Today in White Sox History: June 13

A brawl for the ages
Publish date:


The White Sox and Yankees hooked up in perhaps the greatest "base-brawl" in history. In the first inning at Comiskey Park, New York’s Art Ditmar threw a pitch at the head of Larry Doby. As the pitch rolled to the wall, Ditmar ran to cover home. Doby warned Ditmar about the pitch, and then threw a left hook, dropping Ditmar. The fight appeared to have racial overtones. and lasted a full 30 minutes.

Chicago native and future Sox player Bill "Moose" Skowron jumped on Doby, which brought Walt Dropo into the fray. Dropo was 6´5´´, 220 pounds, and a monster for his time. At various times, Whitey Ford, Casey Stengel, Jim Rivera and Enos Slaughter were in the middle of it. Slaughter’s jersey and undershirt were ripped to pieces, and his hat was backwards in one of the most famous baseball photographs of the 1950s. After things settled down, Billy Martin rushed into things and started in on Doby. Five players were ejected and fined for the melee. New York won the game, 4-3.


It was one of the greatest comebacks in franchise history. After trailing Cleveland, 9-0, going into the bottom of the third inning, the Sox wound up winning the game, 10-9! Chicago scored six runs in the third, four runs in the fourth inning, and hung on to win. And they scored those 10 runs without benefit of a home run. Wayne Nordhagen led the way with three RBIs. Rich Hinton went over six innings in relief, allowing only a run on five hits to get the win.


Interleague play began with the Sox in Cincinnati. Ray Durham inaugurated it with a leadoff home run. The Sox would beat the Reds, 3-1, behind the pitching of Wilson Alvarez and Roberto Hernandez.