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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 11, 1968

Posted 03-04-2017 at 04:20 PM by TommyJohn
Updated 06-04-2018 at 03:21 PM by TommyJohn

July 11,1968
vs. New York Yankees
at County Stadium, Milwaukee

Eddie Stanky continued to be the center of the s***storm that was the White Sox' 1968 season.

The skipper had rumored clashes with veterans Tommie Davis and Luis Aparicio; along with General Manager Ed Short. The GM objected to Stanky barring reporters from the clubhouse, with the two getting into an argument over it.

Stanky also barred his players from speaking to reporters on at least three occasions; his explanation was that he wanted to "protect" his players from saying anything that would "harm" them or baseball.

By this time Stanky had moved his coaches' lockers into the same area with the players. This didn't go down well, many felt that the manager was getting paranoid and wanted to know what was being said about him.

The Sox took the field for the first game after the All-Star break (Tommy John, 7-0 at this point, was the lone Sox representative in Houston) to play the Yankees in front of a crowd of 40,575 at County Stadium.

The Sox took a 1-0 lead, but the Yankees quickly erased it, slapping starter Gary Peters for three runs and reliever Hoyt Wilhelm for two.

The Sox trailed 5-3 before mounting a small 9th inning comeback vs. Yankee starter Fritz Peterson, who gave up one run and needed last out relief help from Steve Hamilton to get the victory.

The Sox returned to Chicago to continue the series when Stanky was called in to meet with Art Allyn and Ed Short. The Sox brass emerged from the meeting to announce that Stanky had resigned as manager and would be replaced by Al Lopez. And just like that, the Eddie Stanky era was over without pomp or ceremony.

Stanky was a force of nature during his tenure as White Sox manager. No one-players, umpires, reporters, fellow managers-was safe from his blistering tongue. He drove his players hard, but was also fiercely protective of them. He was driven to succeed, and wanted especially to top his good friend Leo Durocher, who was finding success and hosannas as manager of the Cubs. He kept things lively during the tense pennant race of 1967, but once the Sox started 1968 on a losing note his tightly wound nature worked to the team's detriment.

Sox fan and future Tribune sportswriter and editor Bob Vanderberg was at the park the night Stanky lost his job and later summed up it thusly: "It was a sad evening. We had lost a hero. After all, how many of us could have told the Vice-President of the United States where to get off?"

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