THE SOX AND THE BEATLES

My association with the White Sox provided me with my only opportunity to meet a Beatle.

On this day in 2005, I shook Pete Best’s hand and briefly conversed with The Beatles deposed drummer Pete Best as the White Sox were preparing to honor the band prior to a 4-0 loss to the Yankees before 38,938 at U.S. Cellular Field.

The meeting was nothing life-changing or revelatory.

I was part of a group that briefed him on his appearance before the game.

He was nice enough but … a little leery of everything which is probably why he quirky said near the end of our encounter, “No pictures.”

Darn it!

Pete went on to play a little bit and throw out a ceremonial first pitch of which there IS a picture.

On the 54th anniversary (August 20) of The Beatles day-night doubleheader at Comiskey Park, here’s a look at the Fab Four and the White Sox … @SoxNerd style:

*JULY 7, 1940: On the day future Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Ringo Starr was born in the Royal Liverpool Children’s Hospital, future Baseball Hall of Famer Luke Appling scored two of the White Sox three runs in a 3-1 win at Cleveland

*JUNE 18, 1942: The White Sox celebrated Paul McCartney’s birthday with a 4-2 win over the A’s at Comiskey Park thanks to three hits and two RBI from Posen, Ill., native Don Kolloway.

*JULY 6, 1957: On the day John Lennon and Paul McCartney met for the first time, Larry Doby’s bat met a Bob Lemon pitch for a two-run homer in the first inning of the White Sox 5-1 win over Cleveland at Comiskey Park.

*JULY 20, 1957: With Paul McCartney invited to join John Lennon’s Quarrymen for the first time, Dick Donovan allowed only a Ted Williams single in the White Sox 4-0 win over Boston at Comiskey Park.

*AUGUST 18, 1962: On the day Ringo officially joined the The Beatles, the White Sox drummed Detroit 2-0 at Comiskey Park thanks to a Ray Herbert three-hitter.

*SEPTEMBER 4, 1962: The Beatles recorded their first single “Love Me Do” and the White Sox walked off with a 3-2 win in 13 over Cleveland in the first game of a doubleheader at Comiskey Park thanks to an Al Smith single.

*AUGUST 3, 1963: The Beatles closed out their run at the Cavern Club as part of a show 5 hour and 30 minute show that lasted only 79 minutes longer than that day’s White Sox tilt.

The Sox were on the losing end of a 4 hour, 11 minute marathon 6-5 loss at Los Angeles on the day The Beatles played their final show at the iconic Liverpool club as part of a show that featured seven bands.

*JULY 7, 1964: It was a hard day’s night in New York for White Sox manager Al Lopez and his American League All-Star team on the day “A Hard Day’s Night” was widely released. Lopez and the A.L. suffered a 7-4 loss in the All-Star Game on ex-Sox Johnny Callison’s walkoff homer

*SEPT. 5, 1964: The Beatles played their first Chicago concert at the International Amphitheatre less than two miles away from the scene of that day’s White Sox victory – an 8-2 win over Cleveland at Comiskey Park. Joe Horlen fanned 10 in the win.

*JULY 29, 1965: With The Beatles second move “Help” opening in London,” Hoyt Wilhlelm provided some big help with 4.2 scoreless innings of relief for the win in the White Sox 9-4 victory at Cleveland.

*AUG. 20, 1965: With The Beatles occupying Comiskey Park with a day-night concert twinbill, the White Sox topped Hawk Harrelson and A’s 3-1 in Kansas City thanks to Moose Skowron’s two-run homer in the off Catfish Hunter in the third inning. This was The Beatles last Chicago appearance

–Concert tidbits: 3 p.m. show drew 25,000 … 8 p.m. show drew 37,000 … tickets cost between $2.50 and $5.50 … The Beatles earned $155,00 for both performances … Evening setlist: Twist and Shout, Baby’s in Black, She’s a Woman, I Feel Fine, Dizzy Miss Lizzy, Ticket to Ride, Everybody’s Trying to Be My Baby, Can’t Buy Me Love, I Wanna Be Your Man, A Hard Day’s Night, Help!, I’m Down

*AUG. 12, 1966: With The Beatles opening their final tour with two concerts less than two miles away at the International Amphitheatre, the White Sox downed the Angels 1-0 at Comiskey Park on a Tommy John four-hitter.

