Today in White Sox History: December 4

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.

 

Today in White Sox History: December 2

Lost opportunity: This utter gem of a photo was never used by Topps, which is a crime against cardboard. (Topps)


1971 — It was the trade that perhaps saved the franchise: White Sox player personnel director Roland Hemond sent pitcher Tommy John and infielder Steve Huntz to the Dodgers for disgruntled slugger Dick Allen. Allen, one of the most prolific talents in the game, marched to his own drummer and was deemed difficult to handle by other teams and managers. Somehow Sox skipper Chuck Tanner, who had known the Allen family for years, got the best out of him. Allen would almost singlehandedly lead the team to the 1972 playoffs, winning the American League MVP. He’d win two home run titles in his three years on the South Side and be named to three All-Star teams. His popularity kept the turnstiles spinning and the White Sox solvent.

An hour later, Hemond stole pitcher Stan Bahnsen from the Yankees for infielder Rich McKinney. Bahnsen would go on to win 21 games in 1972.


2002 — And now, a deal that didn’t work too well for the White Sox: GM Ken Williams traded closer Keith Foulke, catcher Mark Johnson and a third player to the A’s for pitchers Billy Koch, Neal Cotts and a third player. Koch never found the success he’d had in Toronto or Oakland, in part because of a rare illness. Cotts, at least, would have a spectacular season in 2005, helping the Sox win the World Series.

Foulke meanwhile, saved 44 games and made the All-Star team in 2003. In his defense, Williams may have had his hands tied by the fact that manager Jerry Manuel had lost confidence in Foulke and refused to pitch him in key situations in the back half of the 2002 season.

 

 

 

Today in White Sox History: October 6

Lost cause: White Sox manager was badly outmaneuvered by Lou Piniella in the 2000 ALDS — including on the very last play.


1905 — The White Sox lost the pennant on the next-to-last day of the season when pitcher Doc White couldn’t beat the bottom-feeding St. Louis Browns. White and the Sox lost, 6-2, which handed the flag to the Philadelphia Athletics. The Sox would finish the season two games off the pace.


1908 — The White Sox lost the pennant on the last day of the season when Ty Cobb and Detroit won the decisive game, 7-0. Doc White again was the pitcher of record, only this time he may have had an excuse: He was working on two day’s rest, having beaten the Tigers, 3-1, on October 4.


1909 — Architect Zachary Taylor Davis submitted his design for a new ballpark on the South Side to owner Charles Comiskey. The concrete and steel structure was considered revolutionary for its time, yet only took three and a half months to build the following year.


1959 – At the mammoth L.A. Coliseum, which was the temporary home of the Dodgers, the White Sox played small ball in Game 5 of the World Series. They beat Sandy Koufax 1-0 to stay alive, cutting L.A.’s series lead to 3-2. The only Sox run scored on a double play ground ball, but it turned out to be enough. The Sox became the first team in World Series history to have three pitchers combine for a shutout (Bob Shaw, Billy Pierce and Dick Donovan). The game also featured one of the greatest catches in World Series history as Jim Rivera ran and made an over-the-shoulder catch in the seventh inning with two men on base to save the game. 


2000 – Another dramatic and fantastic season was ruined as the White Sox fell apart and lost the divisional series in three straight games to the Mariners. The M’s clinched the series despite a heroic effort from pitcher James Baldwin. JB, pitching with a bad arm, held the Mariners to one run on three hits in six innings.

Seattle scored the series-clinching run in the 2-1 win on a suicide squeeze from Carlos Guillen in the ninth inning. Replays showed him clearly out of the batter’s box on the bunt attempt, stepping over home plate, but White Sox manager Jerry Manuel never protested the play.

Today in White Sox History: September 9

Outfitted: Al Capone, son, and dozens of bodyguards take in a crosstown game in 1931. (The Petaluma Argus Courier)


Sept. 9, 1917 — This day marks the only time the White Sox have ever won a forfeited game. At Comiskey Park against Cleveland, the Indians were protesting a close call that went against them in the top of the 10th inning of a tie game.

When they took the field in the last of the inning, Cleveland players threw their gloves in the air, some rolled around in the dirt and catcher Steve O’Neill deliberately threw a ball into center field. Umpire Clarence “Brick” Owens had enough and declared the game won by the Sox.


Sept. 9, 1931 — At the cross-city exhibition game between the White Sox and Cubs at Comiskey Park this afternoon a famous (or “infamous”) fan and his son sat along the White Sox side of the field, in the front row.

