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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 27,1973

Posted 11-09-2017 at 09:50 PM by TommyJohn
Updated 11-09-2017 at 10:00 PM by TommyJohn

July 27, 1973

The first rumblings of potential regime change came in a July 25 Tribune story headlined "Holcomb to give up Sox post?"

Two days later the rumor was proven true when it was announced that Stu Holcomb, General Manager of the team since 1970, had submitted a letter of resignation to team owner John Allyn.

One day later Holcomb met with Tribune columnist David Condon for breakfast and revealed the reasons behind his departure. It was, he said, that basically he and Chuck tanner no longer saw eye-to-eye.

It had begun in spring when Tanner told Holcomb he didn't like the team's bench situation and threatened to quit if something wasn't done. Holcomb did what he could to placate Tanner, but wasn't happy with the team Tanner brought north, feeling that there should have been more young talent on the roster. Tanner and Hemond insisted they weren't ready. When Holcomb butted heads with him again over the issue in July, Tanner again threatened to quit.

As for Reichardt and Andrews, Holcomb said Hemond had told him that there was a market for them. When that didn't prove to be the case Holcomb released them. Tanner then was angered by the release of the two players. Holcomb summed up the Reichardt-Andrews situation with Hemond and Tanner by saying "when I let 'em go, they suddenly became indispensable."

Decades later, Hemond would claim that the situation came to a head when Holcomb ordered him to release Stan Bahnsen. Hemond marched to Allyn and told him "this can't continue." There is no mention of anything like that in the newspaper accounts, and it should be noted that Bahnsen was signed in mid-June, six weeks before Holcomb's departure.

Stu Holcomb's White Sox legacy is a mixed bag. He came to the organization at a most crucial time and hired Hemond and Tanner, both of whom helped revive the franchise. Not only that, but Holcomb also brought Harry Caray to Chicago, choosing him for the radio broadcasting job over an unknown minor league announcer who had also applied for it, Al Michaels. And when Sox ballpark organist Shay Torrent left the job after 1969, Holcomb hired a young lady named Nancy Faust to replace him.

Unfortunately, the salary dramas and feud with Hemond and Tanner during the 1973 season put a cloud over that legacy. Still, Holcomb's moves during September of 1970 had a far-reaching impact not only on the White Sox, but Chicago sports as well, one that continues to be felt long after he's gone.
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