Larry Doby was named manager of the White Sox, replacing Bob Lemon.
This marked the second time Bill Veeck and Doby had collaborated to break ground. In 1947, Veeck signed Doby to play for Cleveland, as the second Black major leaguer post-color line (after Jackie Robinson), and first American Leaguer. With his hiring, Doby became the second Black manager in MLB history, after Frank Robinson. Doby took over a disappointing, 34-40 team and went 37-50 to finish 1978, in his sole stint as a major league skipper.
The combination of Lemon and Doby piled up 1.1 managerial WAR in 1978, indicating at least a slightly positive season from the bench, and one Doby could likely claim a signifiant part of. But Veeck opted not to re-hire his former player for 1979.
Doby was elected to the Hall of Fame as a player in 1998, and his statue stands outside of Progressive Field in Cleveland.
After years of saying that the original Comiskey Park was outdated, White Sox owners Jerry Reinsdorf and Eddie Einhorn came very close to moving the team to St. Petersburg, Fla.
At the stroke of midnight, the Illinois General Assembly passed a bill allowing the construction of a new stadium, thus saving the Sox. Technically it was midnight, but Governor Jim Thompson actually had stopped the clock to get the funding accomplished, because no bills could be passed after that time period.
Meanwhile, Florida baseball fans were stunned upon realizing they had been used as a pawn to get a new facility by the power brokers and politicians of Chicago.
White Sox outfielder Nick Swisher became only the second player in franchise history to homer from both sides of the plate twice in the same season, when he hit two in a 9-7 win over Cleveland. Swisher accomplished the feat for the first time a few weeks earlier, in a game against the Twins. Only José Valentín had ever done that before — and he did it three times between 2000 and 2003. One of Swisher’s home runs was a grand slam, as he drove in five runs on the night. It was also Swisher’s second grand slam in four days.
When Chris Sale struck out Jhonny Peralta of the Cardinals in the sixth inning of a game the White Sox would eventually win, 2-1, in 11 innings at St. Louis, it marked the eighth consecutive start in which he fanned 10 or more hitters. That tied Sale with Pedro Martinez for the longest streak in baseball history.
At the plate, Sale also collected his first career major league hit.
The strikeout stretch for Sale had started on May 23 against the Twins. Even though Sale was overpowering, the White Sox offense was so weak that his record in those eight starts was 3-3, with two no-decisions.