Today in White Sox History: June 15
It was only the beginning: White Sox pitcher Billy Pierce threw a one-hitter, shutting down the Yankees at Comiskey Park. 5-0. It was the first of Pierce’s four one-hitters in his White Sox career. The only Yankees hit that afternoon came off the bat of infielder Billy Johnson, who singled to right in the fifth inning.
White Sox pitchers Jim Wilson and Dick Donovan both fired complete-game shutouts in beating the Orioles in a doubleheader at Baltimore, 3-0 and 4-0.
Later that day, the Sox acquired pitcher Bob Shaw as part of a four-player deal with Detroit. Shaw would come up big for the Sox during the 1959 pennant-winning season, going 18-6 with a 2.69 ERA. Shaw began 1959 in the bullpen, working with pitching coach Ray Berres. After some refinements, Shaw was given a start in Boston, where he shut out the Red Sox, 5-0. After that, he became a regular in the starting rotation and would cap off his year by winning a game in the World Series against the Dodgers at the Coliseum, 1-0, with relief help.
It was a move made at the trading deadline that showed great foresight by White Sox general manager Roland Hemond. Hemond shipped pitcher Stan Bahnsen, who never recaptured his magic from 1972, to the A’s for pitcher Dave Hamilton and prospect Chet Lemon.
By 1977, both would be contributing to the South Side Hit Men. Lemon would go on to a pair of All-Star Games representing the Sox and would become one of the best center fielders in baseball.
With the White Sox going nowhere, Roland Hemond began looking toward the future. He traded third baseman Eric Soderholm to the Rangers for two players, one of whom was Chicago native Ed Farmer. Farmer would make the All-Star team the next year, finish with 30 saves and become a top closer. He was a White Sox broadcaster from 1992 until his death in April 2020.
Roland Hemond swapped second basemen with the Mariners, getting Julio “Juice” Cruz for Tony Bernazard. Cruz energized the bottom half of the order, stole bases and provided stellar defense to help the Sox go on a rampage and win the Western Division by a then-record 20 games over second-place Kansas City.
White Sox slugger Carlos Lee established a team record when he got a hit in 28 straight games. It broke the old mark of 27, held by Luke Appling and Albert Belle.