ON LOU GEHRIG DAY: THE ‘IRON HORSE’ AND THE WHITE SOX

On MLB’s “Lou Gehrig Day,” here’s a look — @SoxNerd style — at the White Sox and the “Iron Horse:”

*Gehrig hit .350 with a .446 on-base percentage, and a .660 slugging percentage with 77 homers and 299 RBI in 303 games (302 starts) against the Sox.

*Gehrig collected more hits (405) vs. the Sox than against any other team.

*Gehrig’s 84 strikeouts against the Sox were the fewest by any club he faced.

*Gehrig hit a record .380 (minimum 65 plate appearances) with a .480 on-base percentage and a .687 slugging percentage (also a record) with 37 homers and 154 RBI in 151 games (150 starts) at Comiskey Park.

*The 37 homers rank third among Sox foes at Comiskey Park behind Babe Ruth’s 45 and Jimmy Foxx’s 38.

*Gehrig posted more hits at Comiskey Park (226) than in any of the nine road stadiums in which he played.

*The 226 hits were the second-highest total by an opponent at Comiskey Park. Only Ty Cobb, at 227, had more.

*Ted Lyons was the Sox pitcher Gehrig faced the most at 231 plate appearances and 204 at bats (second most vs any pitcher). Gehrig hit .303 with seven homers (the most off a Sox pitcher), 38 RBI and 22 strikeouts (third-most vs. any pitcher) off Lyons.

*Which Sox pitcher handled “Larrupin’ Lou” the best? How about Sarge Connally? In the absolute prime of his career between 1925 and 1929, Connally limited Gehrig to a .125 average (2-for-16) with 0 homers, three RBI, two extra-base hits and two strikeouts.

*Gehrig played his first game against the Sox on Sept. 13, 1924. Pinch-hitting for Wally Pipp, Gehrig flew out to Bibb Falk in left to end the ninth in the Yankees 16-1 win before 15,000 at Comiskey Park. It was his first appearance in Chicago since he hit a ninth-inning grand slam out of Wrigley Field in a New York vs. Chicago high school title game on June 26, 1920.

*Gehrig was retired three times by Mike Cvengros in his first contest against the Sox during his record 2.130 consecutive games streak. On June 19, 1925, Gehrig fouled out and flied out twice before being lifted for pinch-hitter Ernie Johnson in the 20th game of his amazing streak. The host Yankees prevailed 4-3 in 10 innings.

*Gehrig’s first hit vs. the Sox came the next day when he led off the second with a triple off Charlie Robertson in the Yankees 12-2 win at Yankee Stadium on June 20, 1925.

*Gehrig was 3-for-4 with a double and a run in his first start at Comiskey Park in a 5-3 Yankees win on July 11, 1925.

*The first homer Gehrig hit against the Sox was a two-run shot to left in the fourth off fellow future Hall-of-Famer Red Faber that scored Babe Ruth in an 8-4 Sox win on July 13, 1925.

*Gehrig hit his first homer vs. the Sox at Yankee Stadium was a second-inning solo blast off Sloppy Thurston in a 4-3 loss on Aug. 9, 1925.

*On May 7, 1927, Gehrig landed the first home run into the new pavilion of the recently-expanded Comiskey Park in the Yankees’ 8-0 win before 37,000 on the Southside. Changes to the park, including the new pavilion, were made primarily to handle the popularity of the Yankees. The grand slam was hit off Sox pitcher Ted Lyons.

*On May 4, 1929, Gehrig launched the second roof shot home run as part of the first three-homer game at Comiskey Park in the Yankees 11-9 win before 35,000 in Bridgeport. Gehrig victimized Faber as part of a 4-for-4, three homer day. The other roofer was hit by Ruth on Aug. 16, 1927 off Tommy Thomas.

*Gehrig was 0-for-2 with two walks and a strikeout as the American League’s starting first baseman and cleanup hitter in the inaugural All-Star Game at Comiskey Park on July 6, 1933. Gehrig went the distance in the A.L.’s 4-2 win.

*On Aug. 27, 1935, the Sox walked Gehrig an American League-record five times in a 4-3 win in the second game of a doubleheader split at Comiskey Park.

*Gehrig was 1-for-4 with a run and a double in what turned out to be his final game at Comiskey Park on Sept. 22, 1938. His last at bat at 35th and Shields was an RBI double off Johnny Rigney that scored Joe DiMaggio to account first the final in a 7-4 win. The double was the 534th and last of his career.

