Today in White Sox History: October 29

El Señor: Lopez, hired on this day 63 years ago, would win 840 games with the White Sox. (Wikipedia)


1956Al Lopez replaced Marty Marion as White Sox manager. Marion, who did a fine job in replacing Paul Richards, had missed an important board meeting to be with his family at an event. It was all the excuse the Sox needed to let him go, despite third-place finishes and winning records in 1955 and 1956.

“El Señor” would prove to be a most able replacement, however. Lopez had nine straight winning seasons with the White Sox and copped the 1959 American League pennant. Many say he was the finest manager in team history; he holds the franchise record for the highest winning percentage for any manager who lasted at least five full seasons, at .562. Lopez eventually won 840 games over nine full seasons and two partial ones. 


1986Larry Himes was hired as the new White Sox GM, replacing Ken Harrelson. Himes drafted and signed Sox future stars like Frank Thomas, Jack McDowell, Robin Ventura and Alex Fernandez. He would be fired in September 1990 after philosophical differences between him and ownership made working together impossible.

Author profile

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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Mark Liptak
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From talking with some of his former players, he was some manager…always a step or two ahead of the opposition and he expected the players to be able to do the little things that win games. And woe to the guy who couldn’t or caused trouble. They weren’t around very long.

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Did you ever find put why he did not like Nellie Fox?

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It had to do a lot with how Nellie received a throw around second base from the catcher. Al was a former catcher himself in the big leagues.Because of his size Nellie often would take the throw away from the base or behind it and try to slap tag the runner. Al wanted Nellie to stand in there and take the throw at the bag or slightly in front of it.

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Interesting. Didn’t stop him from winning a bunch of gold gloves. I think they have gone back and forth on which is the better technique. Made me look up Fox. His page in the Hall of Fame starts with a complimentary Lopez quote. Odd.

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Also drafted Ray Durham. Traded for Sammy Sosa, Wilson Alvarez and Lance Johnson. Jerry had to have someone who would recognize his wonderfulness.