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Today in White Sox History: May 15

Weird moves, long streaks, 4,000 wins and 20 runs, all packed into one day

Joe DiMaggio Taking Aim to Swing
Joe DiMaggio’s streak had to start somewhere ... say, against the White Sox.

1929

White Sox outfielder Art “The Great” Shires (Shires, by the way, gave himself that nickname) and manager Lena Blackburne got into a fistfight in the Sox clubhouse. Blackburne knocked Shires out cold.


1941

In a game in New York, Sox pitcher Edgar Smith allowed a hit to Yankee great Joe DiMaggio. It would be the first hit in DiMaggio’s record-setting, 56-game hitting streak.


1951

In a testament to the managerial genius of Sox skipper Paul Richards, it had been 30 years since the league saw a move like this. In the ninth inning of a game in Boston where the White Sox were winning 7-6, relief pitcher Harry Dorish was removed in favor of Billy Pierce to face the left-handed hitting Ted Williams — only Dorish wasn’t removed from the game, he was moved to third base! Pierce retired Williams on a pop-up, then was taken out of the game to return Dorish back to the mound. Boston eventually tied the game, but the White Sox would have the last laugh, winning 9-7 in 11 innings.

The victory marked the start of a 14-game win streak, with 11 of the wins on the road. On May 30 after sweeping the St. Louis Browns, the Sox record stood at 26-9.


1954

With a 7-6, come-from-behind win over the Philadelphia Athletics at Comiskey Park, the White Sox secured the franchise’s 4,000th win. It was catcher Carl Sawatski’s single with two out in the ninth inning that won the game. That year, the Sox went 94-60-1 … and still finished 17 games back of pennant-winning Cleveland!


1996

The White Sox easily handled the Brewers in Milwaukee, 20-8. The Sox scored 20, yet only hit two home runs. Frank Thomas had one of them, and knocked in six runs on the night. Harold Baines and Robin Ventura had three RBIs each as well.