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WSI News - Audio Memories

Sox Audio Memories from White Sox Interactive 1959 Clincher

Sox Audio Memories from White Sox Interactive

 Near-Miss Sixties!

You think today's Monster scoreboard is wild?  You ain't heard nuthin' yet! 
Memorable audio moments for Sox Fans -- exclusively
from WSI!

By Mark Liptak

This is another in a series of historic audio highlight themes involving the Chicago White Sox. In the coming months we’ll be bringing you the best moments from the rich history of this charter American League franchise. The theme will change each time in order to give you the broadest listen to some of the finest moments over the past fifty plus years. It is our hope that fans, regardless of age, will get a new appreciation of the great players, great moments and great memories that the Sox have brought to generations of Chicagoans... at least the ones who care more about winning and losing, then ivy, sunshine and mediocrity.

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The biggest games were always against the hated Yankees!  Ron Hansen scores past New York's Elston Howard.

To hear the audio clips, you'll need the RealAudio Player. 
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In the history of the United States there probably was never as tumultuous a decade as the 1960's. From its placid beginnings to its chaotic end, the time period from 1960 through 1969 seemed to have everything and reflect all the good and bad of society.

The decade gave us The Beatles in 1964, three shocking November days in 1963, two Americans on the moon in 1969, an unpopular war from 1963 through 1969, the 1968 Chicago Democratic convention, the original McCormick place burning down to the ground in 1967, the assassinations of Robert Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King in 1967, the Chicago Seven trial in 1968 and 69, the Chicago police department’s "Summerdale Scandal" in 1960, the great blizzard of 1967, Woodstock in 1969 and John Glenn orbiting the Earth in 1962.

Who could forget "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country," "Tranquility base here, the Eagle has landed," "Ladies and gentleman, The Beatles!," "My name is Bond...James Bond," "I have a dream,." and "Open the pod bay doors Hal."

From the sights and sounds department in the 60's came folk music in 62 ("Hang down your head Tom Dooley...") , beach music in 62 ("Everybody’s gone surfin’, surfin’ U.S.A".), the British invasion in 64 ("It’s been a hard days night, and I’ve been workin’ like a dog..."), Motown in 64 (I’ve got sunshine on a cloudy day...") and acid rock in 67 (Purple haze all in my brain...).

Television brought audiences The Outer Limits ("there is nothing wrong with your television set..".), Bonanza, The Twilight Zone ("you’re going on a journey beyond sight and sound..."), The Man from U.N.C.L.E ("Solo here, open channel D..."), I Dream Of Jeannie, Bewitched, The Fugitive ("Tuesday, August 29th, the day... the running... stopped..."), Star Trek ("he’s dead Jim!..."), I Spy, Perry Mason, The Beverly Hillbillies, My Three Sons, Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C.("shazaam..."), and The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.

(Is that a color TV set?)

The White Sox were a perfect reflection of the decade...quiet consistency at the beginning ending with confusion, chaos and dissension.

The Sox continued their streak of winning seasons that started in 1951. From 1960 through 1967 they continued to win more then they lost, just missing pennants in 1964 and 1967. Even with the disastrous seasons in 1968 and 1969 the Sox average record in the 60's was 85-76. (Remember the 1960 season was only 154 games.) From 1963 through 1965 the Sox averaged 96 wins. The Sox had three 2nd place finishes (63, 64, 65), a 3rd place finish (60), three 4th place finishes (61, 66, 67), a 5th place finish (62) and an 8th place finish (68). They also finished 5th in the new divisional format started in 1969.

For most of the decade the men bringing you the Sox on TV and radio remained the same as from the 50's. WGN brought Sox games to Chicago from 1960 through 1967. Jack Brickhouse stayed as the main announcer helped by Vince Lloyd (1960-1964) and Lloyd Pettit (1965-1967). In a major mistake the Sox went to WFLD in 1968. For the remaining two years of the decade Jack Drees was the play by play man assisted by Dave Martin in 1968 and Mel Parnell in 1969.

