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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 29,1977

Posted 05-11-2018 at 07:52 PM by TommyJohn
Updated 05-11-2018 at 07:59 PM by TommyJohn

July 29,1977
vs. Kansas City Royals
at Comiskey Park

The Sox came home and ran their winning streak to six with a win over Detroit on the 26th. The Tigers snapped it the next day, leaving the Sox up by four games going into a four game weekend showdown with the second place Royals. The series saw a level of crowd noise, fan emotion and good times not seen on the south side since, well, the beginning of the month.

45,919 jammed the ballyard for the first game of the series on Friday night. They were hardly in their seats when the Royals jumped on starter Ken Kravec for three runs in the top of the 1st.

It started with a one out double by Hal McRae. Alan Bannister then threw away an Amos Otis grounder, enabling McRae to score. John Mayberry then quieted the crowd by hammering a two-run homer for the 3-0 lead.

The crowd and Sox bats weren't quiet for long. In the bottom of the 3rd the Sox erupted for one of their patented 6 spots, started when Jorge Orta singled with two on to drive in the Sox' first run. Richie Zisk got the crowd going again with a sharp single that plated two runs and tied the score. The Sox added one more and had Lamar Johnson on base when Chet Lemon smashed a home run to make it 6-3. The crowd exploded with delight when the ball left Lemon's bat and didn't quiet down for the rest of the night.

In the top of the 5th George Brett squared things away by socking a three run homer to make it 6-6. KC added two in the top of the 7th to take an 8-6 lead on a single by McRae and a bases loaded walk to Joe Zdeb.

The home team and crowd were undaunted. After a loud, raucous rendition of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" the Sox attacked Royal pitching.

Oscar Gamble led off the inning by getting hit in the foot with a Mark Littell pitch. Jim Spencer singled and Chet Lemon walked to load them up for Eric Soderholm. The Sox 3rd baseman hit an easy double play grounder to sure-handed shortstop Fred Patek, who leaned down for the easy scoop, but took his eye off the ball a second too soon. The crowd roared as the Patek erred to score Gamble. Brian Downing then stepped in against new pitcher Larry Gura and lined out to left, with Jim Spencer scoring. Ralph Garr then stepped up and caught George Brett flatfooted with a bunt. Brett was unable to catch up to it and the bases were loaded for Alan Bannister, whose error had been crucial in KC's 3 run 1st inning.

Bannister atoned for the error by smacking a shot that got by a diving John Mayberry for a single that scored two runs and gave the Sox a 10-8 lead.

The noise level of the crowd by now was deafening. "It was too noisy to think, which I guess was an advantage" said Bannister of the at-bat.

The Sox added one more run, but it was window dressing. The Royals weren't coming back from this. The crowd broke into its now regular "We're Number 1!" chant as Dave Hamilton put down the Royals in the 9th. Jim Spencer gloved Hamilton's toss to retire John Mayberry for the final out, then turned and joyously fired the ball into the right field stands. The deafening noise level continued as the Sox celebrated the win while the Royals fumed.

"Weirdest night I've ever spent at a ballpark...and the greatest" Zisk told Bob Verdi after the game. "It's like the Christians and lions all over again. I don't know whether the crowd comes to watch us, or we come to watch them. Whatever it is, it's beautiful."

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