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Today in White Sox History: September 21

Two pennants won in one day? You betcha.

Chicago White Sox Portrait
The first pennant-winners in American League history? As a non-major league team in 1900, it was the White Sox. And in the season of the picture above, 1901, the White Sox won the first pennant with the AL as a major league.
Chicago Sun-Times/Chicago Daily News collection/Chicago History Museum/Getty Images


The White Sox won the first “official” American League pennant despite losing to the Philadelphia A’s, 10-4. The Sox would end up winning the pennant by five games over the Boston Americans, with a record of 83-53. Unfortunately, the World Series didn’t start until 1903, so an AL pennant was the best that the Sox could do.


The White Sox clinched the pennant, beating the Red Sox, 2-1 behind Red Faber. The final outs came when Babe Ruth rapped into a double play. The White Sox would outdistance Boston by eight games in 1917, with a mark of 100-54, and then defeat the New York Giants four games to two in the World Series. The 100 wins in a season have never been equaled in team history.


Frank “Trader” Lane, one of the finest GMs in team history, resigned. During his seven-season tenure, Lane made 241 trades involving 353 players. He was one of the architects of the club that would win the 1959 American League pennant. Among the players Lane acquired for the Sox were Minnie Miñoso, Nellie Fox, Dick Donovan, Jim Rivera, Billy Pierce and Sherm Lollar.


For the first time in 69 seasons, the White Sox finally had a 30-home run man. Bill Melton got an upper-deck shot off of Kansas City’s Aurelio Monteagudo (who had pitched for the Sox the year before) to set the record for the most Sox home runs in a season.

That same day, Luis Aparicio got his final hit in a Sox uniform. He had 1,576 of them for the White Sox. Just 672 fans were on hand to see the doubleheader at Comiskey Park!


Jeff Samardzija was acquired from the A’s with the hope that the Chicago native (who grew up a White Sox fan) could be the difference in getting the team to the postseason. His campaign, though, was something to forget; he struggled all year, particularly in the first inning of games, and after the trade deadline.

On this day, however, he pitched the finest game in his career, tossing a one-hitter in shutting out the Tigers, 2-0. The only hit he allowed was a bloop single off the bat of Victor Martinez in the fifth inning.