With the White Sox floundering at 32-42, but more importantly after squabbling with owner Charles Comiskey over his salary, Ray Schalk resigned as White Sox manager.
Lena Blackburne took over and managed at a .500 clip for the rest of the season, spurring the team to a 72-82 finish. The 1929 season was not so kind, however, as the White Sox sputtered to a 59-93 record. Blackburne, an ex-infielder for the White Sox, even inserted himself into a game that season, getting one out — as a pitcher!
Blackburne would begin the most famous phase of his baseball career the next year, as the purveyor of rubbing mud from the Delaware River, which he sold to MLB to rub the shine off of new baseballs (and which to this day is the mud used to treat league baseballs).
Schalk finished his career with a 102-125 record and -0.1 mWAR as a manager. Blackburne turned in a 99-133 tally, and -4.7 mWAR.
Bill Veeck’s exploding scoreboard was featured in a night shot on the cover of Sports Illustrated. The headine read: Fireworks at Comiskey Park.
White Sox catcher Ed Herrmann was involved in three double plays, which tied the record for most involving a catcher in a single game. (In fact, he tied former teammate J.C. Martin for the honor.) The three included Herrmann in the middle of a pitcher-catcher-first base double play, a strike out-caught stealing twin killing, and an out at home/out at second double play. The Sox turned five double plays in the game against Baltimore — but lost, 2-1!
At the urging of new manager Larry Doby, the White Sox brought up Tony La Russa to become the club’s new first-base coach. La Russa cut his teeth managing Knoxville with success in the minor leagues, and was deemed ready by Doby and others to take the next step.
La Russa would soon be named White Sox manager and led the Sox to the 1983 Western Division title, then win numerous pennants and championships as a manager of the A’s and Cardinals. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2014 with 2,728 wins over 33 seasons.
In 2021, he came out of retirement to lead the White Sox to a division title, and moved into second place all-time on the managerial wins list. He was forced to resign from the club in September 2022 due to a heart condition.
Ray Durham and José Valentín led off the White Sox half of the first inning in Kansas City with back-to-back home runs. It was the second time in team history a game started that way, and the first since 1937. The game also marked the major league debut for Jon Garland, who only lasted three innings in a 10-7 loss.
The loss was the end of a 12-game road winning streak. The last 10 of those 12 road wins came against teams with records of at least .500, making the White Sox the only team since 1900 to accomplish that feat.
Fundamentals win (or lose) games, and for years the White Sox had suffered because they don’t execute those fundamentals. On this night, though, what they did made the record book.
In the seventh inning of a tie game against the Twins, AJ Pollock hit a long drive to right-center field that was caught on the warning track by Byron Buxton, who immediately threw the ball back to the infield.
What happened next had never happened before in the history of baseball.
Adam Engel and Yoán Moncada both lost track of the ball, assuming it hit the wall and was in play. Engel was already at third base but had never tagged up, while Moncada was right motoring right behind him in hopes of scoring from first. As Buxton’s throw bounced in to the infield, Twins third baseman Gio Urshela was in perfect position between third and second base to field the ball and tag Moncada for the second out, then run to touch second base to put Engel out.
It was an 8-5 scored triple play — the first in baseball history. The White Sox would lose a key game, 6-3, in 10 innings, with the triple play helping to cost them an important win.