*The previous day, Gehrig hit the last of his 242 road homers at Comiskey Park. The roundtripper, the second-to-last of his 493 bombs, was a leadoff clout in the seventh off Thornton Lee in a 5-2 Sox win.

17 FACTS ON MAY 17 BIRTHDAY BOY AND SOX ICON CARLOS MAY

Here are 17 facts — @SoxNerd style — on Carlos May, the White Sox icon and ambassador who is celebrating his 74th birthday today:

*1. UNIQUE GUY: Born on May 17 in Birmingham Ala., Carlos is the only player in big league history to wear his birthday on his back.

*2. THE STATS: May hit .275 with 85 homers and 479 RBI in 1,002 games for the White Sox between 1968 and 1976.

*3. HIS MONTH: May hit .286 with 15 homers and 91 RBI in the month of May. The only month in which he had a higher average was April (.296)

*4. THE DRAFT: May was the White Sox first round pick (18th overall) in the June 1966 amateur draft out of Parker High School in Birmingham, Ala.

*5. YOUNG GUY: At age 20, May made his big league debut for the White Sox on Sept. 6, 1968 in Baltimore. Starting in left field, May batted THIRD behind future Hall-of-Famer Luis Aparicio and was 0-for-4 with a strikeout. The left-handed hitter was the first position player drafted by the Sox to play in the bigs (pitchers Danny Lazar and Fred Rath debuted earlier in the season). May was just ninth player in Sox history to make a big league debut in the third spot and the first since Val Heim in 1942. Since then, Wayne Nordhagen, Jeff Abbott and Mario Valdez have accomplished the feat.

*6. THE FIRST: May became the first player drafted by the White Sox to record a big league hit when he singled off Baltimore’s Tom Phoebus on Sept. 7, 1968 in Baltimore. He was the first player drafted by the Sox to homer when he went deep for the first time on April 9, 1969 at Oakland. He victimized Jim Nash with the first of his two homers that game. May recorded another multi-hit game later that month, giving him two of those efforts in his first 22 big league contests. At that point, no White Sox had player done that. Since then, Jose Abreu notched a pair of multi-homer games in his first 10 contests and Nicky Delmonico did it in his first 15 games.

7. COMEBACK FOR THE AGES: Shortly after his big league debut, May lost part of his thumb in a mortar accident while he was in the Marine reserves in 1968. The left-handed hitting outfielder/first baseman overcame that adversity and went on to have a stellar career.

8. RATED ROOKIE: May was named The Sporting News’ American League Rookie of the Year in 1969 and finished third in the writers poll behind winner Lou Piniella of Kansas City and Mike Nagy of Boston. May hit .281 with 18 homers and 62 RBI that season.

9. HE’S A STAR: May became the first White Sox draftee (and the youngest player) to represent the team at the All-Star Game in the 1969 classic in Washington, DC. With his brother Lee perched at first base for the National League, Carlos pinch-hit for Johnny Roseboro and was struck out by Atlanta’s Phil Niekro, a future Hall-of-Famer and 300-game winner, to end the National League’s 9-3 win.

10. LEADER: May led the 1971 White Sox with 147 hits, 21 doubles, seven triples, 16 steals and a .294 average. He was the first lefty to lead the team in average since Floyd Robinson hit .301 in 1964. He also led the Sox with 21 doubles that season. The last time time a lower total led the Sox was when Chick Gandil and Shano Collins each led the 1918 club with 18 doubles.

11. 1972, A GREAT YEAR: May’s best season was the White Sox renaissance campaign of 1972 when the club battled for the West Division title with the eventual World Series champion Oakland A’s well into the season. Playing in the enormous shadow of Dick Allen, that season’s AL MVP, May slashed .308/.405/.438 while hitting 12 homers with 68 RBI and 23 steals. He finished 21st in the AL MVP voting that year. May represented the Sox at the 1972 All-Star Game in Atlanta. He did not play in the American League’s 4-3 loss.

12. 1973, PRETTY GOOD: While 1972 was a banner year for May, 1973 wasn’t bad either. May hit 20 homers with 96 RBI (both career and team highs) in finishing 29th in the MVP voting.

13. DH POWER: May was the first designated hitter to hit two homers in a game for the White Sox. On Aug. 26, 1973, he hit two bombs off Detroit’s Joe Coleman in a 4-1 win at Comiskey Park.

14. THE END: Carlos played his final game for the White Sox on May 15, 1976 when he went 1-for-4 batting cleanup in a 4-3 win at Kansas City. Three days later he was traded to the Yankees for pitcher Ken Brett and Rich Coggins.

