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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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April 18,1972

Posted 08-20-2017 at 11:43 AM by TommyJohn
Updated 06-25-2018 at 08:58 PM by TommyJohn

April 18,1972
vs. Texas Rangers
at White Sox Park

On April 7, 1970 a small, less-than-enthusiastic crowd of 11,473 turned out for the Sox opener to watch the team get crushed by the Twins, 12-0. The only loud cheering that occurred that day was when Carlos May stepped to the plate for his first at-bat since his losing his thumb in the service of Uncle Sam. After that, the fans watched the beginning of a six month long funeral for a team that was dead on arrival going into the season.

The home opener played this night was a marked contrast. The season-delaying strike turned what was to be an ordinary night game into the first night opener in team history. 20,493 turned out for this one. The strike had cost the Sox a home opening gate of 50,000.

All the whining about greedy players was not on display this night. The team was 0-3 going into this game, but you wouldn't know it by the crowd's behavior. They greeted each player with loud, enthusiastic ovations when they were introduced. Dick Allen, the new guy in town, got the longest cheer. Obviously, despite the team's record, the crowd sensed that this team was far different from the moribund group that had taken the field two years earlier.

The competition this night was the Texas Rangers, the former Washington Senators. What the Sox did to them in this game was something akin to the Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

The Sox burst out of the gate, scoring five runs before the Rangers had recorded an out, the big blow being a 3 run home run by Carlos May. Allen was greeted with a standing ovation for his first at-bat, which resulted in a walk.

The Sox poured on 4 more in the 4th and 5 in the 5th. Pat Kelly tripled twice, Dick kicked in two RBIs as did rookie Jorge Orta. May contributed 3 more to the cause. Ranger manager Ted Williams could only watch as the White Sox went to town on his pitching staff.

The recipient of all this offensive love was Wilbur Wood, who went the distance, allowed only 3 hits and faced 29 batters.

The game was delayed for a bit with two out in the 9th when a dozen or so overenthusiastic fans ran out onto the field in celebration. The PA announcer asked them to return to their seats, which they did. Wood proceeded to cap off the evening by striking out Dave Nelson. Final score White Sox 14, Rangers 0. A complete 180 turnaround from two years earlier.

The end brought more fans on the field, whooping and hollering as if the team had just won the pennant. After the famine of 1968-70, they were starved for a winner.

Dick Allen told the media after the game "I think I've found myself a home."

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