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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 20,1973

Posted 10-22-2017 at 02:20 PM by TommyJohn
Updated 06-25-2018 at 10:36 PM by TommyJohn

May 20, 1973
vs. Minnesota Twins
at White Sox Park

This day went down in team history as the day that the White Sox rolled straight 5's-as in 55,555.

That was the record number of fans that jammed their way into the ballpark for the Sunday Bat Day doubleheader with the Twins. No one has any explanation for the crowd. It was a popular promotion, sure. And it was the second year in a row that it had drawn a crowd of more than 50,000. But there were years that the team had ordered 5,000 or 10,000 bats and couldn't give them all away.

And where did all the people fit? The World Series of 1959 didn't have attendance figures like that. A Sox-Cubs exhibition game in 1964 drew an overflow crowd of 52,712, several hundred of whom had to sit on the right field warning track. The crowd this day bested the record of 54,215 who had turned out on July 19,1953 for a Sox-Yankees doubleheader.

The huge turnout got their money's worth in the first game. Bill Melton had the whole park shaking with a two run homer, his 8th of the season, in the 1st inning.

The Sox led 3-2 in the 4th when they added four more, the last 3 coming in on a Carlos May bomb into the seats. Two more runs scored in the 6th on RBI singles by May and Melton.

The Sox coasted 9-3 in game one. Wilbur Wood got the victory to up his record to 10-3 with an ERA of 1.98. Woodie is at this point on a pace to win 30 games. He deflects questions about that possibility by saying "all I can say is I'll win ten."

The Twins cool the Sox in game 2, winning 3-0. The Sox end the day 21-13, still in 1st place.

The big story was the crowd. No one could believe the size of it. To the day he died Bill Veeck did not believe the announced attendance figure for this day. It remains the all-time single day attendance record for Chicago baseball, and since both Chicago ballparks have seating capacities of just over 40,000, that record is likely to stand for as long as baseball is played in the windy city.

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