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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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September 26,1974

Posted 01-18-2018 at 08:11 PM by TommyJohn
Updated 07-05-2018 at 07:32 PM by TommyJohn

September 26,1974
vs. Texas Rangers
at Arlington Stadium

Shortly after Dick Allen quits the team, Harry Caray infuriates Chuck Tanner by informing his viewers that the White Sox were better off now that Dick Allen was out of the picture. One thing he pointed out was that Allen made as many errors in the field-15, awful for a 1st baseman-as Bucky Dent had made at shortstop.

"You're gonna have a better team spirit" Caray told Tribune columnist Gary Deeb. "Everybody's gonna be thinking about winning instead of how far Dick Allen hits a home run. What the hell good are home runs if you don't win the ballgame?"

Caray also spent a rain delay ripping the team, saying that they didn't care if they won or lost. His partner Rob Waller followed up by saying they played "garbage baseball." Caray's contract was up for renewal at the end of the season and he was in the midst of negotiating a new one with Leo Breen. The word coming down was that the duo of Tanner and Hemond were attempting to pressure Breen into letting Caray go.

The Sox stood at 75-78 when they took the field in Arlington to face the surprising Rangers. The Rangers, losers of 105 games in 1973, hired Billy Martin in 1974 and shocked baseball by challenging the A's for the division title. By this time they had fallen back and the A's had the division pretty much wrapped up. Still, their one year turnaround was remarkable.

Jim Kaat took the field for the first game of a doubleheader in search of his 20th win. The season had started out roughly for Kaat , who at one point was 3-6 and absorbing broadsides from Harry Caray, who would go on about how Kaat was washed up. Jim caught fire from there and was now 19-13. He was also undefeated in September, winning five games to this point.

Kaat continued to be hot, setting down the Rangers offense. His first strikeout of the game, of Jeff Burroughs in the 1st inning, was the 2,000th of his career.

Jorge Orta was the offensive star of the game. He opened the scoring in the 3rd with a sacrifice fly that scored Ed Herrmann. He followed it up in the 5th by rapping a 2 run double that scored Bucky Dent and Pat Kelly.

Tony Muser, Dick Allen's replacement at 1st base, added to the scoring in the 8th by hitting a 2 run triple.

Kaat faltered only once, in the 8th when Cesar Tovar wrecked his shutout bid with a run-scoring double. Other than that, Kaat cruised through the game, setting down the Rangers 1-2-3 in the 9th to wrap up the game and nail down the 20th win. It was the first time Kaat had won that many in one season since 1966.

Kaat would go on to win his last start of the season as well. He had one of the best months ever for any pale hose pitcher, going 7-0 and allowing only two earned runs in 60 2/3 innings for an ERA of 0.30.

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