Sunday, June 3, 2012
On this day in 1963, Joe Cunningham broke his collarbone on a freak play that signaled the first blow to the 1963 team.
Joe saw a resurgence as a member of the White Sox in 1962, after a trade from the St. Louis Cardinals the previous year for Minnie Minoso. While running out a ground ball in the fifth inning against the Los Angeles Angels, Cunningham twisted his foot and tripped over first base trying to avoid stepping on Angels first baseman Charlie Dees. Joe fell to the ground and broke his collarbone. He never returned to the level of play that he enjoyed in 1962, although he hung around the majors until 1966.
Cunningham never again played in a hundred games a season after the injury. He would be traded to the Washngton Senators for Moose Skowron in July 1964. The 1963 White Sox team would go on to win ninety-four games, but finish second, ten and a half games behind the New York Yankees. The Sox would improve to ninety-eight wins in 1964, but still finish second, one game behind the Yankees.