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  #1  
Old 11-22-2019, 03:03 PM
Wsoxmike59 Wsoxmike59 is online now
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Default Happy Birthday Rich McKinney

Wishing a Happy Birthday to former Sox Infielder Rich McKinney who turns 73 today. I remember he was a young good looking prospect who won Opening Day 1971 (Home) for the Sox with a clutch game winning (now called walk off grrrrr) pinch hit in the bottom of the 9th to defeat the defending West Division Champion Minnesota Twins.

https://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/...090CHA1971.htm

PS: I also remember he was dealt to the Yankees after the 71 season for Stan Bahnsen Who was our #2 Starter behind Wilbur Wood for a few seasons. So that trade worked out quite well for the Sox.
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Old 11-22-2019, 03:27 PM
LITTLE NELL LITTLE NELL is online now
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Originally Posted by Wsoxmike59 View Post
Wishing a Happy Birthday to former Sox Infielder Rich McKinney who turns 73 today. I remember he was a young good looking prospect who won Opening Day 1971 (Home) for the Sox with a clutch game winning (now called walk off grrrrr) pinch hit in the bottom of the 9th to defeat the defending West Division Champion Minnesota Twins.

https://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/...090CHA1971.htm

PS: I also remember he was dealt to the Yankees after the ‘71 season for Stan Bahnsen Who was our #2 Starter behind Wilbur Wood for a few seasons. So that trade worked out quite well for the Sox.
Remember well, after the horrible 56-106 1970 season in which they only drew 495,000 fans for the year, they came home after a doubleheader sweep of the A's in Oakland and almost 44,000 showed up at Comiskey on a beautiful spring day to root them on to victory. They made a great turn-about in 1971 and went on to a 79-83 season, an improvement of 23 games. In 1972 the Sox traded Tommy John to the Dodgers for Dick Allen and the Sox and A's had a great race for the division title which the Sox might have won if Bill Melton hadn't sustained a bad back injury IIRC in June and was out for the rest of the season, still in 2 short years the Sox went from the worst team in MLB to pennant contenders, pretty amazing.
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Last edited by LITTLE NELL; 11-22-2019 at 03:39 PM.
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Old 11-22-2019, 04:21 PM
TDog TDog is offline
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I remember that game well, remember Morales going into third before the hit. It was Good Friday, spring break for Munster schools. I listened to the White Sox beat the A's in a scheduled opening day doubleheader (there was no television from Oakland in the early 1970s,), and with the new uniforms, Bee Bee Rickard running out onto the field wearing a big red No. 9 and the exciting home opening win against the team that beat them 12-0 in the 1970 opener, things felt different. As it turned out, the White Sox lost the next seven, struggled until late in the season when they started playing well enough to finish with 79 wins. And the next year would be the funnest baseball season before I moved west.
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Old 11-22-2019, 05:14 PM
LITTLE NELL LITTLE NELL is online now
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I remember that game well, remember Morales going into third before the hit. It was Good Friday, spring break for Munster schools. I listened to the White Sox beat the A's in a scheduled opening day doubleheader (there was no television from Oakland in the early 1970s,), and with the new uniforms, Bee Bee Rickard running out onto the field wearing a big red No. 9 and the exciting home opening win against the team that beat them 12-0 in the 1970 opener, things felt different. As it turned out, the White Sox lost the next seven, struggled until late in the season when they started playing well enough to finish with 79 wins. And the next year would be the funnest baseball season before I moved west.
Yes, 72 was fun but 77 was fun to the nth degree.
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Old 11-22-2019, 06:11 PM
TDog TDog is offline
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Yes, 72 was fun but 77 was fun to the nth degree.
What made 1972 so much fun for me was that it was a team I could believe in. They played great baseball and, without the best talent, finished with the league's second-best record. There were all those epic games against the dynasty A's, even if the Sox lost the 19-inning game in August. The A's pulled away, but that was the Reggie Jackson-Catfish Hunter group, but they were the only better team that year. The 1977 collapse in August took all the fun out of 1977 for me. TI was in college at the time, and the fact that the hitting for the first four months of the season made up for the truly awful pitching, defense, baserunning and anything resembling fundamentals made 1977 made July, the first 100 games, particularly fun. But that only made September and August more dismal.

The win total was high, but the league had so many truly bad teams that year. The White Sox were 5.5 games better than the closest of the other 13 teams in the AL on July 31, 1977, playing a balanced schedule. When it was over, there were five teams with better records. Even Texas finished four games up on the Sox in the West. Of the eight teams the Sox won more games than, only the Twins were above .500. It didn't help that the first 100 games of 1978 had them 16 games below .500.

It is true that fans were still having fun in August when, even mid-August when I was back for my fall semester in Bloomngton, with the lead disappeared. The Sox even fell into fourth place in the West briefly in August before they settled into third place in mid-September, but for me, the most vivid memory of that season is the Na-Na song being played slow-tempo as a dirge by the Kansas City organist a week into August.
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Old 11-22-2019, 09:55 PM
fungo bat fungo bat is offline
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Ah yes, I too remember that opening day in 1971. A huge crowd showed up on a spring-like day. No one was expecting that kind of turnout. Cars were double parked throughout the Bridgeport neighborhood (this was before strict residential parking laws were put in place). I was with a few high school buddies and we searched around for what seemed like an eternity to find a parking space. Finally found a guy who lived a few blocks from the park who let us park in his driveway for what seemed like a hefty fee at the time, I think it was $10. The back end of the car intersected with the sidewalk, but we didn't care. We hustled over to the park to witness the home opener. All the parking lots were jammed and the old park was packed. We were lucky to have advance tickets. One of my buddies commented "Where the heck were all these fans last season?!" The Sox, outfitted in new red pin-striped unis, hustled their way to a victory. It was a great opening act following the debacle of 1970, when the Sox barely drew any fans and finished with 106 losses.
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