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Today in White Sox History: July 30

Clown, thy name is Kruk

Chicago White Sox designated hitter John Kruk watc
Yeah, John Kruk played for the White Sox. He probably doesn’t even remember, and for good reason.
CHRIS WILKINS/AFP via Getty Images


Never had two White Sox hitters had days like this on the same afternoon. Sox outfielder George “Mule” Haas reeled off eight hits in 12 at bats in a sweep of a doubleheader with the St. Louis Browns. If that wasn’t enough, his teammate and All-Star outfielder Al Simmons, drilled seven hits on the day. The Sox would win, 8-7, in 10 innings, and then 15-2.


With the White Sox in a three-way tie for first place, pitcher Dick Donovan had an appendicitis attack. At the time, Donovan was 13-4 with a 2.64 ERA. He didn’t return until late August, and went 2-5 the rest of the season. The Sox fell out of contention after his illness, and ended the season at 91-63, good for third place.


White Sox starting pitcher Ray Hebert, who would eventually win 20 games on the season, was named as a last-minute replacement for the All-Star Game. Hebert got the win, pitching three innings, as the AL beat the NL, 9-4, at Wrigley Field. In his three innings of work, Herbert allowed only three singles — two of the infield variety.

Herbert was joined on the team by Luis Aparicio (SS) and Jim Landis (OF).


It was the brightest moment for eventual Comeback Player of the Year Eric Soderholm. In a nationally-televised game on NBC, before a full house at Comiskey Park, Soderholm blasted a three-run home run in the last of the seventh inning to put the Sox ahead in a key game they’d win, 6-4. The shot came off of Kansas City’s Doug Bird, a sidearmer and one of the toughest relief pitchers in baseball.

Soderholm would finish the season with 25 home runs, 67 RBIs and a .280 batting average.


So this is what a good teammate does? In a game at Baltimore, DH John Kruk (who un-retired in May to take a White Sox contract offer), decided to retire just as quickly. Kruk singled, raising his average to .308, then went back to the clubhouse, packed his bags and left the game for good.

He did this before the game ended, mind you, then told certain reporters it was no fun DH’ing on a losing team that “didn’t have any heart.”


In a game at Kansas City, Sox infielder José Valentín blasted three home runs in a 15-4 win. José went 3-for-5 with five RBIs. One of his home runs was a three-run shot.