Steal of a deal: Ed Short snagged four cornerstones of the mid-1960s White Sox, including Pete Ward, in a single trade in 1963.
In a move that re-energized the franchise and led directly to back-to-back-to-back 90-or-more-win seasons in 1963, 1964 and 1965. White Sox GM Ed Short traded shortstop Luis Aparicio and outfielder Al Smith to the Baltimore Orioles for third baseman Pete Ward, outfielder Dave Nicholson, shortstop Ron Hansen and relief pitcher Hoyt Wilhelm.
Ward would be named co-Rookie of the Year (with teammate Gary Peters) and would supply power for the next few seasons. Nicholson, who struck out far too much, would have 22 home runs and 70 RBIs in 1963. Hansen would be one of the best defensive shortstops in the league and hit as many as 20 home runs in a season, at a time when shortstops simply didn’t do that. Wilhelm became the top relief pitcher of the 1960’s; in his six years with the Sox he’d win 41 games and save 98 others while producing some astonishingly low ERAs considering he threw the knuckleball.
The White Sox acquired pitcher David Wells from Toronto, basically for pitcher Mike Sirotka. Over the coming weeks and months, Sirotka and the Blue Jays claimed the Sox knew that Sirotka had a bad arm and couldn’t pitch. Sox GM Ken Williams defended himself by saying that he told the Jays he thought Sirotka might be hurt and offered pitcher Jim Parque instead. Commissioner Bud Selig ruled in late March that the trade would stand. The whole episode became known as “Shouldergate.”
Savvy snag: Rule 5 draft choice Greg Walker clubbed his way through the mid-1980s.
1957 In a trade that shocked and outraged many White Sox fans, popular outfielder Minnie Miñoso and infielder Fred Hatfield were traded to Cleveland for future Hall of Fame pitcher Early Wynn and outfielder Al Smith. Wynn and Smith were among the final pieces acquired for the franchise that would win the pennant in 1959 (Wynn would win the Cy Young Award that season with 22 victories).
1979 The White Sox claimed first baseman Greg Walker from the Phillies in the Rule 5 draft. Walker would make the big club for good in 1983 and have three seasons with at least 24 home runs and two years with at least 90 RBIs. He’d then become the team’s hitting coach.
1997 Jerry Manuel was named the new manager, replacing Terry Bevington. Manuel became the second minority manager of the franchise in team history. In his seven years, the Sox would go to the playoffs in 2000 and have three winning seasons. He’d be named Manager of the Year for his efforts in winning the Central Division in 2000.
Doused: The White Sox took the good fortune of a possible 2-0 World Series lead and left it all wet in a late barrage of homers.
1904 — Doc White’s streak of 45 consecutive scoreless innings was broken when the New York Highlanders (Yankees) got a run in the first inning of the opener of a twinbill in Chicago. White would pitch in both games, getting decisions in both. He won the first game, lost the second.
1908 — In the heat of a three-team pennant race, it may have been the greatest game even thrown by opposing hurlers against one other. Cleveland beat the White Sox, 1-0, as Addie Joss fired a perfect game. Meanwhile White Sox starter Ed Walsh struck out 15 Indians and allowed only three hits. The winning run scored when catcher Ossee Schreck couldn’t hang on to one of Walsh’s spitters with a man on third.
1959 — Game 2 of the World Series started put like a repeat of Game 1. The White Sox were leading the Dodgers, 2-1, in the seventh inning with two out when Chuck Essegian and Charlie Neal slugged home runs off of Bob Shaw. Making matters worse was that in the middle of an eighth-inning Sox rally, the slowest man in baseball, Sherm Lollar, was waved home with what would have been the tying run on a double by Al Smith. Lollar was out by 10 feet. Instead of having men on second and third with no out, it was a runner on third with one out. The Sox lost the game, 4-3.
In the fifth inning, Chicago left fielder Smith would get hit in the face with a cup of beer knocked over by a fan reaching for Neal’s first home run. It would become one of the most famous photographs of the 1950s.
2015 — White Sox starter Chris Sale broke Ed Walsh’s club record for most strikeouts in a season. Sale struck out Tiger James McCann in the second inning of a 2-1 win, giving Sale his 270th strikeout of the year. Walsh’s record had stood since 1908. Sale would finish the 2015 season with 274 strikeouts.
The best magic number: At this time in 1959, it shrank to zero. (Chicago Sun-Times)
Sept. 22, 1959 — The White Sox clinched the American League pennant, win 4-2 at Cleveland. Al Smith and Jim Rivera hit back-to-back home runs in the game. Smith also threw out former Sox star Minnie Miñoso trying to score a run.
A crowd estimated by the Chicago Sun-Times at 125,000 was at Midway Airport to greet the Sox when they returned home. All this on a night when Chicago fire commissioner Robert Quinn ordered the air raid sirens turned on to celebrate the title, causing fear and panic in a number of non-baseball fans who thought the Russians were attacking. The South Siders would wind up winning the 1959 pennant by five games over the Tribe, with a mark of 94-60.
Sept. 22, 1966 — In a game at Yankee Stadium, pitcher Joe Horlen and his teammates stopped New York to the tune of 4-1. Only 413 fans were in attendance at the gigantic stadium. It’s believed to be the smallest home crowd ever at a Yankee game.