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Today in White Sox History: August 22

End a pitcher’s season, get a five-game suspension. Seems fair

Tommy John saw his brilliant season ended when angry Tiger Dick McAuliffe attacked him on this day, 54 years ago.


In a game at Comiskey Park, Sox pitcher Hollis “Sloppy” Thurston threw an immaculate inning (striking out the side on only nine pitches) versus the Philadelphia Athletics. It came in the 12th inning. He retired Frank “Beauty” McGowan, Clarence “Chick” Galloway and Sam Hale.

Still Thurston, who came on in relief starting in the 11th, got the loss in the 13-inning game, 3-2.


In Detroit, White Sox pitcher Tommy John was attacked by Dick McAuliffe of the Tigers. McAuliffe, who made the final out in Joe Horlen’s no-hitter in 1967, walked in the third inning but veered away on his way to first base to attack John, feeling that some of John’s pitches were close to him. John suffered a shoulder injury and had to go on the injured list, ending his season. John was 10-5, with an ERA of 1.98, at the time he was hurt. McAuliffe was suspended for only five games.


White Sox owner Bill Veeck agreed to sell the team to Edward DeBartolo, a multimillionaire who invented the modern-day shopping mall in Ohio. DeBartolo would end up being voted down twice by the other league owners due to speculation about his possible association with mobsters, and his acknowledged horse racing interests. The way was then opened for Jerry Reinsdorf and Eddie Einhorn to purchase the team.

The White Sox were actually an afterthought for the two eventual new owners: Einhorn was part of a group trying to buy the San Diego Padres, and Reinsdorf was part of a group attempting to own the New York Mets.


After Ray Durham led off the game with a home run and José Canseco singled in Carlos Lee for another run in the first, the White Sox might have thought it was going to be an easy game at 51-75 Kansas City.

But the Royals struck for seven runs against Dan Wright in the bottom half, knocking him out of the box having retired just two batters.

Over the next four innings, the White Sox chiseled the deficit down to three, at 8-5 — and then struck a killer blow, and eight-run sixth inning. After Royce Clayton gave away the first out by sacrificing runners to second and third, Josh Paul (RBI single), Durham (RBI double) and Lee (two-RBI single) gave the White Sox a 9-8 lead off of Doug Henry that they would not relinquish.

However, the RBI single in Clayton’s second at-bat of the inning, giving the White Sox a 13-8 lead, turned out crucial as Carlos Beltrán hit a grand slam off of Bob Howry in the seventh inning to draw K.C. to within one — but that ended scoring for the game.

Durham and Lee led the White Sox with three hits apiece, with Durham contributing two home runs and a double for 10 total bases in the game.


It seemed like every day during the pandemic-influenced season something record-setting was happening for the White Sox. On this date against the Cubs at Wrigley Field, José Abreu wrote his name in the record books by homering in three straight at-bats, driving in four runs in the 7-4 win. On the night, he went 4-for-4 with three runs scored. Abreu had already homered twice in a Friday night win, and would add a solo shot on Sunday afternoon, giving him six round-trippers in the three-game set — the first time a Sox player had ever done that.

And Abreu’s home run Sunday would come in his first at-bat, giving him four in a row over those two days. He became the 15th player in team history to homer three times or more in a single game. Abreu’s amazing offensive production in the 60-game season would earn him the 2020 AL MVP.