Comiskey Park and the White Sox host the first-ever day/night split doubleheader, losing twice to Cleveland, 5-2 and 7-5. Yes, the distinction here is that the games were treated as separate, meaning admission was charged twice for the games. At least the advent of night baseball at the park (beginning in August 1939) made this a somewhat justified novelty charge at the time. Not sure why this is a continued practice today.
The White Sox beat the St. Louis Browns, 2-1, in 11 innings behind Billy Pierce. It was the last American League game ever played in St. Louis, because the Browns would be moved to Baltimore during the offseason. Pierce went all 11 innings, allowing only seven hits and striking out eight.
The White Sox closed their pennant-winning season with a 6-4 win at Detroit, and when the final stats were in, second baseman Nellie Fox pulled off a rare feat. Fox wound up leading all American League second baseman in fielding percentage, putouts and assists.
This game also saw one of the more unusual triple plays in Sox history. In the third inning, Tigers first baseman Gail Harris hit a ground ball that turned into the triple play because of baserunning errors by Detroit. On the grounder back to pitcher Bob Shaw, Tom Morgan broke for home and was thrown out. During the play, Harris attempted to get to second and was out, as Sox third baseman Bubba Phillips covered and tagged him. On that play, Harvey Kuenn then broke for the plate and was caught in a rundown, Phillips to Johnny Romano to Luis Aparicio, who tagged him to end the inning.
During the last home doubleheader of the season, the White Sox caught on to the folk music craze sweeping the nation. Between games against the Senators, there was a hootenanny promotion where folk groups and singers held a concert on the field.
The White Sox finished the season with the two worst teams in the league, Kansas City and Washington, and the fans could smell that elusive World Series berth in the greatest pennant race ever. However, it all began to fall apart on this night, as the Sox dropped a doubleheader to the A’s, 5-2 and 4-0. Due to rainouts and scheduled days off, the Sox, in the middle of a pennant race, had three days off, not having played since a Sunday afternoon game against Cleveland. Pitchers Gary Peters and Joe Horlen got tagged with the losses on “Black Wednesday,” but the final embarrassment was yet to come. The normally fundamentally-sound White Sox made three errors in the twin bill disaster.
In the first game of a doubleheader in Oakland, White Sox starting pitcher Ross Baumgarten got shelled early. He faced five hitters, and all reached base. Manager Tony La Russa lifted him and brought in LaMarr Hoyt, hoping he could throw a few innings and save the bullpen. Hoyt did a lot more than that. In fact, he went all nine innings, shutting out the A’s on five hits. Even better, his teammates picked him up, wiping out a five-run deficit and winning, 9-5. Because Baumgarten never recorded any outs, Hoyt got credit for a complete game — in relief!
The Sox would also take the nightcap, 10-3, behind a complete game from Jerry Koosman.
In front of a capacity crowd at the new Comiskey Park, the White Sox won the Western Division by beating Seattle, 4-2. It was Bo Jackson who clubbed a towering, three-run blast just dropping over the wall in left that was the difference in the game. The homer capped off an incredible comeback season for one of the finest athletes in history.
Also in this game, Sox starting pitcher Wilson Alvarez saw his streak of 30 consecutive shutout innings snapped when Seattle got to him for two runs in the eighth inning.
The Sox went 94-68, and took the title by eight games over Texas.
In one of the highest-scoring games in their history, the White Sox battered the Royals in Kansas City, 19-3. Pitcher Bartolo Colon won this one easily. Joe Crede and Carl Everett both had four RBIs in the game.
Pitcher Mark Buehrle set a franchise record when, for the 11th straight season, he made at least 30 starts, won at least 10 games and pitched at least 200 innings. Buehrle set the milestone during a 2-1 win over the Blue Jays. Those numbers were a testament to his ability, dedication and durability.
It also would turn out to be the last of his 365-start career with the White Sox, as the team opted not to re-sign the lefthander to a new contract. In pitching-rich franchise history, Buehrle ranks seventh all-time in WAR, in a virtual tie with Billy Pierce.
The Chicago White Sox have had a number of great players over the decades. One of them was first baseman Paul Konerko. On this day, the Sox honored Paul with a ceremony and unveiled a sculpture of him.
The numbers showed he was one of the best players in franchise history. Konerko hit 432 home runs and drove in 1,383 runs. He was a six-time All-Star, a World Series champion, the 2005 ALCS MVP and 2002 Comeback Player of the Year. He’d play his final game for the Sox the next day, and retired after 16 seasons with the club.
In May 2015, Konerko returned to U.S. Cellular Field and had his No. 14 retired.