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Today in White Sox History: September 15

Double-triples in triples

Sam Mertes, illustrated here sliding safely as a member of the White Sox forebear St. Paul Saints in 1896, was part of a record-breaking barrage of triples for the South Siders, on this day 121 years ago.


In a doubleheader nightcap hosting Milwaukee, the White Sox hit an MLB-record five triples in the eighth inning — and three of them were consecutive! Sam Mertes, Fred Hartman and Herm McFarland started off the barrage with three three-baggers in a row, and after Frank Isbell failed to triple, two more were hit consecutively, by Frank Shugart and Billy Sullivan. The second-biggest crowd at South Side Park that year (and, possibly, second-biggest in the AL: 18,000) saw the White Sox rally, from down 4-2, with a seven-run eighth to pace a sweep of the Brewers, 5-4 and 9-4.

Billy Hoy had hit a triple earlier in the game, giving the White Sox a total of six — it would be 19 years before anyone tied that single-game mark. The White Sox also had three triples in the opener (including from Hoy and Mertes), making nine total for the doubleheader.

With two weeks left in the season, the White Sox were 79-48 and in first place by seven games, on their way to winning the first major-league AL pennant.


Ted Lyons Day was held at Comiskey Park. The “Baylor Bearcat” won 260 games with the club and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1955. His No. 16 would be retired in 1987.

This was the second time Lyons was honored this way, the first time coming in 1933.


In his first at-bat in the American League after many seasons in the NL, pinch-hitter deluxe Forrest “Smoky” Burgess belted a game-tying home run at Detroit. The White Sox would eventually win the game, 3-2, in 10 innings, keeping their pennant hopes alive. Burgess would lead the league in pinch-hits in 1965 and 1966.


Shortly after taking over as the new director of player personnel, Roland Hemond targeted the man who’d eventually (in his words) “save” the franchise. Hemond called Cardinals GM “Bing” Devine to see what the chances were of making a deal for slugger Dick Allen. Devine turned him down — but 15 months later Hemond would get his man from the Dodgers.


The White Sox set the franchise record for most runs scored in the sixth inning of a game when they tallied 11 in a 12-0 win over the Mariners at Comiskey Park. LaMarr Hoyt got the win, his 21st on the season. The game only lasted seven innings, due to rain.

Harold Baines had a grand slam, as the Sox cut their magic number down to two for winning the division. The Sox sent 17 men to the plate in the sixth, which saw them get nine hits.


Owner Jerry Reinsdorf fired GM Larry Himes, citing “personality differences.” Himes drafted and signed White Sox future stars like Frank Thomas, Jack McDowell, Robin Ventura and Alex Fernandez.

During the press conference announcing the hiring of Ron Schueler as the new GM, Reinsdorf issued his famous “Point A to Point B to Point C” comment. Later, in a rare radio appearance, he was candid on the subject with host Chet Coppock: “The fact is, Larry Himes cannot get along with anybody. You can hardly find anybody in the Sox organization who wasn’t happy when Larry Himes left.”


Frank Thomas slugged his 215th home run in a White Sox uniform, breaking Carlton Fisk’s team record. Thomas homered three times at Fenway Park, off of Boston’s Tim Wakefield, yet the White Sox lost the game, 9-8.


In an 11-10 loss in Milwaukee, White Sox rookies Mario Valdez and Jeff Abbott both hit their first big-league home runs. Valdez got his in the fifth inning, Abbott an inning later.