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Larry Doby Holding a Baseball Bat
On this day 64 years ago, the White Sox purchased Larry Doby from the Tigers for one last go-around on the South Side.

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Today in White Sox History: May 13

Larry Doby’s last hurrah


White Sox pitcher Billy Pierce became the first member of the team (and the first Chicago athlete) to appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated, with the headline “Pride of Chicago.” In 1957, the year the magazine cover came out, Pierce went 20-12 with a 3.26 ERA. It was his second straight 20-win season, and he led the league with 16 complete games, four shutouts, two saves, 257 innings and 192 strikeouts.


Future Hall-of-Famer and White Sox manager Larry Doby was purchased from the Detroit Tigers for $30,000. It was Doby’s second stint on the South Side and third under manager Al Lopez, who seemed to carry an irrational distaste for Doby. At 35, the outfielder didn’t have any gas left in the tank, seeing action in just 21 games for the eventual pennant-winners, with a .560 OPS and -0.3 WAR. He was not active for the World Series, and in fact did not play after July 26, when he struck out in what would become his last plate appearance in the majors.


White Sox pitcher Jim Kaat’s 12-game winning streak ended, losing 3-2 in Baltimore. Kaat had won his first five decisions in 1975 to follow his final seven in 1974. He’d become a 20-game winner in both seasons, averaging 290 innings pitched. Kaat made the All-Star team in 1975.


SportsVision made its debut. The first regional pay cable service devoted exclusively to sports began operations with a game at Comiskey Park vs. Milwaukee. The service was the brainchild of White Sox co-owner Eddie Einhorn and while brilliant, was ahead of its time. The technology wasn’t there, and more importantly, fans weren’t ready to pay for something they had been getting for free all their lives. At its peak, roughly 20,000 fans subscribed to the channel, which also included Bulls, Blackhawks and pro soccer Sting games.

The decision to go to a pay service caused popular announcer Harry Caray to bolt the team for the Cubs after 11 seasons on the South Side, despite a richer offer from the Sox for 1982. SportsVision, in its original version, lasted until the end of 1983, when it was sold to the Cablevision Company and turned into SportsChannel-Chicago.


With the A’s trailing the White Sox, 4-3, in the eighth inning, Coco Crisp attempted heroism by stealing home, with southpaw Matt Thornton pitching. Crisp failed, with A.J. Pierzynski applying the tag, as the White Sox end up winning by the same one-run margin.

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