*AUG. 29, 1966: On the night The Beatles played their final concert in San Francisco, the White Sox and Tommy John blanked the Indians 2-0 at Comiskey Park on a two-run  homer by Tommie Agee.

*MAY 26, 1967: Chicagoan Jim O’Toole got by with a little from his bullpen friends Bob Locker and Hoyt Wilhelm in the White Sox 2-1 win over the Angels on the day Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was released in the U.K.  A week later, the masterpiece was released in the U.S. and the Sox lost 6-4 in 13 innings to the A’s at Comiskey Park.

*SEPT. 26, 1969: The White Sox came together at Milwaukee County Stadium for the last time on the day The Beatles released “Abbey Road,” their final studio LP. The Sox lost to Kansas City 5-3 in Milwaukee, their home away from home for 20 games in 1968 and 1969.

*APRIL 10, 1970: The White Sox say hello to the Brewers on the day Paul says goodbye to The Beatles. The Sox, with Jerry Janeski getting the win in his big league debut, topped the Milwaukee Brewers 5-4 in the inaugural game between the franchises. Also that day, McCartney announced he was leaving The Beatles.

AND IN THE END …

–In his latest concert in the area at Ravinia, Ringo played one song The Beatles played at Comiskey Park on Aug. 20, 1965: I Wanna Be Your Man

–My Game 2 of the 2005 World Series experience had a strong Sox tie as spelled out in this blog https://soxnerd.wordpress.com/2017/10/24/12-years-ago-today-my-game-2-journey/

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AUG. 2: WHAT A DAY IN SOX HISTORY!

A pitcher stealing home … the start of a historic win streak … Black Sox acquittal … a huge comeback … Fisk tags two … Frank and Alex debut … it all happened on this date in White Sox history.

Here’s a look at those Sox events and others that occurred on this date:

1904, PITCHER … STEALING HOME: Sox pitcher Frank Owen stole home on the back end of a double steal in the third inning and threw a two-hitter in a 5-1 win over Washington at South Side Park.

1906, THE STREAK BEGINS: Doc White bested Cy Young as the White Sox began their American League record 19-game winning streak with a 3-0 victory over Boston at South Side Park. The Sox scored two in the first on RBIs by Frank Isbell and George Davis to ignite the streak, which would push the future World Champs from fourth to first place.

1921: NOT GUILTY: After only two hours of deliberation, the jury in the “Black Sox” trial returned a not guilty verdict in the eight Sox players’ roles in fixing the 1919 World Series. That didn’t matter to Commissioner Kennesaw “Mountain” Landis. He later banished each player – including “Shoeless” Joe Jackson, Buck Weaver and Ed Cicotte – from the game for life.

1926, YANKES DREAD RED: Red Faber limited the Yankees of Ruth, Gehrig and Lazzeri to six hits in the Sox 2-1 win at Comiskey Park. The Sox erased a 1-0 deficit in the fourth thanks to RBIs from Earl Sheely and Bibb Falk as Faber improved to 10-6.

1936, SOX CLIMB OUT OF NINE-RUN HOLE: Jackie Hayes’ walkoff single in the 12th enabled the White Sox overcome a nine-run deficit for a 12-11 Game 2 in a doubleheader sweep vs. Boston. After winning the first game 9-1, the Sox trailed 10-1 heading into the last of fifth but rallied to win the nightcap in 12 innings for the largest blown lead in Red Sox history.

1959, SWEEP BUILDS LEAD: The first-place White Sox sparked by John Romano’s three-run homer ruined Jim Kaat’s big league debut in a 9-3 Game 2 win in a doubleheader sweep of Washington before 26,866 at Comiskey Park. The Sox, who increased their lead to three games, won the opener on a two-run walkoff single by Billy Goodman.

1969, A COUPLE OF LASTS FOR PETERS: Gary Peters posted his last shutout and hit the last of his 15 homers with the White Sox in a 5-0 win at Detroit. Peters allowed just six hits in firing the 18th whitewashing of his career. Peters’ blast in the ninth was his second of the year and his club-record 15th for Sox pitchers.

