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Today in White Sox History: June 30

Another switch-hitting hero steps to the fore

Nick Swisher hit a grand slam on this day, 15 years ago, earning the admiration of Jim Thome and Kevin Hickey. But Swisher upped the ante in his next at-bat, driving another home run and becoming just the second White Sox player to drive home runs out from both sides of the plate in the same game.
| Nuccio DiNuzzo/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images


The White Sox fell out of first place, ceding to the Yankees in heartbreaking fashion.

Entering a doubleheader Sunday, both clubs won openers in stirring fashion:

  • New York took out visiting K.C., 2-1, with two runs in the bottom of the eighth
  • The White Sox scored four in the top of the ninth to win, 7-6, at Washington, with the GWRBI coming on a Larry Doby triple

But the nightcaps turned downright tragic:

  • The Yankees swept the A’s in decisive fashion, 5-1
  • The White Sox fell behind early, 9-3, rallied late to tie, then lost on a two-out, two-run homer in the bottom of the 10th from future White Sox slugger Roy Sievers

Up to June 30, the White Sox had only been out of first place a handful of days, and never more than a half-game out in all that time. From here, however, the White Sox would never get closer than the one game out they were after these doubleheaders. The South Siders never ceded second place, finishing 90-64, but could not catch the 98-56 Yankees.


Twenty-one years after clobbering the triple that kept the White Sox in first place for one more game, Larry Doby was named manager of the White Sox, replacing Bob Lemon.

This marked the second time Bill Veeck and Doby had collaborated to break ground. In 1947, Veeck signed Doby to play for Cleveland, as the second Black major leaguer post-color line (after Jackie Robinson), and first American Leaguer. With his hiring, Doby became the second Black manager in MLB history, after Frank Robinson. Doby took over a disappointing, 34-40 team and went 37-50 to finish 1978, in his sole stint as a major league skipper.

The combination of Lemon and Doby piled up 1.1 managerial WAR in 1978, indicating at least a slightly positive season from the bench, and one Doby could likely claim a significant part of. But Veeck opted not to re-hire his former player for 1979, replacing him with player-manager Don Kessinger.

Doby was elected to the Hall of Fame as a player in 1998, and his statue stands outside of Progressive Field in Cleveland.


After years of saying that the original Comiskey Park was outdated, White Sox owners Jerry Reinsdorf and Eddie Einhorn came very close to moving the team to St. Petersburg, Fla.

At the stroke of midnight, the Illinois General Assembly passed a bill allowing the construction of a new stadium, thus saving the Sox. Truthfully it was past midnight, but Governor Jim Thompson actually had stopped the clock to get the funding accomplished, because no bills could be passed after that time period.

But it was a close call. Minutes before House and Senate members walked into their chambers late that Thursday, leaders from both parties predicted that the $150 million Sox stadium bill would fail, leaving the Sox “no choice” but to leave the South Side for St. Petersburg. House Republicans left their caucuses, saying they had only five votes for the package. Their Democratic counterparts said only 50 votes could be mustered. And Senate Democrats said they had only 10 votes in favor of the deal. But a few minutes before midnight, Senate Democrats ratified the measure by gathering 30 votes. The House then passed the measure by a 60-55 vote.

Meanwhile, Florida baseball fans were stunned as they realized they had been used as a pawn to get a new facility by the power brokers and politicians of Chicago. The new stadium built with taxpayer money, initially dubbed New Comiskey or Comiskey Park II, would open its doors on April 18, 1991.


White Sox outfielder Nick Swisher became only the second player in franchise history to homer from both sides of the plate twice in the same season, when he hit two in a 9-7 win over Cleveland. Swisher accomplished the feat for the first time a few weeks earlier, in a game against the Twins. Only José Valentín had ever done that before — and he did it three times between 2000 and 2003. One of Swisher’s home runs was a grand slam, as he drove in five runs on the night. It was also Swisher’s second grand slam in four days.


When Chris Sale struck out Jhonny Peralta of the Cardinals in the sixth inning of a game the White Sox would eventually win, 2-1, in 11 innings at St. Louis, it marked the eighth consecutive start in which he fanned 10 or more hitters. That tied Sale with Pedro Martinez for the longest streak in baseball history.

At the plate, Sale also collected his first career major league hit.

The strikeout stretch for Sale had started on May 23 against the Twins. Even though Sale was overpowering, the White Sox offense was so weak that his record in those eight starts was 3-3, with two no-decisions.

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