The most frustrating, though, may have occurred on Aug. 25, 2019 when Reynaldo Lopez foiled his own chance to take a solitary spot in Sox history.
Lopez was on the brink of becoming the only pitcher in the 119-year history of the Chicago American League Ball Club to record three putouts in one inning.
After snaring a liner and covering first (and hitting a batter), Lopez had the nerve to strikeout Texas’ Rougned Odor swinging to end the inning and his shot at Sox exclusivity.
Oh … If Detwiler had finished his one-out appearance without facing a batter he would have joined Chris Volstad on June 3, 2018; Damaso Marte on April 30 and May 21, 2005; Sean Lowe on June 10, 2000; Lerrin LaGrow on May 29, 1977; Biggs Wehde on Aug. 3, 1931 and Hal McKain on July 25, 1929 as the only Sox pitchers to accomplish the feat.
Of that group only Volstad and McKain — the first and last to do it — earned victories.
These near misses won’t discourage me.
I WILL KEEP LOOKING FOR THE ARCANE AND THE OBTUSE AND I WILL KEEP DIGGING!
I took a huge gamble when I asked White Sox Hall of Fame manager Al Lopez for his autograph in the visitors dugout at the 1990 All-Star Game at Wrigley Field.
I do recall there being NO AUTOGRAPHS stamped on the credential issued to me in my role as a sports writer for the Kenosha News.
If I was “caught,” I could have had my credential revoked and then I would have had to have gone home.
I took a gamble and glad I did.
After discussing his presence at the game at the request of American League manager and fellow Tampa native Tony La Russa, I quietly and respectfully asked the man who guided the 1959 White Sox to the World Series for his autograph.
“The Senor” happily took my pen and carefully signed my reporters notebook.
Emboldened by that experience, I later got Sadaharu Oh’s autograph but that’s a story for another day.
Here’s a look back at Lopez’s 1959 pennant winners:
–Franchise’s 59th team went 94-60 under Lopez in winning the club’s fourth pennant
–Billy Pierce went the distance and Al Smith hit a two-run homer as the Sox moved into first place for good with a 4-3 win over the Yankees before 43,829 at Comiskey Park on July 28, 1959
–Gerry Staley used his only pitch to induce a game-ending DP as the White Sox clinched their first pennant in 40 years with a 4-2 win at Cleveland on Sept. 22, 1959
–1959 White Sox spent 94 days in first place in winning the franchise’s first pennant in 40 seasons
–Sox dropped the 1959 World Series in six games to the Los Angeles Dodgers
–The 1959 Sox set a franchise and Chicago baseball record (since broken) with a home attendance of 1,423,144
–The 1959 Sox set a franchise record (broken by the 1977 Sox) with a .741 winning percentage (20-7) in July
–The 1959 Sox tied the 1916 and 1920 team’s record with 22 wins in July (tied by the 1977 Sox)
–The 1959 Sox set a franchise record (since broken by the 1983 team) with a .671 second-half winning percentage
–Shortstop Luis Aparicio led the A.L. with 56 steals, won a Gold Glove, represented the Sox at both All-Star Games and finished second to teammate Nellie Fox in the MVP voting in 1959
–Luis Aparicio tied the franchise record with a league-leading 56 steals in 1959
–Dick Donovan escaped bases load jam in the eighth and retired all five men he faced in earning the save in Sox 1-0 win over the Dodgers in Game 5 of the 1959 World Series before 92,706 at the Los Angeles Coliseum
–Second baseman Nellie Fox was the American League MVP and a Gold Glove winner for the 1959 Sox
–Ted Kluszewski was –3-for-5 with two homers and five RBI in the White Sox 11-0 win over the Dodgers in Game 1 of the 1959 World Series at Comiskey Park
–Jim Landis led the 1959 Sox with seven triples, 78 walks, 13 sacrifices and nine sacrifice flies
–Sherm Lollar led the 1959 White Sox with a career-high 22 home runs and 84 RBI and was a Gold Glover behind the plate
–Turk Lown led the American League with 15 saves and 37 games finished for the 1959 White Sox
–Bob Shaw was 18-6 with a 2.69 ERA in 47 games (26 starts) for the 1959 White Sox
—Bob Shaw led the A.L. with a .769 winning percentage in finishing third in the Cy Young voting and 20th in the MVP voting for the 1959 Sox
–Gerry Staley led the American League with 67 appearances, 15 saves and 37 games finished for the 1959 White Sox
–Early Wynn led the A.L. with 22 wins and posted a 3.17 ERA in winning the Cy Young Award for the 1959 White Sox
—Early Wynn started and threw seven shutout innings for the win in White Sox 11-0 victory over the Dodgers in Game 1 of the 1959 World Series at Comiskey Park