Silver anniversary: Odd White Sox winby Chris Jaffe
May 29, 2012
Twenty five years ago today, the Chicago White Sox defeated the Red Sox 8-6. That wasn’t so special an achievement. The game wasn’t particularly important and at first glance has nothing to really distinguish it from other games. But looking closer there is one odd part of this game.
Despite getting 11 men on base, the Sox ended the game with no runners left on base. In all the years since then, no other club has matched that.
Back in 1974, the Indians matched the 11 base runners with none left on mark the Sox achieved a quarter-century ago today. To find a team topping it, you have to go back to April of 1962, when the White Sox left none of a dozen runners on base in a 10-3 win over the Twins.
But how could the Sox leave no men on 25 years ago today? Let’s look.
On May 29, 1987, things got off to a quick start for the White Sox. At home in Comiskey Park, Darryl Boston got a leadoff single for the Sox. Then he was immediately thrown out at second trying to steal. That’s one man reaching base, with none left on.
In the second inning, the Sox again got the leadoff man on base when first baseman Greg Walker singled. However, catcher Ron Hassey immediately followed that up with a GIDP. That’s two runners, and none left on.
The inning wasn’t over and with two outs Jerry Royster doubled and then came around on a two-run homer from the unlikely bat of Ozzie Guillen. In his 352nd career game, it was just Guillen’s fourth homer. But with his trot around the bags Guillen counts as a base runner, and now the Sox had none of four runners left on base.
The Sox went down 1-2-3 in the third, but staged another rally in the fourth. Harold Baines led off that frame with a single, and then came home on a Greg Walker triple. Seconds later, Walker scored on a routine grounder. That’s six men on, none left on base.
After a 1-2-3 fifth frame, the Sox got yet another leadoff man aboard when Gary Redus singled to start the sixth. However, Harold Baines erased him by bouncing into a double play. That’s seven runners, and still none left on base.
Entering the bottom of the seventh, the Sox broke a 4-4 tie with Boston with a big inning. After a double and an intentional walk, the team belted a pair of home runs off the bats of Jerry Hairston and Darryl Boston. Naturally enough, those shots cleared the bases, and Chicago had put 11 men on base and not left a single one behind. Eight scored, two were gobbled up in double plays, and the last man had been caught stealing.
All remaining batters failed to get on, allowing the White Sox to end the day with the odd line of eight runs on 11 base runners – but none left on base.
Aside from that, many other baseball events today celebrate their anniversary or “day-versary” (which is something occurring X-thousand days ago). Here they are, with the better ones in bold if you’d prefer to just skim the lists.
2,000 days since the Cubs take Josh Hamilton from Tampa Bay in a Rule 5 draft and then the Reds immediately purchase Hamilton from the Cubs. This turns out to be a good move for the Reds.
3,000 days since the Yankees sign free agent pitcher Orlando Hernandez, who didn’t play in the majors the year before.
5,000 days since Bret Boone hits three home runs in one game.
5,000 days since the Rockies top the Padres 1-0 in 11 innings in one of the best pitchers duels of the decade. For Colorado, Darryl Kile pitches 10 shutout innings, allowing three hits and two walks while fanning seven. It’s the last time a Rockies pitcher has tossed more than nine innings in one sitting. For San Diego, Kevin Brown pitches nine shutout innings allowing four hits and no walks while fanning eight.
5,000 days since crafty lefthander Jimmy Key appears in his last game.
5,000 days since Roy Halladay makes his big league debut.
5,000 days since Cal Ripken opts to sit out a game against the Yankees, ending his streak at 2,632 games played in a row.
7,000 days since Peanuts lead character Charlie Brown hits a game-winning home run, his first dinger in 43 years.
7,000 days since the Blue Jays release David Wells, who will have quite a nice career after this.
15,000 days since starting pitcher Camilo Pascual appears in his final game.
30,000 days since pitcher Frank Lary is born.
