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Today in White Sox History: January 16

Crosstown games become a reality

Chicago Cubs short stop Rey Sanchez (R) tumbles af
From the very first Crosstown game during interleague play (June 16, 1997), Ray Durham sent a message (in this case, to Rey Sanchez, right, toppled) that the White Sox would continue to dominate the Cubs.


The executive council of Major League Baseball approved interleague play for the 1997 season; for the first time, regular season games between the American and National Leagues would count in the standings. The plan is approved by the MLBPA, granting specific emphasis on “geographic rivalries,” in Chicago’s case meaning crosstown games pitting the White Sox against the Cubs.

The White Sox would begin interleague play on June 13, 1997, with a 3-1 win in Cincinnati over the Reds. Three days later, the White Sox began official play against the Cubs back at Sox Park, suffering an 8-3 loss.

Over the 26 years of interleague play, however, the White Sox have been enormously successful against the National League. During a 1997-2022 span in which their overall record was a mediocre 2,044-2,064-2 (.497), the White Sox have gone 253-230 (.524) in interleague play. (Without the NL, the White Sox are left with a .494 winning percentage over the past 26 seasons.)

Against the Cubs specifically, the numbers are even sunnier: A 73-65 (.529) overall record. But as White Sox fans used to trouncing the Cubs in World Series, City Series, and all manner of miscellaneous charity games, this sterling record should come as no surprise.