15. BEYOND THE SOX: May played for the Yankees in 1976, appearing in the American League Championship Series and World Series, and part of 1977 before closing out his career with the Angels in 1977.

16. THE LASTS: May hit the last of his 90 big league home runs on June 5, 1977 for the Yankees at Comiskey Park. May went deep off Steve Stone in the second inning of the “Bronx Bombers’ ” 8-6 win before 23,688 on a Sunday afternoon. In September of that season, May made his Angels debut at Comiskey Park and singled off Francisco Barriors in his first at bat. Fifteen days later, May singled in what turned out to be his final big league at bat as a pinch-hitter at Kansas City.

17. UNCLE CARLOS: May’s nephew, Jacob, played briefly for the 2017 White Sox, hitting just .056 (2-for-36) in 15 games. He last played in the minors in 2018 for the Sox Triple-A Charlotte affiliate.

WHITE SOX PITCHERS AT THE PLATE (UPDATED AFTER CEASE GAME)

Matt Albers had one of the most memorable days as a White Sox hitting pitcher.

With pitchers set to hit tonight in Cincinnati, here’s a look — @SoxNerd style — at Sox hurlers at the plate:

*Last hit: Dylan Cease, May 4, 2021 at Cincinnati (single)

*Last run: Dylan Cease, May 4, 2021 at Cincinnati

*Last double: Dylan Cease, May 4, 2021 at Cincinnati

*Last triple: James Baldwin, July 17, 1999 at St. Louis

*Last home run: Anthony Ranaudo, July 27, 2016 at Cubs

*Last RBI: Lucas Giolito, Sept. 1, 2019 at Atlanta

*Last multi-RBI game: Lucas Giolito, Sept. 1, 2019 (2) at Atlanta

*Last 3-RBI game: Steve Kealey, Sept. 6, 1971 (second game) vs. Minnesota

*Last 4-RBI game: Gary Peters, May 5, 1968 vs. Yankees

*Last multi-run game: Jon Garland (2) on June 18, 2006 at Cincinnati 

*Last 3-run game: Cal Eldred on June 6, 2000 at Cincinnati 

*Last 4-run game: None

*Last multi-hit game: Dylan Cease, May 4, 2021 at Cincinnati (3-for-3)

*Last 3-hit game: Dylan Cease, May 4, 2021 at Cincinnati (3-for-3)

*Last 4-hit game: Early Wynn, June 14, 1959 (first game) at Baltimore (4-for-5, 3 runs, 2 doubles, RBI)

*Last multi-double game: Gary Peters, April 18, 1964 at Boston

*Last multi-homer game: Dixie Howell, June 16, 1957 vs. Washington (only one)

*Last 2-run homer: Jon Garland, June 18, 2006 at Cincinnati 

*Last 3-run homer: Steve Kealey, September 6, 1971 vs. Angels (also the last reliever to homer for the White Sox)

*Last grand slam: Gary Peters, May 5, 1968 vs. the Yankees (other slams: pinch-hitter Tommy Byrne, May 16, 1953 at Yankees; Monty Stratton, June 10, 1938 at Boston)

*Last multi-extra-base hit game: Gary Peters (double, triple), May 14, 1968 vs. Angels

*Last walk: Jose Quintana, June 12, 2012 at St. Louis

*Last intentional walk: Gary Peters, May 24, 1968 at Yankees

*Last steal: Kip Wells, July 12, 2001 at Cubs

*Last multi-steal game: Red Faber, July 14, 1915 vs. Athletics

*Last caught stealing: Joe Horlen, Sept. 6, 1967 vs. Angels

*Last hit-by-pitch: Stan Bahnsen, July 8, 1972 vs. Detroit

*Last multi-hit-by-pitch game: Nick Altrock, July 24, 1905 vs. Athletics

*Last sacrifice: Jimmy Cordero, Aug. 31, 2019 at Atltanta

*Last sacrifice fly: Jose Quintana, July 8, 2017 at Colorado (scored Willy Garcia)

*Last walkoff hit: Eddie Fisher, July 26, 1964 (first game) vs. Minnesota (single in the 12th scored Moose Skowron)

*Last game-tying RBI: Lucas Giolito, Sept. 1, 2019 at Atlanta

*Last go-ahead RBI: Anthony Ranaudo, July 27, 2016 (homer) at Cubs

*Last reliever with a plate appearance: Jimmy Cordero, Aug. 31, 2019 at Atlanta (sacrifice)