On the radio end, Sox games were on WCFL from 1960 through 1966 and WMAQ from 1967 through 1969. Bob Elson stayed as the primary radio voice but he had a number of helpers in the decade. It was Don Wells in 1960, Ralph Kiner in 1961 (before he left to become one of the New York Mets original announcers), Milo Hamilton from 1962 through 1965, Bob Finnegan in 1966 and "Red" Rush from 1967 through 1969.

Like in the 50's the Sox were fairly consistent in their managers...they just didn’t have many. Al Lopez continued his outstanding success leading the club from 1960 through 1965 on a full time basis. He came back for parts of the 1968 and 1969 disasters. Eddie "The Brat" Stanky led the Sox from 1966 through part of 1968. Stanky was a hard nosed player, a brilliant tactician and had the ability to upset almost every player he ever managed, let alone the entire Chicago media. Les Moss ran the club for 36 games in 1968 and Don Gutteridge took over in 1969 after Lopez left for good.


There was still a lot of "Go-Go" left in the Sox in the Sixties!  This was Teen Night at Sox Park.

As befitting a team that seemed to always win and actually had a national following (something unknown today), the Sox had numerous All Stars in the decade. Twenty one different players made appearances in the midsummer classic including seven on the 1960 American League team managed by Lopez who managed the All Star team again in 1964. Those making the cut included "Minnie" Minoso (1), Luis Aparicio (3), Nellie Fox (3), Sherm Lollar (1), Gerry Staley (1), Early Wynn (1), Al Smith (1), Billy Pierce (1), Ray Herbert (1), Roy Sievers (1), Jim Landis (1), Juan Pizarro (2), Gary Peters (2), Eddie Fisher (1), "Moose" Skowron (1), Tommy Agee (2), Ken Berry (1), Joe Horlen (1), Tommy John (1), Duane Josephson (1) and Carlos May (1).

The Sox also had their share of individual awards as the farm system kept producing talented players and the front office kept making brilliant deals. Gold Gloves were won by Aparicio (4), Fox (1), Minoso (1), Landis (4) and Agee (1). The Sporting News named Minoso (1), Peters (2) and Aparicio (1) to their season ending combined All Star team... in other words the best of the best regardless of league. Rookie Of The Year trophies were won by Peters and Pete Ward who shared the 1963 honor. Tommy Agee grabbed it in 1966 and Carlos May in 1969. The Sox also were represented in the new Relief Pitcher Of The Year award by Fisher in 1965 and Wilbur Wood in 1968. (Surprisingly Hoyt Wilhelm never won it, nor did he ever make the All Star Team with the Sox!) Also Herbert picked up the win as the American League beat the National League in the 2nd 1962 All Star Game, that one at Wrigley Field.

So like the 50's, it was still a great time to be a Sox fan and with that we venture over to the sounds of the decade.

1. August 11, 1962. (Final Record: 85-77, 5th place) White Sox at Athletics

It was an offensive explosive this afternoon in Kansas City as the Sox manhandled the A’s 11-2.. Joe Cunningham may have been the finest fielding first baseman in the history of the club but he could also hit a little as shown here. Joe ripped a triple off the A’s Jim Archer as part of a 4th inning that saw the Sox bat around. Johnny Buzhardt was the beneficiary of all the runs. The Sox announcer for this one is Milo Hamilton. Courtesy: WCFL Radio. 
Let Me Hear It!

