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Today in White Sox History: April 23

A number of first, headlined by the great Billy Pierce

Chicago White Sox
It was the first of 186 wins with the White Sox for Billy Pierce on this day, 72 years ago.


Perhaps the greatest White Sox team ever, in terms of talent, opened the season in St. Louis and destroyed the Browns, 13-4. Claude ‘‘Lefty’’ Williams got the win.

Six months later, after winning the American League pennant, the ‘‘Black Sox’’ reportedly threw the series and lost to the Cincinnati Reds. Eight players would be banned the following year, and the only franchise capable of stopping the emerging New York Yankees juggernaut was decimated.


White Sox lefthander Billy Pierce won his first major league game. Pierce threw almost four innings in relief of starter Al Gettel and got the decision in a 12-5 win over the Browns at Comiskey Park. Billy would win 186 games with the Sox, make the All-Star team seven times, throw four one-hitters and finish with 211 wins overall in his brilliant career.


The White Sox hammered the Athletics, 29-6, at Kansas City. The 29 runs were an American League record that stood for years. The Sox hit seven home runs that night. Walt Dropo and Bob Nieman both had seven RBIs. Sherm Lollar and Minnie Miñoso added five apiece.


It was an unusual event, even for an exhibition game. Utility player Steve “Psycho” Lyons played all nine positions for the White Sox during the annual “Crosstown Classic” game against the Cubs at Wrigley Field. Manager Jeff Torborg moved him all over the field during the contest, won by the Sox, 6-5.