It’s one of the most special birthdays in baseball history: Carlos May, born May 17, which he wore on his White Sox uniform for his entire career. May was the second first round pick in team history (1966), and spent the first eight years of his MLB career in Chicago, peaking in 1972 with 4.3 WAR and a 21st-place finish in MVP voting.
Interestingly, in stops with the Yankees and Angels to complete his career, May did not wear uniform No. 17.
It was one of the few highlights in a dismal season. White Sox pitcher (and one-time Brett Ballantini home run victim) Jerry Nyman one-hit the Senators, winning in Chicago, 6-0.
Nyman allowed only a one-out single in the second inning to Brant Alyea — a comebacker right through the box that Nyman could not get a glove on. Nyman also helped himself with the bat in that game, hitting a bases-loaded double that knocked in three runs.
In the White Sox blowout win over the Twins in Minnesota, national controversy erupted centering around the “unwritten” rules of baseball.
With the Sox leading 15-4, the Twins used position player Willians Astudillo to pitch in the ninth inning. During this emergency outing, Astudillo lobbed up a 47 mph floater to Yermín Mercedes, who blasted it over the center field fence. Twins manager Rocco Baldelli took exception to the swing/homer, as did as many baseball traditionalists. White Sox manager Tony La Russa wasn’t happy with it, hopping out of the dugout and waving his arms angrily before Mercedes had reached home plate. La Russa was furious because Mercedes missed a take sign, and that his swing disrespected the game.
Some of Mercedes’ teammates and many Sox fans disagreed, saying that using a position player instead of a regular pitcher also disrespected the game and that until the game is over players are expected to do their best, regardless of the score.
The next day, after the Twins threw at Mercedes, La Russa ignited another controversy when he said that he didn’t think Twins pitcher Tyler Duffey deliberately targeted Mercedes, and that it may have been a pitch that got away from him. Some Sox fans feel this was the moment when La Russa began to lose the clubhouse, and the Sox started sliding back towards mediocrity for the rest of the season and into the 2022 campaign.
A much less controversial milestone from the same game saw White Sox catcher Yasmani Grandal as the lone starter not to get a hit in the 16-4 blowout. But he still landed on base four times via walks, scored three times and drove in a run with a sacrifice fly. Grandal thus became the first player in White Sox history to have three games in one season where he walked four or more times.