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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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August 23,1972

Posted 09-23-2017 at 10:45 AM by TommyJohn
Updated 06-25-2018 at 09:18 PM by TommyJohn

August 23,1972
vs. New York Yankees
at White Sox Park

Dick Allen always seemed to do things with flair; or "panache" as Edmond Rostand's tragic hero Cyrano DeBergerac called it. His first White Sox (and American League) hit was a home run in the top of the 9th to break a scoreless tie. His second home run in White Sox Park (and only his third of the season) was game-ender in the bottom of the 9th. Called upon to pinch-hit for the first time that season (after being given a rest for the first time) his first AL pinch-hit was-what else?-a dramatic, 3 run home run in the bottom of the 9th to give the Sox a 5-4 win and cap a doubleheader sweep of the Yankees. He hit two inside-the-park home runs in one game, scoring standing up (a rarity for inside-the-park home runs) both times. Allen just seemed born to rise to the occasion.

The White Sox met the Yankees on a warm, sunny day for a Wednesday matinee, a former baseball tradition now gone the way of the dodo.

Wilbur Wood took the mound seeking his 22nd win, which would tie his total for 1971. Allen going into the game had 31 home runs, having smacked his 30th off Bill Lee in the second game of the Sunday Sox-Sox twinbill; and his 31st on Tuesday night off Fritz Peterson of the Yanks. After having no players hit 30 home runs in a season from 1901-69, the Sox now had two players accomplish the feat three years in a row. Hey, when it rains, it pours.

Another tradition that continued was Harry Caray doffing his shirt and broadcasting the Wednesday matinee from the centerfield bleachers. Two weeks earlier Robert Markus had written a Sunday Magazine piece about Caray's growing fan appeal. It was certainly in evidence on this day, as Caray was surrounded by a large crowd of admiring fans.

The crowd for this day allowed the Sox to go over the 1 million mark in attendance. This occasion was more momentous than many realized. It was the first time since 1965 that they had reached the mark. They also outdrew the 1970 squad by more than 500,000. The team that had seemingly been abandoned by its fans was now a team to see. The Sox also stood 1/2 game out of 1st. So of course, the man they had all come to see, Richard Anthony Allen, rose to the occasion.

It happened in the bottom of the 7th, with the Sox already leading 3-2 and having chased Yankee starter Mel Stottlemyre. Allen strutted up to the plate to face Lindy McDaniel with Jay Johnstone on 1st. McDaniel fired a 2-0 pitch plateward. Allen swung and crashed a shot that zinged out toward centerfield. Caray yelled excitedly as he realized the ball was headed right for him. He grabbed a net he used in the booth to shag foul balls and went for it, but it fell short of the net and was caught by a fan right in front of him. The fan, named Jim Kirk or Kurt, was interviewed on the radio by Caray.

The home run was only the 4th to land in the park's CF bleachers, which were 445 feet away from home plate. The others to reach the bleachers had been Jimmie Foxx in 1934, Hank Greenberg in 1938 and Alex Johnson in 1970.

The Sox took this one 5-2 and, coupled with an A's loss later that day, vaulted back into 1st. So to recap-the White Sox go over the 1 million mark for the first time in seven years, and only two years after failing to draw half that number. The win allowed them to recapture the top spot in the division. And it was capped off by Dick Allen's thunderous blast into the centerfield bleachers, the first such shot ever by a White Sox player.

Like I said, flair. Panache. Whatever you want to call it, Dick Allen had it. Fictional detective John Shaft had nothing on Dick Allen when it came to being a badass mother-(shut your mouth).


Also, here is another clip from The Natural-this one sees Roy Hobbs boom a shot off a centerfield clock. The music is the only way to describe Allen's bleacher blast.

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