Today in White Sox History: October 12

The dropped third strike heard ’round the world: A.J. Pierzynski remains forever a folk hero on the South Side for this ALCS Game 2 stunt. (YouTube)


1966 — Another one of White Sox GM Ed Short’s best moves came on this day: He sent two-time All-Star pitcher Juan Pizarro, nursing a bad arm, to the Pittsburgh Pirates for minor league pitcher Wilbur Wood. Wood would blossom in Chicago thanks to his knuckleball, first as a record-setting relief pitcher, then as a four-time 20-game winner (1971-74). Wood would also make three All-Star teams.


2005 — In one of the strangest endings to a postseason game in history, the White Sox beat the Angels 2-1, in Game 2 of the ALCS. With the game tied in the ninth inning, catcher A.J. Pierzynski ran to first on a third strike that possibly bounced in the dirt (replays were definitely unclear, seeming to indicate that Angels catcher Josh Paul both caught the ball on the fly and held on to it). Paul, a former Sox player, heard home plate umpire call Pierzynski out on strikes (also captured on camera) and rolled the ball back to the mound, not bothering to throw to first base, as required by the rules for a dropped third strike.

After much delay and arguing by Angels manager Mike Scioscia, pinch-runner Pablo Ozuna stole second and Joe Credes double brought home the game-winner.

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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 Derby’s, 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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katiesphil
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katiesphil
8 months ago

The AJ “dropped” third strike still makes me grin. If it had been the other way around, I’d be outraged (at least a little) to this day. But watching it again now, it only warms my heart.

WIN05
WIN05
8 months ago

I never heard that Eddings was caught on camera calling AJ out. I think there was a discussion about his “mechanics.” He signaled a strike but not the thumb in the air indicating an out. Angels got every break the previous night.