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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 27,1972

Posted 09-30-2017 at 12:10 PM by TommyJohn
Updated 06-25-2018 at 09:30 PM by TommyJohn

September 27,1972
vs. Kansas City Royals
at White Sox Park

The 1952 novel "The Natural" by Bernard Malamud featured Roy Hobbs, a baseball player with ungodly ability who, with his mystical bat Wonderboy smashes unbelievable, breathtaking home runs and almost single-handedly lifts the formerly decrepit New York Knights into pennant contention.

The 1972 season featured Dick Allen, a baseball player with ungodly ability who, with his mystical 42 ounce bat smashed unbelievable, breathtaking home runs and almost single-handedly lifted the formerly decrepit Chicago White Sox into pennant contention.

There are differences, though. Hobbs is a 35 year old rookie who comes out of nowhere to join the Knights after a 16 year absence from the game. Allen was a well-established 29 year old star of the game when he joined the Sox via trade.

One similarity-both Hobbs and Allen struck out in their final at-bat of the season; although their stories end differently. The fans in Knights Field silently shuffle out after Hobbs' strikeout ends the season one game short of the World Series. Hobbs is suspected of throwing the game and is to be thrown out of baseball. He goes off to weep bitter tears and disappear into the shadows from whence he came.

The fans in White Sox Park shower Allen with adulation, giving him a standing ovation after he strikes out in his final at-bat in the 9th inning of the final home game of the 1972 season. The Sox lose the game 4-2, reducing Oakland's Magic Number to 3. The fans knew that this would be the last they would see of Allen and the Sox for the season.

The loser in the game is Wilbur Wood, who fails in his 6th attempt to win number 25. He is 0-4 since the 7th and his ERA for the month is 5.05. Wilbur appears to be completely gassed, but denies that he is worn out.

"I wish I could say I was tired" he said. "I'd love to say I had a sore arm, but I don't. That would give me a good cover up all the way to Sept. 7."

"We're longshots now" said Chuck Tanner, master of the understatement, of his team's chances. (And indeed, Oakland would sweep a doubleheader from Minnesota that same day to reduce their Number to 1). With that in mind, and with nothing left to play for that season, Tanner congratulates his friend Allen for a job well done and rewards him by telling him to take the last week off. Allen, who has played every single game up to that point, is not one to refuse his boss. He goes home and will be absent for the final six games of the season.

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