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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 3,1977

Posted 04-28-2018 at 03:06 PM by TommyJohn
Updated 05-03-2019 at 06:27 AM by TommyJohn

June 3, 1977
vs. New York Yankees
at Comiskey Park

If any two teams symbolized the widening chasm of baseball's haves and have-nots in this new era of free agency, it was the Yankees and the White Sox.

The Yankees were the team in the penthouse-the elites who were the absolute best at what they did, and thus the richest; looked up at with a mixture of hatred and envy by others who resented their success while wanting it for themselves.

The White Sox were the team in the poorhouse-the lesser talents and the rejects just scraping by; looked down on with a mixture of hatred and scorn by others feeling that most human desire to find someone one rung lower than them to whom they could feel superior. There were a few Yankee-type talents in the Sox mix, but as with any person of outsized talent in that situation, they were simply biding their time and waiting; eager to pay their dues until the day came that they could leave the poorhouse without looking back, never to return.

The newest jewel in the Yankee crown was star Reggie Jackson, who had signed a huge contract with the team in the offseason. Once the season began, Reggie gave an infamous interview to SPORT magazine in which he bragged all about himself, including the famous line "I'm the straw that stirs the drink."

Such comments did not endure Reg to teammates and fans, especially after he got off to a poor start and was at this point batting .245. When the Yankees came to Comiskey Park one week after beating the Sox two of three in New York, Sox fans were waiting for Jackson. They greeted him with a taunting banner, a steady stream of verbal abuse, and various items thrown at him from the stands.

30,396 fans cheered wildly as the Sox broke open a 1-1 game in the 4th. Eric Soderholm started the scoring with a bases loaded single, Jim Essian followed with a two run single. Another run scored and two were on base when Alan Bannister boomed a triple to clear the bases. He proceeded to score the Sox' 7th run of the inning on a wild pitch by Ken Holtzman. Sox fans were further delighted when Yankee manager Billy Martin was ejected from the game during that inning for lipping off to the home plate umpire.

The seven spot gave the Sox a comfortable 8-1 lead they didn't relinquish, and they eventually took the game 9-5.

Richie Zisk, who went hitless during the 7 run outburst, was bothered by the abuse he saw Reggie Jackson endure at the hands of the fans. He patrolled right field and saw all the items that had been thrown at the Yankee star.

"I wish they'd leave Reggie alone" Zisk told Richard Dozer. "They don't treat an animal in a zoo that way. I saw it in New York and I saw it here" he said, before saying not to rile Jackson up, as he could carry a club. Deep down inside, Richie may well have been thinking "that could be me next year."

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