Among many injustices betraying a pro-Yankees slant in Major League Baseball over the years, this was egregious as they come.
It was the start of a four-game series at Yankee Stadium, with Chicago trailing New York and Boston by just 3 1⁄2 games in the standing. The White Sox trailed the Yankees, 3-2, when the game was delayed 25 minutes by rain. When play resumed, the Sox scored twice to take the lead, 4-3, in the top of the ninth inning.
As a result, Yankees manager Casey Stengel and his players began stalling, hoping for more rain that would end the game and revert the score back to the last full (eighth) inning and New York’s 3-2 lead. Stengel used five different pitchers in the top of the ninth, and Yankees infielder Gil McDougald was ejected by umpire Bill McGowan because of game-delaying tactics. After a delay of slightly over an hour, the game was called, and reverted back to a 3-2 New York win.
Both teams protested the game in the ninth inning: The Yankees, because of McDougald’s ejection, while the White Sox claimed that the field was not covered quickly enough at the start of last delay (that in essence, the Yankees grounds crew was also stalling).
On August 29, American League president Will Harridge announced that the Chicago protest was disallowed, and he criticized manager Paul Richards for negative remarks about the Yankees, the umpires and the league office. It was umpire Hank Soar in charge of the game that day who made the final decision to call the contest.
In one of the most embarrassing games during one of the most embarrassing seasons in White Sox history, the Orioles pitch a 17-0 shutout — the biggest shutout rout in Baltimore franchise history. Jim Hardin holds the South Siders to two hits, while Frank Robinson hits two homers and drives in five, to lead a parade of 20 total hits.
White Sox vice president Stu Holcomb “retired” under pressure, after his hard-line approach on salaries destroyed the 1973 White Sox.
When players wouldn’t come to terms with his initial offers, Holcomb ordered player personnel director Roland Hemond to release them. Not try to compromise with them, or try to trade them to get something back ... but release them. As a result, the White Sox gave away Jay Johnstone, Ed Spiezio, Mike Andrews and Rick Reichardt.
When Holcomb ordered Hemond to release 21-game winner Stan Bahnsen, Hemond and manager Chuck Tanner went to owner John Allyn; Hemond and Tanner threatened to quit if something wasn’t done.
Allyn sided with the duo, and Holcomb was history — restoring some stability to the front office, although the damage was already done. When the Sox suffered injury after injury that year, using the disabled list 37 times, there was little depth to try to fill the gaping holes.
They’d end the season in fifth place, at 77-85.
Former White Sox star Frank Thomas, the “Big Hurt” was inducted into the Hall of Fame. Thomas played 16 years with the Sox and holds every major hitting record in team history. He was the American League MVP in back-to-back years (1993 and 1994) and finished in the Top 10 in that voting nine other times. He was the Comeback Player of the Year in 2000 and helped the Sox on their way to winning the 2005 World Series before getting injured in mid-season.
Thomas received almost 84% of the vote, becoming the first White Sox player inducted on the first ballot.