This Day in White Sox History: Aparicio and Baines debut

This Day in White Sox History: Aparicio and Baines debut
Future White Sox Hall of Famer Luis Aparicio in 1960. (

April 17, 1906 - The World Championship season began in Detroit with the Sox beating the Tigers 5-3. Frank Owen, who’d win 22 games that year, picked up the victory. Just three days short of six months later, the Sox would close out the Cubs winning the only all Chicago World Series four games to two.

April 17, 1951 - The “Golden Age” of White Sox baseball was born as on opening day the Sox destroyed the St. Louis Browns 17-3. New manager Paul Richards emphasized pitching, defense and speed and for the next 17 seasons under two more managers the Sox would do it well enough to have 17 consecutive winning seasons, the fourth longest streak in MLB history.

April 17, 1956 - In front of newly elected Mayor Richard J. Daley, rookie Luis Aparicio collected his first major league hit. It came off the Indians Bob Lemon and helped set up the winning run in the Sox 2-1 opening day victory. Aparicio would be named Rookie of the Year and after an 18 year career would be inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1984. Lemon would become the Sox manager in 1977.

April 17, 1980 - Future Sox star Harold Baines collected his first major league hit. It came off Yankee pitcher Mike Griffin in New York.Baines would have an outstanding career with 2,866 hits. His number #3 was first retired by the team in 1989 when he was traded to Texas.

April 17, 1990 - On a cold miserable night in Chicago, Ron Kittle would connect for a roof top home run off Boston’s Rob Murphy. It was Kittle’s seventh roof top shot, the most by any player in the history of the original Comiskey Park. It was also the last roof top home run in the park’s history. The Sox would win the game 2-1. When I had the chance to speak with Ron he told me about hitting roof top home runs and that cold night in particular. 

"Somebody told me that to reach the roof you had to hit a ball at least 550 feet, I don’t know if that’s true or not. I recently got a tape from the White Sox which has all of my rooftop home runs on it. When you hit a ball that good you actually don’t feel it. I had a slight uppercut to my swing and if I made contact in just the right way the ball would go a long way. The hardest ball I ever hit was that roof top home run against the Red Sox . All I remember is how cold it was that night, I must have been wearing two or three sweatshirts under my uniform. It was cold and rainy and when I hit the pitch I couldn’t believe it went that far."

Want to read up on the White Sox farm system and stars of tomorrow? Check out Future Sox.

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