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Dewayne Wise, who’d entered the game just minutes earlier and executed possibly the most extraordinary catch in MLB history, congratulates Mark Buehrle on his perfect game, on this day in 2009.
Ron Vesely/MLB Photos via Getty Images

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Today in White Sox History: July 23

It’s Perfect Game Day!


Manager Al Lopez had an emergency appendectomy, and would miss 36 games. Les Moss took over while Lopez was sidelined.


GM Ken Harrelson sent Bobby Bonilla back to the Pirates for pitcher José DeLeón, in an oft-criticized deal that rarely presents the entire picture.

Bonilla was selected from Pittsburgh by the Sox in the major league draft in December 1985, and was likely a player the Pirates desperately wanted back. He showed flashes of brilliance in his half season on the South Side, but just 0.5 WAR in his half-season on the South Side. He would go on to have four brilliant seasons with the Pirates, putting up 17.9 WAR before cashing in on a famous/infamous free-agent contract with the New York Mets that pays him to this day.

DeLeón, for his part, was a productive starter on the South Side, putting up 3.7 WAR over a season and a third before GM Larry Himes flipped him to the St. Louis Cardinals in a brilliant deal netting center fielder Lance Johnson and pitcher Ricky Horton.

Johnson was a gem for the White Sox, netting the club 21.3 WAR over six-plus seasons roaming center field. Without the Bonilla trade, there is no One Dog.

Ironically, both players — Bonilla and Johnson — ended their careers with 30.2 WAR.


It had only happened 17 times before, and on this date, Mark Buehrle became the 18th pitcher to throw a perfect game, when he shut down Tampa, 5-0.

It was only the second no-hitter thrown at the new Sox Park — both thrown by Buehrle.

The lefthander was helped in the top of the ninth inning when Dewayne Wise made the catch of his career, leaping above the wall in left-center to snare a ball hit by Gabe Kapler. On the way down Wise started to lose the ball, then snatched it out of the air with his other hand as he tumbled to the ground. Wise had been inserted for the ninth as a defensive replacement, so this play — among the best in White Sox and baseball history — was his first action in the game.

Buehrle completed the perfect game in two hours and three minutes — the exact same amount of time as his no-hitter in 2007. He became only the fourth pitcher to ever throw a perfect game and a no-hitter (April 18, 2007), joining Cy Young, Sandy Koufax and Randy Johnson.

Afterward, Buehrle got a call from President Barack Obama, a huge White Sox fan.


It was certainly a strange and bizarre situation for the Sox. Chris Sale, arguably the best pitcher in the American League and one of the best in baseball, went on a pregame rampage and was scratched from his scheduled start against the Tigers at U.S. Cellular Field. Sale was upset that he had to wear a 1976 throwback jersey as part of a promotion for the game.

Sale thought it was uncomfortable. With the heat index more than 100°, wearing a dark blue/black jersey probably wasn’t the smartest thing to do, either. Sale decided to take matters into his own hands: During batting practice, he destroyed most of the game jerseys the team was supposed to wear by slashing them with a knife. He also said publicly the White Sox were more concerned with public relations and uniforms than winning games.

The White Sox, flirting at .500 at the time and just 3 1⁄2 games out of second place in the AL Central, was forced to start Matt Albers, who went two innings, giving up one run. The bullpen game ended in a 4-3 triumph: Adam Eaton, down to his last strike on a full count, lined a game-winning single in the bottom of the ninth to score Avisaíl García, who led off the inning with a single and stolen base.

Sale was suspended for five games for the incident, and was traded to Boston for a package headlined by Michael Kopech and Yoán Moncada after the season.

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