During a 10-1 preseason loss at Wrigley Field, White Sox second baseman Jackie Hayes is hit by a drifting speck of cinder in his eye. Hayes’ eye became infected, and by the end of the season had lost full sight in it, and retired from the game. By 1943, Hayes was blind in both eyes.
At the time, Hayes speculated that it was the cinder during the game, or soap, that had irritated his eye, leading to his eventual blindness. But in truth, as he later acknowledged, Hayes was afflicted with glaucoma, robbing him of his sight.
Hayes played as a part-timer in 1940 for the White Sox, getting into 18 games and hitting .195/.233/.245. The second baseman was a stellar defender, and over nine years with the White Sox tallied 6.1 WAR, including a career-high 2.6 in 1936.
Interestingly, on August 22 of his final season, with a rash of beanings plaguing the game, Hayes became the first MLB player to wear a batting helmet.
The Oakland A’s release Dick Allen, ending the slugger’s career. Of course, Allen had “retired” from baseball in leaving the White Sox before the end of the 1974 season, so rumors of his demise had been ongoing through the 1970s. He ended his playing days with 351 homers, 1,119 RBI and a .292 lifetime average.
Allen starred in Philadelphia (including an 8.8 WAR Rookie of the Year campaign) and won his only MVP with the White Sox, in 1972 (8.6 WAR). His career 58.7 WAR is undoubtedly Hall-worthy, and though he isn’t now alive to see it, induction in Cooperstown seems a foregone eventuality.
The White Sox deal pitcher Ken Kravec to the Cubs for pitcher Dennis Lamp.
Over the next three seasons, Lamp would do everything for the South Siders ... start, pitch long relief, and close out tight games.
Lamp tossed a one-hitter against Milwaukee on August 25, losing his no-hit bid in the ninth inning, when Robin Yount blooped a double.
By 1983, Lamp had shifted to closer, leading the “Winnin’ Ugly” 1983 Western Division champion White Sox with 15 saves. He was also the winning pitcher on Sept. 17, 1983, when the Sox beat Seattle, 4-3, to clinch their first playoff berth in 24 years.