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Today in White Sox History: April 4

One playoff season starts with a loss — but a World Series champ gets off to a winning start

Sports Contributor Archive 2017
Jack McDowell lost his first start as Cy Young winner, on this day 29 years ago.


One of the most highly-anticipated Opening Days in franchise history ... is snowed out!

The Sox were set to host Boston, and the organization was expecting a crowd of around 50,000. That got torpedoed when a blizzard hammered the entire Midwest, cancelling games for days. In fact, the White Sox didn’t open their season until April 11 in New York, with a doubleheader win over the Yankees.


On the same night that North Carolina State upset Houston in the men’s NCAA basketball championship, the White Sox open their divisional championship season by dropping a 5-3 game at Texas. The Sox scored three times in the top of the first, but were handcuffed after that. Errors by rookies Scott Fletcher and Greg Walker were costly to pitcher LaMarr Hoyt. The Sox would drop all three games to the Rangers, but rebounded to win 99 games and take the division by a record 20 games.


On Opening Day, Ken Williams belts a two-run, fifth-inning home run off of California’s Mike Witt to help the White Sox to an 8-5 win. Williams would drive in three runs on the afternoon.


What was to be a bittersweet, shortened season started in Canada with a rematch of the 1993 ALCS. Like in the ALCS, it was Toronto winning this Opening Day, 7-3. The Blue Jays beat the reigning Cy Young winner Jack McDowell, just as they did twice in the postseason the year before.

But by August 11, the White Sox were rolling on all cylinders — that’s when the season came to a staggering end because of the labor impasse between the MLBPA and owners. At the time of the shutdown, the Sox were leading the division and had the third-best record in baseball.


Hall of Fame pitcher Early Wynn dies in Venice, Fla., at 79. Wynn found his most sustained success with Cleveland, but came over to the White Sox to help push them to the World Series in 1959, a season in which he won the MLB Cy Young and finished third in AL MVP voting. Wynn was elected to the Hall of Fame on his fourth ballot, in 1972, and later coached in the big leagues and was a White Sox radio and TV broadcaster in 1982-83.


The world championship season gets off to a great start, as a packed house saw Mark Buehrle and Shingo Takatsu shut out Cleveland, 1-0, in a game that took less than two hours! Buehrle held Cleveland to two hits over eight innings, and Takatsu was perfect in the ninth for his first save.

The only run came in the seventh inning, when Paul Konerko scored on Aaron Rowand’s hard-shot ground ball that was misplayed by Jhonny Peralta. More than 38,000 fans were on hand for the game.

The White Sox would roar out of the gate at 26-9, the best 35-game start in franchise history.