This Day in White Sox History: Fire Trucks in Baltimore

This Day in White Sox History: Fire Trucks in Baltimore
Caption: Memorial Stadium, Baltimore home opening day on April 15, 1954. (Baltimore Sun)

April 15, 1954 - The White Sox reintroduced major league baseball to Baltimore for the first time since 1902 as they played the ‘new’ Baltimore Orioles as their first home opponent. The franchise had moved from St. Louis that off season.  Virgil "Fire" Trucks got the start for the White Sox but the O’s beat them 3-1 on the afternoon starting a run of numerous unfortunate, strange and bizarre happenings at Memorial Stadium over the next 37 seasons.

April 15, 1972 - The first labor impasse to cause regularly scheduled games to be cancelled caused opening day of the 1972 season to be pushed back. In Kansas City the Sox would lose to the Royals 2-1 in 11 innings despite Dick Allen’s first White Sox home run. Allen blasted a shot in the ninth inning off Dick Drago to give the team a brief 1-0 lead. Kansas City would tie the game with two out in the ninth inning on a Bob Oliver home run off Wilbur Wood then go on to win the game. The Sox would drop three consecutive one run games to the Royals to start the season, two in extra innings, but would end up with 87 wins in only 154 games.

April 15, 1983 - Former Cub pitcher, Milt Wilcox had his perfect game ruined with two out in the ninth inning. Sox pinch hitter Jerry Hairston ripped a clean single up the middle. It was the only hit of the night for the Sox who lost to Detroit 6-0.

April 15, 1985 - In a game at Boston, pinch hitter Jerry Hairston collected his 51st safety in that role, setting the franchise record. Jerry would lead the league in pinch hits from 1983 through 1985 and would retire with 87 of them in his career. He also hit the last home run to set off Bill Veeck’s original exploding scoreboard in October 1981 and he hit it off future Sox pitching coach Don Cooper!

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

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