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Chicago White Sox Shortstop Luke Appling
Both aching and paining but also ageless, 42-year-old Luke Appling set the MLB mark for total games at shortstop on this day, 74 years ago.

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Today in White Sox History: August 6

1936

Twelve years before breaking a major-league record (see below), Luke Appling started a 27-game hit streak with a 2-for-5 game in a 9-6 win over at St. Louis in a doubleheader opener. Appling went 1-for-3 in a nightcap win over the Browns, and wouldn’t stop hitting for the rest of August.

Appling’s streak was snapped on September 3, in a 3-2 win at Boston. He went 0-for-2 with two walks in the game, and was on deck hoping for one more shot at extending the streak when Mule Haas flew out to center field to end the White Sox ninth.

During the streak, Appling hit .350, with 35 hits in 27 games and 18 walks against four Ks. Amazingly, the hit streak lowered Appling’s season average from .376 to .370. Appling would finish 1936 with a batting title, having hit a career-best .388. Appling would go hitless in just five games in September, as he pushed his batting average back up by 18 points.

Appling’s hit streak was the White Sox record for 61 years, until Albert Belle tied it in 1997. Seven years after that, Carlos Lee eclipsed Appling and Belle by one game to set the all-time record on the South Side.


1949

Luke Appling played his 2,154th game at shortstop, passing Rabbit Maranville for most in MLB history. He would play another 42 games there in the 1949 season and 20 in 1950 (at age 43) before retiring. Appling played all but one of his seasons (1948) as a primary shortstop, and 94% of his career games there.

Today, Appling sits at eighth all-time in games played at shortstop, his all-time record broken 20 years later by another White Sox shortstop, Luis Aparicio, on Sept. 25, 1970, his last game played that season. Interestingly, that marked not only the last game Aparicio played that season, it was the last game Aparicio ever played for the White Sox.


1959

It was the third and final marathon game of the 1959 season.

The White Sox battled the Orioles in Baltimore, and played for 18 innings before midnight curfew stopped the night game tied at 1-1. (Yes, it had only taken four hours to play 18 innings!)

There were two incredible performances on the pitcher’s mound. For Baltimore, Hoyt Wilhelm relieved Billy O’Dell to start the ninth inning and held the White Sox hitless for 8 2⁄3 innings, until Billy Goodman slapped a single with two outs in the 17th. Meanwhile White Sox starter Billy Pierce went 16 innings, allowing just one run and recording a 100 game score, before giving way to Turk Lown in the 17th.

Billy faced 61 hitters, struck out seven and gave up 11 hits, 10 of them singles. The 100 game score is the eighth-highest in White Sox history.

The 18 innings still stand tied for the 10th-longest game in team annals.


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