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Today in White Sox History: August 30

Catchers hitting inside-the-parkers? It’s happened twice on this day, within a span of seven years

Portrait of Jerry Koosman
On this day 41 years ago, the White Sox swapped Randy Johnson for Jerry Koosman. Oh, just relax and read the story.


White Sox pitcher Johnny Humphries had his string of 35 consecutive scoreless innings snapped on a home run by Chet Laabs of the Browns in the second inning. St. Louis won that afternoon going away, 10-1.


The White Sox organized and celebrated “Jackie Hayes Night” at Comiskey Park. Hayes was a fine second baseman who suddenly lost his sight due to a cataract in one eye. Doctors were dumbfounded as to how a cataract could rob a person of sight in both eyes, but unfortunately that’s what happened.


The Sox sealed a huge, four-game sweep of their closest pursuers in the American League by beating Cleveland in front of 66,586 fans at Municipal Stadium, 6-3 and 9-4. Early Wynn and Barry Latman picked up the wins. The four-game sweep increased the Sox lead to 5½ games in and basically ended any suspense as to who was going to win the 1959 American League pennant.

An oddity came in the nightcap, when Latman’s sacrifice fly in the second inning scored both Johnny Romano and Al Smith!

The doubleheader sweep was played in front of more than 66,000 fans. Sportswriter Gordon Cobbledick of the Cleveland Plain Dealer wrote that it was time for the Sox to “Go-Go home …”

The White Sox won 15 of 22 games from Cleveland in 1959, outscoring the team, 100-76.


In the midst of a season that would see the team lose more games (106) than any White Sox club before or since, the South Siders were trounced, 21-11, in the opener of a doubleheader at Comiskey Park. By the middle of the third, the Red Sox already led, 13-2. Future White Sox hurler Ken Brett earned the win.

However, the White Sox did rally to as close as 13-10. With the score 14-11 in the eighth inning and thus a save situation, another future White Sox, Sparky Lyle, relieved Brett with a runner on first. Lyle finished the game with five outs of scoreless ball, while Boston rallied to the eventual final score — create an odd linescore where a save was awarded in an 11-run win!

George Scott, Reggie Smith, and Mike Andrews all had four hits and four RBIs in the game, which represented the 10th time in history Boston had scored 20 or more runs. The White Sox were paced by three hits apiece from Ed Herrmann and Bob Spence.


The White Sox dealt three prospects to the Twins for pitcher Jerry Koosman: The three were “Bambi” Mesa, Ron Perry and Randy Johnson (no, not THAT Randy Johnson, this Randy Johnson was a utility player who appeared in 12 games for the White Sox in 1980). It was a small deal pulled off by GM Roland Hemond that turned out to have big implications in future years. Koosman was like a second pitching coach, tutoring young Sox hurlers. He’d start games, pitch long relief and be a situational lefthander in his two-plus years on the South Side. He’d win 23 games and save five more overall in his time in Chicago.


Carlton Fisk, one of the fastest catchers in baseball history, hit an inside-the-park home run off of Dave Stewart of the Rangers at Comiskey Park. His drive struck the top of the wall in left-center field and bounded back towards the infield. While the Texas outfielders were tracking the ball down, Fisk circled the bases. The Sox won that night, 5-0.


Ron Karkovice — not the fastest catcher to ever play the game (although he amazingly had 10 steals in 1992!) — hit an inside the park grand slam off of the Twins’ David West at Minnesota.

With the bases loaded in the fourth inning, Karkovice hit a line drive just over shortstop that rolled to the wall in left-center. Outfielder Dan Gladden was picking the ball up when he started to slip and fall. As he did so, he tossed the ball towards outfielder John Moses to try to start a relay, except that Moses wasn’t looking for it and the ball rolled towards center field. By the time the Twins got to it, Karkovice and all the runners had scored. It was the difference in a 4-3 win behind Jack McDowell.


White Sox outfielder Joe Borchard hit what is believed to be the longest home run ever at U.S. Cellular Field (now Guaranteed Rate Field). He drove a pitch from Philadelphia’s Brett Myers, a future Sox pitcher, an estimated 504 feet to right field, smacking off the wall at the back of the bleacher seats. It was part of a 9-8 White Sox win.