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Sox Audio Memories from White Sox Interactive 1959 Clincher

Sox Audio Memories from White Sox Interactive

 All Star Memories!

By Mark Liptak

In the over one hundred years of White Sox baseball, luck has usually forgotten to make any appearances in or around 35th and Shields. As documented in past columns and by input from Sox fans on the message boards at WSI, if something can go wrong for the Sox, it will.

Freak injuries, bizarre umpire calls, million to one events all seem to show up at just the wrong time to make Sox fans forget about any chance to ever appear in a World Series.

The All Star Game is a slightly different story.

Seven-time Sox all star
Luke Appling.

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Back in 1933 Arch Ward, then sports editor of the Chicago Tribune wanted to come up with a big event to be used in connection with the City Of Chicago hosting the Century Of Progress World’s Fair on the lakefront. He hit upon the idea of an "All Star" baseball game made up of the best players from both leagues as voted on by the fans. Ballots were printed in the Tribune as well as many other major newspapers across the country But who was going to host the game?

Since it was started by the Chicago Tribune, baseball agreed to hold the game in Chicago. But would the Sox or Cubs gets the honor of being inaugural host? They decided the issue by tossing a coin....and for once the Sox won.

So on July 6, 1933, Comiskey Park opened its doors to Babe Ruth, Jimmy Foxx, Lou Gehrig, Bill Terry, Tony Cuccinello (who’d go on to become a long time coach for the Sox), Pie Traynor and others for the first mid summer classic. Oddly enough the National League only had four pitchers on the team, the American League had five.

Behind a two run home run from Ruth the A.L. won 4-2. The first ever Sox representatives were infielder Jimmy Dykes and outfielder Al Simmons.

The game was only supposed to be a one time event but the idea caught on and the game has been played continuously since then except for 1945. There was even a period for a few years in the late 50's, early 60's where two games were played in about a week.

Comiskey Park would also host the 1950 game won by the National League 4-3 in fourteen innings. That was the game where Red Sox outfielder Ted Williams broke his elbow slamming it up against the brick outfield wall making a catch. Williams stayed in the game.

1983 saw the "golden anniversary" game as the American League pounded the National League 13-3. Chicago native Fred Lynn’s grand slam, the first ever in All Star competition was the defining event.

And now in the near future Comiskey Park will host the game for a fourth time. With that in mind we’re going to look back at the Sox and the All Star Game, passing along some facts and figures as well as some great audio moments from the past.

Let’s start with some facts:

* Since 1933, 156 representatives from the Sox have appeared in the game. That’s eighty different players. Nellie Fox holds the team record with twelve appearances. Luis Aparicio, Luke Appling and Billy Pierce have appeared in seven games. Sherm Lollar and "Minnie" Minoso have made six games.

* Frank Thomas and Magglio Ordonez are the only Sox players to ever hit a home run in the game. Thomas connected off the Reds John Smiley in 1995. Ordonez off the Cubs Jon Lieber in the 2001 contest.

* Seven Sox players were named to the 1960 game with Al Lopez as the American League manager. Technically the 1954 game had nine Sox players on the team but Ferris Fain and George Kell were injured, unable to participate and were replaced by two teammates so that year tied 1960 for the most Sox players ever. The 1951 game had six Sox players with 1953, 1955, 1958, 1959 and 1961 having five Sox on each team. 1975 was the last time the Sox had more then three players on the club. 1994 was the last time the Sox placed three.

* Five Sox pitchers have picked up the win in the All Star Game. Edgar Smith (1941), Early Wynn (1958), Ray Herbert (1962), Jack McDowell (1993) and James Baldwin (2000) turned that trick.

Seven-time Sox all star
Billy Pierce.

* Pierce is the only Sox pitcher to start multiple All Star Games. Billy was the starter for the games in 1953, 1955 and 1956. Wynn started the first game in 1959 and is the only other Sox hurler ever to start one.

* Carlton Fisk a four time Sox All Star, is the oldest player to get a hit in the game. Carlton cracked a single in the 1991 game at the age of 43 years, seven months, thirteen days.

