It was an absolutely miserable day in Chicago on April 13, 1992. The biting cold was outdone only by annoying mist and a pestering wind.
About five miles to the south as the White Sox were preparing to host Seattle in New Comiskey Park’s second curtain-raiser, Chicago’s historic Loop was flooding.
The glee that usually accompanied the Sox opener gave way to the barrage of news reports of water pouring into iconic buildings such as the Merchandise Mart.
While I don’t recall any serious talk of postponing the game, this South Side opener would be different because Mayor Richard Daly would not be attending.
I remember seeing Daly on the news that morning and thinking a small part of his aggravation had to be over this crises getting in the way of the time-honored Bridgeport tradition of the Sox opener.
“I wait all winter … This couldn’t have happened yesterday or tomorrow?,” I imagined the hard-hatted Daly muttering to himself ankle deep in Loop flood water that day.
Richie missed a good one.
The Sox prevailed 1-0 thanks to a third-inning RBI triple with two outs from Frank Thomas, which scored Robin Ventura, who had walked with two outs.
42,290 soggy fans then watched starter Greg Hibbard protect the lead — which began resulted in Gene Lamont’s first home win as Sox skipper — through eight innings. The crafty lefty handed the ball to a fading Bobby Thigpen, who got through the ninth for what I believe was the last significant save of his career.
For the record, the 1992 Sox went on to finish 86-76, which was a disappointment but not as disappointing as the $1 billion final price tag on the Loop flood!