Harry Chappas: Owner of the Sox first GWRBI!

Gather round children and I will tell you the story of the game-winning RBI …

Back in the days when MTV still played music videos, doubleheaders were still scheduled and McCuddy’s was still slinging suds across from the old park, there was a four-letter stat in every Major League boxscore: G W R B I.

The game-winning RBI was kept as an official stat from 1980 and 1988 and was awarded to the player that gave the winning team the lead for good in a game.

On this date in 1989, MLB dropped the GWRBI as an official stat.

In the days before analytics and the information age took hold, the GWRBI was a good try.

The stat was an attempt to determine the most “clutch” players but it never really took hold.

There were questions about its authenticity especially in blowouts or when a team would see its foe get close in late innings and there would be more important “cushion-providing” RBIs.

For the record, the @SoxNerd likes game-tying, go-ahead, late-inning and two-out RBIs.

As an FYI …

*Harry Chappas had the White Sox first game-winning RBI in an 8-4 win over Baltimore April 11, 1980 at Comiskey Park.

*Steve Lyons had the Sox last GWRBI in a 5-1 win at Kansas City Oct. 2, 1988.

*Harold Baines set the team record, which was a big league record until 1985 and an A.L. record until 1988, with 22 GWRBIs in 1983. His most memorable GWRBI was the sac fly that won the game that clinched the Sox the A.L. West title in 1983.


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