2. July 5, 1964. (Final Record: 98-64, 2nd place) Indians at White Sox

  • 1964 was quite a year for Sox fans who saw their team win 98 games, including the last nine in a row to end the season, yet still finish one game behind the Yankees. The Sox opened the year by losing three in a row then ripped off a streak of nine of eleven to start the ball rolling. They didn’t hit much but with a pitching staff composed of Peters, Horlen, Pizarro, Buzhardt, Herbert, Wilhelm, Fisher and Don Mossi they didn’t have to. Case in point, our next audio clip.
  • The Indians were in town for a July holiday series and the Sox simply did not allow them to score. They lost the Friday night game 2-1 then reeled off three straight shutouts in 24 hours time. Peters tossed a three hitter on July 4th, then Pizarro took the mound in the first game of the Sunday double header. He was a 2-0 winner behind home runs from Mike Hershberger and Ward. Horlen followed with another shut out and a double header sweep right before the All Star Game. We’ve got both home runs which came in the first inning and were back to back off Cleveland’s Jack Kralick. Younger fans need to listen closely to the sound effects coming from the "monster" scoreboard. They were a lot different back then! You’ll hear dive bombers, machine gun fire, train whistles and really loud exploding fireworks. Milo Hamilton has the play by play. Courtesy: WCFL Radio..
    Let Me Hear It!
     


    Another fantastic catch by gold glover Jim Landis!

  • 3. April 1965. (Final Record: 95-67, 2nd place) Jack Brickhouse Interview

  • Just before opening day WGN aired their thirty minute pre season special called "A Look At The White Sox 1965" which had Brickhouse reporting from training camp in Sarasota, Florida. Among Jack’s guests were manager Lopez and players like Peters, Wilhelm, Ward, Floyd Robinson and Al Weis.
  • Brickhouse also talked with the beat writers for the Chicago papers to get their take on the upcoming season. Among those interviewed were Dick Dozer of the Tribune, Warren Brown of the American, Edgar Munzel of the Sun Times and a young sportswriter who grew up in Montana wanting to become a major league umpire. In fact he had spent a few seasons umpiring in the lower minor leagues before deciding to take a shot in the sports media business. He rose rapidly and got his "large market" start covering the Bears and the Sox for the American. This person would go on to make a major impact on TV in the 70's with the NFL Today and is still among the top play by play men in America. Yes...Jack Brickhouse spoke with Brent Musberger! By the way if you own a copy of the 1964 White Sox yearbook go to page 138 and look how the Sox spelled Brent’s last name! Courtesy: WGN-TV.
    Let Me Hear It!
  • 4. May 2, 1965. (Final Record: 95-67, 2nd place) Twins at White Sox #1.

  • Early May would see a big four game series with the Twins commence at Comiskey Park as the top two teams in the league went at it. In the first of a double header Ron Hansen would drill his first home run of the year staking the Sox to a 2-0 lead, unfortunately this was one time the bullpen couldn’t hold on and the Twins rallied late to win 3-2. It’s Bob Elson and Milo Hamilton behind the mics. Again listen closely for the "sounds" coming from the exploding scoreboard! Courtesy: WCFL Radio.
    Let Me Hear It!
  • 5. May 2, 1965. (Final Record: 95-67, 2nd place) Twins at White Sox #2.

  • Back in the 50's and 60's both games in a twin bill were rarely televised, such was the case here as WGN picked up the second game of the day. With the Sox needing a win to split the four game series Floyd Robinson would belt a line drive home run off Dave Boswell to put the Sox ahead in a game they’d win 5-4. Bruce Howard got the victory. Jack Brickhouse gives the enthusiastic call. Courtesy: WGN-TV.
    Let Me Hear It!
  • 6. August 8, 1967. (Final Record: 89-73, 4th place) White Sox at Tigers.


    Moose Skowron poses for Camera Night at Sox Park.  He lit up the Monster scoreboard quite a few times!

    1967...the last and the greatest pennant race in baseball history. It was the year the Sox blew the championship the final week and shaped their destiny for the next 35 years... but what a year it was!

