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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."
Rating: 2 votes, 1.00 average.

September 1,1970; September 18, 1970

Posted 06-19-2017 at 07:16 AM by TommyJohn
Updated 08-11-2019 at 05:07 PM by TommyJohn

The Rebuild Begins
September 1, 1970

All summer long Sox fans sent letters to the Tribune begging John Allyn to do something, anything, in order to whip the team into shape. Fire Gutteridge, fire Short; bring back Frank Lane, Eddie Stanky (they were both gainfully employed elsewhere by this time and may not have any desire to go back to the Sox, but no matter). Hire Billy Martin, whose firebrand style got the Twins to the playoffs in 1969 but later cost him his job.

One devoted Sox fan even snarled that if Allyn was going to take no action to improve his club, he may as well just pack up and move the team to Dallas and leave him alone.

Well, as it turns out, Allyn wasn't just sitting on his hands all summer. He had a plan which he was going to implement at the end of the season. When he was advised that they needed to have a direction by the time organizational meetings started on September 17th, he decided to make his moves..

Stuart K. Holcomb, former Purdue University head football coach and current promotions director for the Sox, was elevated to the title of Vice-President, taking the spot of Leo Breen, who was reassigned within Artnell.

Holcomb's first action was to call Ed Short into his office, where Short was informed that he was being let go. Short was done after 20 years with the organization.

Short held no bitter feelings, saying that something had to give. "Disappointed? Well, there's no question that I am." He said.

One night later, Holcomb met with manager Don Gutteridge and told him that his contract would not be renewed for the next season. Don elected not to be a lame duck and stepped down immediately. Coach Billy Adair stepped in and took over on an interim basis.

Gutteridge also had several years within the organization, including many happy memories as a coach for Al Lopez's winning teams. Gutteridge told the media that he "wasn't spiteful."

The Sox would not immediately say who the next manager would be. Rumors included Luis Aparicio as player-manager and ex-Sox player and Class AAA Tucson manager Gordon Maltzberger as the next pilot. The Sox would only tease out that an offer had been made and accepted, and the new manager was not currently in the organization.

BELOW: Tribune article announcing Gutteridge's firing


September 18,1970
vs. Minnesota Twins
at White Sox Park

The brand new manager of the Chicago White Sox strode into the visitors' clubhouse of Kansas City Municipal Stadium, looking resplendent in his grey road uniform, the first major league uniform he had worn in a while. Outside, the weather perfectly matched the mood of the clubhouse and the franchise in general-dark, gloomy and with a steady, continuous rain.

"I'm here to observe and analyze you" he told the team. "I'm not gonna give any signals. If you want to hit and run, go ahead and hit and run. If you want to bunt, bunt. I'm just gonna watch you, how you play the game. You can do anything you want. The only thing we'll do is change pitchers."

The man who had given the speech was Charles William Tanner, 41, of New Castle, Pennsylvania. Tanner was an ex-player who had several "cups of coffee" for the Braves, Cubs, Indians and Angels from 1955-62. His big moment as a player came in his first major league at-bat, when he hit a home run on the first pitch he ever saw. Most recently Tanner was the manager of the Hawaii Islanders, the California Angels' Triple A Pacific Coast League affiliate. He had eagerly accepted Stu Holcomb's offer (or was it a challenge?) to manage the White Sox.

Also joining him from the Angels organization was 41 year old Roland Hemond, the new Director of Player Personnel. Hemond had begun his career in the Milwaukee Braves system. Hemond just as eagerly accepted Holcomb's offer to join the Sox.

The new hires had been announced on the 3rd, but Tanner and Hemond had to wait until after the PCL season had ended to join the team (the Islanders had also been in the playoffs).

Tanner's debut wound up being washed out and was pushed back to this night in Chicago vs. the Twins. The Chuck Tanner era began with a 5-4 loss that night, the club's 94th of the season. One highlight-Bill Melton hit his 29th home run of the season, tying the club mark set by Gus Zernial in 1950 and matched by Eddie Robinson in 1951. But more on that in the next entry.

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