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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 28,1973

Posted 10-22-2017 at 02:44 PM by TommyJohn
Updated 06-25-2018 at 10:36 PM by TommyJohn

May 28, 1973
vs. Cleveland Indians
at White Sox Park

It was late May, the Sox were in 1st place, winning and showing no signs of letting up. Sure, there were still salary dramas going on behind the scenes. You wouldn't know it by the way they were playing. They appeared to be one, big happy family. All was right with the world.

But small cracks began to develop. Carlos May strained his thigh and was assigned the DH position for a few days. A worse injury occurred on the 25th when Ken Henderson, hitting .306 as Dick Allen's protection in the order, slid into home plate in the 2nd inning of a game against the Indians and strained his knee. The Sox announced he would be out for 10 days, although the injury appeared to be far more serious than that.

Finding someone to fill out the rotation continued to be an issue as well. In the same game in which Henderson injured his knee, Rich Gossage was handed a starting assignment and was bombed.

Some stars continued to shine, though. On the 26th the Sox and Indians hooked up in an epic game that went 16 innings before being halted by the AL curfew (see Game of the Year, 1973). Bill Melton had tied it 2-2 in the 8th with a solo home run.

Rain delayed the resumption of the game by one night. On the 28th the two teams picked up where they left off, with Chuck Tanner sending Wilbur Wood, the starter for that night's regularly scheduled game, to the mound for the 17th inning of the suspended game.

Wood pitched brilliantly, allowing one unearned run in the 21st to give the Indians a 3-2 lead. But the Sox tied it and had two on in the bottom half when Dick Allen took pitcher Ed Farmer deep for an opposite field home run to win it.

The Sox went out and took the regularly scheduled contest 4-0 behind RBIs from Pat Kelly, Bill Melton, Rick Reichardt and Eddie Leon.

Wilbur was equally outstanding in this game, allowing four hits in twirling a complete game shutout. His line for the evening: 14 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 9 K. He won both games, of course, something no Sox pitcher would match for another 11 years. At this point he is 13-3 and on pace to win 40 games, a feat accomplished only twice in the 20th century, in 1904 and 1908. Sports- and headline writers are starting to have a lot of fun with puns like "Wood is made of iron."

Sox are now 26-14, 3 1/2 games in 1st.
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