Today in White Sox History: April 14

Tres Garcías: On this day in 2017, the White Sox outfield made history. (@WhiteSox)


1910
White Sox pitcher Frank Smith fired what remains the franchise’s only Opening Day one-hitter as he beat the St. Louis Browns in Chicago, 3-0. Smith would later go on to pitch for the Red Sox and Reds.


1917
White Sox pitching star Eddie Cicotte no-hit the St. Louis Browns, in a 11-0 laugher. The game was at St. Louis and remains the earliest no-hitter ever thrown by a Sox pitcher in a season.


1942
Because of the intervention of President Franklin Roosevelt, Major League Baseball continued during World War II. The Sox would lose to St. Louis, 3-0, this Opening Day and according to the reports of the time it was a very quiet, somber crowd. Marines and sailors marched in carrying the American flag from center field. Pearl Harbor was still etched in everyone’s memories.


1953
Cleveland’s Bob Lemon, who’d go on to manage the White Sox in 1977 and some of 1978, almost duplicated Bob Feller’s 1940 Opening Day no-hitter, holding the Sox to one hit in winning, 6-0. Feller’s gem is the only Opening Day no-hitter in MLB history. 


1955
The White Sox and Sandy Consuegra defeated the Kansas City Athletics, 7-1, in the Comiskey Park home opener. The game was the first-ever between the Sox and the Athletics since the A’s move from Philadelphia to Kansas City. Sandy went the distance, allowing only three hits.


1964
The bittersweet 1964 season began with the White Sox dropping a 5-3 decision to the Orioles in Chicago. Hoyt Wilhelm gave up three late runs to lose the game. The 1964 Sox would win 98 games … only to finish one game behind the Yankees for the pennant.


1981
In the home opener for the season and for new owners Jerry Reinsdorf and Eddie Einhorn, 51,560 fans poured into Comiskey Park to see the new faces and new attitude. The Sox put on a show in blowing apart Milwaukee, 9-3. The big blow was Carlton Fisk’s grand slam into left-center in the fourth inning off of former Sox hurler Pete Vuckovich.


2017
The White Sox started an all-García outfield at Minnesota, marking the first time in major league history a team’s three starting outfielders all had the same last name. All three collected hits, including Willy García, who doubled in his first big-league at-bat in the second. He played left field, with Leury García in center and Avisaíl García in right. The Alou brothers all played in the outfield for San Francisco in 1963 a few times, but all three never actually started a game together. The Sox won the contest, 2-1.


 

Today in White Sox History: March 18

Steal of a deal: A best-buy in 1964, Don Mossi made the White Sox bullpen unbeatable. (Chicago White Sox)


1964
The White Sox purchased the contract of veteran pitcher Don Mossi from the Tigers for $20,000. Mossi would have a spectacular season for the club that lost the pennant by one game, going 3-1 with seven saves and an ERA of 2.92. He’d team up with Hoyt Wilhelm and Eddie Fisher to give the club the best bullpen in the league.


1981
Carlton Fisk signed a free agent deal with the White Sox, beginning the process of turning a laughable organization into a real, legitimate major league franchise. The All-Star catcher and future Hall-of-Famer got his free agency after the Red Sox did not tender him a contract by the required date. Immediately, Sox co-owner Eddie Einhorn and GM Roland Hemond jumped at the chance to get a player of Fisk’s caliber on to the team. Fisk would play 13 years on the South Side, make four All-Star teams, and have his No. 72 retired in 1997. He retired with the team record for most home runs, as well as most home runs in MLB history hit by a catcher.

 

 

 

 

Today in White Sox History: December 1

Sandlot ball: The White Sox saw Luis Alvarado playing in a parking lot and said, “Hey, let’s trade Luis Aparicio for this guy!” (Topps)


1956 — With the first of many awards he would win in his Hall of Fame career, Luis Aparicio became the first Venezuelan to ever win the Rookie of the Year Award. Aparicio led the AL in steals with 21 and played a stellar defensive game, leading the league in putouts and assists as well as in games and innings played. Aparicio picked up 22 of the 24 possible votes. He beat out Cleveland’s Rocky Colavito (who would join the Sox in 1967) and Baltimore’s Tito Francona (who also would be a member of the White Sox, for part of the 1958 campaign).