1875 Joseph L. McElroy Mann of Princeton tosses the first known no-hitter when he blanks Yale University.
1884 Ed Morris, the king of the complete game, tosses a no-hitter for Pittsburgh in a 5-0 win.
1886 In the American Association, Philadelphia tries to slow down the base stealing by St. Louis by loading the paths with sand. It doesn’t work as St. Louis sweeps a doubleheader 18-1 and 11-3 – with 14 steals along the way.
1903 Star A’s pitcher Rube Waddell enters a lion tamer’s cage at the circus. He gets a shave, shoots blanks at the lion, and strokes the beast’s head before leaving unharmed.
1905 Dodger hurler Elmer Stricklett tosses a “mystery pitch” in a game versus the Giants. It’s believed to be the first spitter in the majors.
1910 Ty Cobb belts his first over-the-fence home run in 25 months. Mind you, he led the league in homers last season with nine, but they were all inside-the-park shots.
1915 Catcher Muddy Ruel makes his big league debut.
1920 Walter Johnson plunks the first two batters he faces in today’s game against the A’s, but then cruises to a complete game shutout.
1921 Eppa Rixey gives up his only home run in 301 IP on the year. The homer is an inside the park shot that gets lost in the tarp by the grandstand.
1922 Carl Mays notches his 20th consecutive win over the A’s.
1922 The White Sox trade some players and send $100,000 to the Pacific Coast League’s San Francisco Seals for third baseman Willie Kamm.
1922 The Supreme Court rules that baseball is primarily a sport, not a business, and therefore not subject to antitrust laws.
1925 The Pirates leg out a modern record eight triples in one game in a 15-5 win over the Cardinals.
1928 Bill Terry hits for the cycle. As an added bonus, his homer is one of his three career grand slams.
1936 Johnny Mize uncorks the first of his seven career pinch hit home runs.
1937 Bill Dickey gets the 100th home run of his career. He also belts No. 99 earlier that day.
1938 Future baseball commissioner Fay Vincent is born.
1939 Philadelphia trades starting pitcher Claude Passeau to the Cubs for Kirby Higbe and two other players.
1941 Bob Feller tosses his third consecutive complete game shutout, something he’ll do once more later in his career. In this stretch, here are Feller’s numbers: 29 IP, 18 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 6 BB, and 27 K.
1942 Ordinarily one of the worst hitting pitchers of his generation, today Lefty Gomez has a very nice day at the plate. He’s 4-for-5 with three runs at a pair of RBIs.
1945 Future Mustache Gang pitcher Blue Moon Odom is born.
1947 Yogi Berra legs out the fourth inside the park home run of his career.
1948 Richie Ashburn begins a game with an inside-the-park leadoff home run. It’s his first career homer, and while he’ll have more leadoff homers and future insiders, this is the only time he does both in one PA.
1950 After 15 consecutive losses, White Sox pitcher Howie Judson wins a game.
1950 In the Western League, the Pueblo franchise announces that their players will wear shorts in the summer.
1951 The Indians sign high school star Billy Joe Davison for a record sum of $150,000.
1941 Hall of Fame hurler Bob Lemon ties the highest Game Score of his career (89) with this line: 9 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, and 7 K in a 2-1 Indians win over the Tigers. Only a home run from Vic Wertz does any damage against Lemon.
1952 The Atlanta Braves sign 18 year old Hank Aaron from the Indianapolis Clowns to a contract.
1955 Willie Mays beats out the second of his half-dozen career inside the park home runs.
1955 Hank Aaron enjoys his first multi home run game. He’ll have 62 such games in his career by the time he retires.
1955 Larry Doby hits the first home run over the outer wall at Kansas City’s Memorial Stadium. It travels an estimated 500 feet.
1955 Roberto Clemente has one of the best games of his career, going 5-for-5 with three doubles. He has seven other five-hit games (!), but this is the only one with just five PA. Three doubles ties his personal best as well.
1956 Harmon Killebrew has the first of 46 career multi-home run games.
1956 After homering in eight consecutive games, Dale Long goes 0-for-4 to end his unlikely run.
1956 Cincinnati’s Gus Bell bops out three homers in one game for the second time in his career. Both times have occurred in the last 12 months.
