Today in White Sox History: November 27

 


1938 — White Sox star pitcher Monty Stratton, an American League All-Star in 1937 and one of the best young players in the game, accidentally shot himself in the leg after his .32 caliber pistol discharged when he was replacing it in his holster. Stratton had been out hunting. Unable to get help, he crawled a half-mile to a road leading into Greenville, Texas. The bullet pierced a femoral artery, which stopped circulation to the limb, and Stratton’s leg had to be amputated. His four-year career ended. Stratton eventually came back to play in a few minor league games using a wooden leg.

In 1948, Hollywood made “The Stratton Story,” starring Jimmy Stewart, June Allyson and former Sox manager Jimmy Dykes.


1951 – In yet another one of Frank Lane’s “best deals,” the White Sox GM sent five players to the St. Louis Browns for three players, including catcher Sherm Lollar. Lollar would become a three-time All-Star and three-time Gold Glove winner. Of the players sent to St. Louis, one of them, outfielder Jim Rivera, would be reacquired by the Sox the following July. Both players would remain with the club through the early 1960s.


1961 — In a bizarre coincidence, both Minnie Miñoso and Joe Cunningham were at the same sports banquet in Joliet when word came that the White Sox and Cardinals had made a trade — Miñoso for Cunningham! Cunningham became perhaps the finest-fielding first baseman in franchise history, ranking right up there with Joe Kuhel and Tony Muser. And he could hit, too: In 1962, Joe would reach base 268 times and lead the Sox in walks, runs, sacrifice flies and bunts. He hit .295 and drove in 70 runs. In July 1964, the White Sox sent Cunningham to the Senators as part of a deal bringing Moose Skowron to the Sox.


1981 — It was a move criticized at the time, as Sox GM Roland Hemond sent outfielder Chet Lemon to the Tigers for outfielder Steve Kemp. The swap of All-Stars left Sox fans shaking their heads, as Kemp would become a free agent after the upcoming season. He’d eventually sign a big-money contract with the Yankees after knocking in 98 runs for the Sox in 1982.

However, what wasn’t known at the time was that the Sox weren’t going to re-sign Lemon; the young star had agreed to an extension, but then balked after the new Jerry Reinsdorf-Eddie Einhorn ownership went out and signed Carlton Fisk for more money than Lemon had agreed to.

And yes, the move broke the tiny little White Sox heart of the future editor-in-chief of South Side Hit Pen.

 

 

 

Today in White Sox History: November 10


1948 — New White Sox GM Frank Lane made his first deal, and it was a beauty. Lane traded backup catcher Aaron Robinson to the Detroit Tigers for a young, left-handed pitcher named Billy Pierce. Pierce would become arguably the finest lefthander in White Sox history: He won 186 games in a Sox uniform with two 20-win seasons, seven All-Star selections and four one-hitters. He led the AL at various times in wins, complete games, ERA and strikeouts. He also was the first Chicago athlete to be put on the cover of Sports Illustrated (May 1957).


1993 Frank Thomas won his first MVP award, on the strength of a .317 batting average with 41 home runs and 128 RBIs. The Big Hurt was a large reason the Sox would win the Western Division championship. In a rarity, Thomas won his MVP by a unanimous vote of the Baseball Writers Association of America. Paul Molitor was a distant second. Thomas would repeat winning the award in 1994.


2014 — White Sox slugger José Abreu was named the unanimous winner by the Baseball Writers Association of America as the AL Rookie of the Year. He got all 30 votes on the basis of a spectacular first season in the major leagues, marked by a .317 average with 36 home runs and 107 RBIs. He led the major leagues in slugging percentage as well. Pitcher Matt Shoemaker of the Angels was second.

Today in White Sox History: October 19

(Topps)


1949 – White Sox GM Frank Lane struck again. Lane dealt backup catcher and malcontent Joe Tipton to the Philadelphia A’s for a young, small second baseman named Jacob Nelson “Nellie” Fox. Tipton had gotten into a fistfight with Sox manager Jack Onslow during the 1949 season and wasn’t going to be kept.

