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Today in White Sox History: July 11

Turn Back the Clock? That’s what we do here 365 days a year — but it was pretty novel in 1990

Sports Contributor Archive 2017
Jack McDowell and the White Sox revolutionized the baseball apparel and promotions world with their Turn Back the Clock game on this day, 32 years ago.


The All-Star Game was played at Comiskey Park for the second time and saw the National League win, 4-3, in 13 innings, on a home run by the Cardinals infielder Red Schoendienst.

The White Sox representative on that day was pitcher Ray Scarborough, who was acquired from Washington in late May. He’d wind up winning 10 games that year for the Sox but his ERA was more than 5.00!

This was the game where Ted Williams broke his elbow hitting Comiskey Park’s unpadded outfield wall.


The White Sox blew a game and lost to the Orioles in Baltimore, 7-6. The loss would have long-term consequences for the franchise, because it eventually led to the firing of GM Roland Hemond.

With two outs and the Sox leading, 6-3, closer Bob James hurt his right knee. In came journeyman relief pitcher Mike Stanton, who was picked up out of the minors a few weeks earlier. Stanton didn’t get a man out, and gave up a three-run, game-winning home run to Fred Lynn.

Up in the broadcast booth, White Sox TV announcers Don Drysdale and Ken Harrelson were openly questioning the organization about the fact that the best they could do was Stanton. It planted the seed in the mind of ownership that a change was needed.

That change turned out to be Harrelson ... named the new GM that offseason. The rest, as they say, is history. Harrelson lasted only one year in charge, while Hemond went on to become the GM of the Orioles and win another Executive of the Year Award.


During a series with the Brewers, the White Sox had a promotion that seemed simple at the time, but turned out to be revolutionary. The team dubbed it, Turn Back the Clock Day.

In honor of the final season at Comiskey Park, the promotion recreated a game as it would have been played during the 1917 season, when the White Sox had last won the World Series. White Sox players wore replicas of those uniforms, the scoreboard was turned off and operated by hand, vendors and stadium personnel were dressed in period clothes, and photographers were allowed on the field.

In the future, the promotion was copied by teams in all sports. In baseball, an offshoot promotion briefly came to pass in future years, called “Turn Ahead the Clock.”


At the All-Star Game in Pittsburgh, White Sox slugger Frank Thomas slammed some of the longest home runs ever seen, reaching the upper, upper deck at Pittsburgh’s Three Rivers Stadium during the home run hitting contest.


At the All-Star Game in Texas, first baseman Frank Thomas finished turning a rare double play, winning the home run hitting contest on July 10, then becoming the first White Sox player to ever homer in the game itself, when he connected off the Reds John Smiley.

The NL won the game, 3-2. Thomas was the only member of the Sox on the team.

White Sox starting pitcher James Baldwin won the All-Star Game for the American League in Atlanta. Baldwin threw an inning in the AL’s 6-3 win.

Joining him on the squad from the Sox were Ray Durham and Magglio Ordoñez.


Coming off of a season where the White Sox won their first World Series in 88 years, seven players and manager Ozzie Guillén made the trip to Pittsburgh for the All-Star Game. The seven players were tied for the second-most in team history, equaling the number of Sox representatives in 1960.

The seven players were; Mark Buehrle, José Contreras, Jermaine Dye, Bobby Jenks, Paul Konerko, Jim Thome and A.J. Pierzynski.

The AL won the game in dramatic fashion, 3-2.


The White Sox closed out the first half of the season by crushing the Royals, 15-5, at U.S. Cellular Field. The win capped an incredible, 30-game stretch heading into the All-Star break that saw the club go 25-5 and vault into first place in the AL Central. The Sunday win brought the team to 49-38, back to first in the division for the first time since the first day of the 2010 season.

The 25-5 sprint set an American League mark and tied the Sox with the 1975 Cincinnati Reds and 1990 New York Mets for the best stretch of wins in baseball history heading into the second half.

The White Sox would stay hot out of the All-Star break, swelling their first-place cushion to 3 12 games by late July, before cratering and falling as many games as 12 back while finishing runner-up in the Central.


When the White Sox beat the Orioles, 7-5, in 10 innings at Camden Yards it ran their record to 54-35, the best record in the AL as baseball hit the All-Star break. The Sox wound up winning the game thanks to Adam Engel’s three-run home run. But it also marked the first time in franchise history the Sox swept a season series of at least seven games from a club. Earlier in the year, the Sox swept four straight over Baltimore at Guaranteed Rate Field, before doing it again in three games in Baltimore.