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Today in White Sox History: April 29

Taking a quick peek ahead on the schedule to Tuesday, Crosstown Classic dominance began on this day, 37 years ago.

Nope, Cubs didn’t win this one, either.

1901

White Sox shortstop Frank Shugart hit the first home run in White Sox history. It came in the eighth inning of a 3-2 loss to Detroit, off of future South Side starter Frank Owen.


1913

When the Cincinnati Reds forgot to pack their uniforms for a road trip to Chicago, they were forced to borrow White Sox duds for their 7-2 loss to the Cubs at West Side Grounds. Reds first baseman Dick Hoblitzell particularly enjoyed the new threads, going 3-for-4 with Cincy’s lone RBI in the game.


1985

A new, yearly tradition was established in the first annual “Crosstown Classic” charity game matching the White Sox and Cubs. Down through the years, both teams played each other on and off in spring training or during an open date in the regular season. There was also a postseason “City Series” that was eventually stopped by request of Major League Baseball because it felt the City Series was drawing interest away from the World Series. (The White Sox were 91-60-3 in City Series games, and captured 19 of 25 series overall.)

This was the first time both teams agreed to play on a yearly basis with a corporate sponsor (Busch). The game alternated between Comiskey Park and Wrigley Field, and was played every year through 1995, when the labor impasse saw two games played that season. The Sox won the opener at Comiskey Park, 7-4, but it was only the start of a remarkable run.

The two teams played a total of 12 games, and the Sox never lost one. They’d go 10-0-2 during that time period. After 1995, the series was dropped. It’s was never publicly explained why, but reports persisted that the cancellation of the series was at the Cubs’ request, due at least in part to performance embarrassment. Plus, interleague play was on the horizon, and despite the CC being devoted to charity, it may have been felt by some that the game was now meaningless.