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WSI News - Audio Memories

Sox Audio Memories from White Sox Interactive 1959 Clincher

Sox Audio Memories from White Sox Interactive
1959 Clincher!
Play-by-play from the ninth inning and the pandemonium that followed!

By Mark Liptak

1959...what a year.

It was the year of Castro and Khrushchev, Kennedy, and Eisenhower.

It was Elvis going into the Army, and The Coasters.

It was Queen Elizabeth II visiting Chicago, as well as the city hosting the Pan American Games.

It was Mayor Richard J. Daley presiding over his Democratic machine in Chicago and Cook County.


Luis Aparicio, Jim Rivera, and Al Smith celebrate inside the Sox clubhouse following the pennant clinching victory, September 22, 1959!

It was a country gone wild on TV westerns with "Gunsmoke," "Wagon Train," "Have Gun Will Travel," "The Rifleman," " Maverick," "Tales Of Wells Fargo," and "The Life And Legend Of Wyatt Earp," ALL among the top ten shows.

It was also, to borrow the phrase used on the cover of Bob Vanderberg’s book... "the Summer Of The Sox."

It was Jim Landis, Nellie Fox, "Jungle" Jim Rivera, Ted Kluszewski, Sherm Lollar, Luis Aparicio, Al Smith, Billy Pierce, Gerry Staley, Dick Donovan, Early Wynn, "Turk" Lown, Bob Shaw and Al Lopez.

Audio and video memories of that season are few and very far between which is why the following is almost unbelievable in nature. WSI owes a big thanks to Sox fan Bob Kale for the following material.

On the night of September 22, 1959 the Sox went into Cleveland with a chance to win their first pennant in forty years. The game was being televised in Chicago through WGN with Jack Brickhouse and Lou Boudreau calling the action.

Meanwhile back in the Kane household, Bob’s father, thinking this could be a very special night, brought out a Webcor reel to reel tape recorder just in case.

The Sox went into the 9th inning with a lead and the tape recorder was turned on.

From what Bob has told me, that tape recorder lasted until the 70's when it was thrown away. The actual microphone that was used to tape the historic event remains, and is still being used by Bob and his family.

As for the tape of the action it was filed away where it remained lost for years.

Recently Bob rediscovered the tape. Upon listening to it, Bob was amazed that it was still in great shape. The tape contained the top and bottom half of the 9th inning as well as a minute or two of the wrap up and the "10th Inning Show." This may be one of only a handful of audio still around documenting that night.

All together the tape ran about twenty minutes. Bob sent me a copy of it which I ran through a processor to help clean it up as well as edit it down to a usable form. What follows then is a batter by batter recap of the last of the 9th inning from September 22, 1959 in Cleveland. Brickhouse handled the call with Boudreau down in the Sox clubhouse in case the impossible finally came true.

The Sox went into the last of the 9th leading 4-2.

They scored first in the 3rd inning. "Bubba" Phillips drew a walk off Jim Perry and scored on a double by Aparicio. After Fox walked, Billy Goodman doubled for a 2-0 lead..

In the 5th, Jimmy Piersall singled to drive in a run cutting the score to 2-1.

In the 6th with "Mudcat" Grant pitching, both Smith and Rivera blasted back to back home runs for a 4-1 lead.

In the bottom of the 6th a sacrifice fly from "Rocky" Colavito made it 4-2.

That’s the way the game stayed until the last of the 9th inning. Shaw was on the mound for the Sox .

The lead off hitter for Cleveland was "Woodie" Held who popped out to Fox for the first out.
Let me hear it!

Things got tougher after that. The next hitter Jim Baxes would get an infield single.
Let me hear it!

Jack Harshman, the former White Sox pitcher, came up as a pinch hitter and he ripped a single to right.
Let me hear it!

Piersall came up with men on first and second. He already had two hits that night. Shaw threw and Piersall ripped a low liner that short hopped Fox and squirted away loading the bases.
Let me hear it!

With that, Lopez brought in Staley who threw one pitch, a sinker, to the dangerous Vic Power. Power grounded to Aparicio who stepped on second, fired to first and wrapped up the pennant!
Let me hear it!

In the aftermath Brickhouse clearly dispelled later myths that he was nothing but a Cub fan, joyfully recapping the winning totals, letting Sox fans know when the team would be returning to Midway Airport and then tossing it down to Boudreau who had a brief conversation with Smith.
Let me hear it!

Again WSI thanks the Kale family, including Bob’s father, who is still with us, for allowing us to use this priceless piece of Sox audio history. In the future, you’ll be seeing other historic audio clips grouped by decade, including rare moments brought to Sox fans from long time announcer Bob Elson!


As always comments, questions, opinions and different points of view are appreciated. Contact me at mliptak1@ida.net

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