This Day in White Sox History: Black Jack's one hitter

This Day in White Sox History: Black Jack's one hitter
Former White Sox ace Jack McDowell.

July 14, 1915 - In a 6-4 win over the Athletics at Comiskey Park, pitcher Red Faber stole second, third and home in the contest. He’s one of only three Sox players to ever do this and the only pitcher to pull it off.

July 14, 1953 - Sox pitcher Billy Pierce, perhaps the greatest lefty in franchise history, started the All-Star Game in Cincinnati’s Crosley Field. Billy threw three innings allowing only one hit. He got no decision in the NL’s 5-1 win. Joining Billy in Cincinnati were teammates Chico Carrasquel (SS), Nellie Fox (2B), Ferris  Fain(1B) and Minnie Minoso (OF).

Billy talked with me about the All Star Game experience. "You basically pitched three innings. They’ve changed that philosophy over the years. It wasn’t considered an exhibition game back then, you played to win, you took it seriously. Just being there was an honor. I remember the 1953 game, my wife was in the hospital, my son had just been born. I was starting the All-Star Game in Cincinnati thinking about both of them. What a gift. I also remember the 1955 game in Milwaukee. Mickey Mantle hit a ball into the trees outside of the stadium." 

July 14, 1979 - It’s hard to believe given his reputation for sleepwalking and indifference, but Sox outfielder Claudell Washington actually had a good game from time to time. Washington hit three home runs against the Tigers in the Sox 12-4 win. He went 3 for 5 with five RBI’s.

 

 

July 14, 1991- It was almost a no-hitter with an unusual twist. Sox starter Jack McDowell opened the game at Milwaukee by allowing a leadoff home run by Paul Molitor. It would be the only safety on the day for the Brewers as Jack recorded the next 27 outs without allowing a hit. McDowell allowed only one walk and a base runner via error the rest of the afternoon in the Sox 15-1 laugher. 1991 was the season McDowell stepped up to the next level of pitching. He told me how that came about.

"I really looked around to see how guys who won played at this level. I saw that the successful pitchers threw a lot of innings. That’s what I decided I needed to do. I had fifteen complete games that year, which today is a couple years worth. When it was my turn to pitch I wanted to take the ball, pitch, and finish what I started. A lot of games, and complete games, are lost because pitchers will get taken out with a 5-0 lead after five innings .I didn’t want to have that happen to me. That really helped the team too because the bullpen guys got the day off. A lot of fans don’t know how important that is. I’d much rather have a bullpen who was underworked then overworked." 

July 14, 2000 - Frank Thomas broke Luke Appling’s team record for most RBIs when he drove in his 1,117th. It came at home in a 9-4 loss to the Cardinals. This was also the same game where Cal Eldred left in the fifth inning with soreness in his forearm / elbow which would require surgery.

In the midst of a tremendous first half of the season with seemingly all the pieces in place for a run to a championship, Eldred’s injury, coupled with the loss for a long period of time, of starter James Baldwin, forced the Sox remaining pitchers into a heavier work load which caused a rash of bad arms. Two pitchers, Mike Sirotka and Jim Parque basically saw their careers ended by arm injuries suffered later in 2000.

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