The 1976 White Sox wore shorts

In August 1976, the Chicago White Sox wore shorts for three games. A friend shared this video with me, wondering if I had known this little tidbit, which I did not (learn something new every day!).

1976 marked the return of owner Bill Veeck, who had previously served as Sox owner from 1959-61. Keeping in line with his reputation as a promoter with wild ideas, on March 9, 1976, Veeck unveiled the new White Sox uniforms. They featured a long pullover top with a garish faux collar. But what really got people’s attentions were the shorts.

About the shorts, Veeck insisted, “They are not garish. Like my wife Mary Frances said, they have understated elegance. … Players should not worry about their vanity, but their comfort. If it’s 95 degrees out, an athlete should be glad to put on short pants and forget his bony knees. Hell, I’ve got a worse looking knee than any of my players. It’s solid wood.”

The shorts debuted on August 8th, in Game 1 of a doubleheader against the Royals at Comiskey Park.  The White Sox collected seven hits — all singles — and won the game 5-2. They switched back to regular pants for Game 2 of the doubleheader and lost 7-1. The shorts would not appear again until later that month, on August 21-22 against the Orioles. In total, the White Sox won 2 out of 3 games played in the shorts.

The video below shows footage from the game against the Royals, in which the shorts made their infamous debut.


This day in baseball: Rookie no-hitter

On August 31, 1935, 28-year-old rookie Vern Kennedy became the sixth rookie in major league history to throw a no-hitter.  The White Sox pitcher dominated the Indians en route to a 5-0 victory at Comiskey Park.  Helping his own cause, Kennedy also managed to stroke a three-run triple in the contest.

Vern_Kennedy

BaseballLibrary.com


This day in baseball: No-hit, not-shutout

The White Sox committed three errors in the fourth inning of a game against the Indians on May 31, 1914 at Comiskey Park.  As a result, the game did not result in a shutout, in spite of the fact that pitcher Joseph Benz threw a no-hitter against the Cleveland team.  The game lasted a mere one hour and 45 minutes.

BenzJoe

Joe Benz (SABR.org)


This day in baseball: The first All-Star Game

The first-ever All-Star Game was played on July 6, 1933 at Chicago’s Comiskey Park.  A two-run home run by Babe Ruth helped the American League defeat the National League, 4-2.

New York Post

New York Post


This day in baseball: Comiskey Park is born

Ground broke on February 10, 1910 for the construction of Charles Comiskey’s new “Baseball Palace of the World,” located in Chicago at the corner of 35th Street and Shields Avenue.  This palace was to be a concrete and steel stadium, built to replace the outdated South Side Park.  Originally named White Sox Park, the stadium opened on July 1, 1910 and soon became known as Comiskey Park.  The stadium was particularly spacious, with dimensions of 362 feet down each line and 420 feet to straight-away center field.  The first night game in Chicago was played at Comiskey Park on August 14, 1939.

Comiskey Park under construction in 1910 (Chicago Daily News negatives collection, Chicago History Museum)

Comiskey Park under construction in 1910 (Chicago Daily News negatives collection, Chicago History Museum)


This day in baseball: Joltin’ Joe jolts an inning

On June 24, 1936, twenty-one-year-old Joe DiMaggio hit two home runs in the fifth inning against the White Sox at Comiskey Park.  This made the rookie outfielder the first Yankee and the fifth Major League player ever to accomplish the feat.  The Yankees defeated the Sox 18-11.

dimaggio