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Today in White Sox History: July 8

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On this day 42 years ago, Jerry Hairston made the most of a single at-bat. | Chicago Sun-Times

Pinch-hit heroics!


Edgar Smith became the first White Sox pitcher to win an All-Star Game. He got the decision in the AL’s 7-5 win, even though he gave up two runs in two innings. This was the game where Ted Williams hit a three-run home run in the last of the ninth to win it in Detroit. Smith was joined on the team by Luke Appling (SS) and Thornton Lee (P).


White Sox pitcher Orval Grove almost got himself a no-hitter — and against the Yankees, to boot. Joe Gordon’s bloop double with two outs in the ninth spoiled it, but Grove did win the game, 1-0, at Comiskey Park. It ran his record to 7-0; he’d finish the year 15-9, with a 2.75 ERA.


White Sox shortstop Luke Appling played a key role in the AL’s 2-1 All-Star Game win, held across town at Wrigley Field. Appling, 40, had been named to his seventh and final All-Star Game as a sub. With the AL trailing, 1-0, Appling pinch-hit for Washington’s Buddy Lewis to lead off the sixth inning and singled off of Harry Brecheen. Ted Williams singled Appling to third, and Ol’ Aches and Pains ambled home with the tying run when Joe DiMaggio grounded into a double play.

The next inning, pinch-hitter Stan Spence singled in Bobby Doerr for the AL’s eventual game-winner. The other White Sox representative that year was Rudy York (1B).


White Sox ace Early Wynn got the win in the All-Star Game in Baltimore, as the American League defeated the NL, 4-3. Wynn entered the game in the sixth inning with the score tied, 3-3, and pitched a perfect inning. In the bottom half of that inning, the AL scored the eventual winning run on a single by the Yankees Gil McDougald, scoring Frank Malzone of the Red Sox.

In addition to Wynn, the Sox representatives were Luis Aparicio (SS), Nellie Fox (2B), Sherm Lollar (C) and Billy Pierce (P), with Fox and Aparicio named starters.


With two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Jerry Hairston hit a high, 1-0 fastball into the first row of the right field stands at Comiskey Park for a sayonara home run win over the Tigers, 3-2. The pinch-hitting specialist hadn’t played at all in five days, and with 30 career homers over 2,023 plate appearances and 14 years wasn’t considered much of a longball threat. The win improved the rising White Sox to 43-36.


During a strange, back-and-forth game, A.J. Pierzynski drove home two runs in the 11th inning on a single sacrifice fly.

With the bases loaded in extra innings, Pierzynski ripped a long drove into right-center that Royals center fielder Joey Gathright tracked down. But a collision with right fielder Mark Teahen forced Gathright to the ground, scoring both Joe Crede from third and Alexei Ramírez at second base. Orlando Cabrera also moved from first to third on the fly.

Kansas City rallied for two runs in its half, but two innings later Cabrera gave the first-place White Sox the lead for good, 8-7, with an RBI double.


In a game at home against Atlanta, the White Sox pulled off their third triple play of the season. That hadn’t happened in Major League Baseball since 1979.

It happened in the third inning of an 11-8 loss. Shortstop Tim Anderson fielded a Freddie Freeman ground ball, tagged out lead runner Chase d’Arnaud before stepping on second base to force out former White Sox infielder Gordon Beckham and then threw to first baseman José Abreu to retire Freeman.

Both the Red Sox and A’s accomplished the feat of three triple plays during the 1979 season, according to the Society for American Baseball Research’s triple play database.

The White Sox had turned a triple play on April 22 against the Rangers, and completed a second triple play on May 18 against the Astros.


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