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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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1988 Knights

Posted 04-11-2009 at 04:22 PM by TommyJohn
Updated 04-12-2009 at 10:57 AM by TommyJohn

The Knights, for once, refused to die:
The first batter of the inning, leadoff man Dave Hawkins, stepped up to the plate to polite applause. The crowd went silent as he took the first pitch and popped out to Gibson, who pumped his fist after catching it. The fans were all but ready to give up. Most were already talking about what chances the Knights had against the Dodgers’ scheduled pitcher for Sunday’s game. Bill Daley broke the silence with a sharp base hit. The crowd responded politely, but was still in a glum mood.

The next batter, Jermaine Rich, proceeded to slap another hard single through the middle. The crowd now began to buzz. The team’s best hitter, David Lee, now strode up to the plate. Maybe there was hope after all. They were down two, a home run from Lee would win it. By the time Lee got to the plate, the crowd was standing on their feet.

Lee, for his own part, was thinking the same thing they were. The New Orleans native badly wanted to blast the next pitch into oblivion. He dug in against pitcher Ken Howell intent on clinching the NL West with one swing of the bat.

Howell battled him, taking the count to 2-2. The crowd was now alive, screaming on every pitch. Lee took Howell’s 2-2 offering and smacked a sharp roller past a diving 3rd baseman. The crowd roared as Daley blazed around third and scored to make it 2-1. Rich, though fast, was held up at third. Gibson fielded the ball and fired it to Steve Sax as Lee pulled into second with a standup double. He stood at second, clapped and pumped his fist.

Tommy Lasorda now faced an easy decision. With one out and first base open, he ordered the next batter walked intentionally. That done, he strode out to the mound and signaled for a left hander to face catcher Bruce Griffith, a left-handed hitter. Ricky Horton came out and warmed up while the animated crowd cheered, clapped and sang.

Griffith stepped in to face Horton with the crowd screaming. 30 years of joy, sorrow, frustration and heartache were all on the line. The fans wanted it done. Rich and Lee took leads off the bases. Horton delivered exactly one pitch.

The catcher stepped into it and lashed a drive toward the gap in left-center. Reserve centerfielder Chris Gwynn, playing Griffith to pull, raced desperately for it. He reached out, but the ball barely eluded his glove, dropped a few feet away and bounded towards the wall. Here is how Jack Brown called it:

“Here’s the pitch…..There’s a drive towards left-centerfield…Gwynn coming onnnnnnn..
HE WON’T GET IT, IT DROPS FOR A HIT!!!!! HERE’S RICH WITH THE TYING RUN….AND HERE COMES LEEEEEEE……TO WIN IT!!! THE KNIGHTS WIN IT!!!!!!! THE KNIGHTS WIN IT!!!! THE NEW ORLEANS KNIGHTS ARE YOUR 1988….NATIONAL LEGAUE WEST CHAMPIONS!!!!!!!!”
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