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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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October 1,1970

Posted 07-01-2017 at 10:45 AM by TommyJohn
Updated 06-25-2018 at 09:53 PM by TommyJohn

October 1,1970
vs. California Angels
at Anaheim Stadium

Danny Murphy stood on the mound, having just come into the game in relief of pitcher Jim Magnuson. He leaned in and got his signal from catcher Chuck Brinkman. The batter, Mel Queen, an Angel relief pitcher being called on to pinch-hit, dug in and lifted his bat. The runners on 1st and 3rd both took a lead.

It was the bottom of the 13th of a 4-4 game. The smallish Anaheim crowd cheered their boys on, rooting for them to get the game over with one way or another. After all, it was getting to be 11:30. People had to get up early the next day. Back home in Chicago it was long past midnight. The few fans still interested in the Sox at this point had long since set their clocks to get up for work the next morning, shut off their TVs and radios, and gone to bed.

Murphy fired a pitch plateward. Queen swung and lashed a base hit. Billy Cowan trotted in from 3rd and touched home plate.

And with that run the long, agonizing 1970 White Sox season was at last over.

It would've ended much earlier. The Sox went into the top of the 9th trailing 3-0. Two quick outs brought up Chuck Brinkman. Both he and Gail Hopkins granted stays of execution with singles. Walt Williams then came up and tagged a ball that landed in the seats for a dramatic, game-tying 3 run homer, only his 3rd of the season. Red Rush on the radio described the scene as the team "celebrating as if they were going to the playoffs. But that's baseball."

The game then dragged on until the 13th, when Bill Melton broke the tie with his 33rd home run of the year, adding to his new franchise record total.

But, as stated above, the 1970 White Sox couldn't hold it. Mickey Rivers walked and came all the way around to score the tying run on a double by Billy Cowan and error by Chuck Brinkman. Cowan moved to 3rd on the error and Chico Ruiz was intentionally walked to bring up Queen, who delivered the season-ending hit.

The season ended with the Sox at 56-106, the worst record in franchise history. Total paid attendance was 495,355, easily rock bottom in the AL. Roland Hemond and Chuck Tanner had their work cut out for them.

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