Wednesday, May 16, 2012

May 16

1953 Topps #123 - Tommy Byrne

On this day in 1953, Tommy Byrne hit the only pinch hit grand slam by a pitcher in Chicago White Sox history.

The amazing feat happened at Yankee Stadium in the ninth inning of a game the White Sox were trailing 3-1. Tommy pinch hit for third baseman Vern Stephens, who was 0 for 3 in the game. Manager Paul Richards made the right decision that afternoon. It turned the game around and made the White Sox 5-3 winners over the New York Yankees.

Tommy would be a blink and you'll miss him player for the Pale Hose. Byrne would start the 1953 season with the White Sox, after an October 1952 trade from the St. Louis Browns. On June 11th, Tommy was purchased by the Washington Senators, but was purchased by the White Sox on August 2nd, right after the Senators released him. Byrne didn't make it back with the Sox that season and was traded to the Seattle Rainiers of the Pacific Coast League after the season for Gordon Goldsberry.

Byrne would only start six games for the Sox and come out with a 2-0 record. He was used more frequently as a pinch hitter, appearing in twelve more games in that role.

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