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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 25,1977

Posted 05-10-2018 at 08:33 PM by TommyJohn
Updated 05-11-2018 at 06:56 PM by TommyJohn

July 25,1977
vs. Boston Red Sox
at Fenway Park

By the time the All-Star break came around, the White Sox had taken the baseball world completely by storm. Just who were these guys? The new power structure in baseball was supposed to make the rich teams richer and the poor teams S.O.L. The George Steinbrenners and Gene Autrys of the game were going to gobble up all the best players and turn out instant contenders that would leave all other teams in the dust. But here were the Poorhouse White Sox subverting that new power structure, perched atop the AL West with a record of 54-36, best in the American League and second best in baseball. Meanwhile, over in the AL East, the Penthouse Yankees, the Best Team Money Can Buy, lagged along in 3rd with a record of 50-42. The South Side Hitmen were capturing the attention and hearts of baseball fans as had no other White Sox team since the 1959 Go Go Boys.

"Chi? Oh My!" went the title of a July 19 Sports Illustrated article that told the stories of both the Sox and Cubs, who were holding fast to 1st place in the NL East at the break despite going 6-13 since attaining a record of 47-22.

The attention enabled Richie Zisk to garner enough fan votes to start the All-Star game. Richie went 2-for-3 with 2 RBIs, but it wasn't enough to help the AL, who lost 7-5.

The Sox took the field in Boston on the 25th riding the wings of a four game winning streak, including 9-6 over the Red Sox the previous night. The game would be broadcast on ABC's Monday Night Baseball, giving the White Sox a chance to showcase themselves for a national audience.

The Red Sox drew first blood in the 1st inning, when Jim Rice clocked a 2 run home run off Steve Stone. They added another in the 2nd on a Rick Miller RBI single.

The White Sox could only muster one measly run, on a single by Zisk, against Boston starter Luis Tiant through the first six innings. Meanwhile, Boston added three more in the bottom of the 6th to take a 6-1 lead. With their ace Tiant on the mound, the lead appeared safe and secure. However, if there was one thing the South Side Hitmen had taught fans and opponents throughout the summer, it's that there was no such thing as a safe lead.

In the top of the 7th Eric Soderholm hammered a two out, two run homer to bring the White Sox within 3. Tiant was relieved of duty and high-priced reliever Bill Campbell got the last out of the inning. Carlton Fisk added one to Boston's lead and the Sox entered the 8th trailing 7-3.

Ralph Garr grounded out to open the inning, then Alan Bannister and Jorge Orta got on base. Zisk struck out, but Oscar Gamble singled to drive in a run and make it 7-4. Jim Spencer then stepped up and blasted a drive deep to right. Harry Caray yelled bloody murder as Spencer's drive found the seats for a 3 run homer and a tie game.

The two Soxes were tied 7-7 in the 9th when Brian Downing stepped up and hammered a one out drive that landed in the net above the Green Monster. This time, Harry nearly yelled himself into a stroke.

Lerrin LaGrow got Fred Lynn looking to open the 9th, but they weren't out of the woods yet. Jim Rice drew a walk to bring up the always dangerous Carl Yastrzemski, representing the winning run. Yaz took a mighty cut and sent a ground ball to Jorge Orta, who flipped to Bannister for one, then on to Jim Spencer for the game-ending double play.

The Sox' winning streak was now at five and they concluded their season series with Boston, a strong AL East contender, with a record of 7-3. The Sox returned to Chicago for the end of the month, where first the Tigers and then the Royals awaited.

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