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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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May 1, 1971

Posted 07-19-2017 at 07:19 AM by TommyJohn
Updated 06-25-2018 at 09:54 PM by TommyJohn

May 1, 1971
vs. Washington Senators
at Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium
Washington, D.C.

The White Sox' Opening Day DH sweep of the A's created a huge buzz over the team, one that was positive for once. 44,250 crammed their way into White Sox Park on Good Friday for the home opener. The crowd got a huge thrill when Chuck Tanner's boys beat the Twins 3-2 on a 9th inning single by Rich McKinney. (See: Game of the Year, 1971).

"That audience...shows the power of my suggestion that the White Sox be boycotted for trading Luis Aparicio" mourned Dave Condon.

Sox management was caught so flat-footed by the crowd (they had been expecting 25,000) that they ran out of concessions by the 5th inning. All in all, it was a great opening weekend. The Sox were off and running.

Well, for those three games, anyway. Seven straight losses immediately followed and the Sox found themselves in the AL West cellar once again.

On this night the Sox took on the Senators, with Tommy John going up against Denny McLain, the former Tiger star coming off a long suspension for gambling and having less-than-savory associates.

Fireworks flew in the 6th when Frank Howard hit a towering drive to left that the umpires lost sight of. It bounced on the field and was ruled a home run. Jay Johnstone and the White Sox protested that it didn't go out of the park. The umps consulted each other, reversed the call and ordered Howard back to 2nd base on a ground rule double. This ignited a long heated protest from Senators manager Ted Williams and coach Nellie Fox. The call stood, and John got out of the inning.

One bad point was Bee Bee Richard. After his hot start, Bee Bee cooled off offensively and started handling ground balls as if they were live hand grenades. He bobbled two grounders this night and threw wildly to 1st for a total of three errors.

John got relief help from three pitchers, including rookie Terry Forster, who struck out the last batter to nail down the 5-3 win.

One star of the game was Carlos May, who went 3-for-5 with a home run, prompting one press box wag to ask "Well, it is May Day, isn't it?"

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