This Week in White Sox History: March 8-14

The Most: Johnny Mostil (left), one of the best outfielders in White Sox history saw things take a very bad turn 93 years ago.


March 8, 1948
WGN, channel 9 in Chicago, announced that it would televise White Sox games for the first time. Veteran radio sports broadcasters Jack Brickhouse and Harry Creighton would become the first White Sox TV announcers in history.


March 9, 1927
Popular Sox outfielder Johnny Mostil attempted suicide in a hotel room in Shreveport, La. Despite razor cuts to his wrist, neck and chest, Mostil survived and returned to the team in April although he’d only play in 13 games that season. In 10 years with the White Sox, Mostil would hit better than .300 four times. After his career he’d become a longtime White Sox scout/coach and help develop future players like All-Star outfielder Jim Landis.


March 10, 1995
After two stints at White Sox spring training and a full season in Birmingham, Michael Jordan announced he was giving up baseball. Part of the reason was because of his struggles with the game, but the other, larger part (as he explained to author Bob Greene, in the book, “Rebound, The Odyssey of Michael Jordan”) was because he was being pressured by Sox G.M. Ron Schueler to cross the MLBPA picket line.

With “replacement” games set to start, Jordan stated that he was told if he didn’t cross the line, he’d be banished from the main clubhouse. Jordan was furious, saying that he was promised by owner Jerry Reinsdorf he wouldn’t have to take that step. Jordan explained that under no circumstances would he ever cross a labor picket line regardless of sport: “I told them from the beginning that I didn’t want them to use me to make money in the spring training games. We had an understanding. It was never supposed to even come up. I was disgusted that the promise wasn’t going to be honored,” he told Greene. Jordan would return to the Bulls and win three more championships.


March 11, 1968
White Sox rookie pitcher Cisco Carlos was part of the cover shot for Sports Illustrated. The headline read, “The Best Rookies Of 1968.” Unfortunately, Carlos didn’t turn out to be one of them, either in the short term or the long one. In fact, of the five players on the cover only Johnny Bench and Mike Torrez made a name for themselves in the sport. In two-and-a-half seasons with the White Sox, Carlos went 10-17.


March 12, 1973
White Sox third baseman and former AL home run champ Bill Melton appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated. The headline read, “Chicago Comes Out Swinging. Slugger Bill Melton.” Melton would have a nice comeback season after missing most of 1972 with a herniated disc, hitting .277 with 20 home runs and 87 RBIs.


March 13, 2000
White Sox slugger Frank Thomas is again featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated. A lengthy story covered his career, controversies and his desire to return to the top of the game. The headline stated, “Don’t Question My Desire. Frank Thomas Comes Out Swinging.” Thomas would have a spectacular season in 2000, losing out on his third AL MVP to Jason Giambi, who’d later admit to using steroids in grand jury testimony. Frank’s numbers in 2000 included a .328 batting average, 43 home runs, 143 RBIs, 112 walks and a slugging percentage of .625.


March 14, 1994
Sports Illustrated took issue with former NBA superstar Michael Jordan and his attempt to play baseball. Jordan was on the cover of SI again, but in a negative light. The headline read, “Bag It Michael! Jordan and the White Sox Are Embarrassing Baseball.” From that day on, Jordan (who was always very cooperative with that magazine) would never speak to Sports Illustrated again.

Today in White Sox History: September 10

A pennant race rescued: Horlen’s no-hitter righted the ship in late 1967. (Chicago Tribune)


Sept. 10, 1930 — Future Hall-of-Famer Luke Appling made his Chicago White Sox debut. It was the start of the legacy of great Sox shortstops, including Chico Carrasquel, Luis Aparicio and Ozzie Guillén. Appling went 1-for-4 in a 6-2 loss to the Boston Red Sox.


Sept. 10, 1954Paul Richards, one of the greatest managers in White Sox history, resigned to accept a duel position of general and field manager for the Baltimore Orioles. Richards was the man credited with turning around the fortunes of the franchise in 1951 with his aggressive running philosophy. Sox pitcher Billy Pierce called Richards the smartest manager he ever had. Richards was also credited with turning around Nellie Fox, helping make him into a very good hitter. Richards left because the White Sox were not willing to give him a multiyear contract extension or a raise, and because of personal disagreements he had with then-GM Frank “Trader” Lane.


(Chicago Tribune)

Sept. 10, 1967 — Coming off of two straight losses to the Detroit Tigers and in danger of falling out of the pennant race, Joe Horlen threw a no-hitter. Almost 24,000 Sox fans saw Horlen win, 6-0. Sox second baseman Wayne Causey saved the no-hitter with a grab of a smash up the middle off of the bat of Jerry Lumpe in the ninth inning; Causey’s throw just nipped Lumpe at the bag.

Rookie Cisco Carlos then shut out Detroit, 4-0, in the second game, vaulting the Sox right back into pennant contention. It was the last time in franchise history the Sox would throw doubleheader shutouts.


Sept. 10, 1977—- White Sox pitcher Wilbur Wood tied the American League record by hitting three California Angels hitters in a row in the first inning of the club’s 6-1 loss at Anaheim. With two out and a man on, “Woody” hit Dave Kingman, Don Baylor and Dave Chalk.