@SOXNERD BLOG: THE WWII EFFORT

@SoxNerd Blog for June 6 …

On the 73rd anniversary of D-Day, a few nuggets … @SoxNerd style:

*ON THIS DATE: All Major League games, including the White Sox exhibition at the nearby Great Lakes Naval Station were postponed as the country turned its attention to Allied invasion in Europe.

*THE DAY AFTER: The White Sox game against the Detroit Tigers at Comiskey Park June 7 went on as scheduled.

There was no mention of the invasion in the Chicago Tribune story on the game.

*SOX STUMPER: Here is the Sox Stumper sumbitted for the last White Sox last home game on this date in 2015: Whose first strikeout with the White Sox was the 4,001st of his career on Aug. 12, 1986 at Detroit?

Answer below.

More on the Sox and WWII …

*A HERO: Jake Jones, a World War II hero, played for the White Sox for a spell.

A highly-decorated flying ace in the Pacific, the right-handed swinging first baseman hit .231 with six home runs and 33 RBI in 79 games for the White Sox in 1941-42 and 1946-47.

The Epps, La., native assembled one of the most impressive war records among ballplayers in the military.

Here’s a link to his @SABR biography http://sabr.org/bioproj/person/0859d68b

*CELEBRATION: A little year prior to D-Day, the White Sox were part of a patriotic outburst at Yankee Stadium.

On July 25, 1943, after the Sox won the first game 2-1, the nightcap of their doubleheader at Yankee Stadium was interrupted with the announcement at “Mussolini has resigned.”

The crowd of 19,374 cheered wildly over the news that the Italian dictator was finished.

The Yankees won the game 6-3 after Bill Dietrich got the victory for the Sox in Game 1.

*WHITE SOX ALMANAC: On this date in 1966, Lee Elia clubbed the first home run of his career in the White Sox 5-1 win – their fifth straight – at California.

Elia’s blast came in the second, an inning after the Sox had taken the lead for good on Floyd Robinson’s RBI single.

Dennis Higgins, the cousin of Joe Crede, fired four perfect innings for his second save in preserving Juan Pizarro’s fifth win.

Last on the Sox and WWII …

*RIP GENE STACK: White Sox minor league Gene Stack, the first player drafted from a Major League roster into the military, became the first baseball player to die during service on June 26, 1942.

The right-handed pitcher from Sagniaw, Mich., died of a heart attack following an army game.

An autopsy later revealed that Stack, under contract to the White Sox at the time, succumbed to pneumonia.

In his only season as a pro, Stack, a righty, went 19-11 with a 3.84 ERA for the White Sox affiliate in Lubbock, Texas in 1940.

After being drafted the following December, Stack reported to Fort Custer in Battle Creek, Mich., Jan. 7, 1941.

He collapsed and died at a Michigan City, Ind., establishment after taking a loss to the Michigan City Cubs.

*STUMPER ANSWER: Steve Carlton

 

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