In the dead ball era, homers were sparse. In fact, the White Sox went their first four official American League games without one. But on this day, the offense exploded by banging out 16 hits to bury Detroit, 19-9. The onslaught marked the first time in the AL that the White Sox hit two home runs in one game. Both Billy Hoy and Herm McFarland hit their first round-trippers of the season; Hoy’s was a three-run shot and McFarland’s in the second inning a grand slam — the first in White Sox and American League history.
On the Tigers’ side, things were ugly. Detroit made 10 errors in the game; starting pitcher Joe Yeager allowed 12 runs, but just five were earned over his three innings.
In a game at Cleveland, White Sox outfielder Bill Barrett banged out four hits and stole home twice in a 13-7 win. Barrett went 4-for-5 with three runs and two RBIs for the afternoon. His steals of home came in the first and ninth innings.
The White Sox purchased the contract of Dixie Walker from the Yankees. Alas, this was a big one who eventually got away, as the Sox traded Walker to the Tigers after only one season. In 1937 with the Sox, Walker drove in 95 runs while hitting .302. Walker later achieved stardom in Brooklyn, winning a batting title and playing in four All-Star games.
Minnie Miñoso (acquired on April 30) made his White Sox debut. The Cuban Comet became the first Black player in team history. In his first at-bat, he hit a home run off of Vic Raschi into the center field bullpen at Comiskey Park. The drive went an estimated 425 feet and drove in a pair of runs. Later in the same game, won by the Yankees, 8-3, Mickey Mantle hit the first of his 536 career home runs.
White Sox pitcher Virgil Trucks tossed a one-hitter in beating the Red Sox, 3-0. The only hit he allowed came in the sixth inning, a single by future White Sox player Billy Goodman. Trucks struck out eight Boston batters in the game.
This was the first of his pair of one-hitters in 1954; he’d end the year at 19-12 with a 2.79 ERA, having made the All-Star team and saving the win for the American League.
Early Wynn had one of the greatest days ever by a pitcher, when he did it all in a 1-0 White Sox win over Boston. Wynn tossed a one-hit complete game, striking out 14. In addition, he slammed a home run in the last of the eighth inning to account for the game’s only run. Wynn’s drive bounced off the glove of Boston’s Bill Renna into the first row of seats at Comiskey Park.
The only hit Wynn allowed came to Pete Runnels in the first inning, a single to center field at Comiskey Park. Ironically, seconds before the hit Wynn moved Luis Aparicio over a few steps to his right, and he wasn’t able to reach Runnels’ grounder. Wynn’s control wasn’t the best, as he walked seven batters, but he was always able to get out of trouble.
Also on this day, the White Sox traded for Cincinnati Reds outfielder Del Ennis. Ennis, a three-time All-Star, was simply horrible for the White Sox, compiling -0.8 WAR over 26 games and getting released on June 20. At 34, his major league career was over.
Al Smith connected on a Jim Bunning pitch and set off owner Bill Veeck’s new exploding scoreboard for the first time. The blast came in the third inning, with Jim Landis on base. The White Sox would win the game, 6-3, and then sweep the Tigers by taking the nightcap, 5-2.
The scoreboard was 130 feet wide and cost $300,000. There was a firing platform in back that went into action when a White Sox player hit a home run. There were noises of varying tones and intensities, including the sounds of horses running, thunder and the collision of locomotives. The eight small ladders atop the scoreboard flashed into electrical patterns. Strobe lights were atop the two highest ladders. Bombs and fireworks also were exploded from the firing platform.
Dick Allen hit a lot of tape-measure home runs in his time with the White Sox, but this may have been his longest.
On a cool, damp night at Comiskey Park, Allen deposited a pitch from Baltimore’s Mike Cuellar onto the roof in left-center field. The pitch was unusual as it approached home plate, and many speculated that what Allen hit was a “Cuban Forkball” (i.e. spitball) that failed to break downwards. Allen hit one more home run on the night, in a 6-5 win.
For many years afterwards the Sox hung a sign on the roof in left center field indicating where his ball passed over.
The White Sox lost one of the longest games in their history, 10-9, to the Brewers in Milwaukee. The Sox blew leads of 5-0 and 9-6 in this one. The game went 19 innings and ran 6:05.
The game went so long that WGN-TV sports director Dan Roan, who was covering the game, had to do his evening sportscast from a parking lot at a bar just inside the state line on Route 41. He couldn’t get back to the studio in northern Chicago in time!