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Larry Doby Shown Having Just Struck Out
The first at-bat of Larry Doby’s storied MLB career came against the White Sox — and ended in a strikeout.

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Today in White Sox History: July 5

Larry Doby makes history

1914

White Sox legend Ed Walsh made his season debut, having sat out all year with a strained arm. Seven straight years of throwing no fewer than 230 1⁄3 innings — including league-leading totals in four seasons and as many as 464 innings thrown in one year — had taken its toll. In fact, even the 1913 season was truncated by Walsh’s standards, as the 32-year-old could muster just 97 2⁄3 frames.

On this day, however, Walsh threw seven innings of three-hit ball in a 6-3 win over Cleveland. Fellow future Hall-of-Famer Red Faber got the save, his second of 1914.

Walsh would win just four more games in his career, which stretched to age 36. He fell just short of being able to contribute to the best team in White Sox history, the 1917 World Champions.


1947

History was made in front of 14,655 at Comiskey Park, as Cleveland’s Larry Doby broke the color line in the American League, becoming the first active Black player. Doby pinch-hit for pitcher Bryan Stevens, striking out against White Sox reliever Earl Harrist. The next day, Doby started at first base in the nightcap of a doubleheader and went 1-for-4 with an RBI.

Doby’s career would bring him to Chicago in two stints, 1956-57 and 1959, and then back as a White Sox coach and then manager in 1978. Doby was the second Black player (after Jackie Robinson) and manager (after Frank Robinson) in MLB history. He was elected to the Hall of Fame by Veterans’ Committee vote in 1998.


1964

During the 1960s the White Sox were synonymous with outstanding pitching ... pitching that was the envy of most of Major League Baseball, excluding only, perhaps, the Dodgers. A great example of this came during two days in Chicago over the Fourth of July holiday: Over a span of roughly 28 hours, the White Sox threw three straight shutouts against Cleveland.

On the Fourth of July itself, Gary Peters blanked the Tribe on three hits, winning 4-0. In the Sunday doubleheader on July 5, it was Juan Pizarro tossing a seven-hitter in the opener, winning, 2-0. Then in the nightcap it was Joe Horlen with a 5-0 blanking, on four hits.

In 27 innings, Cleveland managed no runs on 14 hits. Now that’s pitching!!!


1987

The White Sox tied the franchise mark for the most lopsided shutout, winning 17-0 at Cleveland. Ken Williams and Harold Baines both drove in four runs in the rout, with Ozzie Guillén and Greg Walker knocking in three apiece. Future Hall-of-Famer Phil Niekro was saddled with the loss.

The other 17-0 shutout came in 1925, at Washington. The 17-run margin remains tied for the third-biggest White Sox win ever.


1998

Despite an eight-run outburst in the sixth inning and 14 runs on 12 hits in the game, the White Sox lost at Fenway Park, 15-14. The South Siders fell behind, 10-2, through four, but then rallied to tie the game, 11-11. Jaime Navarro was bailed out by the comeback, as he started and coughed up eight runs (six earned) on nine hits in just two-plus innings. The White Sox fell to 35-51 on the season.


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