1958 The Indians release former star pitcher Mike Garcia.
1959 Frank Robinson, who homered twice in one game two days ago, does it again for the Reds.
1959 President Eisenhower attends a ball game with his staff, and gets star Senators slugger Harmon Killebrew to sign a bat for his grandson, David Eisenhower.
1959 Johnny Allen, mercurial pitcher from the 1930s, dies.
1962 Eric Davis, Reds outfielder who was tremendous when he first arrived in the majors, is born.
1962 Ernie Banks blasts three home runs in one game for the third time. He also doubles, for a personal best in total bases (14) and extra base hits (four).
1964 For the first time in a half-dozen years, Hank Aaron suffers through his fourth consecutive hitless game.
1965 Dick Allen launches a 529 foot monster home run over the left/center roof at Connie Mack Stadium in Philadelphia.
1966 Eddie Mathews has the only inside the park home run of his career. It’s homer No. 480 overall for him.
1966 For the second consecutive day, Ron Santo hits a walk-off home run in extra innings to beat the Braves.
1966 Hippo Vaughn, star Cubs pitcher from 40-45 years ago, dies.
1969 Mike Lum pinch hits for Hank Aaron. It’s just the third time he’s ever been lifted for a pinch hitter.
1969 A’s catcher Gene Tenace makes his big league debut.
1970 Mike Cuellar fans four batters in the fourth inning for Baltimore.
1970 The Reds strand 16 runners in the first eight innings, but come through in the ninth on Bobby Tolan’s walk-off homer for a 6-4 victory over the Expos.
1971 Joe Torre hits a bases loaded walk-off triple. It’s one of just seven bases-loaded walk-off triples since 1953. The Cardinals top the Braves, 8-7.
1971 Darrell Evans slugs his first career home run.
1971 Mickey Lolich tosses a complete game two-hit 10 inning shutout. Not bad.
1971 Behind starting pitchers Nolan Ryan and Tom Seaver, the Mets fan 26 Padres in one doubleheader. Ryan fans 16, his most as a Met.
1971 The Giants make a rotten trade, sending George Foster to the Reds for Frank Duffy and Vern Geishert. Foster will hit 52 homers in a season later in the decade for the Reds. In the 1971-72 off-season, the Giants will package Duffy with Gaylord Perry to the Indians for Sudden Sam McDowell, making Duffy a participant in two terrible Giants trades.
1972 Lou Brock legs out his 100th triple.
1972 Moe Berg, catcher, scholar, and spy, dies.
1973 Bert Blyleven tosses the fifth of his 15 career 1-0 complete game shutouts.
1973 Tom Seaver fans 16 as the Mets top the Giants, 5-2.
1974 Hank Aaron appears in his 3,000th game.
1976 Phil Niekro surrenders a home run to a man who knows something about the knuckleball, dear brother Joe Niekro. It’s Joe’s only career home run, but his solo shot provides the difference as Houston tops Atlanta, 4-3.
1977 Montreal Expo Larry Parrish hits three home runs in one game.
1979 Former ballplayer Luke Easter is shot to death while working as a guard in a bank being robbed.
1980 Bob Welch nearly tosses a perfect game, allowing only a fourth inning single by Larvell Banks. Welch fans seven and has a career best Game Score of 92.
1980 For the third time in his career, Johnny Bench swats three home runs in one game.
1981 A’s manager Billy Martin tosses two handfuls of dirt at the back of umpire Terry Cooney. He’ll get a one-week suspension for that.
1981 George Brett goes three rounds with a restroom, clubbing it with a bat after grounding out in Minnesota.
1981 The Mets trade Jeff Reardon and two other players to the Expos for Ellis Valentine.
1982 Reggie Jackson slugs his 10th and final career walk-off home run.
1981 It’s a bizarre 2-5-3-1 triple play. The batter strikes out on an attempted doubled steal by Bobby Murcer and Graig Nettles. Murcer oddly turns back to second and then later tries for third in the front end of the steal attempt.