  • The White Sox, Tigers, Twins and Red Sox battled until the final week to see who’d go to the World Series. Almost until the end of the season it was literally possible to go from first to fourth place in a single day, until almost the end of the season it was mathematically possible for a four team playoff! (Which to this day I have no idea how the league would have held it!) We have highlights from three different games in this magical season as the White Sox, with even worse hitting then in 1964 somehow managed to stay in the hunt. Of course they were able to do that because their pitching was almost as good, if not better then in 1964. Peters and Horlen anchored the rotation, joined by John and Buzhardt. The bullpen was almost unbeatable with Wilhelm, Wood, Don McMahon and Bob Locker in it. Everything was perfect....until the final five games with Kansas City and Washington.
  • We start with game #1 of a double header in Detroit. Ken Berry temporarily saved the day throwing out Denny McLain at home in the last of the 10th inning preserving a one all tie. J. C. Martin was behind the plate. McLain, the former Sox "bonus baby" was trying to score on a single by Al Kaline. Unfortunately one batter later with Wilhelm pitching, Martin allowed a passed ball which allowed Dick McAuliff to score the winning run. It’s "Red" Rush and Bob Elson calling the play and notice how much Rush sounded like former Sox radio man Milo Hamilton! Courtesy: WMAQ Radio.
    Let Me Hear It!
  • 7. September 2, 1967. (Final Record: 89-73, 4th place) White Sox at Red Sox.

  • The Sox trailed the then first place Red Sox as they went into Boston for a four game holiday series. It turned out to be a big weekend as the White Sox would take three of four. This was the nationally televised "Game Of The Week," matching Horlen against Jim Lonborg. In the first inning Tommy McCraw would rip a two run single staking the Sox to a 3-0 lead. Bob Elson handles the play by play. Courtesy: WMAQ Radio.
    Let Me Hear It!
  • Later in the 6th inning Walt "No Neck" Williams provided a little insurance, driving a shot to the gap that scored Ron Hansen. It was the fourth and final run in what would be a White Sox 4-1 win. "Red" Rush and Bob Elson bring you the action. Courtesy: WMAQ Radio.
    Let Me Hear It!
  • 8. September 10, 1967. (Final Record: 89-73, 4th place) Tigers at White Sox.


    Joe Horlen's no-hitter put the '67 Sox back in first-place.  It was another near-miss season for the Pale Hose.

    It looked like the Sox were finally out of the race. In an important four game series with the Tigers, the Sox lost both the Friday night and the Saturday afternoon contests. The Saturday game was devastating, a 3-0 nothing 9th inning lead turned into a 7-3 loss. The Sox needed an inspiring performance...and got one from Joe Horlen.

  • Horlen took a no hitter into the last of the 9th inning on July 29, 1963 at Washington only to lose both the no hitter and the game 2-1. On this date he’d do neither.
  • He was staked to an early 6-0 lead and got some defensive support as well. In the 9th inning Sox 2nd baseman Wayne Causey made a lunging grab of a shot hit by Jerry Lumpe. That was the closest the Tigers came to getting a hit. We’ve got the final two outs of Horlen’s performance as well as his recollections about that day. Jack Brickhouse has the play by play part of this segment. Courtesy: WGN-TV and the Chicago White Sox.
    Let Me Hear It!
  • When Cisco Carlos shut out Detroit in the second game, the Sox were back in the hunt. As Mike Andrews, then with the Red Sox, told me in his WSI interview, Boston looked at who the Sox played the final week and figured it was all over.....how wrong they were.

    1968 and 1969 were two of the worst seasons in the history of the club. The Sox had literally one foot in the grave and the other in Milwaukee. It looked for sure like they were done on the South Side until two guys came to town in 1971 and saved the franchise... make that three guys. Chuck Tanner, Dick Allen and Roland Hemond brought the Sox back from the dead and pointed them towards better days in the early 70's. But that’s a story for the future.

    With the All Star Game coming to Comiskey Park for the 4th time in July, the next installment of Sox historic audio memories will focus on the "midsummer classic" and Sox players in it.


    As always comments, corrections, criticisms and input are always welcomed and appreciated. Even the insulting ones! Feel free to e-mail me at mliptak1@ida.net

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