Saturday, April 22, 2006

April 22nd, 1959

Chicago at Kansas City

That's the Kansas City A's, of course, and "Go-Go Sox," with Luis Aparicio stealing fifty-six bases on the way to the Sox winning their first pennant since 1919. This game featured Sox ace Early Wynn (22-10, 3.17) facing Ned Garver. Wynn was awful on this day however, and the White Sox found themselves in a five-run hole after just two innings. They would battle back however, and with Bob Shaw stifling the A's offense--then featuring Roger Maris as the clean-up hitter--the Sox had built an two run lead, 8-6, by the time they came to the plate in the seventh. That seventh would prove to be one of the most remarkable offensive innings of all-time, as the White Sox scored eleven runs, and did so with just one hit.

Ray Boone and Al Smith both reached on errors to open the inning, and Johnny Callison singled and both runs scored (and Callison went to third) on a Roger Maris error. Aparicio then walked and stole second, but might as well have stayed at first since the pitcher, Shaw, then drew a walk of his own. Earl Torgeson then pinch-hit and drew a RBI walk of his own. This was followed by another RBI walk, this time to Nellie Fox. Jim Landis forced a runner at home, but the A's were unable to convert the double play so the bases reloaded. Sherm Lollar followed that with a walk of his own driving in another run.

Incredibly, the White Sox had now batted around despite only having one hit and Boone was back up. He walked, as did Smith, driving in two more runs. Still unwilling to give up a hit, but equally unwilling to actually retire a batter, A's pitching at least decided to mix it up, and hit Callison with a pitch, driving in another run. Aparicio then walked again, but Shaw struck out, leaving the bases loaded but with two outs at last. The A's were still unable to get out of the inning however, as pinch-hitter Bubba Phillips (pinch-hitting for a pinch-hitter, it should be noted) walked, bringing home another run. Fox then walked again--meaning he had 2 RBIs despite not having a technical at-bat in the seventh--but Landis grounded out, finally ending the inning.

All said then, the White Sox scored eleven runs on one hit, one hit-by-pitch, two errors and--gasp now--nine walks. Not surprisingly, the Sox won the game; the final score was 20-6. That's quite a way to come back from a five-run deficit.

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