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Kansas City Royals v Chicago White Sox
Pablo Ozuna’s leadoff home run on this day, 17 years ago, became one-quarter of an MLB first.

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Today in White Sox History: August 17

You want leadoff homers? We got leadoff homers


The final piece of the Billy Pierce-Eddie Fisher trade (involving six total players) was named, as San Francisco sent pitcher Verle Tiefenthaler to the White Sox.

Tiefenthaler would pitch in just three games for the White Sox, making his major league debut on August 19 and getting rocked for two earned in two-thirds of an inning. His other two games went just as badly, and he ended with a 9.82 ERA kept him from ever seeing the majors again.

Tiefenthaler’s acquisition is most notable in that only 14 players in White Sox history pitched as many as the 3 2⁄3 innings he did with the team and amassed less than his -0.2 WAR.


In a 12-7 win at Milwaukee, Carlton Fisk tied an American League record when he was intentionally walked three times by Brewers pitchers. Fisk was given a free pass in the second, eighth and ninth innings of the game. Officially on the day, Fisk went 1-for-2 with two RBIs.


Future Hall-of-Famer Steve Carlton, picked up on waivers by the White Sox on August 12, won his second career American League game and his 320th overall. “Lefty” allowed four runs over 7 1⁄3 innings in a 7-4 win over the Brewers in Chicago. In 10 games at the end of 1986, Carlton ended up with four wins, a 3.69 ERA and 40 strikeouts in 63 innings before being released at season’s end.


In a doubleheader nightcap at Texas, Carlton Fisk became baseball’s all-time home run leader as a catcher (328), as he nailed a Charlie Hough offering and drove it into the left-center field seats. The White Sox won, 4-2. (Hough become a teammate of Fisk on the White Sox in 1991.)

This was a record-smashing home run, because it did more than break the all-time mark for catchers. The long ball also was Fisk’s 187th with the White Sox, which made him the club’s all-time home run leader.

That team record would be passed by Frank Thomas, and Fisk’s record for catchers would eventually be broken by Mike Piazza.


In a 5-3 loss to the Orioles, James Baldwin joined 14 other pitchers in tying an American League record with four hit batsmen. Ironically, Baldwin had plunked only two batters in his first 154 innings pitched in 2000!

It’s hard to say now whether there was intent, but Baldwin walked just two batters in 5 1⁄3 innings.

With no score in the third, Baldwin pegged Jerry Hairston and Melvin Mora on back-to-back pitches to load the bases — a jam the righty escaped with a double-play ball.

Then in the fifth, with a 1-0 lead, Baldwin opened the inning giving up a first-pitch double and single before avoiding a third straight first-pitch hit by hitting Hairston on the knee for a second HBP — on the first pitch of the at-bat.

In the sixth, trailing 2-1, Baldwin gave up a leadoff home run and a single before ploinking Mark Lewis on the hiney. After a sac bunt and walk to load the bases, Hairston got his revenge for the two bruises by working a long at-bat and hitting a full-count single to drive in two runs, chasing Baldwin from the game.

Baldwin narrowly missed setting the all-time record, as Mora ducked to avoid a pitch at his head while squaring to bunt in the fifth inning.

“I didn’t get irritated, though he hit me in a pretty good spot in the kneecap the second time. That hurt a little bit,” Hairston told the Baltimore Sun postgame. “Stuff like that sometimes wakes you up, and you really want to get the guy. I know he wasn’t trying to do it on purpose, but those little things get you going.”

It was Baldwin’s first loss since July 8.


For the first time in MLB history, four leadoff home runs started the first two innings of a game, one that ended with host Chicago beating the Royals, 5-4.

David DeJesus hit the first pitch of the game off of Mark Buehrle into the seats, putting K.C. up, 1-0. Pablo Ozuna returned the favor in the bottom half, hitting a 1-1 pitch from Odalis Perez out of the park.

The two teams duplicated the effort in the second inning, with Emil Brown taking Buehrle deep to lead off the Royals half, and Jermaine Dye doing same in the bottom.

In the third, Jim Thome gave the White Sox the lead for good, grounding out to score Sandy Alomar Jr.

The win pushed Chicago 30 games better than K.C., at 72-48.


Sometimes strange things happen on a baseball field. On August 12 in Detroit, Tim Anderson and Eloy Jiménez opened with home runs off of southpaw Matthew Boyd, and on this night at Guaranteed Rate Field, Anderson and Yoán Moncada accomplished the feat on consecutive pitches from Boyd in the first.

According to STATS, Inc., the White Sox were the first team in Major League Baseball history to hit back-to-back home runs to lead off the game twice, off of the same pitcher, in the same season. They’d go on to win this game, 7-2.

Oh, and Anderson was on quite a leadoff home run roll — he would lead off the game on August 18 with a homer as well!


Into the valley of death ...

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