White Sox catcher Ray Schalk tied a major league record with three assists in one inning. It happened in the eighth inning of a 3-2 loss to Cleveland at Comiskey Park. Schalk fielded three ground balls to tie the mark.
White Sox GM Frank Lane started the connection between the franchise and Venezuela when he dealt two minor leaguers and $35,000 to the Dodgers for shortstop Chico Carrasquel.
Chico would be named to three All-Star teams and would become the first Venezuelan to appear in the midseason classic. He was traded to Cleveland before the start of the 1956 season for Larry Doby, which opened up the position for another shortstop and countryman of Carrasquel’s, Luis Aparicio.
In the season-ending game at Kansas City, pitcher Jim Derrington became the youngest person to ever appear in a game wearing a White Sox uniform. Derrington was 16 years old when he started against the A’s. He went six innings, allowing six runs (five earned) in a 7-6 loss. The teenaged lefty, who was a bonus baby, didn’t last long in the big leagues. He pitched a total of 21 innings in the majors and had a career record of 0-2.
The White Sox defeated the New York Yankees, 6-5, in 11 innings on a single to left by Johnny Romano. It scored Wayne Causey.
Why was that important? The loss guaranteed the Yankees a last-place finish — their first since 1912.
When Bill Melton smashed a home run on the last day of the season off Milwaukee’s Bill Parsons, he became the first White Sox player to ever win a home run title. Melton hit three home runs in the final two games to pass former Sox player Norm Cash and Reggie Jackson for the title. Typical of the White Sox, Melton only hit 33 round-trippers, the lowest total for a champ since 1965.
In an effort to give Melton an additional at-bat or two and aid his chase for the title, manager Chuck Tanner had the power hitter leading off in Chicago’s final two games.
For all of his contributions to baseball and the White Sox organization, owner Bill Veeck was honored with his own “night.” The ceremonies took place before the White Sox dropped a 5-1 decision to Oakland.
Eighty years of baseball history ended, as the original Comiskey Park closed with a 2-1 White Sox win over the Mariners. An emotional and capacity crowd, including politicians, musicians, sports and Hollywood figures, was in attendance.
Among the celebrities in the park were Governor Jim Thompson, Mayor Richard M. Daley, Goldie Hawn, Kurt Russell, Ron Howard, George Wendt, John Candy, Wayne Gretzky, Billy Cunningham and Maureen O’ Hara. The Oak Ridge Boys sang the National Anthem and the rock group Styx sang “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” during the seventh inning.
Bobby Thigpen got his 57th save in the game. The Sox would close out a miraculous 1990 season with 94 wins.
After controversies on and off the field (calling for a relief pitcher with no one warming up, a fistfight with umpire Richie Garcia at a steakhouse, a brawl near third base with Brewers manager Phil Garner) manager Terry Bevington was fired. No flowers were sent, and no Sox fan (or player) shed any tears.
White Sox infielder José Valentín became the fourth player in franchise history to hit home runs from both sides of the plate in the same game. Valentín connected off of Kansas City’s Blake Stein and Scott Mullen. He drove in three runs in the 9-1 win.
Hitting home runs from both sides of the plate in the same game had only happened six times in franchise history, and Valentín is responsible for three of them! Also, three of the six times this feat happened it has come against the Kansas City Royals.
For the first time, the White Sox played an extra game to get into the postseason. They hosted the Twins in the 163rd contest of the year, known as the “Blackout Game,” and won, 1-0 to clinch the Central Division title.
John Danks threw eight shutout innings, Jim Thome belted what turned out to be the game-winning home run and Ken Griffey Jr. threw out a Minnesota runner at home after A.J. Pierzynski held the ball despite a violent home-plate collision. The Sox won the division with a record of 89-74.
White Sox lefthander Carlos Rodón tied the franchise and the American League record by striking out the first seven Twins hitters in a game at U.S. Cellular Field. The original record was set by White Sox righty Joe Cowley back in 1986 at Texas.
Unlike Cowley, though, Rodón actually won his game, 7-3. Rodón struck out 11 on the night, pitching eight innings.