This Day in White Sox History: Blackout Game

This Day in White Sox History: Blackout Game
Jim Thome watches his home run to win the Blackout Game on September 30, 2008. (Chicago Tribune)

This week's TDIWSH was delayed a bit, so enjoy an epic avalanche of Sunday content! - Daniel Shapiro

September 30, 1921 - Sox catcher Ray Schalk tied a major league record with three assists in one inning. It happened in a 3-2 loss to Cleveland at Comiskey Park. Schalk picked off three base runners!

September 30, 1949 - Sox GM Frank Lane starts the connection between the franchise and Venezuela when he dealt two minor leaguers and 35,000 dollars to the Dodgers for shortstop Chico CarrasquelChico would be named to three All-Star teams and would become the first Venezuelan to appear in the mid-season classic. He’d then be traded before the start of the 1956 season, to the Indians for Larry Doby and to open up the position for another countryman of his, Luis Aparicio.

September 30, 1956 - In the season ending game at Kansas City, Sox pitcher Jim Derrington become the youngest person to ever appear in a game wearing a Sox uniform. Derrington was 16 years old when he started against the A’s. He went six innings allowing six runs (five earned) in a 7-6 loss. The teenaged lefty who was a ‘bonus baby’ didn't last long in the big leagues. He pitched a total of 21 innings in the majors and had a career record of 0-2.

September 30, 1966 - The Sox defeated the New York Yankees 6-5 in 11 innings on a single to left by Johnny Romano. It scored Wayne Causey. Why was that important? The loss guaranteed the Yankees a last place finish. Their first since 1912.

September 30, 1971 - When Bill Melton smashed a home run on the last day of the season off the Brewers Bill Parsons, he became the first Sox player to ever win a home run championship. Melton hit three home runs in the final two games to pass Norm Cash and Reggie Jackson for the title. Typically White Sox, he only had 33, the lowest total for a champ since 1965. In an effort to give Melton an additional at bat or two, manager Chuck Tanner had the power hitter leading off in the Sox final two games. After Melton blasted the winning shot, Tanner sent him out to his position on the field to start the next inning, then removed him so he could get an ovation from the fans in attendance.

September 30, 1980 - For all of his contributions to baseball and to the White Sox organization owner Bill Veeck was honored with his own night. The ceremonies took place before the Sox would drop a 5-1 decision to Oakland.

September 30, 1990 - 80 years of baseball history ended as the "original" Comiskey Park closed with a 2-1 win over the Mariners. An emotional and capacity crowd, including politicians, musicians, sports and Hollywood figures were in attendance.

Among the celebrities in the park were Governor Jim Thompson, Major Richard M. Daley, Goldie Hawn, Kurt Russell, Ron Howard, George Wendt, John Candy, Wayne Gretzky, Billy Cunningham and Maureen O’ Hara. The Oak Ridge Boys sang the National Anthem and the rock group Styx sung "Take Me Out To The Ballgame" during the seventh inning. Bobby Thigpen got his 57th save in the game. The Sox would close out a miraculous 1990 season with 94 wins.

Click here to listen to the final out as the White Sox closed the original Comiskey Park. Announcer: John Rooney . Courtesy: WMAQ Radio / Chicago White Sox.

September 30, 1997 - After controversies on and off the field (calling for a relief pitcher with no one warming up, a fistfight with umpire Richie Garcia at a steakhouse, a brawl near third base with Brewers manager Phil Garner) manager Terry Bevington was fired. No flowers were sent and no Sox fan (or player or media member) shed any tears.

September 30, 2000 - Sox infielder Jose Valentin became the fourth player in franchise history to hit home runs from both sides of the plate in the same game. Valentin connects off the Royals' Blake Stein and Scott Mullen. He drove in three runs in the Sox 9-1 win. This has only happened six times in franchise history and Valentin did it three times himself! Also three times this feat happened against the Kansas City Royals.

September 30, 2008 - For the first time the White Sox played an extra game to get into the post season. They hosted the Twins in the 163rd game of the year and won 1-0 clinching the Central Division title. John Danks threw eight shutout innings, Jim Thome belted what turned out to be the game winning home run and Ken Griffey Jr. threw out Michael Cuddyer at home. The Sox won the division with a record of 89-74.

Click here to listen to Jim Thome's monster shot, the only run in the "blackout game." Announcers: Dick Stockton, Harold Reynolds and Ron Darling.  Courtesy: WTBS / Chicago White Sox.

(Click here to listen to the final out as the Sox beat Minnesota in the "blackout game" to move into the playoffs. Announcer: Dick Stockton. Courtesy: WTBS / Chicago White Sox.)

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