The White Sox signed former two-sport All-Star Bo Jackson to an incentive-loaded contract, with a $700,000 base salary. Division rival Kansas City had released Jackson two weeks earlier, citing a hip injury suffered playing the NFL that was likely to end his career in both sports.
Jackson would have hip replacement surgery and not make a real impact until 1993, when he hit 16 home runs, but the move was a masterful stroke from a public relations standpoint.
An unexpected division championship season didn’t start off promisingly, as the White Sox were buried in Texas, 10-4. They’d lose the next day as well, 12-8. But by the end of the month the Sox set a major league record for the most runs scored in April, and “The Kids Can Play” were on their way to a league-leading 95 wins and a postseason appearance.
After going 5-for-5 in his first game of the year (April 2), Yermín Mercedes started his day against the Angels by going 3-for-3, including his first career homer. His eight straight hits to start a season set a modern record (dating back to at least 1900), besting Chris Stynes’ 7-for-7 start in 1997.
Finally, in the eighth inning of the April 3 game, Mercedes was retired, snapping his scintillating start.