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Today in White Sox History: April 21

Philip is perfect, nine years ago today

Chicago White Sox v Seattle Mariners
Starting pitcher Philip Humber of the Chicago White Sox falls to the turf after throwing a perfect game against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field on April 21, 2012. This was the 21st perfect game in Major League Baseball history.
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images


The White Sox played their first regular season game as part of the American League. They’d drop a 5-4 decision to the Milwaukee Brewers, who were managed by Connie Mack. The 1900 season isn’t officially recognized by baseball because the American League wasn’t yet considered a part of organized baseball, instead designated as a minor league.


In the ninth inning of a 4-3 loss to the Yankees at Comiskey Park, shortstop Ozzie Guillén tore up his knee in a collision with left fielder Tim Raines. On a pop into short left by Mel Hall, Guillén’s knee slammed into the shoulder of Raines, who was attempting to make a diving catch. Ozzie had surgery and was lost for the rest of the year, but through intensive offseason rehab work, came back strong in 1993 to regain his starting spot at shortstop for the eventual Western Division champions.


Philip Humber was a journeyman pitcher before this day, and he was a journeyman pitcher after it. But on this particular day, he was as good as any pitcher in history. Humber became only the third White Sox pitcher and the 21st in baseball history to throw a perfect game, shutting out Seattle, 4-0, at Safeco Field. He fanned nine Mariners in the game.

There was some drama at the finish as the last Mariners hitter, Brendan Ryan, struck out but argued with the home plate umpire for a second instead of realizing the ball got past catcher A. J. Pierzynski, who had to retrieve it and throw it to first. A.J.’s throw just beat Ryan, who might have ruined the perfect game had he been more alert and immediately started running!