In the first inning of a 6-3 win against the Yankees, Eddie Collins tapped an infield single to shortstop and became the first White Sox player ever with a hitting streak of 20 games. Collins would be held hitless in five at-bats tomorrow, snapping his streak.
Over the 20 games Collins hit .464, which remains the highest batting average among the 20 different 20-plus game streaks in White Sox history. (Collins’ .543 on-base percentage during the streak also is the highest among all the 20-game streaks in White Sox history.)
Collins would end up holding the first three White Sox hit streaks of 20-plus games, putting together two streaks in 1920 that broke this 20-game record: In July-August Collins had a 21-game streak, followed up by an August-September streak of 22 games. The latter streak remained the all-time longest White Sox hit streak for 16 years, until Luke Appling topped it in 1936 with a 27-gamer.
If you connect those two 1920 streaks from Collins, he hit safely in 45 of 49 games!
The White Sox clinched the American League pennant with a 4-2 win in Cleveland. Al Smith and Jim Rivera hit back-to-back home runs in the game. Smith also threw out former Sox star Minnie Miñoso at home plate.
The clinch did not come without stress. In the ninth, Bob Shaw (who threw 2 2⁄3 innings in relief of Early Wynn), retired his first batter but allowed three straight singles to load the bases. Gerry Staley came on to bail Shaw out, and threw just one pitch, which Vic Power tapped to shortstop Luis Aparicio for a game-ending double play.
A crowd estimated by the Chicago Sun-Times at 125,000 was at Midway Airport to greet the Sox when they returned home. All this on a night when Chicago fire commissioner Robert Quinn ordered the air raid sirens turned on to celebrate the title, causing fear and panic in a number of non-baseball fans, who thought the Russians were attacking.
The Sox would wind up winning the 1959 pennant by five games over Cleveland, with a mark of 94-60. While they were near the bottom in most offensive categories, the pitching was stellar and the defense had three Gold Glove winners in Nellie Fox, Aparicio and Sherm Lollar. The Sox also were 35-15 in one-run games.
With two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning at Comiskey Park, Floyd Robinson hit a grand slam, bringing the White Sox to within 8-6 against the Orioles. Jim Landis then struck out to end the game, but Robinson’s clout set a White Sox record for most slams (seven) in a season. (The White Sox would set a new mark, of 12, in 2008.)
Baltimore went up, 8-2, on a grand slam by Jim Gentile — his MLB record-tying fifth grand slam of the season.
In a game at Yankee Stadium, pitcher Joe Horlen and his teammates stopped New York to the tune of 4-1. Only 413 fans were in attendance at the gigantic stadium.
It’s believed to be the smallest home crowd ever at a Yankees game.
Yankees broadcaster Red Barber was so stunned by the sparse crowd, he directed the broadcast cameras to pan the stands, leading to his dismissal.