans, living in the past. Live in the present, people! Go Cubbies! Break the curse! Down with Bartman!"

Jim, Sox Fan: "Moan, moan, moan. Gloom, gloom, gloom. Al Lopez and Ed Short should've broken up that team, anyway. I'll hate Arthur Allyn until the day I die."

Jake, Cub Fan: "The Cubs were the true World Champions in 1969. I could prove through statistics, geometry, algebra, calculus and various mathematical formulae that they were vastly superior to the New York Mets. Never mind the final records. They don't count."

Mick, Sox Fan: "If we had Norm Cash, Earl Battey and Johnny Callison that year, we woulda won 140 games and the World Series. I'll hate Bill Veeck until the day I die. And he later sold the team to Jerry Reinsdorf, who is even worse. I'll hate him until the day I die. I don't know who will own the Sox after him, but I know one thing: I'll hate him until the day I die."

Jeff, Cub Fan: "If Leo Durocher had rested the regulars that year, we woulda won the whole thing. They played too many day games. They were pooped."

Nick, Sox fan: "Why play this series at all? The 1964 Sox won more games, 98, that the 1969 Cubs, who only won 92. So they were the superior team, period."

Mitch, Cub Fan: "Why play this series at all? The 1969 Cubbies are more popular. They had more books, songs and plays written about them than any other. Besides, they outdrew the *ugh* *pew* Sox. The Cubbies drew 1,674,000, the other team drew only 1,250,000. So they are the superior team, period."
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