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Today in White Sox History: January 11

Skating away on the thin ice of a new day

Chicago White Sox Mike Andrews...
If you guessed that Dick Allen was the first White Sox DH ever, you are allowed now to change your vote to Mike Andrews.

1881

A series of Tuesday baseball games started in Chicago.

Wait ... regular games, in Chicago ... in January? Yes, these games were played on ice, with pro and amateurs alike. They remain a regular winter staple for years.

[Author’s note: I was a part of a group that inadvertently continued this tradition nearly a century later, but it wasn’t so great for the pocketbook; Christmas Wiffle ball is found to send many frozen, plastic shards exploding into snowy space.]


1973

Baseball owners adopted the designated hitter rule, but with the proviso that only AL teams are allowed to adopt the DH — and on a three-year experimental basis, at that. The “experiment” stretches almost 50 years before the NL adopts the rule in 2022.

Three months later, Mike Andrews stepped to the plate in the second inning on Opening Day, popping out as the first White Sox DH of all time. Andrews finished the day 1-for-3, with a double and a walk.