As far as breaking down the All Star numbers for some of the all time Sox greats, I was amazed at some of the performances! Considering this was the "best of the best" and not some watered down popularity contest, where every team had to be represented, against pitchers these guys had never seen before, you had to be impressed. Look for yourself:

Al Simmons (1933, 34, 35) 6-13 1 RBI .460

Luke Appling (1936, 39, 40, 41, 45, 46, 47) 4- 9 2 RBI .440

Nellie Fox (1951, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 63) 14-38 5 RBI .360

"Chico" Carrasquel (1951, 53, 54, 55) 4-12 0 RBI .333

"Minnie" Minoso (1951, 52, 53, 54, 57, 60) 6-13 2 RBI .460

Sherm Lollar (1954, 55, 56, 58, 59, 60) 2- 6 0 RBI .333

Harold Baines (1985, 86, 87, 89) 2- 6 1 RBI .333

Magglio Ordonez (1999, 2000, 01) 3- 5 1 HR 2 RBI .600

But far and away what Frank Thomas has done is unbelievable!

Thomas was named to the teams in 1993, 94, 95, 96, 97.

His numbers: 4 - 5, 1 HR, 3 RBI, .800!!!!!

Of course some Sox players didn’t have the same luck!

Luis Aparicio (1958, 59, 60, 61, 62, 70) 1-24 0 RBI .040

Dick Allen (1972, 73, 74) 1 - 5 1 RBI .200

Carlton Fisk (1981, 82, 85, 91) 2 - 9 0 RBI .220

From a pitching perspective, the Sox have had their share of success as well.

Billy Pierce (1953, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 61) not only got a hit in one game but he wound up throwing 10.2 innings overall, allowing four runs with twelve strike outs for an ERA of 2.29.

Early Wynn (1958, 59, 60) threw eight innings, allowing two runs with six strike outs and an ERA of 3.60.

Jack McDowell (1991, 92, 93) threw four innings, with no runs, no strike outs and (of course) an ERA of 0.00.

So let’s go back and listen to some Sox All Star memories.....

July 23, 1974        Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh
                              National League 7, American League 2

The biggest Sox all star of the 70's
Dick Allen.

In 1972 Dick Allen was the leading vote getter by fans for the game but would go hitless. In 1973 Allen again was named by the fans to start but couldn’t because of a broken bone in his leg. When Allen walked on to the field for the introductions without using crutches, Sox fans started to wonder if he was really was the beginning of the end for Dick in his relationship with Sox fans. In 1974 Allen was selected again and faced the Dodgers Andy Messersmith with Rod Carew and Reggie Jackson on base. Allen would rip a line shot single plating Carew and giving the American League a short lived lead. Hall Of Fame announcer Curt Gowdy and Joe Garagiola do the play by play. Courtesy: NBC Sports.
Let me hear it!

July 8, 1980     Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles
                         National League 4, American League 2

For eight years, Chicago’s own Ed Farmer would bounce around the major leagues, seeking to find success as a pitcher. In 1979 he finally figured it out and became a top relief ace. Farmer   was the Sox lone representative in the 1980 game and threw a successful inning capping it off by   inducing the Phillies Pete Rose to rap into a double play. Al Michaels has the call. Courtesy:  ABC Sports.
Let me hear it!

August 9, 1981     Municipal Stadium, Cleveland
                              National League 5, American League 4

Baseball was back after the strike that caused almost two months of the regular season to get cancelled. For the White Sox, it meant the first All Star appearance of Carlton Fisk in their uniform. Fisk would be a part of a big American League inning when he’d single off the Dodgers Burt Hooton. Joe Garagiola’s on the call. Courtesy: NBC Sports.
Let me hear it!

July 13, 1982         Olympic Stadium, Montreal
                               National League 4, American League 1

Fisk was back for the 1982 game and got involved with the Phillies Mike Schmidt at the plate.    Al Michaels and Howard Cosell describe the action and talk about Fisk himself. Courtesy:  ABC Sports.
Let me hear it!

