A Ridiculously Short Oral History of ... Chicago's Ridiculous Shorts

August 05, 2013

Thirty-seven years ago, on Aug. 8, 1976, the White Sox made sartorial history by wearing shorts in a win over the Royals. The Bermudas were the idea of—who else?—owner Bill Veeck.

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Roland Hemond(former White Sox G.M.): Bill said we should have the most comfortable uniforms possible.

Jim Essian(former White Sox catcher and current manager of the Fort Worth Cats): We looked grotesque.

Dave Hamilton(former Royals pitcher, to reporters in 1976): [Pitcher Clay Carroll] looks like a pilgrim going out to shoot a wild turkey.

Mike Veeck(son of Bill Veeck): I loved them. Then I saw them on [67-year-old manager] Paul Richards's legs.

Hemond: When he carried out the lineup card, he had varicose veins. That wasn't a pretty picture.

Jack Brohamer(former Sox infielder and the only major leaguer to homer in shorts): We didn't know about sliding. They had just called Jerry Hairston up, and he was our leadoff hitter. He got on base, and we all told Paul, "Send him! If he slides and gets up, it's O.K." So he sent him, he stole a base and got up, and we said, O.K., we can slide.

The White Sox beat the Royals 5--2, but the shorts only made two more appearances.

Veeck: They did what they were supposed to do. They lived forever—in infamy or, in my case, in delight.

SIGN OF THE APOCALYPSE

The grandfather of a player was punched in the chest—causing his pacemaker to temporarily stop—during a brawl among players and fans at a youth soccer tournament at Disney World.

PHOTODIAMOND IMAGES/GETTY IMAGES (GOSSAGE)GOOSE'S GAMS Mostly a starter in '76, Hall of Famer Rich Gossage picked up his only save of the season in shorts. PHOTOTIBRINA HOBSON/WIREIMAGE/GETTY IMAGES (MICKEY MOUSE)

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)