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Random Game Callback, June 10, 1961
2006-06-10 03:59
by Bob Timmermann

June 10, 1961 was one busy Saturday for the Chicago White Sox. On this day they:

  1. Saw owner Bill Veeck sell the team to team Arthur Allyn, Jr.
  2. General manager Hank Greenberg worked out an eight-player trade with the Kansas City Athletics
  3. And the White Sox lost a 15-inning game to the Washington Senators at Griffith Stadium, 4-3 to fall into last place.

Veeck had just purchased the team in February of 1959 and the White Sox went to the World Series that year. However, because of health problems, Veeck decided he needed to get out of business, so he sold his majority interest in the team to Allyn, who previously owned 25% of the team. Veeck's partner, Hank Greenberg, stayed on as general manager. Greenberg and Veeck had been interested in getting one of the AL's two expansion teams, in particular the Los Angeles franchise, but the AL decided to award the franchise that would become the Angels to Gene Autry.

Greenberg, who had been acting as general manager, was actually given that title on this day. And Greenberg didn't waste any time working out a big trade. Pitcher Bob Shaw, outfielder Wes Covington, pitcher Gerry Staley, and minor league outfielder Stan Johnson were sent to Kansas City in exchange for pitchers Ray Herbert and Don Larsen, third baseman Andy Carey, and outfielder Al Pilarcik. Greenberg said it would be the first in a number of deals. Outfielder Jim Rivera was released on this day too and Kansas City signed him as a free agent. However, Greenberg didn't pull off any deals of consequence before stepping down as GM on August 26 and leaving baseball for Wall Street, where Greenberg would do extremely well for himself.

Meanwhile, out in Washington, the White Sox, still managed by Al Lopez, were facing the expansion Washington Senators, a replacement for a team of the same name owned by Calvin Griffith that had decamped for Minnesota. Longtime Senators star Mickey Vernon was the team's first manager. Lopez started lefty Juan Pizarro for the White Sox. Ed Hobaugh started for the Senators.

Washington got a pair of runs in the first off of Pizarro, aided by Cam Carreon's drop of a foul pop up off the bat of first baseman Dale Long. Carreon's drop happened with two runners on and Long, with new life, tripled to center to score two runs.

In the fifth, the White Sox strung together singles by right fielder Floyd Robinson, second baseman Nellie Fox, and center fielder Jim Landis for a run. In the sixth, Carreon tied the game with an RBI double and chased Hobaugh out of the game. Dave Sisler, brother of Dick Sisler and son of George Sisler, relieved and gave up a sacrifce fly to Luis Aparicio that gave the White Sox a 3-2 lead.

Warren Hacker relieved Pizarro in the eighth and pitched a scoreless inning. In the ninth, Hacker got Long to pop up for the first out, but center fielder Willie Tasby homered to tie the game and it was time for extra innings for whomever was left of the crowd of 6,474.

Both teams had chances to score in the 10th through the 13th. Both teams left two runners on base in the 10th. The Senators left a runner on in the 11th and the White Sox left the bases loaded in the 12th and two men on in the 13th.

In the bottom of the 15th, Russ Kemmerer retired the first two Senators, but first baseman Marty Keough homered to end the marathon and make Marty Kutyna a winner.

Despite the turmoil in the front office, the White Sox had a very good month of June, going 22-10. They finished the season in fourth place at 86-76, 23 games behind the Yankees, who won 109 games. The Senators finished tied for ninth (aka tied for last) with Kansas City at 61-100.

The expansion Senators had a lot of problems with their offense, finishing last in the AL in runs scored (618), batting average (.244), and OBP (.315). The pitcher-friendly fences of Griffith Stadium kept the team's ERA at 4.23. The Senators would move into D.C. Park in 1962, which is now called Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium and is the home to the NL Washington Nationals.

The White Sox pitching staff had two veterans in Early Wynn, who was 41. The team's top reliever was 38-year old Turk Lown. The White Sox also had young pitchers like 23-year old Joe Horlen who would help out in the future. Pizarro led the staff with 14 wins and a 3.05 ERA. The White Sox would remain one of the AL's best teams throughout the 1960s, but would never win the pennant again until 2005.

Sources: Retrosheet,, Chicago Tribune.

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