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Today in White Sox History: April 15

Tadahito Iguchi defies gravity

Chicago White Sox’s Tadahito Iguchi makes a spectacular play
Chicago’s Tadahito Iguchi makes a spectacular play to throw out Toronto’s Bengie Molina for the second out of the ninth inning. The White Sox defeated the Blue Jays, 4-2, at US Cellular Field.
Scott Strazzante/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images


The White Sox reintroduced Major League Baseball to Baltimore for the first time since 1902, as they played the new Baltimore Orioles as their first home opponent (the franchise had moved from St. Louis that offseason). Virgil “Fire” Trucks got the start for the White Sox, but the O’s beat them, 3-1, on the afternoon, starting a run of numerous unfortunate, strange and bizarre happenings at Memorial Stadium over the next 37 seasons.


The first labor impasse to cause regularly-scheduled games to be cancelled caused Opening Day of the 1972 season to be pushed back. In Kansas City, the Sox lost to the Royals, 2-1, in 11 innings despite Dick Allen’s first White Sox home run. Allen blasted a shot in the ninth inning off Dick Drago to give the team a brief 1-0 lead. Kansas City would tie the game with two outs in the ninth inning on a Bob Oliver home run off Wilbur Wood, then go on to win the game.

The Sox would drop three consecutive one-run games to the Royals to start the season, two in extra innings, but would end up with 87 wins in only 154 games.


Former Cubs pitcher Milt Wilcox had his perfect game ruined with two outs in the ninth inning when White Sox pinch-hitter Jerry Hairston ripped a clean single up the middle. It was the only hit of the night for the Sox, who lost to Detroit, 6-0.


In a game at Boston, pinch-hitter Jerry Hairston collected his 51st safety in that role, setting a White Sox all-time record. Jerry would lead the league in pinch hits from 1983 through 1985 and would retire with 87 of them in his career. He also hit the last home run to set off Bill Veeck’s original exploding scoreboard in October 1981 — and he hit it off of future Sox pitching coach Don Cooper!


It was an all-time great defensive play.

In the ninth inning of a game at U.S. Cellular Field against Toronto, Sox second baseman Tadahito Iguchi had to charge in on a slowly-hit ball by Bengie Molina. Iguchi’s momentum carried him forward, forcing him to leave his feet and start to fall to the ground. Before he hit the field, though, he got a throw off, despite being parallel to the ground. His throw was strong enough to get Molina at first.

The Sox would win the game, 4-2.