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Officer Ron had a powerful game at bat and a woeful one behind the plate on this day, 28 years ago.
Ron Vesely/Getty Images

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Today in White Sox History: May 28

Double wins and double homers


The White Sox lost, 6-5, at the Philadelphia A’s.

Why is this notable? Because in spite of the defeat, the White Sox were 21-12 and remained a half-game ahead in the American League, marking the latest date Chicago had led the pennant race in 15 years.

Alas, the hot start was a mirage for both the 1935 season (the White Sox would finish 74-48-1, in fifth place) and the franchise fortunes. The promised land of yearly competitiveness was still some 15 years off, as in the 30 seasons from 1921-50 the White Sox finished in the upper division six times, and better than .500 just seven.


The White Sox purchased pitcher Gerry Staley off of waivers from the Yankees. Staley would become one of the top relief pitchers in the league by 1959, helping the Sox win the pennant. That season, he went 8-5 with a 2.24 ERA and a league-leading 15 saves. His teammate, Turk Lown, also had 15 saves.

Staley played a literal, pivotal role in the pennant win, coming into a bases-loaded, one-out situation in the ninth inning at Cleveland on September 22, with the Sox clinging to a 4-2 lead. He threw one pitch to Vic Power, who rapped into a double play, and the Sox won the pennant for the first time in 40 years.

In 1960, Staley would make the All-Star team.

It was a night Wilbur Wood did something that rarely happens in baseball. Two days earlier, the game between Cleveland and the White Sox was suspended by curfew at Comiskey Park, tied 2-2 after 16 innings. Rain washed out May 27, so when the suspended game was resumed the next day, it was Wood’s turn to pitch. He went out and threw five innings before the Sox prevailed, 6-3, in 21 innings.

Thirty minutes later, Wood went out and started the regularly-scheduled game.

He would toss a complete game four-hitter, winning, 4-0. Two wins in one evening!

His line for the night: 14 innings pitched, one run, six hits, nine strikeouts, two wins. Wilbur moved to 13-3 on the season — and it wasn’t even June.


In a game against the Rangers in Arlington, Texas, White Sox pitcher Joe Cowley struck out the first seven men he faced to tie an American League record. He fanned Oddibe McDowell, Scott Fletcher, Pete O’Brien, Pete Incaviglia, Gary Ward, George Wright and Steve Buechele, in order. However, Cowley wound up pitching only 4 1⁄3 innings and give up six runs (five earned), taking the loss in a 6-3 defeat.


At Tiger Stadium, Detroit jumped out to a 4-0 lead after one inning and 7-1 after two, but the White Sox rallied to win, 14-12. The game set an MLB record with 12 combined home runs, seven by the Tigers and five (Frank Thomas, Ray Durham, Craig Grebeck, and Ron Karkovice twice) from the White Sox. Durham, Karkovice and Grebeck hit back-to-back-to-back jacks in the fourth inning.

For all the home runs, it was a Mike Devereaux ground out in the eighth inning that provided the eventual game-winner, giving the White Sox a 12-11 lead.

Kirk Gibson, Cecil Fielder and Chad Curtis each had two homers in the game for Detroit. The Tigers also stole 5-of-6 bases against catcher Karkovice in the game.


White Sox infielder Greg Norton hit two home runs in a game — for the second consecutive game. He was the first Sox player to pull that off since Zeke Bonura in 1935.

All four of Norton’s home runs came in Detroit, against the Tigers, tallying six RBIs.

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