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Sports Contributor Archive 2019

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Today in White Sox History: August 8

There was an extra breezy feeling on the South Side

On this day, 47 years ago, the White Sox became the first major league team to wear shorts, beating Kansas City, 5-2.
| Ron Vesely/MLB Photos via Getty Images


The White Sox purchased the contract of outfielder Oscar “Happy” Felsch from Milwaukee for $19,000. Felsch, an outstanding glove man and hitter, would become part of history with his participation in the 1919 Black Sox scandal.


With the White Sox in last place and going nowhere, owner Bill Veeck pulled out another wacky promotion: For the first time, a major league team played a game wearing shorts, as the Sox beat the Royals, 5-2, at Comiskey Park.

The White Sox would wear shorts two other times, both against the Orioles, on August 21 and 22.

Their record in the three games was 2-1; maybe they should have worn them more often, because they finished the season with 97 losses!

No other big-league team has worn shorts since.


He was arguably the best manager in the history of the franchise, and Al Lopez took his place in the Hall of Fame on this day.

Lopez managed the Sox from 1957 to 1965, coming over after Cleveland fired him. He also managed Chicago in parts of the 1968 and 1969 seasons.

Lopez compiled 840 wins and a winning percentage of .564. He won the 1959 AL pennant, had three consecutive seasons from 1963 to 1965 where the Sox averaged 96 wins — the best three-year stretch in franchise history — and had five second-place finishes.

He worked a game through his assistant coaches, and emphasized fundamentals; if a player didn’t perform, he didn’t play, period.


With time running out for labor peace, Sports Illustrated put Frank Thomas on the cover along with future White Sox outfielder Ken Griffey Jr. The headline read, “Top Guns. Frank Thomas and Ken Griffey Jr. Two powerful reasons to keep playing ball.”

The plea would fall on deaf ears, as baseball shut down the following week, eventually ending the season.


The White Sox put on a show for a national TV audience on Sunday Night Baseball by pounding the Cubs, 9-3, and sweeping the weekend series at Wrigley Field. The Sox jumped out early, hammering three first-inning home runs from Tim Anderson, Eloy Jiménez and Andrew Vaughn. It was the first time the White Sox hit three first-inning home runs on the road in franchise history. Jiménez was 3-for-4 with two runs scored, five RBIs and a pair of home runs against his old organization.

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