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StatManDu
04-08-2008, 07:04 PM
Editor's Note: Been busy at park since Friday ... Here is today's almanac plus highlights below from the days that I missed. ... Hope everyone enjoyed the opener.

THIS DATE IN WHITE SOX HISTORY: APRIL 8TH


SOX WAIVE BYE TO McLAIN
1963: The White Sox placed minor league pitcher Denny McLain on waivers. The Sox signed the future two-time Cy Young winner out of Chicago’s Mt. Carmel High School on Jan. 1, 1962. At age 18, the right-hander went 1-0 for Harlan of the Appalachian (Rookie) League and 4-7 for Clinton of the Class-A Midwest League in 1962. Under the rules of the day, the Sox were allowed to keep only one first-year bonus player. The Sox had to decide between fellow right-handed pitcher Bruce Howard and McLain. The Sox pitted the two against each other in an exhibition game. Howard was the winner and was assigned to Double-A Knoxville. McLain was placed on waivers and ultimately claimed by the Detroit Tigers where he embarked on a memorable journey which would include a 31-win season and plenty of controversy.

THE FIRST OF 99
1983: After three losses, the “Winning Ugly” Sox finally posted their first victory of the season with a 6-3 triumph of Detroit before 51,350 at Tiger Stadium. The Sox broke a 3-3 tie with three in the seventh. Tony Bernazard’s RBI single gave the Sox the lead for good while Harold Baines and Greg Walker added insurance ribbies. Dennis Lamp started and got the win but Jerry Koosman was the pitching star. The veteran lefty tossed three shutout innings for the save.

SOX WRECK BALTIMORE BASH
1991: The White Sox spoiled the final Opening Day at Baltimore’s Memorial Stadium with a 9-1 trouncing of the Orioles before 50,213 disappointed onlookers. Sammy Sosa was the hitting star. He clubbed two roundtrippers in becoming the first Sox player to accomplish that feat in an Opening Day game since Minnie Minoso in 1960. Jack McDowell went the distance while striking out 10. It was the Sox first complete game in an Opener since 1976 when Wilbur Wood blanked the Royals on six hits. The Orioles were bound for Camden Yards next season.

WINNING STREAK REACHES FOUR
2000: The White Sox extended their winning streak to four by trampling the A’s 7-3 at Oakland. Frank Thomas’ three-run homer, his second of the year, gave the Sox some breathing room. Thomas finished with three hits boosting his career total to 1,577th which moved him past Luis Aparicio into sixth place on the Sox all-time list. Mike Sirotka earned his first win of the season.

THIS DATE IN WHITE SOX HISTORY: APRIL 7TH

DH DEBUT
1973: Utilizing the new-fangled designated hitter, the White Sox opened the 1973 campaign by edging the Texas Rangers 3-1 in Arlington. A day after the Yankees’ Ron Blomberg became the first DH in history, Mike Andrews went 1-for-3 with a double in that role while hitting sixth for the Sox. Wilbur Wood went the distance and gave up four hits and an unearned run with six strikeouts in outdueling future Sox pitching coach Dick Bosman. Dick Allen homered and Eddie Leon and Carlos May also drove in runs for the Sox.

O CANADA … THE SOX USHER IN BASEBALL IN TORONTO
1977: The White Sox inaugurated American League baseball in Canada by losing to the Toronto Blue Jays 9-5 before 44,649 who braved the snow and freezing temperatures at Exhibition Stadium. The White Sox Ralph Garr was the first American League batter in Canada and Sox announcer Harry Caray pulled a rare double in announcing both the inaugural National League game in Canada (with St. Louis vs. Montreal) and the first AL game in the Great White North. For the record, Garr scored the first American League run on foreign soil when he crossed on the first American League homer on foreign soil – a blast by Richie Zisk, who was making his White Sox debut. Also, Ken Brett took the loss while ex-Sox pitcher Pete Vuckovich was the winner. ... The Sox also signed veteran knuckleballer and author Jim Bouton on this day. He pitched in the team's farm systembefore being released on June 1.

MORRIS NO-HITS THE SOX
1984: Jack Morris fired what turned out to be the final no-hitter at Old Comiskey Park in the Detroit Tigers’ 4-0 win over the White Sox in the season’s third game. Morris tossed the “no-no” before 24,616 on the South Side and on national television.

ONE LAST BOMB FOR PUDGE
1993: On his first swing of the season, Carlton Fisk launched the final home run of his Hall of Fame career. The blast, the 376th of Fisk’s career, came off Jim Deshaies in the third inning of the Sox 6-1 loss at Minnesota.

AIR JORDAN DELIVERS
1994: The White Sox and Michael Jordan fought the Cubs to a 4-4 tie in an exhibition game before 37,825 at Wrigley Field. Jordan started in right field and went 2-for-5 with a double and two RBIs as the Sox remained unbeaten against the Cubs since the resumption of the crosstown rivalry in 1984. Jordan touched relievers Dave Otto and Chuck Crim for hits but was also charged with an error in right field.