Meanwhile before the game, Fisk consented to an interview with Cosell and candidly discussed his feelings about Sox ownership and their handling of the firing of then pitching coach Ron Schueler. (The Sox have been making scapegoats out of members of the coaching staff for years!) It was the first shot in a dispute between Fisk and Sox management that would go on until his release from the club in 1993. Ironically it was then general manager Ron Schueler who broke the news to Fisk in his hotel room in Cleveland. Courtesy: ABC Sports.
Let me hear it!

July 6, 1983          Comiskey Park, Chicago
                              American League 13, National League 3

Before the home crowd, Sox rookie Ron Kittle would enter the game and do something very rare for him.....beating out an infield hit in his first ever All Star at bat. The Braves Pascual Perez was the pitcher. The great Vin Scully is behind the mic. Courtesy: NBC Sports.              
Let me hear it!

July 10, 1984         Candlestick Park, San Francisco
                                National League 3, American League 1

He won 22 games in 1983 and hit the All Star break with eleven more in 1984. Rich Dotson was one of the few bright lights in the first half of what would become a dismal season for the Sox. In the game itself, Dotson would have a memorable inning of work. After the Padres Tony Gwynn singled and stole second, Dotson would retire the Cubs Ryne Sandberg, Steve Garvey of the Padres and Dale Murphy of the Braves without letting him score. It’s Al Michaels and Howard Cosell calling the action. Courtesy: ABC Sports.
Let me hear it!

July 10, 1990     Wrigley Field, Chicago
                            American League 2, National League 0

In what would be a record setting season, the Sox super closer Bobby Thigpen would come into the game at Wrigley Field nursing a 2-0 lead and retire the Giants Will Clark, the Expos Tim Wallach and wrap things up by blowing a fastball past the Mets Darryl Strawberry. The late Jack Buck has the play by play. Courtesy: CBS Sports.
Let me hear it!

July 12, 1994     Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh
                            National League 8, American League 7

The home of the Pirates got a load of Frank Thomas! "Big Hurt", who hit some incredible bombs  in the home run hitting contest the day before, supplied two base hits and actually caught a ball while playing first base. Frank would get an RBI single off the Braves Greg Maddux, catch a soft liner from the Dodgers Mike Piazza and would rap another single off the Pirates Doug Drabek. Bob Costas, Bob Uecker and Joe Morgan handle the announcing duties. Courtesy:  NBC Sports.
Let me hear it!

July 9, 2002     Miller Park, Milwaukee
                         American League 7, National League 7 (tie)

The game that had no winner and showcased the incompetence of commissioner Bud Selig, had some stellar performances by a pair of Sox. Mark Buehrle, who’d go on to win nineteen games, threw a strong two innings giving up a run on two hits with two strike outs. He gets a called third strike past the Expos Vlad Guerrero, gets the Mets Mike Piazza to fly out and forces the Phillies Scott Rolen to line out softly to second base. The next inning he strikes out the D’backs Junior Spivey, gets the Astros Lance Berkman to ground out and finishes his work by retiring the Brewers Jimmy Sexson on a grounder. Joe Buck and Tim McCarver handle the play by play. Courtesy: Fox Sports.
Let me hear it!

And to close out this edition, from the same game, was the performance of the Sox Paul Konerko. In what unfortunately has been his last great game, Paulie laced two doubles, driving in two runs and was the big stick in the A.L. comeback. Had an MVP been awarded it probably  would have gone to him. Konerko ripped his shots off the Padres Trevor Hoffman and the D’backs Byung Hyung Kim. Once again Joe Buck and Tim McCarver have the action.   Courtesy: Fox Sports.
Let me hear it!

By the way heading into this year’s game, the American League has won twelve of the last seventeen games played with one tie since 1986. Enjoy this years game and remember to loudly boo all Cub representatives!

Our next installment of historic Sox audio clips will look back at "The So- So Seventies" It was a decade of few winning seasons but it did have some personalities! We’ll have audio from the last game ever broadcast for the Sox by announcer Bob Elson, rare clips from the 1972 MVP season of Dick Allen as described by Harry Caray, a pair of game winning home runs from that same year off the bat of Carlos May, and some memories of the "Southside Hit Men," of 1977.

As always comments, questions, corrections and criticisms are welcome. Contact me at

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