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Today in White Sox History: June 29

Tom Terrific heads home

Steve Lyons, one of the most popular White Sox shepherding the team through the dark, late-1980s, came to Chicago on this day, 37 years ago.
| Ron Vesely/Getty Images
Brett Ballantini started at South Side Sox in 2018 after 20 years of writing on basketball, baseball and hockey, including time on the Blackhawks and White Sox beats. Follow him on Twitter @BrettBallantini and email your site feedback to brettballantini@yahoo.com

1986

The White Sox dealt future Hall-of-Famer Tom Seaver to the Boston Red Sox for utilityman Steve Lyons.

Seaver, who never wanted to leave the northeast, was hijacked by the White Sox as a free-agent compensation pick in 1984, and had to be cajoled by club ownership to even give the South Side a try. Once there, however, Tom Terrific proceeded to throw two of the three best 39 or older WAR seasons in team history (Seaver’s 5.0 at age 40, Ted Lyons’ 4.8 at age 41, Seaver’s 4.1 at age 39). But anticipating retirement, Seaver longed to return home to New England for his last MLB starts, and GM Ken Harrelson granted his wish in the midst of a 2.5 WAR career finale (Chicago/Boston).

Lyons was ... versatile, playing every position on the diamond for the White Sox over 4 1⁄2 seasons and 497 games. But versatile is not to imply good, as Lyons compiled just 1.7 WAR and a 78 OPS+ on the South Side.


1995

With a 22-hit barrage, the White Sox ran their winning streak to seven games in a 17-13 slugfest at County Stadium over the Brewers. Robin Ventura led the way, going 5-for-6 by starting with four singles, then adding a solo shot in the top of the ninth for Chicago’s 17th run. The third baseman scored four times and drove in three.

Things got heated in the middle of the game; remember, the Phil Garner Brewers and Terry Bevington White Sox detested one another. After Ray Durham hit a three-run homer in the top of the sixth to put the White Sox up, 13-6, Bill Wegman drilled Ron Karkovice in the ribs with a 3-0 pitch. Wegman was ejected immediately, and Garner got the boot for whining about it, as the benches emptied.

But it only got weirder from there. In the bottom of the ninth, up 17-10, Bevington inserted absolutely wild (~two walks per inning) Rob Dibble into the game in garbage time. Dibble whistled his first pitch right under pinch-hitter Pat Listach’s chin, igniting an all-out brawl and the ejections of both Dibble and Listach.

And yes, the story gets even weirder. When Dibble was released by the White Sox after a horrific 16-game run that saw his WHIP swell to 2.372 with 27 walks in 78 batters faced, the mercurial righthander caught on with ... Milwaukee. And his locker at County Stadium was in the spot right next to ... Listach.


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