@SoxNerd Blog for May 11:
*LET IT RAIN: I miss “Rain Delay Theatre.”
Wednesday’s White Sox rain out at Guaranteed Rate Field happened so early (4:30 p.m.) that in-game alternative programming wasn’t an issue.
Back in the day that alternative programming — aka “Rain Delay Theatre” — was a big deal.
I can hear the mocking already: Only the @SoxNerd could actually enjoy a rain delay.
You could say rain delays and “Rain Delay Theatre” played a significant part in my “nerdness.”
In a way, I was raised on “Rain Delay Theatre” (a topic I have addressed on many platforms in the past), and it made me a better fan and certainly a better student of the game.
In my youth, when the tarp covered Wrigley Field or Comiskey Park, the films and the experts came out on WGN-TV.
While the rain fell, I learned about the 1959 World Series between the White Sox and Dodgers, the Hall-of-Fame laden 1971 All-Star Game, the 1974 World Series and the epic 1975 World Series.
When those films became antiques and forgotten, the Cubs and White Sox filled their rain delays with in-the-booth interviews, which essentially were baseball bull sessions.
Steve Stone, Harry Caray, Tom Paciorek, Hawk Harrelson and often members of the media passed the time mulling over the state of the game, their team and baseball history.
I was a child of the 1970s so most years, the rain delays were more interesting than the teams!
*SOX STUMPER: This was the trivia question flashed on the Sox scoreboard during their game three years ago today: Who has hit the most home runs while playing for the White Sox and Diamondbacks?
*DYK: The White Sox first postponement was on May 7, 1901 due to wet grounds in Cleveland.
*WHITE SOX ALMANAC: On this date in 1973, Mike Andrews’ two-run double in the first inning KO’d Nolan Ryan in the White Sox 7-4 win over the Angels in Anaheim.
Ryan gave up five runs on four hits with one walk while retiring just one batter for the second-shortest start of his career to that point.
The first-place Sox improved to 18-6, the best record in the Majors, and held their two-game lead atop the American League West.
The 24-game start was tied for the second best in club history with the 1919 team. Only the 1912 club, which began 19-5, had a better record after 24 games.
This outing ended up being tied for the third shortest start in Ryan’s Hall of Fame career.
The only shorter starts came on Sept. 28, 1971 when he was with the Mets and on Sept. 22, 1993 when he was making the last of his 773 big league starts for the Rangers. In both games, he did not retire a batter.
Ryan also lasted just one-third of an inning two other times: Aug. 14, 1973 and Sept. 11, 1979 (also against the Sox).
Ryan did not record a strikeout in this game, marking just the fourth time that happened to this point.
Ryan would end up not recording a strikeout in nine starts in his career and, oddly enough, four of them were against the White Sox.
DYK II: The Sox first home postponement was due to cold on May 24, 1901 vs. Connie Mack and his Philadelphia Athletics.
STUMPER ANSWER: Carlos Quentin (111 homers).