Forty years ago today only 3,285 fans witness what turns out to be a wild and wooly game between the Chicago White Sox and the Twins at the Met. Twins starter Vic Albury leaves after 7 with a 3-1 lead and closer Bill Campbell comes in to shut the door in what seems to be a routine ball game. Campbell retires the Whitey’s in the 8th with no scoring but in the top of the 9th all hell breaks loose. Before Campbell can retire a batter he gives up a single, then a double and Brian Downing then steps up to the plate and promptly hits a 3-run home run to tie the game at 4. The next batter singles and manager Quilici has seen enough and he brings in Tom Burgmeier who quickly gives up another single but settles down and retires the next three White Sox without any further damage and the Twins fail to score in the bottom of the ninth so to extra innings we go.
Neither team scores in the 10th but in the top of the 11th inning the White Sox get a single, a sacrifice and another single and take a 5-4 lead but Burgmeier closes the door. Craig Kusick leads off the bottom of the 11th for the Twins with a home run and once again we are tied, this time at 5. The 12th inning is scoreless. In the 13th the White Sox put a couple of hits together off of Burgy and take a 6-5 lead but once again the Twins fight back with walks to Eric Soderholm, Craig Kusick, and a sacrifice/fielders choice by Danny Thompson and the Twins have the bases loaded with one out. Glenn Borgmann singles to left to score Soderholm but Jerry Terrell who was running for Kusick is thrown out at home but the game is tied at 6 apiece. The White Sox escape further damage and the game moves on to the 14th inning. For some reason, Twins manager Frank Quilici brings in St. Paul native Tom Johnson to make his major league pitching debut in the 14th inning in a tie ball game. The rookie pitcher gives up two singles and commits an error and the White Sox push a run across to take a 7-6 lead. In the bottom of the 14h inning the Twins get a single from Soderholm and a double from Tony Oliva and yes, the game is tied at 7 once again. Johnson pitches a 1-2-3 top of the 15th and the Twins come to bat in the bottom of the inning facing future hall of famer, Goose Gossage. Steve Brye strikes out but Rod Carew singles and proceeds to steal second, Larry Hisle steps up and singles to left and Carew scores and the Twins have an unbelievable 8-7 victory. Twins Tom Burgmeier pitched 5 innings of relief and Tom Johnson pitched two innings in his major league debut and won his first major league game in his first big league appearance. The fans sure got their money’s worth in this 4 hour and 7 minute game.