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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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Posted 04-14-2009 at 09:47 PM by TommyJohn
Updated 04-15-2009 at 08:59 AM by TommyJohn

I more or less use a set lineup for the games:

Rip Radcliff, LF
Mike Kreevich, CF
Dixie Walker, RF
Zeke Bonura, 1B
Luke Appling, SS
Jackie Hayes, 2B
Jimmie Dykes, 3B
Luke Sewell, C

My pitching rotation isn't exactly a bunch of worldbeaters. In order to keep track of the rotation, I am simply using the starters of the real games, as gleaned from retrosheet. So far it has been mostly John Whitehead and Monty Stratton, who was two years away from the hunting accident that would claim his leg and career. I could fudge it (I am with Dixie Walker, he only played 36 games after being acquired during the season) but I would rather not. I want to keep it close to real.

Other players on this team include-Merritt "Sugar" Cain who would come to them on May 5th; Italo Chelini, born in 1914 in San Francisco, just like another, slightly more famous Italian-American ballplayer who would debut in 1936; (Italo Chelini, by the way, is my favorite name out of all the players); Tony Piet, future car salesman; Larry Rosenthal; Frank Grube, who in 1932 was one of a few Sox who beat the hell out of actor Michael Moriarty's grandfather. Sadly, Bob Kennedy is not with them yet. I always liked the story about Bob Kennedy-he hit a robust .206 in 1941. When war broke out he became a naval flight instructor. One of his students was Ted Williams, who hit for a slightly better average than Kennedy in 1941-.406, a full 200 points higher than Kennedy's average.

And let us also not forget another member of that 1936 squad-"Bullfrog" Bill Dietrich, who perhaps is the most famous 1936 Sox of them all. Oh sure, he isn't a Hall of Famer like Ted Lyons and Luke Appling, nor was he known for his big bat and fielding follies, al la Zeke Bonura. No, his everlasting claim to immortality is being mentioned by his nickname by Darren McGavin in a movie that is now an enduring holiday classic-"A Christmas Story." "I can't believe they traded the Bullfrog!"

His next line, in reply to his wife's question of "who?" is "The Sox!" Red Sox fans who see this movie, unaware that other teams in baseball exist (after all, John Updike never wrote of them) hear this line and naturally think that "the Old Man" is referring not to Bill Dietrich, but to Red Sox pitcher Bob "Bullfrog" Schlemazl and the infamous 1946 trade that sent him to the Yankees in exchange for Babe Ruth's old drawers-thus unleashing onto the Red Sox the most dreaded curse in all of history-"The Curse of B.S."
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