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Today in White Sox History: April 8

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The tale of two who got away

Chicago White Sox v Baltimore Orioles
Sammy was Sosa-wonderful on Opening Day in Baltimore in 1991.

1963

On this date, one of the biggest “what if’s” in franchise history took place.

As per the rules at the time, the White Sox had to choose between two pitchers signed to “bonus baby” contracts, as only one player signed to a deal for over a certain amount of money could remain in the organization; the other would have to be waived.

With that in mind, rookies Bruce Howard and Denny McLain squared off in an intrasquad game to see who would be released and who got promoted to Double-A Lynchburg. Howard won, 2-1. McLain got his walking papers and was claimed by Detroit the following week. He’d go on to win 131 big league games, including 31 in 1968.

Howard won 26.


1991

It was always a “House of Horrors” for the White Sox, but on this day they got the last laugh.

The Sox spoiled the last Orioles home opener in old Memorial Stadium by ripping Baltimore, 9-1. Sammy Sosa clubbed two home runs off of Jeff Ballard to lead the rout. He’d knock in five runs on the afternoon. Jack McDowell went the distance for the win, striking out 10.