1964 — The Sox traded pitcher Frank Baumann to the Cubs for catcher Jimmie Schaffer. It was the first time the two Chicago clubs made a direct trade with each other.


1970 — For the second and final time, the White Sox traded Luis Aparicio. The future Hall of Fame shortstop was sent to the Red Sox for infielders Luis Alvarado and Mike Andrews. Those players helped the Sox in the early 1970s, but this is one Roland Hemond trade that some have second-guessed. In 1972, if Aparicio was around to provide some stability to the infield, the White Sox may have taken the Western Division title. Lee “Bee-Bee” Richards, Alvarado and Rich Morales simply weren’t the answer at shortstop that season.


1998 — Popular and proficient third baseman Robin Ventura signed a free agent contract with the Mets. Ventura, who was an outspoken critic of the “White Flag” trade, won five Gold Gloves in his time on the South Side in addition to hitting 171 home runs. He had six seasons with at least 90 RBIs and hit .280 or better for five seasons. He’d return in 2012 to begin a five-year tenure as manager.

 

 

 

Today in White Sox History: September 15

Double his pleasure: Lyons was so great for the White Sox, the franchise honored him with two “Days.”


Sept. 15, 1940Ted Lyons Day was held at Comiskey Park. The “Baylor Bearcat” won 260 games with the club and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1955. His No. 16 would be retired in 1987. This was the second time Lyons was honored this way, the first time coming in 1933.


Sept. 15, 1964 — In his first at-bat in the American League after many seasons in the NL, pinch-hitter deluxe Forrest “Smoky” Burgess belted a game-tying home run at Detroit. The Sox would eventually beat the Tigers 3-2 in 10 innings, keeping their pennant hopes alive. Burgess would lead the league in pinch hits in 1965 and 1966.


Sept. 15, 1970 — Shortly after taking over as the new director of player personnel, Roland Hemond targeted the man who’d eventually in his words, “save” the franchise. Hemond called Bing Devine to see what the chances were of making a deal for Cardinals slugger Dick Allen. Devine turned him down, but 15 months later Hemond would get his man — from the Los Angeles Dodgers.


Sept. 15, 1983 — The White Sox set the franchise record for most runs scored in the sixth inning of a game when they got 11 in a 12-0 win over the Seattle Mariners at Comiskey Park. LaMarr Hoyt got the win, his 21st on the season. The game only lasted seven innings due to rain. Harold Baines had a grand slam, as the Sox cut their magic number down to two for winning the division. The Sox sent 17 men to the plate in the sixth, which saw them get nine hits.


Sept. 15, 1990 — Owner Jerry Reinsdorf fired GM Larry Himes, citing “personality differences.” Himes drafted and signed future White Sox stars like Frank Thomas, Jack McDowell, Robin Ventura and Alex Fernandez. During the press conference announcing the hiring of Ron Schueler as new GM, Reinsdorf issued his famous “point A to point B to point C” comment. Later in a rare radio appearance he was candid on the subject to host Chet Coppock: “The fact is, Larry Himes cannot get along with anybody. You can hardly find anybody in the Sox organization that wasn’t happy when Larry Himes left.”


Sept. 15, 1996Frank Thomas slugged his 215th home run in a Sox uniform, breaking Carlton Fisk’s team record. Thomas homered three times at Fenway Park off the Red Sox’s Tim Wakefield, yet the Sox lost the game, 9-8.


Sept. 15, 1997 — In an 11-10 loss in Milwaukee, Sox rookies Mario Valdez and Jeff Abbott both hit their first big league home runs. Valdez got his in the fifth inning, Abbott an inning later.