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Today in White Sox History: May 20

The sucker punch heard ’round Chicago

Chicago Cubs v Chicago White Sox
Michael Barrett of the Chicago Cubs punches A.J. Pierzynski of the Chicago White Sox after a second inning collision on May 20, 2006 at U.S. Cellular Field.
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images


At Griffith Stadium in Washington on this afternoon, the White Sox would set the team record for the most runs ever scored in an extra inning. In the 16th inning, they were able to score eight times to beat the Senators, 13-5. The Senators made nine errors on the day, leading to nine unearned runs. Sox Hall of Fame pitcher Urban “Red” Faber worked all 16 innings, allowing 18 hits, three earned runs — and faced 64 batters!


A Sunday afternoon Bat Day doubleheader with the Twins brought the largest crowd out to ever see a game in the original Comiskey Park. 55,555 packed into the stadium, filling every single inch, including standing on the catwalks that connected the left- and right-field bleachers with the center field scoreboard area.

To his dying day, two-time owner Bill Veeck refused to believe that figure was accurate — thinking it too low. The Sox split the pair of games that afternoon.


The White Sox/Cubs rivalry never got hotter than on this day at U.S. Cellular Field, when Cubs catcher Michael Barrett sucker-punched A.J. Pierzynski, which started a brawl around home plate.

In the second inning, Brian Anderson hit a fly to left field. A.J. tagged up, ran over Barrett then went back and slapped his hand on home plate. Barrett took exception, and punched Pierzynski on the side of his jaw. The punch didn’t faze A.J., but both benches cleared. As a result, Barrett, A.J., Anderson and John Mabry were ejected.

The Sox, behind Freddy Garcia, won the game, 7-0. Tadahito Iguchi belted two home runs, one a grand slam, and drove in six RBIs on the day.