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Today in White Sox History: May 13

A magazine and TV debut mark the day

Chicago White Sox v Cleveland Indians
Jim Kaat saw his 12-game winning streak snapped on this day in 1975.
Diamond Images/Getty Images


White Sox pitcher Billy Pierce became the first member of the team (and the first Chicago athlete) to ever appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated. In 1957, the year the magazine cover came out, Pierce went 20-12 with an ERA of 3.26. It was his second straight 20-win season.


White Sox pitcher Jim Kaat’s 12-game winning streak ended, as he was beaten, 3-2, in Baltimore. Kaat had won his first five decisions in 1975 after his final seven decisions in 1974. He’d become a 20-game winner in both seasons, averaging 290 innings pitched in those years. He’d also make the All-Star team in 1975.


SportsVision made its debut. The first pay cable service devoted exclusively to sports began operations with a game at Comiskey Park versus Milwaukee. The service was the brainchild of White Sox co-owner Eddie Einhorn and while brilliant, was ahead of its time. The technology wasn’t there, and more importantly, fans weren’t ready to pay for something they had been getting for free all their lives. At best, roughly 20,000 fans subscribed to it.

The decision to go to a pay service caused popular announcer Harry Caray to bolt the team after 11 seasons for the Cubs, despite a richer offer from the Sox. SportsVision, in its original version, lasted until the end of 1983, then it was sold to the Cablevision Company and turned into SportsChannel-Chicago.