Catcher and future Hall-of-Famer, Ray Schalk, became the first White Sox player to hit for the cycle when he did it against the Tigers in Detroit. The Sox would win, 9-5, with Ray going 4-for-4 with two runs and two RBIs. The hits were a home run, triple, single and double, in that order.
He came so close to perfection. White Sox lefthander Billy Pierce fired four one-hitters in his brilliant career, but he never came closer to baseball immortality than he did on this night.
With two out in the ninth inning, Pierce lost a perfect game as Washington’s Ed Fitz Gerald, a pinch-hitter, doubled down the first-base line on the first pitch he saw. The hit was fair by a foot, off of a low-outside breaking ball. The crowd at Comiskey Park stared in disbelief.
The Sox won, 3-0, but Pierce never came closer to pitching the ultimate masterpiece. On the night, the Senators only hit six balls out of the infield. Pierce struck out nine and only went to a three-ball count on two hitters. The game took 1:46 to play.
Another historical oddity: Fitz Gerald’s grandfather was an important businessman in Milwaukee, active in the shipping industry. Years later, a ship would be named after him. The name of the ship? The Edmund Fitz Gerald. (Cue the song from Gordon Lightfoot!)
It was one of the most bizarre individual plays in White Sox history.
The Sox were at Baltimore, and in the last of the fourth inning of a scoreless game Frank Robinson slid hard into second baseman Al Weis, trying to break up a potential double play on a ball hit by Brooks Robinson. Frank Robinson’s head slammed into Weis’ knee, knocking the runner out. The next day, Frank Robinson woke up with double vision. Weis, meanwhile, had his knee torn up, his season ended.
While both players were lying on the ground, Sox right fielder Ken Berry noticed that time had never been called and Frank wasn’t on the base! He ran in, picked up the baseball and tagged him with it. Second base umpire Nestor Chylak called Robinson out.
Officially, it went into the books as a force out: third to second to first to right field.
The Sox, behind Joe Horlen, won the game, 5-0.
The first steps that would eventually lead to a World Series title in 2005 took place on this day, as the White Sox acquired starting pitcher Freddy García from the Mariners for catcher Miguel Olivo and outfielderJeremy Reed. Some fans anguished over the loss of five-tool prospect Reed, but no one was complaining after García helped close out the Astros the following October to clinch the first White Sox championship in 88 seasons.
Freddy would go on to win 55 games for the White Sox, in two different stints.