1970 MELTON FILLS THE BILL: Bill Melton’s two-run walkoff home run sent the White Sox to an 8-7 win over Cleveland before 9,485 at Comiskey Park. Melton’s blast, his 19th of the year, scored Syd O’Brien, who singled with two outs.

1972, BIG TUB A GOO WITH A BAT: Terry Forster, who hit .526 this season, gave the White Sox a cushion with a two-run single in the seventh in a 10-9 win over the Angels before 17,053 at Comiskey Park. The Sox took the lead with three in the first on a two-run triple by Rick Reichardt and a sac fly by Carlos May. The Angels got to within one before Forster delivered.

1979, LaRUSSA TAKES OVER: Tony LaRussa, in his second season as a professional manager, replaced Don Kessinger as White Sox skipper. LaRussa came to the White Sox from Triple-A Iowa where he was 54-51. LaRussa took over the White Sox with the team at 46-60 but was able to help the club split its final 54 games. LaRussa compiled a 522-510 ledger as White Sox manager between 1979 and 1986 and guided the team to the 1983 American League West championship.

1985, FISK’S FAMOUS PLAY: Carlton Fisk tagged two Yankees out at home on the same play in the seventh inning of the Sox 6-5 win in 11 innings at New York. With the game tied at 3, Fisk got Dale Berra and Bobby Meacham at the plate in rapid succession on a relay that started with Luis Salazar in center and continued with Ozzie Guillen at shortstop. In the 11th, Guillen scored from second on Salazar’s slow roller down the first base line.

1990, FRANK, ALEX DEBUT: Frank Thomas drove in the winning run in his big league debut in the White Sox 4-3 win in the first game of a doubleheader at Milwaukee. Alex Fernandez, the Sox first round draft pick in June, started and pitched seven strong innings but settled for a no decision. Thomas drove in the winning run with a fielder’s choice in the ninth. In the second game, Melido Perez gave up just one earned run in 7.1 innings for his 10th victory in the Sox 4-2 win. The doubleheader win was part of a five-game sweep in Milwaukee.

1999, NICE DEBUT FOR KIP: Kip Wells made his big league debut a successful one in the White Sox 6-2 victory at Tiger Stadium. Wells, the White Sox first round pick in 1998, was summoned from Double-A Birmingham earlier in the day and got the start. Wells fanned four and limited the Tigers to one earned run in 5.1 innings in notching the win. Wells fanned the first big league batter he faced (Luis Polonia) and three of the first six batters he faced.

2007, CRAZY EIGHTS: Jermaine Dye’s homer in the fourth gave the White Sox the lead for good in a 13-9 win over the Yankees in New York in a game where the teams exchanged eight-run second innings. The Sox knocked out Roger Clemens and the Yankees knocked out Jon Garland in the second. The Sox bullpen combined to hold the Yanks to one run on six hits over the final 7.2 innings with Boone Logan getting the win

ON THIS DATE IN 1977: RICHIE ZISK ALL-STAR

On this date in 1977, Richie Zisk, arguably the greatest one-season player in White Sox history, appeared in the All-Star Game in the American League’s 7-5 loss at Yankee Stadium

Here’s the breakdown:

*batted fifth, started in left field and went 2-for-3 with two RBIs

*first Sox player to start an All-Star Game in three seasons and the first outfielder to gain the honor in 17 seasons (Minnie Minoso 1960

*the breakdown: Struck out by Don Sutton to leadoff the second. … Singled to center off Gary Lavelle with two outs in the fourth. … Drove in the American League’s first two runs (Rod Carew and Fred Lynn) with a two-out double in the seventh

*only American Leaguer to collect two hits in the game

*removed from the game in the seventh when Jim Rice went to left and Ken Singleton went to right

*posted the third multi-RBI game by a Sox player in All-Star history (Luke Appling 1936, Nellie Fox 1954).

The full game on YouTube https://youtu.be/ix_jYfdiID0

HARMON KILLEBREW AND THE SOX

My grandson was not the only person born on June 29th!

