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Today in White Sox History: May 16

This grand slam was about as big a surprise as you can imagine

Chicago White Sox v Cleveland Indians
Does this look like a guy you’d pinch-hit for with the bases full ... with a pitcher? Well, that’s just what the White Sox did, to nice success, on this day, 69 years ago.
Set Number: X2689


White Sox pitcher Tommy Byrne, who was knocked out of the game in an eventual win against the Yankees two days earlier, was sent up to pinch-hit for Vern Stephens in the ninth inning with the bases loaded and the Sox trailing, 3-1. Byrne, with just one career grand slam to Stephens’ 10 at the time, slammed a 2-2 pitch from Ewell “The Whip” Blackwell into the lower deck in right field at Yankee Stadium, for the only pinch-hit grand slam by a pitcher in team history! The Sox won the game, 5-3, scoring all of their runs in the ninth inning.


With the White Sox a dismal 9-20 and with owner Bill Veeck knowing that there was no way he was going to be able to re-sign him, slugger Bobby Bonds was traded to the Texas Rangers for Claudell Washington and Rusty Torres.

Bonds only played in 26 games for the Sox, with two home runs and eight RBIs. Making matters worse was that Bonds was acquired the previous December for three players, including future All-Star Brian Downing.

Washington would become the target of fan displeasure because of his tendency to take it easy on the field while with the team. One fan made up a banner, hung over the right field wall, expressing that sentiment: “Washington slept here.”


Carlton Fisk had one of his finest games, as he became the third player in franchise history to hit for the cycle in a game. It came against the Royals at Comiskey Park.

Despite Fisk’s efforts, the Sox would lose, 7-6. Carlton went 4-for-5 with two runs and two RBIs in the game.

Per Baseball-Reference, as Fisk hit his only triple of the season as part of this cycle, he joined Pittsburgh’s Bill Salkeld as the only catcher of the century to hit the only triple of his season as part of a cycle.