After losing four straight exhibition games to the Cubs, a Luke Appling home run helps knock off the White Sox rivals, 10-9, in Los Angeles.
That was the good news.
The bad news came in the ninth inning, when Appling at first base took off on a hit and run, with batter Joe Kuhel fouling off the pitch. Appling stopped his slide awkwardly, breaking a bone near his ankle. The shortstop, who was hospitalized in L.A. before taking a train back to Chicago, was given a recovery time frame of three weeks to two months.
Appling ended up taking more than three months to rehab and return. Coming off of a 6.2 WAR season in 1937 that saw him finish 17th in MVP voting, he pinch-hit twice in June but didn’t return full-time until July 8. From there, Appling struggled over 81 games, to a 1.8 WAR. It ended up as the third-worst WAR per game of his Hall of Fame career.
One day earlier, All-Star starting pitcher Monty Stratton was injured on the mound, delaying his first start of 1938 until May 24.
The 1938 White Sox finished 65-83-1, sixth of eight teams in the AL.