“Chip” was born on that day in 2017 exactly 81 years after the late, great Harmon Killebrew came into this world in Payette, Idaho.

Something always intrigued me about the hulking Killebrew, who terrorized American League pitchers with 573 homers in a Hall of Fame career from 1954 to 1975, and it was this:

There was a brief time where the Twins icon was with a White Sox minor league affiliate.

In 1958, Killebrew played 38 games for the Sox top farm team in Indianapolis.

I am sure I stumbled upon this on baseballreference.com while researching the “Twins Teasers,” the trivia questions I write yearly in my job with the Sox Department if Scoreboard Operations.

After years of asking many knowledgeable people about Killebrew’s Sox link and stumping them as well, I got a break.

Thank you social media!

Turns out Cam Killebrew, one of Harmon’s sons, and I belong to a mutual vintage baseball group on Facebook.

Noticing this, I reached out to Cam in hopes of solving this mystery.

And, like his dad did so many times for the Twins, Cam delivered.

“Sometimes teams will co-op and send players to each other’s farm teams,” Cam wrote to me on Facebook messenger. “That is what happened in this case. He was only there a short time.”

In addition, the Washington Senators (who would move to Bloomington, Minn., and become the Twins three years later) did not have a Triple-A affiliate that season, according to baseballreference.com.

So we CAN’T add Killebrew, who passed away in 2011, as another in the parade of young talent that the Sox of the late 1950s and early 1960s unloaded, usually for established players.

That group included catcher Earl Battey, Killebrew’s teammate in Minnesota for seven seasons and the likes of Johnny Callison, Norm Cash and Don Mincher.

Callison and Cash, by the way, were members of that 1958 Indianapolis team where Killebrew hit .215 with two homers and 15 RBI in 142 plate appearances.

Killebrew presumably squeezed in his Indy stint in 1958 between time with Washington and Double-A Chattanooga.

1958 was the last season Killebrew would spend in the minors.

Here’s more on Killebrew and the Sox:

*Killebrew hit .258 with 72 homers and 177 RBI in 278 games vs. the Sox. The A’s (at 75) were the only team against which he hit more homers.

*In 145 games at Comiskey Park, Killebrew hit .247 with 27 homers and 80 RBI

*Killebrew made his big league debut at Comiskey Park age 17 as a pinch-runner in Washington’s 8-6 loss to the Sox on June 23, 1954 … His last game at Comiskey Park was on Sept. 4, 1975. As the Royals DH, Harmon was 0-for-1 with three walks in a 7-0 win before just 1,569 fans. Sox pitchers walked 15 batters that day.

*Killebrew’s first at bat vs. the Sox was a strikeout vs. Jack Harshman on Aug. 24, 1954 at Griffith Stadium. The K was one of two Harshman would have vs. Killebrew and one of 10 overall he would have in a four-hitter in the Sox 4-0 win. Killebrew made the start, the first of his career vs. the Sox, at second base

*Killebrew’s first hit vs. the White Sox was an RBI double off Billy Pierce in the Senators’ 7-2 loss on Aug. 25, 1954. … His last hit at Comiskey Park was a double off his longtime Minnesota teammate Jim Kaat for the Royals on Sept. 2, 1975

*Speaking of Harshman … Killebrew hit his first homer vs. the Sox off the lefty on Sept. 15, 1956 at Comiskey Park. It was Killebrew’s ninth career homer.

*Killebrew hit his first homer as a Minnesota Twin off the Sox Bob Shaw on April 30, 1961 in Bloomington, Minn.

*Killebrew hit his 100th homer on June 16, 1961 off the Sox Early Wynn at Comiskey Park

*Killebrew hit his 400th homer on April 27, 1969 off the Sox Gary Peters at Comiskey Park.

*Killebrew landed one of 44 home runs on the Comiskey Park.

His titanic blast occurred on July 1, 1972 and came off Dave Lemonds in the Sox 5-1 win before 8,757 at 35th and Shields.

