This Day in White Sox History: The Chili Dog Game

This Day in White Sox History: The Chili Dog Game
White Sox 1972 MVP Dick Allen.

June 4, 1959 - 1959 was a year for marathon games for the White Sox. This was the first one that went at least 17 innings, and all took place against Baltimore. In this game Earl Torgeson’s solo home run in the last of the 17th, was the difference in the Sox 6-5 win. Bob Shaw pitched five relief innings to get the victory.

June 4, 1972 - It is forever known as the “Chili Dog Game.” In the second game of a double header with the Yankees, Sox manager Chuck Tanner wanted Dick Allen to be ready to pinch hit in the last of the ninth inning if needed. Allen at the time was wolfing down a chili dog since he had played in the first game, was sitting out the nightcap and was hungry. He quickly had to put on a uniform getting the last of the chili dog all over the top of it. With two men on and the Sox losing 4-2, Allen was called to hit. On the third pitch from future Sox relief pitcher Al LyleAllen deposited the ball into the left field lower deck for a 5-4 win and a sweep of the twin bill.

As a side note, future sportscaster Keith Olbermann, a Yankee fan, wrote about listening to this game in his book that he co-authored with Dan Patrick. Olbermann wrote that when Allen hit the home run he threw his radio out of the second floor window of his parent’s house.

Chuck Tanner recalled that day when I asked him about it during an interview years later. “After the game, after the home run, the fans were so loud, so excited, that you could feel the locker room shake from the vibrations. I’ve never seen that before in my life. When I was in the locker room I looked at Dick and got chills, I still do thinking about it. He was at his locker undressing and to him it was just another day. He did some amazing things.” 

June 4, 1973 - Sox pitching ace Wilbur Wood appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated. At the time it looked like Wood was on his way to 30 wins, given he already had 13 before June 1st. The cover’s caption read,“Wizard With A Knuckler. Chicago’s Wilbur Wood.” But because of a massive number of injuries to the team Wood would “only” finish with 24 wins. He started 48 times, had an ERA of 3.46 and threw an incredible 359 innings. The Sox that year wound up using the disabled list 38 times.

June 4, 1977 - In a game at Comiskey Park versus the Yankees, Richie Zisk, the “Polish Prince,” hit a rooftop home run right down the left field line off Don Gullett. Unfortunately the Sox would lose the game 8-6.

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

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