August 11, 1912 - The Chicago White Sox purchased the contract of future Hall of Famer, catcher, Ray Schalk from the minor league Milwaukee Brewers. August 11, 1941 - In a game at Comiskey Park between the St. Louis Browns and Sox a fight broke out. In the ensuing melee Sox manager Jimmy Dykes jumped on the back of the St. Louis mascot and drove him to the ground. The brawl resulted in two player suspensions.
August 11, 1964 - The Sox finally won a game against the New York Yankees 6-4, having lost 10 straight to them to start that season. Why was that so important? Simple, the Sox won 98 games that year and finished one game behind New York! Making things tougher for Sox fans was that the team closed out the season winning nine straight, unfortunately the Yankees reeled off a streak that saw them win 15 of their last 19 down the stretch to clinch the pennant.
August 11, 1965 - Sox star left hander Juan Pizarro comes the closest in his career to a no-hitter. In the second game of a double header at Comiskey Park, Pizarro fired a one hitter in beating the Senators 7-0. The only hit came in the fifth inning, a single to right off the bat of future White Sox player Woodie Held.
August 11, 1969 - Promising Sox outfielder Carlos May lost part of his right thumb while serving with the Marine Reserves in California. A mortar misfired causing the accident. May would come back and have some very good years especially 1972 but he was never quite the same particularly from a power standpoint. He talked with me about what his rehabilitation was like.
“I had a lot of massage to try to get a range of motion back in the area," May said. "Dr. Stark of the White Sox checked on me a lot. After about three weeks I felt that I’d be able to come back and play. I started playing catch after the end of the thumb got tougher. The problem was that at first the skin would crack and bleed like a blister, the skin had to toughen up and I started taping the end every day. Charlie Saad the Sox trainer, would do that for me when I came back to the team. I couldn’t swing a bat at first, the doctors would just let me hold one to try to get the area used to it. The Wilson Sporting Goods company also made me a custom hitting glove for that hand and that really helped. The accident might have made me a better hitter because I starting using all fields. I was only able to softly long toss a ball but after Charlie started taping my thumb I was able to throw fine.”
August 11, 1972 - It was one of the longest games in Sox history and was the start of a four game series that may have been the best in the decade during the regular season. The Sox went to Oakland fighting the Athletics’s for first place in the division, and the day before, the game was called by curfew with the score tied at three after 17 innings. It was picked up on this day and went another two innings before Joe Rudi ended matters with a two run home run as the A’s won 5-3. In the regularly slated game :30 minutes later, Cub castoff Dave Lemonds and Cy Acosta out dueled “Catfish” Hunter allowing two hits in a 1-0 Sox win. The Sox and A’s would then split the final two games of the series.
August 11, 1973 - Sox catcher Brian Downing got his first major league hit, an inside the park home run off the Tigers' Mickey Lolich at Detroit. The last time Downing played a game against Detroit it was in Chicago, in his major league debut. He had just entered the game when he caught a foul pop up, diving in the process, and tearing up his knee which sidelined him until this game.
August 11, 1991 - In only his second major league start, the Sox Wilson Alvarez tossed a no-hitter against the Orioles in Baltimore. Alvarez was handed a big lead early on and made the most of it, shutting down the Birds. Lance “One Dog” Johnson made a no-hitter saving catch in right center field in the 8th inning as Alvarez has his greatest moment in winning 7-0.
Johnson's no-hitter saving catch. Announcer: Wayne Hagin. Courtesy: WMAQ Radio / Chicago White Sox.
Listen to the final out as Alvarez struck out Randy Milligan to win the game and get his no-hitter. Announcer: Wayne Hagin. Courtesy: WMAQ Radio / Chicago White Sox.
August 11, 1994 - The unthinkable finally happened as major league players struck the rest of the season because of the unwillingness by owners to negotiate fairly on a new labor contract, a charge later upheld by the Federal Courts. At the time of the strike, the Sox were leading their division, had the second best record in the AL and the third best in all of baseball. They were on their way to back to back playoff appearances for the first time in franchise history. Many Sox fans blamed owner Jerry Reinsdorf for forcing the strike, being a hard line owner and sabotaging his own teams chance to get to that elusive World Series. Frank Thomas ended the season very close to the Triple Crown, hitting .353 with 38 home runs and 101 RBI’s. He did get his second consecutive MVP award though. Teammate Jack McDowell who won the Cy Young Award in 1993 told me about the team's mindset when the strike took place.
"I thought that we were going to be out longer then a week or 10 days but I never felt the rest of the year was going to be cancelled," McDowell said. "The Sox felt that we had to be in first place when the strike hit because we didn’t know what could happen. The last month, the Sox went with a four man rotation. My last three wins were all complete games and all on three days rest. It turned out we did finish the year in first."
August 11, 2011 - Mark Buehrle tied the franchise record when he made his 18th consecutive start, allowing three runs or less. Buehrle tied the record in a 6-3 win at Baltimore. The record was originally set by Frank Smith in 1909.
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