The world championship season began in Detroit with the White Sox beating the Tigers, 5-3. Frank Owen, who’d win 22 games that season, picked up the victory. Just three days short of six months later, the Sox would close out the Cubs, winning the only all-Chicago World Series, in six games.
The “Golden Age” of White Sox baseball was born, as on Opening Day the White Sox destroyed the St. Louis Browns, 17-3. New manager Paul Richards emphasized pitching, defense and speed, and under two more managers to come the Sox would do it well enough to have 17 consecutive winning seasons — the fourth-longest streak in MLB history.
In front of newly-elected Mayor (and renown White Sox fan) Richard J. Daley, rookie Luis Aparicio collected his first major league hit. It came off of Cleveland’s Bob Lemon and helped set up the winning run in Chicago’s 2-1 Opening Day victory. Aparicio was named Rookie of the Year in 1956, and after an 18-year career would be inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1984.
Fellow future Hall-of-Famers Don Drysdale (Brooklyn Dodgers) and Frank Robinson (Cincinnati Redlegs) also debuted on this day.
Harold Baines collected his first major league hit. It came off of Yankees pitcher Mike Griffin at Yankee Stadium. Baines would total 2,866 in his outstanding career, and his No. 3 was retired by the team in 1989, while he was still an active player.
Baines made the Hall of Fame in 2019.
On a cold, miserable night in Chicago, Ron Kittle would connect for a rooftop home run off of Boston’s Rob Murphy. It was Kittle’s SEVENTH rooftop shot, the most by any player in the history of the original Comiskey Park. It was also the last rooftop home run in the park’s history. The White Sox won the game, 2-1.