Miracle Man: Loaiza was supposed to merely fill out the rotation, not compete for the Cy Young.
Sometimes luck plays a part in things … sometimes a very big part. On this date, White Sox GM Ken Williams signed free agent pitcher Esteban Loaiza to a contract. Loaiza was expected to round out the back end of the rotation, but he did much more than that. By season’s end he had won 21 games, started the All-Star Game and led the AL in strikeouts. He could have won the Cy Young Award, but a pair of 1-0 losses to Detroit appeared to kill his chances and he ended up second in the voting. The next year he was traded to the Yankees at midseason for pitcher Jose Contreras — another deal that was a steal for the White Sox!
Sept. 28, 1932 — J. Louis Comiskey, the new owner and son of Charles Comiskey, tried to rebuild his franchise by sending $150,000 (an unheard-of sum in those days) to the Philadelphia A’s for infielder Jimmy Dykes, outfielder Al Simmons and utility man George “Mule” Haas.
Simmons would become a member of the Hall of Fame in 1953, and in three seasons with the Sox twice drove in more than 100 RBIs. Dykes would eventually manage the team for more than 12 full seasons, beginning in 1934. He had five winning years and one season at .500 in that time, by Brett Ballantini’s managerial WAR the best manager in White Sox history.
Sept. 28, 1953 — The White Sox beat the St. Louis Browns, 3-2, behind Billy Pierce. It was the last American League game ever played in St. Louis, as the Browns moved to Baltimore after the season.
Sept. 28, 1959 — The White Sox team photo appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated. The caption read: “Chicago’s New Champions Sit For Their Portrait.”
Sept. 28, 1997 — Frank Thomas won the batting championship with a .347 average. He joined Luke Appling as the only White Sox players to do this. Thomas was one of only a handful of players in major league history with a batting title and at least 450 home runs to their credit. Thomas was also the largest player (both in height and weight) to ever win a batting crown.
Sept. 28, 2003 — White Sox starter Esteban Loaiza recorded his 21st win of the season, beating the Royals 5-1. The 21 wins tied the major league record for the most wins in a season by a pitcher born in Mexico. Loaiza tied the mark set by Fernando Valenzuela in 1986.