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Today in White Sox History: June 13

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Brawls, comebacks, and the dawn of interleague play

Sure, sure, get your uniform ripped to shreds in defense of a racially-motivated beanball, Enos Slaughter.

1957

The White Sox and Yankees hooked up in perhaps the greatest “base-brawl” in history.

In the first inning at Comiskey Park, New York’s Art Ditmar threw a pitch at the head of Larry Doby. As the pitch rolled to the wall behind home plate, Ditmar ran to cover home. Doby warned Ditmar about the pitch, and then threw a left hook. The fight appeared to have racial overtones, and lasted a full 30 minutes.

Chicago native and future Sox player Bill ”Moose” Skowron jumped on Doby, which brought Walt Dropo into the fray. Dropo was 6´5´´, 220 pounds, a monster for his time. At various times, Whitey Ford, Casey Stengel, Jim Rivera and Enos Slaughter were in the middle of it. Slaughter’s jersey and undershirt were ripped to pieces, and his hat was backwards in one of the most famous photographs of the 1950’s.

After things settled down, Billy Martin rushed into things and started in on Doby.

Five players were ejected and fined for the melee. New York won the game, 4-3.


1978

It was one of the greatest comebacks in White Sox history: After trailing Cleveland 9-0 going into the bottom of the third inning, the Sox wound up winning the game, 10-9!

Chicago scored six runs in the third, four runs in the fourth, and hung on to win. And the White Sox scored all 10 runs without benefit of a home run. Wayne Nordhagen led the way with three RBIs. Rich Hinton went over six innings in relief, allowing only a run on five hits to get the win.


1997

Interleague play began with the White Sox in Cincinnati. Ray Durham inaugurated it with a leadoff home run. The Sox would beat the Reds, 3-1, behind the pitching of Wilson Alvarez and Roberto Hernandez.