This Day in White Sox History: Fox taken out by a virus

This Day in White Sox History: Fox taken out by a virus
White Sox Hall of Famer Nellie Fox (Roderick McNealy / Pintrest)

September 4, 1960 - A viral infection knocked Nellie Fox out of the line-up for the first time since August of 1955. He played in 798 consecutive games, still the White Sox record, and 1,072 out of 1,073.

September 4, 1961 – It was a strange start to a good Sox career for pitcher Joe HorlenHorlen entered the game in Minnesota wearing a blank jersey. That’s right…no name, no number, on the back!

Only one other time in major league history has this ever happened as the Reds Eric Davis suffered the same fate on May 19, 1984. Joe allowed two hits in four innings of work and got the win in the 9-5 decision. An unusual major league debut!

Horlen remembered the bizarre start to his career when I interviewed him years later.

“I was actually supposed to start the next day’s game. Because of that the Sox felt they were going to have some time getting a jersey for me. I was sitting in the bullpen wearing my warm up jacket because I was a little embarrassed and the guys were giving it to me. Then during the middle of the game the phone rings and Al Lopez said to get me up and ready. The Sox had used a lot of pitchers in the series right before going to Minnesota and they were shorthanded.  So I go in and right as I’m ready to throw my first pitch in the majors, Twins manager Sam Mele called time and went out to talk with the home plate umpire. Mele is talking and then he points to me and shrugs his shoulders like ‘who the heck is that guy?’ Everyone got a good laugh out of it including myself and it might have helped me since it relieved the tension.”
September 4, 1995 - Robin Ventura hit a pair of grand slams in a 14-3 win over Texas. He was the eighth player in history at the time to hit a pair in one game. His eight RBI’s tied the franchise record.

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

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