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Today in White Sox History: March 21

The South Siders collect their first of two 1982 Laws

Vance Law, the first of two Laws collected in March 1982, arrived in Chicago on this day, 41 years ago.
| Focus on Sport/Getty Images

1900

After a meeting with the Chicago Orphans (Cubs), the way was cleared for Charles Comiskey to bring his team from St. Paul, Minn. to Chicago. They would set up shop on the South Side of the city, as required by the Orphans. (In truth, Comiskey was bringing the team to town regardless of whether the north siders approved. The meeting was set up in hopes of avoiding any conflicts.)

The White Sox (the Orphans also permitted use of their former moniker) would have immediate success, winning the 1900 (minor-league) pennant with a 82-53 record, beating Milwaukee by 4 1⁄2 games.


1931

The White Sox defeated the New York Giants, 11-6, in the first night game played between American or National League teams. The contest took place in front of 2,500 fans at Buff Stadium in Houston, under 235-kilowatt bulbs held aloft by six steel towers, each 120 feet high. The game was arranged only 11 days before it was played.

There were 23 total hits in the game, but the score was deadlocked 6-6 after nine innings. In the top of the 10th, Bill Cissell scored Willie Kamm with a single for the game-winning RBI. Luke Appling also clubbed a two-run double in the rally.

The Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro Leagues were the first major league team to play under lights, in 1930, hosting the Homestead Grays among other clubs.


1982

The White Sox swap pitchers Ross Baumgarten and Butch Edge to the Pirates for second baseman Vance Law and reliever Ernie Camacho.

Law would be a primary shortstop for the White Sox in 1982 before shifting almost exclusively to third base in 1983 and 1984. Compiling just 4.0 WAR over his three seasons with the White Sox, Law was nonetheless a consummate “glue” guy and was a key contributor to 1983’s 99-win club.

Baumgarten, a promising young southpaw from Highland Park, who had tallied up 6.1 WAR over the 1979 and 1980 seasons, was dealt away at the right time by the White Sox: He would pitch just 12 more games in the majors and be waived out of baseball before the 1983 season.

Ironically enough, Vance was just the first of two Laws the White Sox acquired in March 1982, as Rudy Law was brought in from the Dodgers on March 30.


1997

The White Sox suffered a major blow to their hopes for a championship when star third baseman Robin Ventura destroyed his ankle and lower leg in a compound fracture on a slide at home plate in a spring game against the Red Sox. The injury was so horrific that a woman sitting in the stands passed out when she saw the aftermath, caused by Ventura’s spikes catching in the wet, muddy ground. The result was that Ventura’s foot was pointed 180 degrees in the wrong direction.

The injury took place only 10 days before the season opener, and the Sox were left in a state of shock.

GM Ron Schueler announced that the team would be looking for a replacement — and then did nothing to fill the void by running out in-house options in Greg Norton and Chris Snopek (five homers and 36 RBIs over 105 games). The Sox stumbled out of the gate, with an 8-18 start.

Thankfully, after a rigorous rehabilitation process, Robin came back on July 24, to play in 54 games, and would continue his outstanding major league career after he left the White Sox as a free agent after the season.


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