*Killebrew’s last homer against the Sox was a crusher. On Sept. 1, 1975, Killebrew’s two-run pinch-homer in the eighth off Claude Osteen was the difference in the Kansas City Royals 3-1 win at Comiskey Park. The blast was the 571st of his career

*Killebrew went 1-for-2 with a walk and a single off Osteen as the DH in the Royals 2-1 win on Sept. 15, 1975 in his last game vs. the Sox

ACCOMMODATING

I asked Harmon for an autograph on the press level at old Comiskey Park in 1984 when he was a member of the Twins broadcasting team.

He couldn’t have been nicer. Harmon signed my item before we exchanged pleasantries and went our separate ways.

THE LAST WORD:

Bruce Jenkins of the SF Chronicle: on Harmon: “My favorite Killebrew stat: Over a 22-season career featuring 573 home runs, he never executed a sacrifice bunt. The very notion seemed pointless.”

KILLEBREW’S LAST PRO SACRIFICE BUNT WAS WITH THE SOX INDIANAPOLIS AFFILIATE IN 1958.

Long live Harmon Killebrew!

ON THIS DATE IN 1975: A SOX-HEAVY ALL-STAR GAME

Happy anniversary to the 1975 All-Star Game!

On this date in 1975, the White Sox had four players in uniform for the All-Star Game at Milwaukee County Stadium.

Here’s a look at how the Sox largest All-Star contingent since 1960 fared in the American League’s 6-3 loss:

*Bucky Dent, Shortstop: Named as a reserve to the first of his three American League All-Star teams and his only one with the White Sox. … Replaced Bert Campaneris at shortstop in the seventh. … Went 0-for-1. … Struck out by Jon Matlack in the seventh. … Handled one chance (an assist; gloved a Dave Cash grounder in the ninth) without an error.

*Rich Gossage, Pitcher: Right-hander was named to the first of his nine All-Star teams. … Pitched one inning and gave up one hit and one run. … Relieved Jim “Catfish” Hunter with Reggie Smith on third and Al Oliver on second with the game tied with no outs in the ninth. Hit Larry Bowa to become the first White Sox pitcher to hit a batter in an All-Star Game before giving up a tiebreaking two-run single to the Cubs’ Bill Madlock. An error by catcher Gene Tenace allowed Bowa to take third and Madlock to move to second. Pete Rose then closed the scoring with a sacrifice fly, which plated Bowa. Got out of the inning by getting Bobby Murcer and Dave Cash to ground out. … Finished the first of his record six All-Star Games.

*Jim Kaat, Pitcher: Left-hander was named to his third (and final) American League All-Star team and his first with the White Sox. … Working quickly as usual, he pitched two perfect innings with no walks or strikeouts. … Entered the game in the fifth and retired future Hall of Famers Lou Brock (ground out), Joe Morgan (pop out) and Johnny Bench (line out). Retired Steve Garvey (fly out), Reggie Smith (fly out) and Ron Cey (ground out) in the sixth.

*Jorge Orta, Second base: Named to his first All-Star team. … Did not play.

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY TO THE WHITE SOX ‘03 ALL-STAR GAME

On this date (July 15) in 2003, the White Sox hosted the All-Star Game for the fourth time and for the only time in their current home.

Here’s a look back at the game where the American League prevailed 7-6:

WHITE SOX REPRESENTATIVES:

*Esteban Loaiza, Pitcher:

… Named to his first All-Star team and started

… Joined Billy Pierce and Early Wynn as the only Sox pitchers to start an All-Star Game.

… Marked the fifth time a White Sox pitcher started the All-Star Game (Wynn 1959, Pierce 1956, Pierce 1955, Pierce 1953).

… Became the ninth pitcher and fourth American Leaguer to start an All-Star Game in his home park (Pedro Martinez Boston, 1999; Steve Rogers, Montreal, 1982; Whitey Ford, NY Yankees, 1960, first game; Don Drysdale, Los Angeles, 1959, second game; Curt Simmons, Philadelphia, 1952; Red Ruffing, NY Yankees, 1939; Johnny Vander Meer, Cincinnati, 1938; Carl Hubbell, NY Giants, 1934).

… Pitched two innings and gave up one hit while striking out one.

… Started the game by retiring Edgar Renteria on a ground out before giving up a single to right to Jim Edmonds. After Luis Pujols flied out to center, Loaiza ended the frame by getting Barry Bonds, facing an exaggerated shift, to line to right. In the second, Loaiza got Gary Sheffield to pop out to first, fanned Todd Helton and got Scott Rolen to pop out to first.

