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Today in White Sox History: September 7

Empty the bench, the South Siders are losing another doubleheader!

Chicago White Sox
Little Looie didn’t want to play a whole doubleheader on this day in 1970, but he ended up as part of a record, and losing, effort.
Louis Reqeuna/MLB via Getty Images


One of the linchpins of the famed White Sox pitching staff of the late 1950’s, Dick Donovan, was purchased from Double-A Atlanta in the Milwaukee Braves organization. Dick would win 73 games over six seasons on the South Side, including a pair of one-hitters and an All-Star appearance in 1955.


In a game at Comiskey Park, infielder Sammy Esposito booted a cinch double-play ball hit by future Sox infielder Moose Skowron with the Sox leading in the eighth inning, 4-2. The lead quickly evaporated, as the Yankees rallied for four runs and a 6-4 win.

Fans Willie Harris and his friend, Jesse James (I swear, I’m not making the names up), had a wager on the game. When Esposito blew the ground ball, Harris took matters into his own hands. He jumped over the box seat railing, ran on to the field, and had words with Esposito. Then the two started throwing punches! It took several uniformed police officers and ushers to pull Harris off of Esposito. Harris left the field shouting that he was “A real Sox fan.”


The White Sox were swept by the A’s in a Monday doubleheader at Comiskey Park, in front of 6,115 fans. As the losses dropped Chicago to 49-92 on the season, the sweep was not remarkable. But what was? That with September’s expanded rosters, the Pale Hose used 13 players and five pitchers in the 7-4 opening loss, and 16 players and seven pitchers in the 7-5 nightcap loss. The 41 total players in a doubleheader set a major league record.

Coincidentally, the White Sox played 20 doubleheaders in the 106-loss 1970 season, losing 13 of them and splitting seven — a 7-33 record in twin-bills alone! The team’s doubleheader winning percentage of .175 was roughly twice as bad as its overall .346 winning percentage. Or put another way, remove doubleheaders in 1970, and the White Sox played at a much-improved, 65-win pace.