All heart: Bernazard was a core member of La Russa’s early -1980s White Sox teams. (@RonVesely)
In an effort to start improving a desultory offense, White Sox GM Roland Hemond and new owner Bill Veeck acquired former NL batting champ Ralph “Road Runner” Garr from Atlanta for three players, including outfielder Ken Henderson and pitcher Dick Ruthven. Garr would have severe limitations on defense, but he did become the catalyst for the South Side Hit Men in 1977 with his speed and ability to hit to all fields. That year, he’d hit .300 with 10 home runs, 54 RBIs and 12 stolen bases.
Sometimes, smaller moves can turn out to be important:Hemond traded pitcher Richard “Tex” Wortham to the Expos for switch-hitting second baseman Tony Bernazard. Bernazard would be part of the “New Deal” Sox in 1981 and would eventually be traded for another productive second baseman, Julio “Juice” Cruz in June 1983. Manager Tony LaRussa called Bernazard the heart of the club while he was on the South Side.
Big win: Oh, for the days of a 20-game division lead! (Chicago Sun-Times)
Sept. 17, 1971 — The White Sox defeated the California Angels 9-4 at Comiskey Park, in a game marked by. an unusual event. All nine players in the White Sox lineup got one RBI, including pitcher Bart Johnson, who started, gave up eight hits and struck out 12 in going the distance.
Sept. 17, 1983 — Before a packed house at Comiskey Park, Harold Baines hit a sacrifice fly to drive in Julio Cruz with the run that won the American League West title for the White Sox, as they edged the Seattle Mariners, 4-3. The Sox went to the playoffs for the first time in 24 years, drew a then-record season attendance of more than two million fans and had the best record in baseball at 99-63. They’d win the division by a record 20 games over the second place Kansas City Royals.
Sept. 17, 1984 – Harold Baines became the only player in franchise history to have more than one game with three home runs. Baines had his first three-homer game in July 1982. On this day at the Minnesota Twins, he’d club three more in a 7-3 win, driving in four.
Sept. 17, 2007 — The Sox tied the club record for the most runs ever scored in the fifth inning of a game when they sent 11 guys home at the Kansas City Royals. In addition to the 11 runs, they also collected 10 hits and three homers, one each by Danny Richar, Jermaine Dye and Josh Fields. Richar, Jerry Owens and Fields all had two hits and Fields drove in four runs in the inning.