The highly-favored White Sox suddenly become the underdogs right before Game 1 of the World Series, which began on this day with Cincinnati upsetting Chicago, 9-1. Eddie Cicotte, who won 29 games in the regular season to lead the White Sox staff, threw the opener and was yanked from the game during a five-run Reds fifth.
Luke Appling singled twice for his final hits with the White Sox, going 1-for-3 in a in 4-3 win over St. Louis in a doubleheader opener, and a 1-for-4 game in the season finale, a 10-6 loss in the nightcap. The future Hall-of-Famer spent 20 years and 2,422 games in a Sox uniform. He’d later come back as a coach for the club, in 1970 and 1971.
Appling had 2,749 hits — all with the Sox — in his career, winning two batting titles.
Also on this day, Gus Zernial clubbed four home runs on the day — one in the opener and three in the nightcap — to land him at 29 for the season. The 29 homers set the franchise record (tied in 1951 by Eddie Robinson), which stood until Bill Melton hit 33 in 1970.
Zernial is just one of 17 players in White Sox history to have hit three or more home runs in a game.
Vance Law, future White Sox infielder and contributor to the 99-win club that won the AL West in 1983, was born in Boise. Law was a 2.7 WAR player on the 1983 team, bringing most of his value by playing a steady third base.
His performance tanked, as did that of many teammates, in 1984, and Law was dealt to Montreal for the 1985 season.
The Sox reacted in Game 1 like they were trying to win the title in a single game, burying L.A., 11-0. Ted Kluszewski slammed a pair of home runs and tied a series record with five RBIs. The Sox assaulted Dodgers starter Roger Craig early and often to give Cy Young winner Early Wynn a lot of breathing room.
It was the end of a franchise-high 106-loss season for the White Sox, and it turned out to be the final game ever called for the team by longtime announcer Bob Elson. “The Commander” began his White Sox career in 1930, and for the next 40 years called games in good times and bad. His style simply no longer fit the environment, and with the Sox needing to make drastic changes everywhere, he was let go.
Elson found work in 1971 calling the Oakland Athletics, while A’s announcer Harry Caray took over for Elson with the Sox!
The Sox closed their season in Anaheim, losing to the Angels in 15 innings, 5-4. They lost their last seven straight to end the year.
White Sox owner John Allyn appeared on Johnny Morris’ sports show on WBBM-TV. While talking about the pending sale of the club, he said if he did own the team in 1976, Harry Caray wouldn’t be back as lead announcer. Allyn was tired of Caray, and wanted to fire him — which he actually did, later on.
The next day, Caray had this retort: “I can’t believe any man can own a ball club and be as dumb as John Allyn. Did he make enough to own it, or did he inherit it?”
As it turned out, neither man had to worry. Allyn sold to Bill Veeck, and Veeck immediately rehired Caray, who continued as a White Sox broadcaster for the rest of Veeck’s ownership.
In the seventh inning of a game at U.S. Cellular Field, José Abreu’s two-run single gave him 100 RBIs for the season, the night before he collected his 30th home run of the year. Both milestones came off of Kansas City’s Luke Hochevar. Abreu thus became the first player in American League history and only the second player in major league history with at least 30 home runs and 100 RBIs in his first two seasons. Abreu joined Albert Pujois in that exclusive club.