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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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July 1,1977

Posted 05-03-2018 at 09:02 PM by TommyJohn

July 1,1977
vs. Minnesota Twins
at Comiskey Park

The Twins came to the south side for a 1st place showdown with the White Sox, who were trailing them by only a game. It turned out to be a weekend like no other in team history. The outpouring of emotion from the fans was on a level not seen since the Glory Days of the pennant-winning Go Go Sox of 1959. Not even Stanky's Boys of 1967 or Chuck's Charges in 1972 generated this type of fan reaction. This is the weekend that the Legend of the South Side Hitmen was born.

The nickname had been coined in May by the Chicago Daily News after the Sox had roughed up the Cleveland Indians in four games. It was a name that called to mind Chicago's violent gangster past, but fans didn't seem to care. T-shirts and other souvenirs with the nickname were selling well around the ballpark as the fans were now all caught up in the frenzy of having a winning ballclub.

The showdown didn't look to tilt in the Sox' favor in the early going. Lyman Bostock led off the game by ripping a triple off starter Chris Knapp. One out later Rod Carew, his average now up to .411, ripped another triple to score Bostock. Knapp settled down to get the last two outs.

The Sox wasted no time against Twin starter Dave Goltz. Alan Bannister led off the 1st with a bunt single that got the crowd of 35,709 roaring. They grew even louder when Jorge Orta doubled. The crowd noise reached its peak when Richie Zisk stepped up to the plate. In left field the "Sox Supporters" unfurled a banner that read "PITCH AT RISK TO RICH ZISK."

Goltz should have heeded their advice. Zisk laid into the first pitch and sent a drive out to deep right center. Bostock could only drift back and watch the ball land in the stands. The crowd exploded with joy and the scoreboard blew its top as Zisk rounded the bases.

He wasn't finished. Orta led off the 3rd inning with a single. Zisk came up to a standing ovation from the crowd. Richie responded by smacking a shot that took off for left field like a bullet. The low liner zinged into the stands for Zisk's second home run of the night.

That would be it for the Sox. They got only one more hit all night, but Zisk's home runs would be all that was needed. Chris Knapp coasted through the game, giving up only one more harmless run. He retired Bostock, Roy Smalley and Carew in the 9th to end it.

The big story was Zisk. His home runs so charged up the crowd that they gave him standing ovations after his next two at-bats, which had both ended in strikeouts.

"Fantastic!" was the word Zisk used to describe the crowd to the Tribune's Bill Jauss. He repeated it over and over and also said "A September playoff atmosphere tonight...and it's only July 1."

He was also in awe of the fact that he had received two standing ovations after striking out. "I can't put into words how I felt." He told Jauss. "Amazing! Every time I think I get Chicago fans figured out, they amaze me."

The Sox moved into 1st place by two percentage points over the Twins. And the weekend was just beginning.

https://www.baseball-reference.com/b...97707010.shtml
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