5 most memorable White Sox home openers over last 100 seasons
By Joe Santoro
The White Sox opened their new stadium with a loss in the1991 home opener.
The White Sox opened the 1991 season with seven straight games on the road, winning six of them.
The Sox beat the Orioles in their home opener in front of 50,123 fans to open the season and a week later did the same to the Yankees in their home opener in front of 50,891.
Excitement was at a fever pitch as the White Sox returned to Chicago for their home opener, their first game ever in the new Comiskey Park across 35th Street from the old Comiskey Park.
It was like christening a boat with a wrecking ball.
The Detroit Tigers, who lost two games at home to the Sox less than a week earlier, made the new Comiskey their home with a demoralizing 16-0 victory. The Tigers scored six runs in the third inning and a stunning 10 runs in the fourth, pounding out 19 hits off six Sox pitchers.
You could almost hear old Comiskey across the street chuckling.
Frank Tanana pitched a complete-game shutout for the Tigers, fanning three and not walking a hitter. The Sox had just six hits, all singles.
The history and the weight of the moment, apparently, overwhelmed the White Sox and sent the home-opening crowd of 42,191 home shaking their heads.
None of what happened on April 18, 1991, made sense when compared to the rest of the season. It simply might have been the ghost of old Comiskey getting one last laugh.
Sox pitcher Jack McDowell, who gave up six runs, three walks, and five hits in 2.2 innings to the Tigers, would go 17-10 in 1991 with a league-leading 15 complete games and finish ninth in the Cy Young voting.
McDowell would go 4-1 in April with the only loss coming in the home opener.
The Sox would win 46 of their final 80 home games that season and outscore the opposition 378-321.
The 16 runs would, of course, be the most allowed by the Sox in a home game in 1991. It would be nine more years before they would do it again (three times in 2000).
The Sox would lose just 13 more games that season by five or more runs, let alone 16.
The 16-0 loss equaled the largest shutout loss at home in White Sox history, set previously in 1928 and 1937 at the original Comiskey Park against the Philadelphia A's both times. The 2014 Sox would lose again 16-0 to the Texas Rangers at the new Comiskey, then called U.S. Cellular Field.
The Tigers' 16-0 win in 1991 in Chicago might have been payback 86 years later for a 15-0 Detroit loss at home on Sept. 6, 1905, when Frank Smith pitched the first no-hitter on the road (second overall) in White Sox history.