All Fox did was eventually get to the Hall of Fame, have his No. 2 retired by the team in 1976, make 12 All- Star teams, win the league’s MVP award in 1959 and become one of the faces of the “Go-Go” Sox during the 1950s and early 1960s.

The trade, as measured through today’s WAR prism, netted the White Sox 44.2 bWAR.

Today in White Sox History: October 8

The last time your editor cried over a ballgame: Tito Landrum crushes Britt Burns‘ (and another BB’s) dreams in 1983.


1948Frank “Trader” Lane was recruited out of the Big Ten Conference and took over as the new general manager of the White Sox. Lane would go on to become one of the greatest GMs in team history. Among the players acquired by Lane, who made over 230 trades in his Sox tenure, were such future All-Stars as Nellie Fox, Sherm Lollar, Billy Pierce, Chico Carrasquel and Minnie Miñoso. Lane built the club that would go on to win the pennant in 1959.


1983 — With the White Sox down 2-1 in the ALCS, Jerry Dybzinski overran second base after a single by Julio Cruz in the seventh inning of a scoreless game at Comiskey Park. In the ensuing rundown Vance Law, who was on base in front of Dybzinski, was thrown out trying to score what would have been the go-ahead run. The Sox wound up losing the game and the series to the Orioles on a home run by Baltimore’s Tito Landrum in the 10th inning. The final score was 3-0, spoiling a masterful pitching performance by Sox pitcher Britt Burns.


1993 — With the White Sox down 2-0 in the ALCS, Wilson Alvarez pitched a gem and beat the Blue Jays 6-1. The Sox scored five runs in the third inning, which gave him some breathing room. Alvarez’s complete-game victory was badly needed, and gave Sox fans a reason to keep hoping.

Today in White Sox History: September 30

Fond farewell: Scoreboard welcoming fans to the final game at Comiskey Park in 1990.


1921 — White Sox catcher Ray Schalk tied a major league record with three assists in one inning. It happened in a 3-2 loss to Cleveland at Comiskey Park. Schalk picked off three baserunners!


1949 — White Sox GM Frank Lane started the connection between the franchise and Venezuela when he dealt two minor leaguers and $35,000 to the Brooklyn Dodgers for shortstop Alfonso Carrasquel.

“Chico” would be named to three All-Star teams and would become the first Venezuelan to appear in the midseason classic. He’d be traded before the start of the 1956 season, to Cleveland for Larry Doby, which opened up the position for another Venezuelan, Luis Aparicio.


1956 — In the season-ending game at Kansas City, Sox pitcher Jim Derrington became the youngest person to ever appear in a game wearing a White Sox uniform. Derrington was 16 years old when he started against the A’s. He went six innings, allowing six runs (five earned) in a 7-6 loss. The teenaged lefty (who was a “bonus baby”) didn’t last long in the big leagues. He pitched a total of 21 innings in the majors, and had a career record of 0-2.


1966 — The White Sox defeated the New York Yankees 6-5 in 11 innings, on a single to left by Johnny Romano. It scored Wayne Causey. Why was that important? The loss guaranteed the Yankees a last-place finish, for the first time since 1912.


1971 — When Bill Melton smashed a home run on the last day of the season off the Bill Parsons of the Milwaukee Brewers, he became the first White Sox player to ever win a home run championship. Melton hit three home runs in the final two games to pass Norm Cash and Reggie Jackson for the title. Typically for a White Sox slugger, Melton only hit 33, the lowest total for a champ since 1965.

In an effort to give Melton an additional at-bat or two, manager Chuck Tanner had the power hitter leading off in the Sox final two games.


1980 — For all of his contributions to baseball and to the White Sox organization, owner Bill Veeck was honored with his own night. The ceremonies took place before the White Sox would drop a 5-1 decision to Oakland.


