Future Hall of Fame pitcher Rich Gossage once joked he'd only wear the Sox shorts if given a matching halter top. But he wound up getting a save in the victory the Chicago White Sox acheved over the Kansas City Royals.
Aug. 8 is one of those dates we’d otherwise ignore, but ought to acknowledge for the moments of baseball trivia it produces here in Chicago.
For it was on this date in 1976 that the Chicago White Sox first wore the version of a uniform that included short pants. There was a double-header that day, and the White Sox showed off their knobby knees during the first game -- in which they beat the Kansas City Royals.
THE SECOND GAME that date gave us a ball club reverting back to their long pants and losing ways of the ‘76 season, although the Sox did dig out the shorts again later in the month, and actually managed to beat the Baltimore Orioles 11-10 in 10 innings while wearing them on Aug. 21.
The date also became significant 12 years later when the Chicago Cubs tried to get cute in their first staging of a night baseball game at Wrigley Field. The game was scheduled for the date otherwise known as 8-8-88. The only problem was it wound up raining heavily that night and the game was called before they could get in enough play to make it an official ballgame.
Hence, the first night game ever played at Wrigley was actually on Aug. 9, 1988. That’s what happens when one tries to get cutesy – the baseball “gods” wreck havoc upon your plans for silliness.
Does this mean that the baseball gods, by not hitting Comiskey Park with a tornado some 12 years earlier, secretly approved of the shorts scheme? Or just that night games at Wrigley are a true abomination that I’m sure the bulk of the Lake View neighborhood would still think true!