Today in White Sox History: September 22

The best magic number: At this time in 1959, it shrank to zero. (Chicago Sun-Times)


Sept. 22, 1959 — The White Sox clinched the American League pennant, win 4-2 at Cleveland. Al Smith and Jim Rivera hit back-to-back home runs in the game. Smith also threw out former Sox star Minnie Miñoso trying to score a run.

A crowd estimated by the Chicago Sun-Times at 125,000 was at Midway Airport to greet the Sox when they returned home. All this on a night when Chicago fire commissioner Robert Quinn ordered the air raid sirens turned on to celebrate the title, causing fear and panic in a number of non-baseball fans who thought the Russians were attacking. The South Siders would wind up winning the 1959 pennant by five games over the Tribe, with a mark of 94-60.


Sept. 22, 1966 — In a game at Yankee Stadium, pitcher Joe Horlen and his teammates stopped New York to the tune of 4-1. Only 413 fans were in attendance at the gigantic stadium. It’s believed to be the smallest home crowd ever at a Yankee game.

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Mark Liptak

Mark Liptak is originally from Chicago and has been a White Sox fan since 1960. He and his wife Zoe reside in Pocatello, Idaho where he is the radio voice as part of Idaho State athletics in volleyball, football, women's basketball and softball.

Mark went to the University of Kentucky. He’s been in the sports media profession since 1978, having worked in television sports in three markets between 1978 and 1994. He’s also written for numerous newspapers in addition to his radio duties.

Liptak has covered a Super Bowl, two Kentucky Derbys, an NCAA woman’s basketball Final Four and worked for CBS-TV during their coverage of the men’s NCAA basketball tournament’s opening rounds held in Boise in 2001. 

He is also a Chicago White Sox historian who has written for various web sites over the past 17 years, including the Chicago Baseball Museum and Chicago Now/Sox Net, a series of blogs and websites associated with the Chicago Tribune.

He and Zoe have been married for 30 years. Their son, Mason, and his family live in Longview, Texas.

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Mark Liptak
Mark Liptak
9 months ago

The headline shown in this article is from the actual Chicago Sun-Times that I have from the day after the Sox clinched. Found it by accident in a pile of newspapers in my grandma’s basement during the 1960’s. The front page has the headline “RELAX of COURSE they won; Sox take flag!” with a color picture of manager Al Lopez sitting in the Sox dugout at Comiskey park. That front page is now framed and is part of my collection. Just an incredible bit of luck to find that paper intact in that large pile of newspapers. Why my grandma… Read more »