1990 — Eighty years of baseball history ended, as the original Comiskey Park closed with a 2-1 White Sox win over the Seattle Mariners. An emotional and capacity crowd, including politicians, musicians, sports and Hollywood figures, were in attendance.

Among the celebrities in the park were Governor Jim Thompson, Major Richard M. Daley, Goldie Hawn, Kurt Russell, Ron Howard, George Wendt, John Candy, Wayne Gretzky, Billy Cunningham and Maureen O’ Hara. The Oak Ridge Boys sang the National Anthem and the rock group Styx sung “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” during the seventh inning. Bobby Thigpen got his 57th save in the game. The Sox would close out a miraculous 1990 season with 94 wins.


1997 — After controversies on and off the field (calling for a relief pitcher with no one warming up, a fistfight with umpire Richie Garcia at a steakhouse, a brawl near third base with Brewers manager Phil Garner) manager Terry Bevington was fired. No flowers were sent and no Sox fan (or player) shed any tears.


2000 — White Sox infielder José Valentin became the fourth player in franchise history to hit home runs from both sides of the plate in the same game. Valentin connected off Kansas City’s Blake Stein and Scott Mullen, driving in three runs in the 9-1 win. This had only happened six times in franchise history, and Valentin did it three times himself! Also, this feat happened three times against the Kansas City Royals.


2008 — For the first time, the White Sox played an extra game to get into the postseason. They hosted the Twins in the 163rd contest of the year (known as the “Blackout Game”) and won 1-0, clinching the Central Division title. John Danks threw eight shutout innings, Jim Thome belted what turned out to be the game-winning home run and Ken Griffey Jr. threw out Michael Cuddyer at home. The Sox won the division with a record of 89-74.


2016 — White Sox left hander Carlos Rodón tied the franchise and American League record by striking out the first seven Minnesota Twins hitters, in a game at U.S. Cellular Field. The original record was set by White Sox hurler Joe Cowley back in 1986 at Texas. Unlike Cowley, though, Rodón actually won his game, 7-3. Rodón struck out 11 on the night, pitching eight innings.

Today in White Sox History: September 21

Endless waiting: An 11-year drought ended when the White Sox clinched the 1917 pennant.

Sept. 21, 1901 — The White Sox won the first “official” American League pennant despite losing to the Philadelphia A’s, 10-4. With a record of 83-53, the Sox would win the pennant by five games over the Boston Americans.  Unfortunately the World Series didn’t start until 1903, so this was the best that the South Siders could do.


Sept. 21, 1917 -— The White Sox clinched the pennant, beating the Red Sox 2-1 behind Red Faber. The final outs came when Babe Ruth rapped into a double play. The Sox would outdistance Boston by eight games in 1917 with a mark of 100-54, and then defeat the New York Giants four games to two for the World Championship.


Sept. 21, 1955 Frank “Trader” Lane, one of the finest general managers in team history, resigned. During his tenure, which spanned seven seasons, Lane made 241 trades involving 353 players. He was one of the architects of the club that would win the 1959 American League pennant. Among the players he acquired for the Sox were Minnie Miñoso, Nellie Fox, Billy Pierce and Sherm Lollar.


Sept. 21, 1970 — For the first time in 69 seasons, the Sox finally had a 30-home run man. Bill Melton got an upper-deck shot off Kansas City’s Aurelio Monteagudo to set the single-season White Sox home run record. That same day, Luis Aparicio got his final hit in a Sox uniform. Only 672 fans were on hand to see the doubleheader at Comiskey Park!


Sept. 21, 2015Jeff Samardzija had been acquired from the Oakland A’s in the hope that the Chicago native, who grew up a White Sox fan, could be the difference in getting the team to the postseason. Unfortunately, his 2015 campaign was something to forget as he struggled all year, particularly in the first inning and after the trade deadline. On this day, however, he pitched the finest game in his career, tossing a complete game one-hitter in shutting out the Detroit Tigers, 2-0. The only hit he allowed was a bloop single off of the bat of Victor Martinez in the fifth inning.

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.