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Today in White Sox History: September 21

Two pennants won on the same day, 16 years apart

Chicago White Sox v Detroit Tigers
On this day seven years ago, Jeff Samardzija threw his greatest game.
Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images


The White Sox won the first “official” American League pennant despite losing to the Philadelphia A’s, 10-4. The Sox would end up winning the pennant by five games over the Boston Americans, with a record of 83-53. Unfortunately, the World Series didn’t start until 1903, so an AL pennant was the best that the Sox could do.


The White Sox clinched the pennant, beating the Red Sox, 2-1 in 10 innings behind Red Faber. The final outs came when pinch-hitter Babe Ruth rapped into a double play in the bottom of the 10th. The White Sox would outdistance Boston by eight games in 1917, with a mark of 100-54, and then defeat the New York Giants four games to two in the World Series. The 100 wins in a season have never been equaled in team history.


Frank “Trader” Lane, one of the best GMs in team history, resigned. During his seven-season tenure, Lane made 241 trades involving 353 players. He was one of the architects of the club that would win the 1959 American League pennant. Among the players Lane acquired for the Sox were Minnie Miñoso, Nellie Fox, Dick Donovan, Jim Rivera, Billy Pierce and Sherm Lollar.


For the first time in 69 seasons, the White Sox finally had a 30-home run man. Bill Melton got an upper-deck shot off of Kansas City’s Aurelio Monteagudo (who was Melton’s teammate on the Sox the year before) to set the record for the most White Sox home runs in a season.

That same day, Luis Aparicio got his final hit in a Sox uniform. He had 1,576 of them for the White Sox. Just 672 fans were on hand to see the doubleheader at Comiskey Park!


Jim Abbott’s amazing comeback with the White Sox continued, as he threw six innings of a 7-1 win over Minnesota to improve to 4-0.

It was Abbott’s second stint on the South Side, the first coming in 1995, where he compiled 2.6 rWAR in 17 starts before being dealt at the trade deadline to the Angels. After re-signing with the Angels and suffering an awful 1996 (2-18, 7.48 ERA), Abbott was flushed out of the majors and took a year off.

In 1998, the White Sox gave the southpaw another shot, and he swallowed his pride and made 18 starts across all four minors levels, from Low-A up to Triple-A. He was called up to the majors during roster expansion, making his season debut with the White Sox on September 5. He won all five of his starts for Chicago, racking up a 4.55 ERA and 4.31 FIP.

He signed with Milwaukee in the offseason and would play one more year in the majors, before retiring with a career 19.6 WAR and 87 wins.


Jeff Samardzija was acquired from the A’s with the hope that the Chicago native (who grew up a White Sox fan) could be the difference in getting the team to the postseason. His campaign, though, was something to forget; he struggled all year, particularly in the first inning of games, and after the trade deadline.

On this day, however, he pitched the finest game in his career; in the opener of a doubleheader against the Tigers, he tossed a one-hitter in a 2-0 shutout. The only hit he allowed was a bloop single off the bat of Victor Martinez in the fifth inning. Erik Johnson won the nightcap, completing a White Sox sweep.