On this date in 1935, Elvis Presley was born in Tupelo, Miss.
While “The King” never appeared at Comiskey Park, his legacy has. The White Sox stage an “Elvis Night” annually and it is always one the season’s most popular promotions.
In fact, it has been rumored that tickets have been left for Elvis at New Comiskey Park/U.S. Cellular Field on his night.
As part of “Elvis Night,” I put together some facts for display during the game to supplement the impersonators and tunes that highlight the evening.
Here are some of those nuggets which have been shown on the Sox center field scoreboard accompanied by a picture of Elvis or guitars or curtains:
THE SOX AND ELIVS
July 5, 1954: As Elvis recorded “That’s All Right” in the Sun Studios in Memphis, everything was all right for the third-place White Sox as they swept a doubleheader from Baltimore at Comiskey Park. Billy Pierce and Harry Dorish got the wins before 18,872 at 35th and Shields.
July 2, 1956: On the day Elvis recorded “Don’t Be Cruel,” the second-place White Sox were cruel to the Detroit Tigers with a 9-3 victory to improve to 40-26. Nellie Fox was particularly cruel to the Tigers. The future Hall of Famer was 3-for-5 with an RBI as the Sox halted a two-game skid.
Sept. 9, 1956: Elvis appeared on Ed Sullivan’s TV show for the first time while the Sox appeared in Cleveland. Hours before Elvis went live from Hollywood for Ed, the Sox split a doubleheader at Cleveland with Gerry Staley getting the win and Larry Doby and Minnie Minoso homering in the Sox 6-2 nightcap triumph.
April 30, 1957: The Sox took no prisoners in a 6-1 win over Baltimore at Comiskey Park on the day Elvis records “Jailhouse Rock.” Doby locked down the win when his RBI single capped a four-run seventh.
Sept. 24, 1957: The Sox edged the Kansas City Athletics 7-6 in Missouri to improve to 89-60 on the day Elvis released the single “Jailhouse Rock.” Bonus baby Ron Jackson had the performance of his life, going 4-for-5 with a double and two RBI.
Aug. 27, 1965: As the Beatles visited and jammed with Elvis at the King’s California home a week after playing a day-night doubleheader at Comiskey Park, the Sox divided a twinbill with Boston at Comiskey Park. The Sox took the opener 3-2 on Ken Berry’s RBI double in the eighth. Future Hall of Famer Hoyt Wilhelm got the win with two perfect innings of relief.
Sept. 6, 1971: On the day the Sox last had a pitcher hit a homer in the pre-DH era, Elvis closed a month-run at the Las Vegas Hilton in which he broke his own attendance records. Reliever Steve Kealey went deep in the Sox 6-3 Game 1 win in over the Twins at Comiskey Park. The next time a Sox pitcher would homer would be in the post-Elvis Era of 2006 in Cincinnati (Jon Garland).
June 11, 1972: The Sox Luis Alvarado fashioned an afternoon to remember on the day Elvis played the last of his four sold out shows at Madison Square Garden. Alvarado keyed a Sox sweep of the Brewers by going 4-for-8 with a homer in the twinbill. Carlos May capped the sweep when his single the ninth ended it.
June 16, 1972: Elvis played Chicago, the Sox played Boston. With Elvis entertaining fans at the Chicago Stadium, the Sox split a doubleheader in Boston. The Sox took Game 1 5-4 with the help of a Bill Melton home run in the first inning.
Aug. 1, 1972: Elvis released his single “Burning Love” as the White Sox and Wilbur Wood burned through a 1-0 win in 1 hour and 58 minutes over the Rangers in Texas. Future Sox pitching coach Dick Bosman took the loss in burning hot Arlington.
Aug. 4, 1972: On the day Elvis kicked off a one month run at the Las Vegas Hilton, the Sox trimmed Texas 3-2 at Comiskey Park on Dick Allen’s RBI double in the ninth.
May 2, 1977: Elvis played Chicago for the last time. The Sox played in Kansas City and didn’t muster as many hits as Elvis. The Sox lost 2-1 with Jorge Orta (2) and Oscar Gamble (2) collecting all of Chicago’s hits.
June 26, 1977: Elvis played his final concert at Market Square Arena in Indianapolis. That day, the “Southside Hitmen” Sox fell at Minnesota despite a 4-for-4 performance from Brian Downing and homers from Lamar Johnson, Eric Soderholm, Jim Essian and Chet Lemon.
Aug. 16, 1977: On the day Elvis passed, the Sox fell 11-10 to the Yankees in New York with Jim Spencer hitting two homers and Lamar Johnson going 4-for-5.
Note: Image found on Pinterest at https://www.pinterest.com/pin/326440672962390909/