It was the first time the White Sox ever played in Kansas City, and outfielder Jim Rivera would make it a memorable night. Rivera’s home run helped the Sox beat the A’s, 5-3, but it was his comment afterwards to former first lady Bess Truman that made the most news. She attended the game and then when introduced, Rivera said, “I’m sure sorry my home run beat your club, but it was a helluva wallop, eh, Bess?”
In one of the most bizarre innings in baseball history, the White Sox got 11 runs in the seventh inning of a 20-6 win at Kansas City.
The uniqueness of it was that fact that those 11 runs scored on only one hit! It took 45 minutes to play the half-inning, with Johnny Callison getting the only Sox hit. Jim Landis made two of the three outs, both on comebackers to the pitcher.
Through six innings, the White Sox trailed Kansas City, 6-1. Here is the play-by-play:
GORMAN REPLACED WARD (PITCHING)
Ray Boone reached on an error by DeMaestri [Boone to first]
Al Smith reached on an error on a sacrifice bunt by Smith [Boone to second]
Johnny Callison singled to right
[Boone scored (unearned) (error by Maris), Smith scored (unearned) (error by Maris), Callison to third]
Luis Aparicio walked
Aparicio stole second
Bob Shaw walked
EARL TORGESON BATTED FOR SAMMY ESPOSITO
FREEMAN REPLACED GORMAN (PITCHING)
Torgeson walked (walk was charged to Gorman)
[Callison scored, Aparicio to third, Shaw to second]
Nellie Fox walked [Aparicio scored, Shaw to third, Torgeson to second]
Jim Landis forced Shaw (pitcher to catcher) [Torgeson to third, Fox to second]
Sherm Lollar walked [Torgeson scored (unearned), Fox to third, Landis to second]
BRUNET REPLACED FREEMAN (PITCHING)
Boone walked [Fox scored (unearned), Landis to third, Lollar to second]
Smith walked [Landis scored (unearned), Lollar to third, Boone to second]
Callison was hit by a pitch [Lollar scored (unearned), Boone to third, Smith to second]
LOU SKIZAS RAN FOR CALLISON
Aparicio walked [Boone scored (unearned), Smith to third, Skizas to second]
Shaw struck out
BUBBA PHILLIPS BATTED FOR TORGESON
Phillips walked [Smith scored (unearned), Skizas to third, Aparicio to second]
Fox walked [Skizas scored (unearned), Aparicio to third, Phillips to second]
Landis grounded out (pitcher to first)
If you made it to the end, all told that’s 11 runs, one hit, three errors, three left on base, 10 walks and one hit-by-pitch.
The 11 runs in the seventh inning are the most the Sox have ever scored in that frame.
In the first game of a doubleheader against the Royals, Sox pitcher Wilbur Wood reached on a fielder’s choice and scored the only run of the game thanks to an error, in the 1-0 win. Wood went the distance, allowing seven hits.
The Sox also won the second game, 3-2, thanks to a home run from Carlos May in the eighth inning.
Frank Thomas hit the first White Sox home run in new Comiskey Park, a two-run blast in the fifth inning, off of Ben McDonald. The Sox won the first-ever night game in the stadium, beating Baltimore, 8-7.
Ray Durham tied a major league record by reaching base safely three times in a 14-7 win over a sloppy Cleveland club that committed five errors. The second baseman reaches base six times in the game, getting three additional hits, as well as scoring four runs and knocking in two.
Amazingly, Durham also advanced bases on the two other errors in the game, once advancing to third due to a wild throw on a steal of second base, and also getting all the way home when his triple forced another error.
Four of the five errors were committed by future White Sox: Kenny Lofton, Sandy Alomar Jr. and Jim Thome (two).
The White Sox and Tigers had a brawl that reminded many longtime fans of the fights from the 1950’s with the Yankees. This one lasted for almost 30 minutes and saw eight players from both sides get kicked out, along with Sox manager Jerry Manuel. A record number of players would be fined and subsequently suspended. One of the more lingering memories was Sox relief pitcher Keith Foulke suffering a gash on his face courtesy of a sucker punch.
The Sox won the game, 14-6, and used it as a rallying point for the rest of the season, as they went on to win 95 games en route to a division championship.