On this day 36 years ago, the Chicago White Sox decided to make the... interesting decision to be the first and only team to wear shorts during a Major League Baseball game. This Softball look was inspired by White Sox Owner Bill Veeck's wife Mary Frances. Mrs. Veeck defended her creation as a practical one.
"They were not totally a gag thing," she said. "It got very hot in Comiskey Park."
The look, featuring some extremely short navy shorts paired with the traditional high "White Sox", was used in the first half of a doubleheader against the Kansas City Royals. The White Sox, behind a strong start from Terry Forster and save from Goose Gossage won 5-2. Undeterred by their new shorts, the White Sox even stole five bases in the game.
However, the shorts would remain the story after the game. Gossage later commented on the look:
“Wilbur Wood and Bart Johnson looked like they were oversized kids. Bart looked like a 6-foot-5 baby. But I’ll tell you who looked the worst was Jim Spencer, ’cause he had no legs. I mean, your legs were white, sticking out of that dark blue color. It was bad. We were sitting there thinking, ‘What are we doing?!’
The White Sox would only wear their shorts twice more in that 1976 season before retiring the look permanently. The shorts have never been worn in a game since, but remain a relic of the zany marketing schemes of Bill Veeck.
Sadly, Mitchell & Ness does not have any authentic shorts to offer you. But we do pay tribute to the era with the black collared jerseys of the White Sox. Check out this Carlton Fisk jersey:
While summer is starting to come to an end, it is still very hot outside. On a hot summer day, people typically wear shorts. Then logically it made sense 35 years ago when the Chicago White Sox decided to wear shorts for the first game of a double header against the Kansas City Royals, right? Wrong. Some things just don’t go together, and one of those things is shorts and this jersey…
This combination of shorts and ‘70s inspired jersey top (not to mention the old school knee high gym socks) might go down as the worst uniform in history. The team must have realized this after the game, because despite winning the first game of the double header by a score of 5-2, the team switched over to pants for the second game. The 2nd game of the double header ended in a 7-1 defeat, but that didn’t keep the White Sox from retiring the shorts for the rest of time.
On April 21, 1900, the Chicago White Sox played their first game. At a small ballpark located at 39th & Princeton, the White Sox took on the club from Milwaukee, losing 5 - 4. To commemorate this monumental day in the history of the team from the South Side, here are some miscellaneous White Sox facts and images for you to enjoy.
- Comiskey Park, the legendary home of the White Sox has hosted 3 All Star Games - 1933 (American League 4 - National League 2), 1950 (National League 4 - American League 3), 1983 (American League 13 - National League 3)
- The White Sox have had three Cy Young award winners: Early Wynn (1959), LaMarr Hoyt (1983) and Jack McDowell (1993)
- The most worn uniform numbers in White Sox history are 35 & 36. Both have been worn 52 times.
- The White Sox were the first team to put names on the backs of their jerseys, doing so in 1960.
- The team's HR leader at Old Comiskey Park is Bill Melton with 88. For opposing teams Babe Ruth holds the record with 45 HRs.
- At U.S. Cellular Field, the home tem HR leader is Frank Thomas with 261.
- The White Sox 1990 94 - 68 record was the largest one year turn around for the club. They finished the 1989 season with a 69 - 92 record.
- Minnie Minoso broke the Sox color barrier in 1951. The White Sox reitred Minnie's # 9 in 1983.
From our archives, here are some of our favorite White Sox images.
The 1959 AL Champion White Sox
A game worn White Sox jersey from 1945
Eddie Cicotte and Buck Weaver c. 1915. Both men were key figures in the 1919 Black Sox scandal.
Directions to Comiskey Park c. 1963
1960 cover of Baseball Sports Review
Page from the White Sox 1963 Yearbook
1971 Season Ticket Information
White Sox merchandise c. 1984
Go - Go Sox!
The final giveaway of the day is a Chicago White Sox 1984 Calrton Fisk Authentic Mesh Batting Practice Jersey in size large. the first to comment this facebook post will win.
Happy Holidays everyone! Thank you all for being such amazing fans! Check back with us on Monday for more giveaways!
Today marks the 20 year anniversary when Carlton Fisk set the Major League record for home runs by a catcher, hitting number 328 off Texas Ranger, Charlie Hough. Fisk surpassed Johnny Bench's previous record of 327 and also become the Sox's all-time leader with 187 home runs. "Pudge," as Fisk was known, played both with the Boston Red Sox (1969, 1971-1980) and the Chicago White Sox (1981-1993.)
Fisk was known as one of baseball's most durable catcher after doing so in 2,226 games in 24 years, more than anyone in history. His number 72 was retired by the Chicago White Sox in 1997. Fisk was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2000, choosing the Boston Red Sox cap for his plaque, although he played for more seasons with the Chicago White Sox.
Mitchell & Ness keeps Fisk's memorable career alive for his fans by offering his 1990 White Sox home jersey as part of our authentic jersey collection.