The fan was Al Capone, the head of the largest crime syndicate in Chicago known as the “Chicago Outfit.” He took in the game with his son and a number of bodyguards who were seated directly behind them. They were part of a crowd of almost 35,000. The game was to benefit an unemployment relief fund established by Illinois governor Louis L. Emmerson as the Depression strengthened its grip on the country. Less than a month later, Capone would go to trial on income tax evasion charges, be found guilty, and sent to prison.


Sept. 9, 1983 — The Winning Ugly express roared on, crushing former Sox great Tommy John and the California Angels, 11-0. What was significant in this one was, for the first time in team history, the Sox hammered back-to-back-to-back home runs, courtesy of Carlton Fisk, Tom Paciorek, and Greg Luzinski in the first inning.

Not to be outdone, pitcher Britt Burns threw a one-hitter. Outfielder Mike Brown’s two-out single in the seventh inning was Burns’ only mistake.


Sept. 9, 2003 — With one move, White Sox manager Jerry Manuel perhaps cost his team a postseason berth and eventually led himself to be fired.

In a game the Sox were leading the Twins 8-2 in the ninth inning, Manuel brought in relief pitcher Jose Paniagua to get some work in. The Sox had a one-game lead over the Twins, and this was the second of a four-game series at U.S. Cellular Field.

Paniagua allowed four runs, giving the Twins momentum even though they’d lose, 8-6. Minnesota promptly won the final two games, swept the Sox the following week at the Metrodome and won the second of three consecutive division titles.

Paniagua, as he was leaving the field, made an obscene gesture at the home plate umpire and was released by GM Kenny Williams later that evening. Manuel’s dismissal would come a few weeks later.

There has always been debate over the impact of this incident in the divisional race, but Twins players have been quoted as saying it was a difference-maker.


Sept. 9, 2017 – White Sox slugger José Abreu became only the sixth player in franchise history to hit for the cycle in a 13-1 rout of the San Francisco Giants. José’s cycle, in order, went home run, double, single and triple. For the night, he went 4-for-5 with three runs scored and three RBIs.


Today in White Sox History: September 6

Mr. Incredible strikes again: Thome’s homer in the 15th ended the longest-ever September game between first-place teams.


Sept. 6, 1903 Guy “Doc” White of the White Sox hurled a one-hitter in beating the Cleveland Naps, 1-0, in 10 innings in a game in Chicago. It would be the first of five one-hitters thrown by White between 1903 and 1908.

(White never threw a no-hitter, by the way.)

He also threw one-hitters against the St. Louis Browns in 1904, Philadelphia Athletics and Browns in 1906, and Washington Senators in 1908. In addition to being a great pitcher, White was also a dentist and an evangelist. 


Sept. 6, 1905 — White Sox pitcher Frank Smith tossed a no-hitter at the Detroit Tigers. The Sox won that game easily, 15-0, and also won the second game of the twin bill by shutout. Smith would throw a second no-hitter in 1908, and also had three one-hitters between 1905 and 1910.


Sept. 6, 1971 — Sox pitcher Steve Kealey belted a three-run, eighth-inning home run at Comiskey Park off of the Minnesota Twins’ Ray Corbin. The clout helped the Sox to a 6-3 win. It would be the last time a Sox pitcher homered in a game at Comiskey Park. Kealey also picked up the save in the same game.


Sept. 6, 1981 — It was the beginning of the end for broadcaster Jimmy Piersall in connection with the White Sox. Piersall and Harry Caray appeared on the “The Mike Royko Show” on WLS-TV. Royko asked the duo how they handle baseball wives who disliked the comments they made about their husbands. Caray said, “You know what, Mike? I would love to call all the wives together someday and tell them what their husbands say about them across the ballfield.” Piersall’s answer was more controversial, to say the least: “First of all, they were horny broads that wanted to get married, and they wanted a little money, a little security and a big strong ballplayer. I traveled, I played. I got a load of those broads, too.”


Sept. 6, 1999 — In a doubleheader at Texas, manager Jerry Manuel and star DH Frank Thomas got into an argument after Thomas refused to pinch-hit in the nightcap. Manuel was livid, and sent Thomas back to Chicago. It was discovered after examination by team doctors that Thomas saying he was hurt rang true: They found a bone spur the size of a walnut on the outside of his ankle, which required surgery and ended his season.


Sept. 6, 2008 – The White Sox and Angels battled at U.S. Cellular Field for almost four hours in the middle of a pennant race, and played 15 innings to boot. That’s when Jim Thome blasted a monstrous home run deep into the right-field bleachers to end the game with a 7-6 White Sox win. The contest set the record for the longest game (by innings) ever played in September by two teams both in first place at the time. The home run was Thome’s 30th on the season.