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Today in White Sox History: April 29

Crosstown Classic dominance begins on this day, 36 years ago

Chicago White Sox outfielder Michael Jordan (R) is
Michael Jordan starred in one of the only two Crosstown Classic games the White Sox didn’t win (the game ended in a 4-4 tie).
EUGENE GARCIA/AFP via Getty Images


White Sox shortstop Frank Shugart hit the first home run in White Sox history. It came in a 3-2 loss to Detroit. It came in the eighth inning, off of future Sox pitcher Frank Owen.


A new, yearly tradition was established in the first annual “Crosstown Classic” charity game matching the White Sox and Cubs. Down through the years, both teams played each other on and off in spring training or during an open date in the regular season. There was also a post season “City Series” that was eventually stopped by request of Major League Baseball. They felt it was taking away interest from the World Series. (The White Sox were 91-60-3 in City Series games, and captured 19 of 25 series overall.)

This was the first time both teams agreed to play on a yearly basis with a corporate sponsor (Busch Beer). The game alternated between Comiskey Park and Wrigley Field, and was played every year through 1995, when the labor impasse saw two games played that season. The Sox won the opener at Comiskey Park, 7-4, but it was only the start of a remarkable run.

The two teams played a total of 12 games, and the Sox never lost one. They’d go 10-0-2 during that time period. After 1995, the series was dropped. It’s was never publicly explained why, but reports persisted that the cancellation of the series was at the Cubs’ request. Plus, interleague play was on the horizon and it may have been felt by some that the game was now meaningless.