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WSI News - Season Features

Expect the Unexpected:
Recounting key dates in Sox history.

by Mark Liptak

For over a hundred years the Chicago White Sox have done a lot of things. They have amazed us, tormented us, tortured us, caused us to throw things at the (pick one) radio, the TV or the satellite. The have won a little, lost a lot and sometimes got rained out.

One thing the Sox have never been though, is dull. In the past 100 years some of the most strange, bizarre and unexplained things have occurred to this franchise. Some even turned out in the Sox favor.

So join me as we go down a little traveled road, a highway if you will. Iíll be your guide but first we have to give a big tip of the 1959 White Sox cap to Sox historian Rich Lindberg, Lindbergís book "Whoís On 3rd? - The Chicago White Sox Story" provided the inspiration for this column along with a lot of historical material.

Get ready for the Sox "unusual"....."This highway leads to the shadowy tip of reality; youíre on a through route to the land of the different, the bizarre, the unexplainable...Go as far as you like on this road. Its limits are only those of the mind itself. Ladies and gentleman, youíre entering the wondrous dimension of imagination. Next stop- THE TWILIGHT ZONE" (The original opening to the Twilight Zone by Rod Serling; never used.)

††† April 24, 1901-The Sox begin play in the American League by besting the Cleveland Blues 8-2.

††† September 21, 1901- The Sox win the first "official" American League pennant. Unfortunately the World Series didnít start until 1903, so this was the best that the Sox could do.

††† October 6, 1905- The Sox lose the pennant on the last day of the season when pitcher "Doc" White canít beat the bottom feeding St. Louis Browns.

††† August 23, 1906- The Sox beat Washington 4-1 for their 19th straight win.

††† October 14, 1906- The Sox beat the Cubs, winning the World Series four games to two behind the pitching of "Doc" White. After the game, owner Charles Comiskey hands a 15,000 dollar check to manager "Fielder" Jones. Itís to be split among the players. The players viewed the check as a bonus for their efforts. Comiskey considered it part of the 1907 salary!

††† October 5, 1908- Sox pitcher Ed Walsh wins his 40th game of the season, a record that will never be broken

††† October 6, 1908- The Sox again lose the pennant on the last day of the season when Ty Cobb and Detroit win the decisive game. "Doc" White again was the pitcher of record, only this time he may have had an excuse. He was working on one dayís rest!

††† June 30, 1910- The day before the opening of the "original" Comiskey Park, a laborer named Frank McDermott falls off the roof and dies.

††† July 1, 1910- The Sox open the "original" Comiskey Park, and lose 2-0 to the St. Louis Browns. Within three days of the first game, three Sox players were sidelines with injuries.

††† August 27, 1910- Comiskey Park hosts the first night game ever in a Major League stadium as two Chicago amateur clubs play before 3,500 fans.

††† November 13, 1913- The Sox and New York Giants begin a world baseball tour.

††† September 21, 1917- The Sox clinch the pennant beating the Red Sox 2-1 behind "Red" Faber.

††† October 15, 1917- The Sox win their second (and last) World Series title beating the New York Giants four games to two. Afterwards a young judge named Kenesaw Mountain Landis†sends a telegram congratulating the Sox for a job well done.

††† October 9, 1919- The Sox unexpectedly lose the World Series to the Cincinnati Reds five games to three. Sox fans, reporters and some players are totally shocked over the way some games were lost.

††† September 29, 1920- With the Sox leading the league in the final few days of the season, Eddie Cicotte and Joe Jackson confess (without an attorney) they helped throw the 1919 World Series. Charles Comiskey suspends eight players, the Sox collapse down the stretch and blow the pennant (again.)

††† August 2, 1921- A jury finds the eight "Black Sox" players innocent of conspiring to commit fraud. The players expect to go back to the Sox but now commissioner Landis permanently banishes them, destroying the only team that could have played with the Yankees throughout the 20's.

††† June 22, 1922- Ray Schalk becomes the first White Sox player to hit for the cycle when he does it against the Tigers.

††† March 9, 1927- Popular Sox outfielder Johnny Mostil attempts suicide in a hotel room in Shreveport, Louisiana. Despite razor cuts to his wrist, neck and chest, Mostil survives and returned to the team in April.

††† September 10, 1930- Future Hall Of Famer Luke Appling makes his White Sox debut. It was the start of the legacy of great Sox shortstops which included "Chico" Carrasquel, Luis Aparicio and Ozzie Guillen.

††† July 6, 1933- The first ever All Star Game is played in Comiskey Park. The Sox won a coin flip with the Cubs for the right to host the game that was the idea of Chicago Tribune sports editor "Arch" Ward. The A.L. won the game 4-2 thanks to a home run by Babe Ruth.

††† November 27, 1938- Sox All Star pitcher Monty Stratton, the centerpiece of the rebuilding of the franchise, accidentally shoot himself in the leg while hunting. The bullet pierces the artery and the leg is eventually amputated.

††† August 14, 1939- Itís the first time night baseball has been played in Chicago with the Sox besting the St. Louis Browns 5-2.

††† March 1940- Sox second baseman Jackie Hayes experiences a sting in his right eye. The next morning his vision is blurry, by August his is blind in that eye.

††† April 16, 1940 - The Indians Bob Feller no hits the Sox on Opening Day.

††† September 18, 1940- A game originally played on June 20th is ordered replayed by the commissioners office. A Sox win is wiped away. The Sox find themselves in the middle of a pennant race and losing 9-8 in the 8th inning to the Yankees when umpire Harry Geisel orders the game ended claiming it was too dark to finish.

††† May 24, 1946- Sox manager Jimmy Dykes is fired, but the team keeps it a secret. A Hollywood gossip columnist finds out about it in a grocery store and breaks the story. The Chicago press corps is not amused.

††† March 1947- Sox second baseman Casimer Kwietniewski decides to change his name and asks fans to help him decide on a new one. He and the fans come up with Cass Michaels.

††† June 8, 1947- Luke Appling Day is celebrated at Comiskey Park

††† July 18, 1948- Sox outfielder Pat Seerey hits four home runs in a game against the Philadelphia Aís.

††† May 11, 1949- The Sox score at least one run in every inning when they beat Boston 12-8.

Coming Next:

The 1950's and 1960's Go-Go era!


As always comments, questions or insults are always welcomed. Contact me at mliptak1@ida.net

More features from Mark Liptak here!

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