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Today in White Sox History: June 13

Interleague play gets off to a fast start

Ray Durham inaugurated interleague play for the White Sox with a leadoff home run, hit on this day 26 years ago.

1946

He set records that will never be broken, including winning an incredible 40 games in 1908, and on this day White Sox star pitcher Ed Walsh was inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Walsh played all but four games of his 14-year career with the Sox, leading the AL in numerous categories between 1904 and 1912 including games played, games started, complete games, shutouts, games finished, saves, innings pitched, strikeouts and wins.

In addition to the 40 wins in his miraculous 1908 season, Walsh threw 464 innings, with an ERA of 1.41. He had a great fastball — as well as a mean spitball (a legal pitch at the time.)

Finally, in a mere coincidence, on this exact day in 1908, Walsh stole home while pitching the White Sox to a complete-game, 5-1 win over the New York Highlanders.


1957

The White Sox and Yankees hooked up in perhaps the greatest “base-brawl” in history.

In the first inning at Comiskey Park, New York’s Art Ditmar threw a pitch at the head of Larry Doby. As the pitch rolled to the wall behind home plate, Ditmar ran to cover home. Doby warned Ditmar about the pitch, and then threw a left hook that flattened Ditmar. The fight appeared to have racial overtones, and lasted a full 30 minutes.

Chicago native and future Sox player Bill ”Moose” Skowron jumped on Doby, which brought Walt Dropo into the fray (Dropo was 6´5´´, 220 pounds — a monster for his time). At various times Whitey Ford, Casey Stengel, Jim Rivera and Enos Slaughter were in the middle of it. Slaughter’s jersey and undershirt were ripped to pieces, and his hat was wrenched backwards in one of the most famous photographs of the 1950s.

After things settled down, Billy Martin rushed into things and started in on Doby.

Five players were ejected and fined for the melee. New York won the game, 4-3.


1978

It was one of the greatest comebacks in White Sox history: After trailing Cleveland 9-0 going into the bottom of the third inning, the Sox wound up winning the game, 10-9!

Chicago scored six runs in the third, four runs in the fourth, and hung on to win. And the White Sox scored all 10 runs without benefit of a home run. Wayne Nordhagen led the way with three RBIs. Rich Hinton went more than six innings in relief, allowing only a run on five hits to get the win.


1997

Interleague play began with the White Sox in Cincinnati. Ray Durham inaugurated it with a leadoff home run. The Sox beat the Reds, 3-1, behind the pitching of Wilson Alvarez and Roberto Hernandez. All three Sox runs scored on home runs, by Durham and Albert Belle.

larry wrote about it this game in greater detail back in 2012.


2010

The White Sox came out on the wrong end of a 1-0 pitchers’ duel.

It was an epic Crosstown battle at Wrigley Field between Gavin Floyd and Ted Lilly, with both pursuing no-hitters.

Floyd got within seven outs, until an Alfonso Soriano double with two gone in the seventh inning, and Chad Tracy singling him in for the game’s only run.

Lilly suffered heartbreak as well, as Juan Pierre singled to lead off the ninth inning to break up the no-hit bid.

Per Baseball-Reference, it had been almost 30 years (July 13, 1980) since no hits had been recorded in the first six innings of a game, and the first time since 1965 that 41 outs were recorded in a game before a first hit (Sandy Koufax no-hitter).

Lilly was yanked after Pierre’s hit, with Carlos Marmol almost blowing the lead in the top of the ninth with a walk-balk-strikeout-intentional walk to load the bases with one down, but Paul Konerko tapped a weak grounder for a force out at home, and Carlos Quentin flew out to end the game.

It would be the only loss for the White Sox from June 9-26, a stretch where the South Siders made up eight games in the standings with a 16-1 run that brought them to within 1 12 games of first place.


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