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Today in White Sox History: October 4

The South Siders return to the playoffs with a bang — five bangs, in fact

A historic playoff run for the White Sox began on this day, 17 years ago.
Brett Ballantini/South Side Sox

1948

Chuck Comiskey III was named vice president of the White Sox. He refused to see the team continue to be the laughingstock of the American League, and immediately began to take steps to change things on and off the field. Those changes started to bear fruit as soon as the 1951 season, as the Sox vaulted into contention in the American League. For the next 17 years, through the end of the 1967 campaign, the White Sox produced a winning record and were usually in the running for the pennant — winning it in 1959.


1981

Jerry Hairston’s grand slam helped beat the Twins, 13-12, setting off Bill Veeck’s original exploding scoreboard for the last time. The blast came off of future White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper.

The White Sox trailed in the game, 12-5, before scoring eight unanswered runs in the final two innings. The victory gave the Sox their first winning year since 1977, at 54-52.

The game also marked the end of broadcaster Harry Caray’s association with the Sox, after 11 seasons.


2005

The 2005 playoffs opened for the White Sox with a rout, 14-2, over visiting Boston. José Contreras got a historic run of starting pitching for the South Siders going with 7 23 innings of eight-hit, two-run, six-strikeout ball.

The game was essentially iced in the first inning, as Red Sox starter Matt Clement hit two of the first three batters of the game, and A.J. Pierzynski capped off a five-run frame with an opposite-field, three-run homer with two outs.

Pierzynski homered again in the eighth inning, and Paul Konerko, Juan Uribe and Scott Podsednik added round-trippers as well. Chicago’s five home runs set an ALDS record.

It was Podsednik’s first home run of 2005. It would not be his last.