In his sixth year on the ballot, longtime White Sox shortstop Luis Aparicio was inducted into the Hall of Fame. Aparicio was one of the most athletic shortstops to ever play, and he brought the lost art of the stolen base back to baseball in the 1950s, leading the AL in steals over nine straight seasons.
The former 1956 Rookie of the Year played 10 years with the White Sox. He was runner-up to teammate Nellie Fox in the 1959 MVP voting, won seven Gold Gloves while playing for the White Sox and represented the club in six All-Star Games.
Future Hall-of-Famer Steve Carlton, picked up on waivers by the White Sox, made his American League debut.
“Lefty” only went three innings, giving up six runs in a 7-3 loss to the Tigers in Detroit. But over 10 games for the White Sox in 1986, Carlton won four games, with a 3.69 ERA and 40 strikeouts in 63 innings.
He was released at season’s end.
The White Sox set what was believed to be the longest wait in baseball history before calling a game because of rain. The team was slated to play the Rangers at Comiskey Park in an afternoon contest starting at 1 p.m. Central time. Persistent rains caused a delay before the first pitch was even thrown. Because this was the last trip into Chicago by Texas, the Sox asked the Rangers if they would fly back to Chicago on an off-day to make the game up — which Texas flatly rejected.
Not wanting to lose a home game, the Sox waited until the evening before “officially” calling it. The wait lasted seven hours and 23 minutes! As it turned out, the Sox had to play the makeup game in Arlington as part of a doubleheader the following week.
The unthinkable finally happened, as major league players struck for the rest of the season because of the unwillingness by owners to negotiate fairly on a new labor contract (a charge that later was validated by federal court judge and future Supreme Court justice Sonia Sotomayor).
At the time of the strike, the White Sox were leading their division, had the second-best record in the AL and the fourth-best in all of baseball. They were on their way to back-to- back playoff appearances for the first time in franchise history.
Many Sox fans blamed owner Jerry Reinsdorf for forcing the strike, being a hard-line owner and sabotaging his own team’s chance to get to that elusive World Series.
Frank Thomas ended the season very close to the Triple Crown, hitting .353 with 38 home runs and 101 RBIs. He did get his second consecutive MVP award, though.
White Sox closer Bobby Jenks tied a major league record when he retired his 41st consecutive hitter, in a game against the Mariners. Jenks’ streak had started back on July 17 at Cleveland.
Jenks tied a record originally set by San Francisco’s Jim Barr in 1972, and the shared record was broken in 2009 by Jenks’ teammate, Mark Buehrle, who retired 45 consecutive batters, sandwiched around his perfect game.
When White Sox first baseman José Abreu went deep with one out in the fourth inning against the Royals, he became the first player in team history with four consecutive seasons of at least 20 home runs to start his career. Jermaine Dye and José Valentín opened the White Sox portion of their careers with five consecutive seasons of at least 20 homers, and Jim Thome, Paul Konerko and Carlos Quentin started their White Sox careers with four consecutive seasons of at least 20 homers. But Abreu’s achievement was unique in franchise annals.
Abreu homered again in the sixth; marking his ninth career multi-homer game, with both coming off of Ian Kennedy. Later that season, Abreu became the first Sox player with 25 home runs in four straight seasons starting a career.
For the fifth time in franchise history, the White Sox led off a game with back-to-back home runs. It was shortstop Tim Anderson and outfielder Eloy Jiménez who turned the trick in Detroit, staking the Sox to a 2-0 lead over Matthew Boyd and the Tigers. The Sox would go on to win the game, 7-5.
It was a remarkable night in a remarkable location: The first “Field of Dreams” game, played at the location of the 1989 movie of the same name, in Dyersville, Iowa. The White Sox hosted the Yankees, with both teams wearing throwback uniforms.
An 8,000-seat stadium was built next to the field where the movie was shot, and the game was nationally televised by Fox Sports. Some of the original cast members, including baseball fan Kevin Costner, came out to take in the celebration.
José Abreu hit the first-ever home run for a big-league game in Iowa, when he connected in the first inning. The Sox would win, 9-8, after blowing a three-run, ninth-inning lead; Tim Anderson hit a walk-off, two-run home run, setting off fireworks in center field to recreate Comiskey Park.