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Today in White Sox History: March 31

Frank Thomas makes his mark, before the month is over.

Chicago White Sox
Chicago White Sox slugger Frank Thomas hit the first March home run in MLB history on this day, 26 years ago.
Focus on Sport/Getty Images

1994

Michael Jordan, after his first spring training, is assigned to the Double-A Birmingham Barons of the Southern League. He would hit .202/.290/.266 in 127 games, then move to the Arizona Fall League, where he had a more impressive season. Without the 1994-95 labor stalemate, Jordan would have reported to Charlotte in 1995, with an outside shot at seeing the majors that year.


1996

Because of a quirk in the calendar, the White Sox had a March Opening Day for the first time in franchise history, starting the season in Seattle on the final day of the month. Frank Thomas hit a home run off Randy Johnson, for the first March homer in MLB history. However, Seattle pitchers struck out 21 White Sox (Johnson getting 14 in seven innings of work), and Chicago lost the game, 3-2, in 12 innings.

The American League umpires also sported red polo shirts, marking the first time in 20 years they were allowed to wear some color on the field.