*Magglio Ordonez, Outfield

… Named as a reserve to his fourth All-Star team and his fourth in the last five years.

… Named to the team as a replacement for the injured Manny Ramirez.

… Pinch-hit for Ichiro Suzuki with one out in the seventh inning and popped out to first base against Billy Wagner in his only at bat.

… Ordonez finished the game in right field made three putouts.

… Gloved the final out of the game on the warning track in becoming the third White Sox player to do that (Minoso 1957, Fox 1958).

… Became the sixth player to make the All-Star Game’s final putout in his own ballpark (Kazuhiro Sasaki, Seattle, 2001; Bob Boone, Philadelphia, 1976; Hal Wagner, Boston Red Sox, 1946; Bill Dickey, New York Yankees, 1939; Ernie Lombardi, Cincinnati, 1938) and the first outfielder to accomplish the feat.

… This was the last of Ordonez’s four All-Star Games for the Sox. His totals: .429 (3-for-7), 1 run, 1 double, 1 HR, 2 RBI.

*Carl Everett, Outfielder

… Named to his second All-Star team as a reserve and his only one for the Sox

… Played in the game two weeks after being acquired by the White Sox from the Texas Rangers in a four-player swap.

… Pinch-hit for Edgar Martinez in the A.L.’s decisive three-run eighth and grounded to first base, moving pinch-runner Melvin Mora to third, for the inning’s second out.

GAME NOTES:

… The slogan for this game was “This Time It Counts.” In the wake of the embarrassing 2002 tie in Milwaukee, Major League Baseball gave this All-Star Game meaning with the winning league receiving homefield advantage for the World Series. Whether it was the product of the new rule or not, A.L. manager Mike Scoscia argued a fan interference call with umpire Tim McClelland in the fifth inning.

… White Sox manager Jerry Manuel was a member of the American League coaching staff for the game while White Sox trainer Herm Schneider served as the A.L.’s trainer.

… 47,609, the largest crowd in the history of U.S. Cellular Field/New Comiskey Park, watched the American League rally with three runs in the eighth for the victory. Texas’ Hank Blalock had the big blow — a two-out, two-run pinch-hit homer off the Dodgers’ Eric Gagne, which gave the A.L. the lead for good.

… Blalock became the first A.L. player and fourth overall to homer in his first All-Star at bat as a pinch-hitter.

… The A.L. extended its All-Star unbeaten streak to seven.

… Anaheim’s Garret Anderson was named the game’s Most Valuable Player, going 3-for-4 with a double and a two-run homer. The double came in the A.L.’s eighth-inning rally.

… This MVP voting marked the first time fans (voting on MLB.com) had a say in the voting. Other input from the Baseball Writers Association of America, FOX Sports, ESPN Radio and MLB International.

… Anderson hit 22 homers to win the Home Run Derby the day prior to the game. Anderson was the first player since Frank Thomas in 1995 to win the Home Run Derby and homer in the All-Star Game. Anderson was also the first player since Cal Ripken Jr. in 1991 to win the Home Run Derby and the All-Star Game MVP Award in the same year.

… Roger Clemens, a last minute replacement who hustled to get to Chicago on short notice, tied the All-Star record for pitchers by making his eighth appearance.

… The Cubs Dusty Baker was the National League manager. Baker left the N.L. champion San Francisco Giants after the 2002 season and was hired by the Cubs.

… The game’s scariest moment came in the second when N.L. starter Jason Schmidt hit Edgar Martinez on the front of his helmet. Martinez wasn’t hurt and stayed in the game.

@SOXNERD RELIC OF THE DAY: THE LAST WIN AT OAKLAND

This is the retrosheet.org box from the White Sox last win at Oakland.

The date was July 3, 2017 and it couldn’t be known at the time that after that game, the earliest … EARLIEST … the next Sox win at Oakland would come would be 2020.

The Sox have dropped eight in a row at Oakland since this triumph, which gave the Sox eight wins in their last nine games in the home of the A’s.

White Sox nuggets