In a doubleheader at Boston, White Sox pitcher Ed Walsh relieved starter Doc White in the first inning of the first game without warming up, gave up five runs in the frame, but shut out the Red Sox for the next eight innings to win, 10-5. White then started and won the nightcap, 3-1. White didn’t retire a batter, so Walsh got credit for a pair of complete games.
The White Sox set the franchise record for the most runs ever scored in the fourth inning of a game, when they put 13 on the board against the Senators at Washington. They’d win the game, 15-3. Future Sox star pitcher Early Wynn was the victim of the uprising.
In the 13-run inning, the White Sox executed a triple-steal, as Thurman Tucker, Guy Curtright and Luke Appling all swiped bases, with Tucker stealing home. The 13 runs are also the most the Sox have ever scored in any single inning.
Despite a disastrous season on the field, the Sox drew 2,136,988 fans to Comiskey Park, becoming the first Chicago franchise to draw two million or more fans in consecutive seasons.
White Sox outfielder Brian Simmons became the third player in franchise history to hit home runs from both sides of the plate in the same game. Simmons connected off of Kansas City’s Brian Barber in the fourth inning, and Allen McDill in the seventh. Simmons went 3-for-5 with two runs and five RBIs in Chicago’s 13-5 win.
He was considered the face of the franchise for eight seasons, but on this night after a 4-3 win over Toronto, manager Ozzie Guillén announced he was leaving after owner Jerry Reinsdorf agreed to let him out of the final year of his contract.
Guillén (the 1985 AL Rookie of the Year with the White Sox) won the World Series in 2005 and also got the club into the playoffs in 2008 as manager. He had five winning seasons in his eight years running the club, and was named Manager of the Year for his work in 2005.
In that magical season of 2005, “Ozzieball” resulted in the White Sox getting off to the best start in their history, and with a perfect blend of pitching, speed, power and fundamentals the Sox were in first place from wire to wire. Then they blitzed through the postseason, putting together an 11-1 record that was the third-best postseason record in baseball history.
Guillén’s passion and enthusiasm for the franchise was unparalleled, but at times he was his own worst enemy.
Over his final years in Chicago, he became increasingly thin-skinned and defensive when criticism was directed his way, and he lashed out at Sox fans on more than one occasion. Among his famous rants against the fans were one where he said that they could ‘‘Turn off their TVs and stop watching the game if they don’t like the [bleep]ing lineup,’’ and another in May 2011 where he claimed Sox fans would not remember him “As soon as you leave the ballpark, they don’t care about you. They don’t. The monuments, the statues … they pee on them when they get drunk.”
On the afternoon of the day he left the team, Guillén told reporters that he would not want to return to fulfill his 2012 contract unless he got an extension and more money.
Ozzie’s relationship with GM Ken Williams also deteriorated over the final few years, because the two men appeared to have different viewpoints over how the roster should be constructed and the style to which the Sox should play. The Jim Thome/DH controversy was an example of the different ideas. Guillén’s family didn’t help the situation, with social media comments derogatory to Williams and other White Sox players.
Many felt when Ozzie was hired in November 2003 that he was the right man for the right team at the right time, and for a few years he was. Unfortunately, the manager with the longest tenure since Al Lopez let some personal foibles override a good situation, and it was best for all that a parting of the ways took place.
Coverage of the final game, from South Side Sox’s Brett Ballantini at the park
With the Tigers beating the Royals, 5-4, and the White Sox losing to Cleveland, 6-4, Chicago fell out of first place for the first time in 126 days. From here, the White Sox dropped four of seven games to finish the season, ending up three games behind Detroit in the AL Central.
In a most bizarre season, a most bizarre stat. The White Sox beat Jon Lester winning an important pennant race game against the Cubs, 9-5, at Guaranteed Rate Field. That win wrote the team’s name into the record books: For the first time in the modern era, a club went an entire “season” without losing a game to a left-handed starter; the Sox went 14-0 against lefties. Yes, the season was only 60 games long due to Covid-19, but the record stands and was entered as such into the history books.