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Today in White Sox History: March 9

Two South Siders suffer horrifying injuries

White Sox Scouts Mostil, Appling, & Rigney
Scout Johnny Mostil, Memphis farm club manager Luke Appling and farm director Johnny Rigney pore over notes, as the White Sox begin their record run of consecutive winning seasons, in 1951.
Transcendental Graphics/Getty Images


Popular White Sox outfielder Johnny Mostil attempts suicide in a hotel room in Shreveport, La. Despite razor cuts to his wrist, neck and chest, Mostil survived and returned to the team in April, although he’d only play in 13 games that season.

Mostil suffered a number of injuries in his career, and had severe dental issues and neuritis in his jaw and shoulder; neuritis is an inflamed nerve condition, resulting in sharp and chronic pain. Given the severity of this suicide attempt — and the fact that Mostil plunged his hand into scalding water during his rehab, delaying his return to the White Sox — the star may have been simply trying to end significant suffering, suffering that the medicine of his time could not soothe.

In 10 years with the White Sox, Mostil would hit better than .300 four times (with a high of .328 in 1926) and in two other years, he’d bat better than .290. His 23.8 bWAR ranks 21st among batters, and 34th among all players, in White Sox history.

After his career, Mostil was a longtime White Sox scout/coach. He helped develop future players like All-Star and Gold Glove-winning outfielder Jim Landis.


With talks at a standstill between the owners and the MLBPA over a new labor contract focusing on the players’ pension plan, the White Sox are the first team to have their players vote to authorize a strike if a new deal wasn’t put in place. The vote was 31-0, in favor. When all was said and done, the final vote of all players was 663-10 to strike if a new agreement wasn’t reached. As it turned out a new agreement wasn’t reached before the first few weeks of the season were impacted, and regular season games were lost for the very first time; each team played a different number of games in 1972, with the White Sox playing 154 instead of 162.


Former White Sox player and first-year (Atlanta) minor league manager Luis Salazar is hit in the face by a foul ball from Braves catcher Brian McCann. Salazar, who was standing in front of the Atlanta dugout, collapses and passes out, bleeding profusely. Transported by helicopter to Orlando from Kissimmee, Fla., there is some concern that Salazar will survive the injury; he does recover, but not without losing his left eye and suffering multiple facial fractures.

Amazingly, Salazar returned to the field to manage his Lynchburg Hellcats in time for the team’s home opener on April 15. Salazar would manage in the Atlanta system from 2011-18.