The White Sox purchased the contract of future Hall-of-Famer, catcher, Ray Schalk, from Milwaukee. He’d wind up leading the league in games caught in a season seven times.
In the first game of a doubleheader at Comiskey Park between the Browns and White Sox, a fight broke out.
It happened in the seventh inning, when St. Louis pitcher Elden Auker hit Joe Kuhel in the shoulder with a pitch. As Kuhel was going to first base he said something, and Auker charged him. Kuhel hit him in the face with a punch, and blows were exchanged before Sox coach George “Mule” Haas and pitcher Ed Smith pulled Auker away. Browns utility infielder Alan Strange left the bench to join the fight.
Kuhel then challenged Auker to meet him under the stands to continue the fight. Umpire John Quinn then ordered Auker taken into police protective custody to avoid any more incidents. During the melee, White Sox manager Jimmy Dykes jumped on the back of the St. Louis mascot and drove him to the ground!
Kuhel, Auker and Strange were ejected.
The Sox wound up winning the opener, 14-9, but lost the nightcap, 10-3.
The White Sox finally won a game against the Yankees, 6-4, having lost 10 straight to them that season. Why was this so important? Simple … the Sox won 98 games in 1964 — and finished one game behind New York!
Making things tougher for Sox fans was that the team closed out the season winning nine straight — but unfortunately the Yankees reeled off a streak that saw them win 15 of their last 19.
White Sox star lefthander Juan Pizarro came his closest-ever to a no-hitter. In the second game of a doubleheader at Comiskey Park, Pizarro fired a one-hitter in beating the Senators, 7-0. The only hit came in the fifth inning, a single to right off the bat of future White Sox player Woodie Held.
Promising White Sox outfielder Carlos May lost part of his right thumb while serving with the Marine Reserves in California. A number of mortar rounds were fired off on the range, but apparently the mortar in May’s unit didn’t. The misfire was never noticed in the confusion. May was ordered to swab the barrel out as everyone thought the shell went off.
It didn’t, and he when he pushed a metal rod with a swab at the end into it, the shell made contact with the firing pin and went off. The rod, as it was ejected, took off part of May’s thumb, which was later found by another major league player, Bob Watson. It was too late to surgically reattach it, though.
Even though May’s season ended prematurely, he was named American League Rookie of the Year by The Sporting News.
May would come back and have some very good years — especially 1972, when he was named to the All-Star team.
It was one of the longest games in White Sox history, and was the start of a four-game series that may have been the best of the decade.
The White Sox went to Oakland fighting the Athletics for first place in the division. On the day before, the game was called by curfew, with the score tied 3-3 after 17 innings. It was resumed on this day, and went another two innings before Joe Rudi ended matters with a two-run home run off of Stan Bahnsen, as the A’s won, 5-3. White Sox slugger Dick Allen walked five times in his eight appearances in the game.
In the regularly-slated game, Cubs castoff Dave Lemonds and Cy Acosta outdueled “Catfish” Hunter, allowing two hits in a 1-0 win. The Sox and A’s split the final two games of this series.
White Sox catcher Brian Downing got his first major league hit, an inside-the-park home run off of the Tigers’ Mickey Lolich at Detroit. The last time Downing had played a game against Detroit, it was in Chicago, in his major league debut back on May 31. He had just entered the game when he caught a foul pop-up, diving in the process, and tearing up his knee — which sidelined him until this game.
In only his second major league start, White Sox southpaw Wilson Alvarez tossed a no-hitter against the Orioles in Baltimore. Alvarez was handed a big lead early on and made the most of it, shutting down the Birds. Lance “One Dog” Johnson made a diving catch in right-center field in the eighth inning to save it, as Alvarez had his greatest moment in winning, 7-0.
The unthinkable finally happened, as major league players struck the rest of the season because of the unwillingness by owners to negotiate fairly on a new labor contract. (That charge later was upheld by the federal courts.)
At the time of the strike, the White Sox were leading the division, had the second-best record in the AL and the fourth-best in all of baseball. They were on their way to back-to- back playoff appearances for the first time in franchise history.
Many Sox fans blamed owner Jerry Reinsdorf for forcing the strike, being a hard-line owner and sabotaging his own team’s chance to get to that elusive World Series. Frank Thomas ended the season very close to the Triple Crown, hitting .353 with 38 home runs and 101 RBIs. He did get his second consecutive MVP award, though.
Mark Buehrle tied the franchise record when he made his 18th consecutive start allowing three runs or less. Buehrle tied the record in a 6-3 win at Baltimore. The record was originally set by Frank Smith — in 1909.