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Today in White Sox History: September 22

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A massive crowd at Midway Airport — and a nonexistent one, seven years later.

New York Yankees
Estimated crowd for the White Sox game at Yankee Stadium on this day, 55 years ago.
Diamond Images/Getty Images

1959

The White Sox clinched the American League pennant with a 4-2 win in Cleveland. Al Smith and Jim Rivera hit back-to-back home runs in the game. Smith also threw out former Sox star Minnie Miñoso at home plate.

A crowd estimated by the Chicago Sun-Times at 125,000 was at Midway Airport to greet the Sox when they returned home. All this on a night when Chicago fire commissioner Robert Quinn ordered the air raid sirens turned on to celebrate the title, causing fear and panic in a number of non-baseball fans who thought the Russians were attacking.

The Sox would wind up winning the 1959 pennant by five games over the Tribe, with a mark of 94-60.


1966

In a game at Yankee Stadium, pitcher Joe Horlen and his teammates stopped New York to the tune of 4-1. Only 413 fans were in attendance at the gigantic stadium.

It’s believed to be the smallest home crowd ever at a Yankee game.