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Today in White Sox History: June 24

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The South Siders missed on Babe Ruth ... but struck gold with Mark Buehrle

Oakland at Chicago White Sox
It was a big day for Mark Buehrle in 2017.
Chris Sweda/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

1914

In a telegram discovered in 2012, White Sox owner Charles Comiskey told scout George Mills that the asking price for pitcher Babe Ruth was too high at $16,000.

At the time, Ruth was playing for the Baltimore Orioles. Comiskey had sent Mills to scout the best Orioles players on June 9. Mills gave Comiskey a list of six players he thought were the best, with Ruth among them. He later revealed that Jack Dunn, the Orioles owner, said Ruth could be had himself for $16,000 cash. In the telegram, Comiskey replied, “Do not need pitchers bad enough to go that high price.”

The White Sox thus joined the Cincinnati Reds and the Philadelphia A’s in turning down chances to get Ruth, who was eventually was sold to the Red Sox. Comiskey later would try to get Ruth before the start of the 1920 season, offering Shoeless Joe Jackson and cash to Boston, to no avail, as the Red Sox sold Ruth to the Yankees.


1956

It was probably the biggest White Sox weekend of the 1950s.

Two days earlier the White Sox has started what was an unheard-of, four-game sweep of the Yankees, winning a Friday game 5-4 in 12 innings. On Saturday, the Sox shut out the Bombers, 2-0. Then on Sunday, before almost 48,000, the Sox took a pair, closing to within one game of first place.

Larry Doby would hit a pair of three-run shots in the twin bill, helping to account for the 14-2 and 6-3 wins.

Fans by the hundreds poured on to the field during the second game, simply to get the chance to shake players’ hands and run around the outfield. Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley came out and said that the Sox would be in the World Series that fall. Of course, they weren’t ... but the White Sox did finish the season at 85-69, good for third place.


1969

In the second game of a doubleheader in Seattle, White Sox third baseman Bill Melton slugged three home runs in a 7-6 win. All were solo blasts.

The Sox took the first game as well, winning 6-4, with relief pitcher Wilbur Wood picking up wins in both games. Wood allowed only two hits in almost six innings of work between the two games.


1972

Behind the inspired play of Dick Allen, Wilbur Wood, Stan Bahnsen, Goose Gossage, Terry Forster and Carlos May, the Sox were in the middle of a pennant chase when the bizarre injury curse struck again.

Third baseman Bill Melton fell off of a ladder, damaging his back during the previous offseason, and had been playing in pain ever since. The defending American League home run champion was put on the injured list and lost for the rest of the year when it was discovered he had a herniated disk.

The reason he was on the ladder? Somehow his son got up on the garage roof!

The Sox would finish 5 12 games behind the Oakland A’s, with a record of 87-67.


1973

It almost tied a club record. In the second game of a doubleheader at Comiskey Park, White Sox catcher Ed Herrmann drove in seven runs in a 11-1 win over the A’s. Herrmann went 3-for-4 with a three-run home run, two-run double and two-run single.

The club record is eight RBIs in a game.


1977

It was an embarrassing moment for White Sox outfielder Ralph Garr and, as it turned out, a costly one for the team. In the third inning of a game in Minnesota, Garr hit what appeared to be a three-run home run. However, as he was running the bases, he passed catcher Jim Essian, who waited at first base to make sure the ball was in fact a home run. Garr was called out for passing the runner and awarded a two-run single.

The Sox wound up losing the game, 7-6.


2017

It was Mark Buehrle Day at Guaranteed Rate Field, as the White Sox honored the lefthander by retiring his No. 56.

Buehrle played 12 seasons with the Sox, winning 161 games including a perfect game against Tampa and a no-hitter against Texas. He also won two postseason games and saved another. He was a three-time All-Star, who won the 2005 contest.

Buehrle was a model of consistency, with 11 straight years winning in double figures, starting 30 or more games and throwing at least 200 innings with the franchise.