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On this day 47 years ago, Ken Brett jump-started an incongruous winning streak for a terrible White Sox club.
Keith Olbermann

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Today in White Sox History: May 18

One of the strangest streaks in South Side history starts

1957

Historically if it was Baltimore, it usually meant strange things for the White Sox. Case in point, on this night the Sox had to catch a train to Boston after the game, and the Orioles agreed to end the contest at 10:20 p.m. regardless of the outcome. The Sox trailed, 3-0, going into the seventh inning — when they scored four runs. (That half-inning was strange in itself, because the Sox used five pinch-hitters and two pinch-runners in it!)

The Sox were still leading, 4-3, in the ninth inning. Paul LaPalme was brought in to protect the lead. With 30 seconds remaining until curfew, LaPalme elected to pitch to Dick Williams. League rules did not allow for a suspended game under these circumstances, so the Sox could have legally stalled the final seconds away. Unfortunately, they didn’t. LaPalme threw ... Williams swung ... home run ... tie game. Actually, make that a suspended tie game, which had to be completely replayed from the first inning on, later in the season.


1976

A day after his birthday (May 17), Carlos May was shipped to the Yankees for pitcher Ken Brett.

Brett, the older brother of future Hall-of-Famer George and himself a phenom-turned-journeyman, was simply outstanding for the woebegone White Sox. He made 26 starts and threw more than 200 innings the rest of the way for Chicago, tallying 4.1 WAR — the best mark of his career. May had been slumping badly for the White Sox, but saw his hitting take a nice bump upward in the lefty-friendly confines of Yankee Stadium. A rare win-win deal.

Also on this day — coincidence or not — the White Sox started a 10-game winning streak. That’s right, a team that finished 64-97 and in last place in the AL West won 16% of its games for the season in one May clump.

The 1976 White Sox are the 11th-worst team in franchise history, and none of the other 13 winning streaks of 10 games or more in franchise annals all were accomplished by strong teams that didn’t finish anywhere near .500, much less by a team as bad as the 1976 Sox.


1983

Still another bizarre moment in Baltimore. On this night, White Sox pitcher Richard Dotson tossed a complete game one-hitter.

Only he lost it, 1-0!

Dotson wasn’t sharp overall, allowing seven walks, but he kept getting out of trouble until the eighth inning, when “Disco” Danny Ford lofted a pitch down the right-field line at Memorial Stadium that fell into the first row of seats. The “blast” went about 312 feet, an out in most other parks.


2011

Jake Peavy, in just his second start since career-threatening and experimental lat surgery, pitched a three-hit shutout to defeat Cleveland, 1-0. It was one of five shutouts across baseball on the day.


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