This Day in White Sox History: Sox unceremoniously part with Fisk

This Day in White Sox History: Sox unceremoniously part with Fisk
Carlton Fisk applies the second of two tags in one play against the New York Yankees. (SportsChannel-Chicago / Chicago White Sox)

June 28, 1941 - Sox infielder Don Kolloway became the last major league player to steal second, third and home in the same inning! Kolloway pulled this off in Cleveland as part of a 6-4 Sox win. His feat took place in the ninth inning. He also homered twice.

June 28, 1973 - The ill fortunes of the team really came into focus, as by the time the summer ended, a team that was in first place for two months, wound up placing 38 names on the injured list. Among the key injuries were Ken Henderson tearing up his knee sliding into home plate, Bill Melton suffering a groin injury, Carlos May had a bad hamstring, Brian Downing wrenched his knee on his first major league play, catching a foul pop up and Pat Kelly having a bad back.

But the most damming injury occurred in Anaheim on the day listed above. Dick Allen suffered a broken leg when Mike Epstein crashed into him on a play at first. Allen was stretching to grab a wild throw from third baseman Bill Melton.  Here’s where it really got strange.....the injury took place just a little over ten years after Sox first baseman Joe Cunningham suffered a broken collarbone against the same team on the same type of play (a wild throw) with the Sox in first place!

June 28, 1993 - In the first of what would become a series of major public relations disasters, the White Sox released Carlton Fisk on the road in Cleveland. Fisk accompanied the team to Ohio only to be told of his release before the game.

No question, Fisk was finished as a player, but the fans and media were outraged at the way the Sox handled the situation. In fact, the Sox sent faxes to the media announcing the move, not even having the courtesy to hold a press conference. Fisk, the future Hall of Famer, had to say his goodbyes to his former teammates from the stands at Municipal Stadium during that evening’s game before returning to Chicago.

Donn Pall, who grew up in Chicago as a Sox fan and pitched for the team, remembered all the events that went on surrounding Fisk's release when I asked him about it. "We had heard rumblings that something could be happening but it was a poor decision on the part of the Sox to wait until we were in Cleveland before doing something. I mean why have "Pudge" get on the plane if you’re going to release him? That morning Ron Schueler called him and told him the Sox let him go. That night we’re at the game and "Pudge" is sitting in the stands yelling at us! He was saying stuff like 'you guys suck!' and everybody got a big laugh out of it."

"I talked to "Pudge" and he told me he was going to go way out in center field for the rest of the game. I asked him why and he said he was going to sit next to the guy who used to beat on that drum! "Pudge" said ‘every time I’ve come in here that guy was beating his drum and it drove me nuts, so tonight I’m going to sit next to him,’ and he did. He bought the guy a few beers and had a great time." 

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

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