View Full Version : THIS DATE IN SOX HISTORY: MARCH 17TH/Comiskey, Frank testifies

03-17-2008, 07:27 AM

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

1910: The cornerstone of ComiskeyPark was laid at official groundbreaking ceremonies for the White Sox new home. The ceremony took part before “a solemn but happy throng of local residents,” according to Rich Lindberg’s “White Sox Encyclopedia.” Architect Zachary Taylor Davis, who had been enlisted by Charles Comiskey to design “The Baseball Palace of the World,” laid a lucky Irish green Tom commemorate the occasion and the day. The park opened on July 1 and was operational through the 1990 season.

2000: For the second consecutive day, the White Sox posted a Cactus League victory over the Cubs. Before 10,429 at TucsonElectricPark, the Sox hammered the Northsiders 12-3. Ray Durham led the barrage on the baby bruins with three hits and two RBIs while Paul Konerko and Greg Norton each hit two home runs as the Sox won for the third straight time overall against the Cubs.

2005: White Sox designated hitter Frank Thomas testified, via satellite from Arizona, before the Committee on Government Reform, which convened at the United States House Representatives in Washington. The panel was entitled: "Restoring Faith in America's Pastime: Evaluating Major League Baseball's Efforts to Eradicate Steroid Use" and included Senators John McCain and Jim Bunning, a Hall of Fame pitcher, among others. Players or former players called to testify were, in order of appearance, Jose Canseco, Sammy Sosa, Rafael Palmeiro, Mark McGwire, Curt Schilling and Thomas. According to a Washington Post article, Thomas and Schilling were invited because of their vocal opposition to steroid use. The other players all had been connected to or accused of steroid use. Thomas did not take part in the questioning but did make the following statement (http://www.businessofbaseball.com/steroidhearings/ThomasTestimony.pdf):
“Good morning, Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee. I want to thank the Chairman and the Ranking member for allowing me to make this statement. My name is Frank Thomas and I am a baseball player for the Chicago White Sox — a team I am proud to have been part of since joining Major League Baseball in 1989.
“First of all, Mr. Chairman, let me say that as an outspoken critic of steroids, I would like to work with this Committee, Major League Baseball, and the Players Association to warn everyone – especially young people – about the dangers of performance enhancing drugs. Steroids are dangerous and the public should be educated about them, and in particular, parents should make sure their children are aware that steroids can be bad for their health.
“I also believe the League and the Players’ Association have done the right thing by reopening our collective bargaining agreement and strengthening our policy on drug
testing. I support this new policy as a very good first step in eliminating steroid use from the sport I love.
“I have been a major league ballplayer for 15 years. Throughout my career, I have not used steroids. Ever.
“Thank you, Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee.”

Editor's Note: Information for these entries is gleaned from the author's files, retrosheet.org, various Internet sources, press reports of the day, White Sox media guides and the many White Sox books written by the great Rich Lindberg.