Among many injustices betraying a pro-Yankees slant in Major League Baseball over the years, this was egregious as they come.
It was the start of a four-game series at Yankee Stadium, with Chicago trailing New York and Boston by just 3 1⁄2 games in the standing. The White Sox trailed the Yankees, 3-2, when the game was delayed 25 minutes by rain. When play resumed, the Sox scored twice to take the lead, 4-3, in the top of the ninth inning.
As a result, Yankees manager Casey Stengel and his players began stalling, hoping for more rain that would end the game and revert the score back to the last full (eighth) inning and New York’s 3-2 lead. Stengel used five different pitchers in the top of the ninth, and Yankees infielder Gil McDougald was ejected by umpire Bill McGowan because of game-delaying tactics. After a delay of slightly more than an hour, the game was called, and reverted back to a 3-2 New York win.
Both teams protested the game in the ninth inning: The Yankees, because of McDougald’s ejection, while the White Sox claimed that the field was not covered quickly enough at the start of the last delay (that, in essence, the Yankees grounds crew was also stalling).
On August 29, American League president Will Harridge announced that the Chicago protest was disallowed, and he criticized manager Paul Richards for negative remarks about the Yankees, the umpires and the league office. It was umpire Hank Soar in charge of the game that day who made the final decision to call the contest.
White Sox royalty dominated Cooperstown: Shortstop Luke Appling pitcher Red Faber gained admission to the Hall of Fame.
Appling is the all-time leader in WAR (77.5) for the White Sox and the clear best player in team history. He made four All-Star teams, won batting titles in 1936 and 1943, drove in 128 runs in 1936, and twice he also had more than 100 walks in a season. He finished with 2,749 hits, 1,116 RBIs and a lifetime batting average of .310.
Faber, per WAR is the sixth; like Appling, he spent his entire 20-year career with the White Sox, winning 254 games with a career 3.15 ERA. He also won three games for the Sox in the 1917 World Series triumph over the New York Giants. In 14 of his 20 seasons Faber won in double figures, with four of those years topping the 20-win mark. He also threw 4,086 innings!
In one of the most embarrassing games during one of the most embarrassing seasons in White Sox history, the Orioles pitch a 17-0 shutout — the biggest shutout rout in Baltimore franchise history. Jim Hardin holds the South Siders to two hits, while Frank Robinson hits two homers and drives in five, to lead a parade of 20 total hits.
White Sox vice president Stu Holcomb “retired” under pressure, after his hard-line approach on salaries destroyed the 1973 White Sox.
When players wouldn’t come to terms with his initial offers, Holcomb ordered player personnel director Roland Hemond to release them. Not try to compromise with them, or try to trade them to get something back ... but release them. As a result, the White Sox gave away Jay Johnstone, Ed Spiezio, Mike Andrews and Rick Reichardt.
When Holcomb ordered Hemond to release 21-game winner Stan Bahnsen, Hemond and manager Chuck Tanner went to owner John Allyn; Hemond and Tanner threatened to quit if something wasn’t done.
Allyn sided with the duo, and Holcomb was history — restoring some stability to the front office, although the damage was already done. When the Sox suffered injury after injury that year, using the disabled list 37 times, there was little depth to try to fill the gaping holes.
They’d end the season in fifth place, at 77-85, after leading the AL West in late May.
It all began with the White Sox in 1972, and it ended with Rich Gossage being inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Gossage was 20 years old when he started his career with the Sox, going 7-1 in his rookie season. He was mentored by then manager Chuck Tanner and pitching coach Johnny Sain, who taught him a breaking ball and changeup. White Sox first baseman Dick Allen taught Gossage how a hitter thinks and how to set them up, and by 1975 Gossage was the AL Fireman of the Year with 26 saves, nine wins and a 1.84 ERA.
He’d pitch for 22 years (five with the White Sox) and end up with 324 saves and 124 wins. He had 30 saves and 29 wins in his time on the South Side.
Former White Sox star Frank Thomas, the “Big Hurt” was inducted into the Hall of Fame. Thomas played 16 years with the Sox and holds every major hitting record in team history. He was the American League MVP in back-to-back years (1993 and 1994) and finished in the Top 10 in that voting nine other times. He was the Comeback Player of the Year in 2000 and helped the Sox on their way to winning the 2005 World Series before getting injured in mid-season.
Thomas received almost 84% of the vote, becoming the first White Sox player inducted on the first ballot.
Also on this day, Tony La Russa was inducted into the Hall of Fame. He is one of only two skippers to work more than 5,000 games in American professional sports history, starting at a very young age with the White Sox in August 1979.
He led the White Sox until June 1986, recording four winning seasons and the 1983 Western Division title. After leading the A’s and Cardinals to multiple World Series crowns, he came out of retirement and after HOF induction to take over the White Sox in 2021, again winning a division title with 93 victories before things went south in 2022 in part because of health issues.