Two legendary South Side southpaws have cutting performances
White Sox relief pitcher Hoyt Wilhelm appeared in both ends of a doubleheader vs. the Red Sox at Comiskey Park, and in doing so set the record for most appearances by a pitcher. The future Hall-of-Famer broke Cy Young’s record of 905 games. “Old Tilt” would appear in a staggering 1,070 games before he retired.
Chicago split the two games with the Red Sox.
In Wilhelm’s six years with the White Sox, he won 41 games and saved 98 others, while producing some astonishingly low ERAs considering he threw a knuckleball. His highest ERA between 1963 and 1968 was 2.64 — every other season it was below 2.00! Clearly, he was the top reliever of the 1960s.
On the very same day, manager Al Lopez had an emergency appendectomy and would miss 36 games. Les Moss took over while Lopez was sidelined.
It had only happened 17 times before, and on this date, Mark Buehrle became the 18th pitcher to throw a perfect game, when he shut down Tampa, 5-0.
Buehrle was helped in the top of the ninth inning when Dewayne Wise made the catch of his career, leaping above the wall in left-center to snare a ball hit by Gabe Kapler. On the way down he started to lose the ball, then snatched it out of the air with his other hand as he tumbled to the ground. Wise had been inserted for the ninth as a defensive replacement, so this play — among the best in White Sox and baseball history — was his first action in the game.
Buehrle completed the perfect game in two hours and three minutes — the exact same amount of time as his no-hitter in 2007. He became only the fourth pitcher to ever throw a perfect game and a no-hitter (April 18, 2007), joining Cy Young, Sandy Koufax and Randy Johnson.
Afterwards, Buehrle got a call from President Barack Obama, a huge White Sox fan.
It was certainly a strange and bizarre situation for the Sox. Chris Sale, arguably the best pitcher in the American League and one of the best in baseball, went on a pregame rampage and was scratched from his scheduled start against the Tigers at U.S. Cellular Field. Sale was upset that he had to wear a 1976 throwback jersey as part of a promotion for the game.
Sale thought it was uncomfortable. With the heat index more than 100°, wearing a dark blue/black jersey probably wasn’t the smartest thing to do, either. Sale decided to take matters into his own hands: During batting practice, he destroyed most of the game jerseys the team was supposed to wear by slashing them with a knife. He also said publicly the White Sox were more concerned with public relations and uniforms than winning games.
The White Sox, flirting at .500 at the time and just 3 1⁄2 games out of second place in the AL Central, was forced to start Matt Albers, who went two innings, giving up one run. The bullpen game ended in a 4-3 triumph: Adam Eaton, down to his last strike on a full count, lined a game-winning single in the bottom of the ninth to score Avisaíl García, who led off the inning with a single and stolen base.
Sale was suspended for five games for the incident, and was traded to Boston for a package headlined by Michael Kopech and Yoán Moncada after the season.