This Day in White Sox History: Fisk gets revenge

This Day in White Sox History: Fisk gets revenge
Carlton Fisk glances towards dugout April 10, 1981. (Getty Images)

April 10, 1959 - The season opener to a memorable pennant winning year started in Detroit where Billy Pierce faced Jim Bunning. The Sox blew a 7-4 lead when the Tigers got three runs in the eighth inning and matters weren’t decided until the 14th. That’s when Nellie Fox, who hit home runs as often as he struck out, blasted a two run shot to give the Sox the 9-7 win. Fox would go 5 for 7 and knock in three runs that afternoon despite the freezing temperatures.

April 10, 1961 –Sox outfielder “Jungle” Jim Rivera was always good for the unexpected. Right before the Sox played in Washington to open the season, President John Kennedy threw out the first ball. Rivera came up with it and was escorted to the President’s box where both he and vice president Lyndon Johnson signed the ball.

After Rivera looked at it he said to the President, “You’ll have to do better than that John. This is a scribble I can hardly read!” The Sox went on to win the game 4-3 getting single runs in the seventh and eighth innings.

April 10, 1968 - The good days were a thing of the past. The social unrest on the West Side of Chicago after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King held the opening day crowd at Comiskey Park to less than 8,000. The Sox got shut out by ‘‘Sonny’’ Siebert and the Indians 9-0. It was the first of a franchise record ten straight losses to open the season. Coupled with the five straight losses to close out 1967, the Sox dropped 15 in a row.

April 10, 1981 - If you had written the script and pitched it to Hollywood they would have refused it on the grounds of ‘corniness’ but reality is sometimes stranger than fiction. Carlton Fisk, native son of New England, returned to Boston on opening day as a member of the White Sox. Fisk was declared a free agent after the Red Sox mailed him his contract after the time allotment for doing so expired and he left. With a new team, in a new uniform, Fisk immediately began making Boston pay as he ripped a three run home run in the eighth inning off Bob Stanley to put the Sox ahead 3-2 in a game they’d win 5-3.

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

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