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Today in White Sox History: September 2

Roberto and Bo make extraordinary comebacks

Cheer-Leader: White Sox’s Bo Jackson; recovering from a hip injury; gestures in the dugout last nigh
Bo Jackson made his brief, but still triumphant, return from a hip injury on this day, 31 years ago.
Richard Lautens/Toronto Star via Getty Images


In a season-ending doubleheader (the 1918 season ended early because of World War I) at Detroit, Buck Weaver rapped out eight hits in 10 at-bats. The Sox would lose the games, 11-5 and 7-3. Weaver went 5-for-5 in the first game and 3-for-5 in the second. He had two doubles among his eight hits.

The 1918 team finished 57-67, a 189-point drop in winning percentage from the best team in White Sox history (then, and remains), the 1917 club. The team was never more than five games better than .500, and beyond a World Series hangover suffered key injuries to or WWI absences from Red Faber, Reb Russell, Lefty Williams, Joe Jackson, Happy Felsch and Fred McMullin.


In a game at Comiskey Park, White Sox third baseman LouBoze” Berger and outfielder Mike Kreevich led off the Sox half of the first with back-to-back home runs. It was the first time that ever happened in team history. The Sox beat Boston, 4-2.


It was one of the key dates in franchise history, as Roland Hemond was hired as player personnel director to rebuild the franchise. The club ended up losing a team-record 106 games in 1970. However, in the very next year, the White Sox would improve by 23 games, from 56 to 79 wins, and by 1972 would be a legitimate title contender. Hemond would eventually ascend to GM and stay with the team through 1985. Also coming along as new field manager was Chuck Tanner, who’d be named Manager of the Year in 1972.


It was a miracle game for two White Sox. Roberto Hernandez, then a starter, held the Royals hitless for six innings just three months after undergoing transplant surgery that took a vein from his leg and moved it to his arm. He would throw 93 pitches and get through seven innings of one-hit, one-run ball. He made just two more starts in 1991 (and his career), and this effort remains his sole game started and won.

Meanwhile Bo Jackson made his first start with the White Sox, hitting sixth in the order at designated hitter. After starting the game 0-for-3, Bo’s final at-bat was a sacrifice fly. Jackson had suffered a debilitating hip injury while playing in the NFL, and would see action in just 23 games in 1991, hitting .225 with three homers and 14 RBIs. In the offseason he would undergo hip replacement surgery and sit out all of 1992 working with White Sox training staff for a triumphant return in 1993.


Tim Raines had his American League record of 40 consecutive steals snapped when he was thrown out in the third inning vs. Toronto. Randy Knorr was the catcher who gunned him down, in Chicago’s 10-4 win.