*Last reliever with an at bat: Carson Fulmer, Aug. 2, 2019 at Philadelphia

*Last reliever with a hit, run, double: Matt Albers, June 1, 2016 at Mets

*Last reliever with an RBI: Cliff Politte, June 8, 2005 at Colorado

*Last triple by a reliever: Gary Peters, May 21, 1967 at Kansas City

*Last reliever with two plate appearances: Billy Dawley, Oct. 1, 1986 vs. Seattle (0-for-2)

*Last reliever with two RBI: Terry Forster, Aug. 2, 1972 vs. Angels

*Last reliever with three RBI: Steve Kealey, Sept. 6, 1971 (first game) vs. Minnesota

*Last reliever with four RBI: Ted Blankenship, July 4, 1925 at Cleveland

*Last pitcher to bat eighth: Ken Brett, Sept. 23, 1976 vs. Minnesota (0-for-3)

*Last pitcher to bat sixth: Gary Peters, May 26, 1968 (first game) at NY Yankees (0-for-2) … No White Sox pitcher has started in the first, second, third, fourth, fifth or seventh spot in the batting order

*Last pitcher with a hit and a win: Dylan Cease, May 4, 2021 at Cincinnati

*Last pitcher with a win and a homer: Starter Jon Garland, June 18, 2006 at Cincinnati

*Last reliever with a save and a hit: Carlos Castillo, June 15, 1997 at Cincinnati

*Last starter with a hit and a shutout: Jake Peavy, June 19, 2010 at Washington

*Last starter with a homer and a shutout: Gary Peters, Aug. 2, 1969 at Detroit

*Last pitcher with a hit off a Hall-of-Famer: Javier Vazquez off the Cubs’ Greg Maddux, July 1, 2006 at Wrigley Field (single)

5 FACTS ON BIRTHDAY BOY AND SOX LEGEND LUKE APPLING

Here are five fast facts on White Sox legend Luke Appling, who was born on this date in 1907:

*The member of the White Sox All-20th Century team set a franchise record by hitting a league-leading .388 in 1936

*The 1964 Hall of Fame inductee is the Sox all-time leader with 2749 hits, 2422 games, 8856 at bats and 2162 singles

*The first player to have his number (No. 4) retired by the White Sox is the only player in franchise history to win two A.L. batting titles (1936, 1943)

*Named to seven American League All-Star teams, the right-handed hitting shortstop batted .444 with a double and two RBIs in the Mid-Summer Classic

*At age 75, “Old Aches and Pains” launched a home run off Warren Spahn in the 1982 Cracker Jack Old-Timer’s Game at RFK Stadium in Washington DC https://youtu.be/9z7T-iaDzmA

REVIEWING LA RUSSA’S FIRST OPENER AS WHITE SOX MANAGER

A look back at Tony La Russa’s first Opening Day as White Sox manager:

*Date: Thursday, April 10, 1980

*Location: Comiskey Park

*Attendance: 35,539

*Score: Orioles 5, White Sox 3

*First pitch: 1:15 p.m.

*Time of game: 2 hours, 22 minutes

*Weather: Temperature barely reached 40. Tribune referred to the fans as chilled.

*Winning pitcher: Jim Palmer

*Save: Tim Stoddard

*Losing pitcher: Steve Trout

*Baltimore manager Earl Weaver’s lineup: Bumbry cf; Belanger ss; Singleton rf; Murray 1b; DeCinces 3b; May dh; Roenicke lf; Dauer 2b; Dempsey c; Palmer p

*La Russa’s Sox lineup: Molinaro dh; Bannister 3b; Washington lf; Johnson 1b; Lemon cf; Baines rf, Morrison 2b, Foley c, Pryor ss, Trout p

*First Sox hit: Alan Bannister first inning double

*First Sox RBI: Bannister single in the seventh scored Greg Pryor

*How the Sox lost: Trout gave up four in the first to the defending American League champions

*Close call: Jim Morrison and Marv Foley both came to bat in the eighth as the tying run but were retired by Stoddard

*Unsung hero: Richard “Tex” Wortham threw four shutout innings in relief of Trout

*New guy: Future Hall-of-Famer Harold Baines was 0-for-4 with a strikeout in his MLB debut … He flew out against Palmer in his first at bat leading off the second

*Magnificent 7: Bobby Molinaro (2-for-3), Bannister (3-for-5) and Lamar Johnson (2-for-3) had all of the Sox hits

*Tough day: Claudell Washington was 0-for-4 with three strikeouts and was booed lustily by the Sox faithful. “It’s not easy to play this game when your own fans disapprove of you,” La Russa said in the Tribune. “I hope our fans will give our players the benefit of the doubt. I hope they will give them a chance.”

White Sox nuggets