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Today in White Sox History: May 16

Grand slams, cycles, and failed trades

Chicago White Sox v New York Yankees
Superstar Bobby Bonds didn’t last long on the South Side, traded just six weeks into the 1978 season.
Bruce Bennett Studios via Getty Images Studios/Getty Images


White Sox pitcher Tommy Byrne, who was knocked out of the game in an eventual win against the Yankees two days earlier, was sent up to pinch-hit in the ninth inning with the bases loaded and the Sox trailing, 3-1. Byrne slammed a 2-2 pitch from Ewell “The Whip” Blackwell into the lower deck in right field at Yankee Stadium, for the only pinch-hit grand slam by a pitcher in team history! The Sox would win the game 5-3, scoring all their runs in the ninth inning.


With the White Sox a dismal 9-20 and with owner Bill Veeck knowing that there was no way he was going to be able to re-sign him, slugger Bobby Bonds was traded to the Texas Rangers for Claudell Washington and Rusty Torres.

Bonds only played in 26 games for the Sox, with two home runs and eight RBIs. Making matters worse was that Bonds was acquired the previous December for three players, including future All-Star Brian Downing.

Washington would become the target of fan displeasure because of his tendency to take it easy on the field while with the team. One fan made up a banner, hung over the right field wall, which expressed that sentiment: “Washington slept here.”


Carlton Fisk had one of his finest games, as he became the third player in franchise history to hit for the cycle in a game. It came against the Royals at Comiskey Park.

Despite Fisk’s efforts, the Sox would lose, 7-6. Carlton went 4-for-5 with two runs and two RBIs in the game.