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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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June 11,1976

Posted 03-21-2018 at 08:11 PM by TommyJohn
Updated 12-19-2018 at 08:39 AM by TommyJohn

June 11,1976
vs. Cleveland Indians
at Municipal Stadium

The Angels halt the Sox winning streak at 10 the day after Ken Brett's near no-no, but the Cinderella Sox keep on winning, reach a record of 27-22 and are 18-9 since starting the season at 9-16. They sit in third place, 4 1/2 games back of the Royals as they head out to Cleveland for a four game set.

Indians management took the opportunity to stage "Welcome Back, Bill Veeck" Night to honor the beloved owner who had brought the city its last World Series title. It also happened to be Ten Cent Beer Night. Yes, Cleveland still staged these, despite the fiasco that had occurred two years earlier. The Ten Cent Beer affairs were now a little more sedate, thanks to a strictly enforced policy of four beers per person.

Fans didn't seem all that interested in either Bill Veeck or cheap beer, as only 11,984 turned out to sit through this one. There would be far fewer than that in the stands by the time it was over, but they got to see a great ending. Well, great if you were an Indians fan.

Ken Brett took the mound again and fell behind 2-0 in the 1st inning on RBI singles by George Hendrick and Buddy Bell.

The Sox got one back in the 2nd when Brett's mound opponent Jackie Brown threw away a Rich Coggins grounder, allowing Brian Downing to score from 2nd.

Downing struck again in the top of the 7th with a solo homer to tie the score at 2. Buddy Bell got it back in the bottom half with a solo homer to give the Indians a 3-2 lead.

The Sox went into the top of the 9th trailing by that score when Buddy Bradford slammed a solo home run off Brown to tie the score at 3.

The game dragged on into extras and the teams battled until the 13th, when Bill Stein slapped a two-out single off Jim Kern to score pinch-runner Alan Bannister.

The Cinderella Sox looked on their way to wrapping up a comeback win when Terry Forster entered the game for the bottom of the inning. He allowed a leadoff single to Larvell Blanks, then quickly retired Doug Howard and George Hendrick to bring the Sox to within one out of victory.

Orlando Gonzalez, a left-handed hitter, was due up next, but Indians player-manager Frank Robinson decided to pinch Gonzalez in favor of a right-hander to face lefty Forster. Robinson decided to call on a player who had batted only 14 times all season, but who was the still best right-handed hitter the Indians had-himself.

Robby stepped up and Paul Richards paid a visit to the mound to tell Forster not to worry about walking Robinson and to just make him hit a good pitch.

Forster observed Richards' advice to the letter. He zipped a 2-1 pitch and pinch-hitter Robinson connected for a long drive that sailed into the left field seats for his first home run of the year. The few fans remaining cheered as Robby completed his trot and the Sox skulked off the field, a sure 4-3 win turned into a 5-4 loss.

But hey, it wasn't so bad, right? They were 27-23, still creeping up on the Royals. It was a hard loss, sure, but hardly a crushing one. They were still only two weeks past their 10 game winning streak, which had kicked off with Bart Johnson's gem against the Angels. They were starting to gel as a team. "Veeck's Wrecks" (as Bob Verdi and others sneeringly called them) were starting to look more like "Destiny's Darlings." A little loss like this was a drop in the bucket, right?

Yeah, about that...

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