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On this day 49 years ago, Terry Forster lit up the radar gun.
Louis Requena/MLB via Getty Images

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Today in White Sox History: September 7

Terry Forster lights it up in Anaheim

1954

One of the linchpins of the famed White Sox pitching staff of the late 1950’s, Dick Donovan, was purchased from Double-A Atlanta in the Milwaukee Braves organization. Dick would win 73 games in six seasons on the South Side, including a pair of one-hitters and an All-Star appearance in 1955.


1960

In a game at Comiskey Park, infielder Sammy Esposito booted a cinch double-play ball hit by future Sox infielder Bill Skowron with the Sox leading in the eighth inning, 4-2. The lead quickly evaporated, as the Yankees rallied for four runs and a 6-4 win.

Fans Willie Harris and his friend, Jesse James (I swear, I’m not making the names up), had a wager on the game. When Esposito blew the ground ball, Harris took matters into his own hands. He jumped over the box seat railing, ran on to the field, and had words with Esposito. Then the two started throwing punches! It took several uniformed police officers and ushers to pull Harris off of Esposito. Harris left the field shouting that he was “A real Sox fan.”


1970

The White Sox were swept by the A’s in a Monday doubleheader at Comiskey Park, in front of 6,115 fans. As the losses dropped Chicago to 49-92 on the season, the sweep was not remarkable. But what was? That with September’s expanded rosters, the Pale Hose used 13 players and five pitchers in the 7-4 opening loss, and 16 players and seven pitchers in the 7-5 nightcap loss. The 41 total players in a doubleheader set a major league record.

Coincidentally, the White Sox played 20 doubleheaders in the 106-loss 1970 season, losing 13 of them and splitting seven — a 7-33 record in twinbills alone! The team’s doubleheader winning percentage of .175 was roughly twice as bad as its overall .346 winning percentage. Or put another way, remove doubleheaders in 1970, and the White Sox played at a much-improved, 65-win pace.


1974

In one of the earliest deployments of a radar gun during an MLB game, White Sox reliever Terry Forster was recorded as throwing 94.9 mph from the Anaheim Stadium press box. In the same contest, Angels starter Nolan Ryan was clocked at 100.8 mph marking the second-ever triple digit reading (Ryan had hit 100.9 mph on August 20 at Anaheim Stadium. White Sox rookie Jack Kucek, the opposing starter in the game, was twice recorded at 90.4 mph.

Forster’s fastball, tame by today’s standards, stood as the seventh-fastest pitch ever recorded. Kucek’s ranked 16th.

The White Sox lost the game, 3-1.


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