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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 3,1976

Posted 03-28-2018 at 08:51 PM by TommyJohn
Updated 08-18-2019 at 10:32 AM by TommyJohn

July 3,1976
vs. Texas Rangers
at Comiskey Park

Morning games were an occasional occurrence during the dead ball era, when lights for night games didn't exist. They were usually played as one half of a doubleheader, with one game in the morning and one game in the afternoon. The Red Sox still play a morning game on Patriots Day in Massachusetts, which is also the day of the Boston Marathon.

Comiskey Park had never seen any morning games until this Saturday when Bill Veeck scheduled one as part of a "Breakfast Game" promotion, sponsored by McDonald's. Fans coming in got a free breakfast compliments of Mickey D's while Ronald McDonald put in a personal appearance. I was at the game with my father and brother. I don't remember getting a free breakfast, but I do remember catching a glimpse of Ronald and excitedly waving in his direction.

The sun shone brightly and Harry Caray took off his shirt and camped out in the centerfield bleachers to call the game. The bleary-eyed White Sox took the field and starter Terry Forster threw the first pitch at 10:37 AM.

The Rangers hit him right away when lead off man Gene Clines singled, advanced to 2nd on a bunt sacrifice and scored on a single by Toby Harrah.

Forster then walked Tom Grieve to lead off the 2nd. He induced Len Randle to bounce into a double play; but after he walked Juan Beniquez and fell behind in the count to Jim Sundberg, Richards had seen enough and yanked him in favor of Pete Vukovich. Vuke walked Sundberg and gave up an RBI single to Clines, with the run charged to Forster.

Texas starter Nelson Briles, meanwhile had a pretty easy time with a weak Sox offense that had scored a grand total of four runs in the last four games; although the night before had been a 1-0, complete game shutout hurled by Bart Johnson, who lowered his ERA to 4.75 and was looking good on the comeback trail.

Briles looked as good as Johnson had, giving up only three hits, three walks and striking out seven. Texas gave him an insurance run in the 9th when Sundberg tripled in Beniquez. Jim Spencer grounded into the final out to cap Briles' complete game shutout.

The first morning game wasn't a really a great success attendance-wise as only 10,099 (probably) hungover fans turned out for the game. It didn't help that the White Sox offense laid enough eggs for a week's worth of Egg McMuffins.

On another note, Bob Verdi wrote in the next day's Tribune about what was fast becoming one of the most eagerly anticipated moments in White Sox, nay, baseball history-The Coming of the Shorts.

The Bermuda shorts that Jim Rivera had modeled in the offseason had arrived the morning of the breakfast game, and several Sox players took a look at them with equal parts amusement and scorn. Verdi wrote down several player and coach reactions to the uniform shorts, or unorts, if you will. The best quotes by far were these two:

BART JOHNSON: "They don't have to get a pair for me. I'll just use Jack Brohamer's regular pants and they'll look like shorts"

JACK BROHAMER: "I don't think what Bart said is very funny. I'm not going to wear short pants unless they let me wear a halter top, too."

The Day of the Shorts was nigh.
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