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Random Game Callbacks

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Random Game Callback, May 2, 1928
2006-05-02 03:59
by Bob Timmermann
The 1928 AL season featured two great teams: the Yankees and the Athletics. And they weren't playing each other on May 2, so we turn our attention to a game at Comiskey Park between the White Sox and Tigers.

Neither team was off to a flying start. The White Sox were 7-11 and the Tigers were 8-13. Detroit featured two good players in second baseman Charlie Gehringer, who would play in all 154 games that year, as well as outfielder Harry Heilmann, in his 14th season in Detroit, after breaking in as a 19-year old in 1914 (he didn't play for Detroit in 1915). Heilmann would bat just .328 in 1928, which only seems bad when you look at his previous five years when he batted .394, .356, .403, .346, and .393.

The White Sox, nine years removed from their ill-fated previous AL pennant, weren't much to look at on offense. Third baseman Willie Kamm was about all there was at bat. Alex Metzler had a pretty good season as well, but the White Sox would manage to hit just 24 home runs in 1928, or 30 fewer than Babe Ruth accumulated by himself that year.

Chicago was without its star pitcher, Ted Lyons, for this game and player-manager Ray Schalk (the last holdover from the 1919 team), started reliever Sarge Connally. Tigers manager George Moriarty countered with former Holy Cross star Ownie Carroll.

It was Carroll who was on his game this day, holding the White Sox to just four hits in a 7-1 Detroit victory. The Tigers chased Connally after three innings, scoring four runs. The Tigers finished with 11 hits, including two doubles and two triples. The White Sox had one extra base hit, a double by Bibb Falk that led to their only run.

George Cox relieved Connally and pitched the fourth through eighth and the "hitting pitcher" Charlie Barnabe pitched the ninth. Bernabe earned that monicker by going 4 for 8 at the plate in 1928 with a double and home run. Unfortunately, Barnabe forgot the pitching part of the name and after pitching in 7 games with an ERA of 6.52, Barnabe left the majors for good on May 13.

The White Sox would finish the year in fifth place at 72-82. Lena Blackburne took over for Schalk as manager in the middle of the year. The Tigers finished in sixth at 68-86. Blackburne would become more famous for selling mud used to rub up baseballs before games.

While the White Sox wallowed around in the second division and drew under 500,000 to Comiskey Park, the North Side Cubs won 91 games and finished in third and drew over 1.1 million fans, the most in the majors, surpassing the World Champion Yankees in attendance. The Yankees would win the World Series in 1928 in four games over the Cardinals.

One of the two starting catchers for the White Sox in 1928 was Moe Berg, playing his first full season behind the plate. If you don't know who Berg is, there is no shortage of information online. It's worth the read and I don't have nearly enough space to scratch the surface.

Sources: Chicago Tribune, Retrosheet,

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