WIN NO. 1 FOR OZZIE
2004: After a crushing loss to start the season, theWhite Sox got Ozzie Guillen his first win as manager with a 4-3 triumph at Kansas City. Miguel Olivo, Carlos Lee and Magglio Ordonez all homered in support of winning pitcher Esteban Loaiza, who pitched into the seventh inning. In his first plate appearance of the season, Frank Thomas fouled off 13 pitches, including 12 in a row, before drawing a walk in the first inning.

THIS DATE IN WHITE SOX HISTORY: APRIL 6TH

SOME OF THAT ’05 MAGIC
2005: The White Sox improved to 2-0 with an improbable 4-3 win over the Indians before 10,520 at US Cellular Field. Trailing 3-0 heading into the ninth, the Sox scored four times to win it. Juan Uribe’s sacrifice fly was the game-winner and came after a two-run homer by Paul Konerko and a game-tying solo shot by Jermaine Dye. The victory went to Damaso Marte and marked the first time the White Sox started 2-0 since 1999.

THIS DATE IN WHITE SOX HISTORY: APRIL 5TH

NOT A GOOD DEAL
1960: In one of the worst trades in team history, the White Sox acquired slugging first baseman Roy Sievers from the Washington Senators for catcher Earl Battey, infielder Don Mincher and $150,000. Sievers, who led the American League with 42 homers and 114 RBIs for the 1957 Senators, hit .295 with a team-high 28 homers and 93 RBIs for the 1960 White Sox. The 29 homers were the most by a Sox player in nine years and tied for the third-highest output in franchise history. Battey and Mincher were considered prospects at the time and blossomed into productive Major Leaguers in the 1960s. This swap did not turn out so well for the good guys. In the first printing of “The White Sox Encyclopedia,” Rich Lindberg labeled this the sixth-worst trade in franchise history.

A WEIRD BEGINNING
1974: Nolan Ryan bested Wilbur Wood before 30,041 on Opening Day at Comiskey Park. Ryan got the win in the Angels’ 8-2 victory. Ryan, coming of his record-setting 383-strikeout campaign of 1973, fanned just four and walked 10. The Angels broke the game open with a five-run eighth off Terry Forster. The Opener’s sideshows may have been more interesting than the game. In the stands, there was a strolling stripper, many streakers and a bevy of fights. “Did all that really happen?” Sox manager Chuck Tanner asked afterwards. “I didn’t see any of it. ... What causes people to act like that?”

BO KNOWS SURGERY
1992: Bo Jackson underwent reconstructive hip surgery, thus setting the stage for one of the great comebacks in baseball history. Despite the painful hip, Jackson went 4-for-7 (.571) with three RBI in three spring training games. After the surgery, Jackson was placed on the disabled list and then placed on the emergency disabled list on Aug. 6. After rehab, Jackson capped his comeback the following April when the first swing of his return resulted in a home run.

CLOSING THE CENTURY ON OPENERS
1999: The White Sox captured their final Opening Day game of the 20th Century by toppling the Seattle Mariners 8-2 at the Kingdome. Darrin Jackson’s two-run homer in the fifth inning gave the White Sox the lead for good. James Baldwin got the win in improving his lifetime record to 10-0 in domes. Paul Konerko made his White Sox debut a successful one, homering off Jeff Fassero in the sixth inning.

THAT WIN HURT
2007: The White Sox picked up their first win of the season in painful fashion with a 4-3 decision over Cleveland before 24,141 at US Cellular Field. AJ Pierzynski was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to force Rob Mackowiak home with the winning run in the ninth inning. According to whitesoxalmanac.com research, the walkoff win via the HBP was the White Sox first since Sept. 2, 1966 when Tommie Agee was plunked by a Stu Miller pitch to give the Sox a 9-8 win over the Baltimore Orioles. Incidentally, Dennis Higgins was the winning pitcher. Joe Crede, Higgins’ cousin, was 1-for-2 with two walks in the win over Cleveland which improved the Sox to 1-2.


THIS DATE IN WHITE SOX HISTORY: APRIL 4TH

DEBUT DAY A DANDY
1988: It was a day of debuts at Comiskey Park. The 1988 White Sox debuted with an 8-5 win over the California Angels before a sundrenched crowd of 35,899 on the Southside. Kenny Williams, making his debut at third base, went 2-for-3 with a homer and three RBI; Lance Johnson, making his White Sox debut, had a single, run and RBI and Ricky Horton, also making his White Sox debut, was the winning pitcher.

THE FIRST OF 110
2005: The White Sox opened their World Championship season by defeating the Cleveland Indians 1-0 before 38,141 at US Cellular Field. Mark Buehrle got the win with eight strong innings while Shingo Takatsu earned the save. The Sox scored the game’s only run in the seventh when Paul Konerko doubled and scored on Aaron Rowand’s RBI.