1982 For the second straight game, Jack Clark slugs a pair of home runs.
1983 Chuck Tanner wins his 1,000th game from the dugout, giving him a record of 1,000-927.
1984 The Red Sox retire the numbers for Joe Cronin and Ted Williams. They know that if they just retire Williams’ number, he might not show up. But if a player Williams respects gets his number retired at the same time, Williams will show up to help honor him. Not that Cronin doesn’t deserve it, but that’s why Williams doesn’t have the night to himself.
1985 MLB announces that all World Series games will be at night, as per the TV contract with ABC. This will spark the final push to get lights in Wrigley Field, among other things.
1986 Chuck Finley makes his major league debut.
1989 Rather suddenly and at least a bit shockingly, longtime third baseman Mike Schmidt announces his retirement, effective immediately.
1990 The Mets fire Davey Johnson, the greatest manager in franchise history.
1990 Rickey Henderson steals his 893rd base, topping Ty Cobb on the all-time leaderboard.
1991 Terry Puhl, one of the greatest Canadian hitters of all-time, appears in his last game.
1992 Tim Raines steals his 700th base.
1992 Matt Stairs, who will have a surprisingly long lasted career, makes his big league debut.
1993 In a blow out, the Rangers call on star slugger Jose Canseco to pitch for them. Canseco responds by blowing out his arm, landing a spot on the DL.
1993 It took 131 homers, but Kirby Puckett launches his first career grand slam. He’ll get his second one five days later.
1994 The Brewers retire Robin Yount’s number and to celebrate they inaugurate a new festivity – it’s the first ever sausage race.
1994 The Braves trade Deion Sanders to the Reds for a minor leaguer and Roberto Kelly.
1995 Marlins hurler Chris Hammond becomes the first pitcher to belt a grand slam since 1986. It proves to be the margin of victory in a 9-7 win over Houston.
1995 Derek Jeter makes his big league debut.
1996 Cal Ripken hits his 334th home run as an Oriole, passing Eddie Murray as franchise leader.
1999 Curt Schilling completes his fifth consecutive complete game, a personal best. It’s also his only 0-for-3 game with three Ks.
1999 The Reds win, pushing the career record for manager Jack McKeon over .500 (612-611). It’ll remain over .500 for the rest of his career.
2000 Rockies first baseman Todd Helton slugs two homers in a game for the second time in three days.
2000 Oakland’s Randy Velarde pulls off the rare unassisted triple play.
2001 In a marathon pitchers duel, the Diamondbacks top the Giants 1-0 in 18 innings. Erubiel Durazo is the star of the show as he throws out a runner at the plate in the 17th inning and then drives in the game’s only run in the next frame.
2001 Jim Thome clubs his 243rd home run as an Indian, to pass Albert Belle as franchise leader.
2002 Rickey Henderson, at age 43, steals two bases in one game. By doing so, he becomes the first player with 1,400 career steals.
2002 25-year-old minor leaguer Joe Bauldree dies in his sleep. He had a history of an irregular heart beat.
2002 In an article published in the new Sports Illustrated magazine, former MVP Ken Caminiti claims that half of the game’s players use steroids.
2002 Jason Giambi clubs the 200th home run of his career. Later in that day’s game against the White Sox, he hits a ninth-inning homer of Sox reliever Keith Foulke that will cost him the closer’s job in Chicago.
2003 Boston trades Shea Hillenbrand to Arizona for Byung-Hyun Kim.
2003 For the second time in his career, Todd Helton clubs three homers in one game.
2009 Matt Wieters makes his major league debut as Orioles catcher.
2010 Kendrys Morales suffers one of the oddest injuries in memory. After hitting a walk-off grand slam, he tries to jump on home plate when he finishes rounding the bases, but doesn’t quite get the landing right and breaks his leg.
2010 Roy Halladay tosses a perfect game, fanning 111 in a 1-0 Phillies triumph over the Marlins.
History instructor by day, statnerd by night, Chris Jaffe leads one of the most exciting double lives imaginable; with the exception of every other double life possible to imagine. Despite his lack of comic-book-hero-worthiness, Chris enjoys farting around with this stuff. His new book, Evaluating Baseball's Managers is available for order. Chris welcomes responses to his articles via e-mail. Oh, and now he's on twitter.