Friday, July 20, 2012
On this day in 1969, Woodie Held pinch hits in the bottom of the ninth and forces extra innings in the second game of a doubleheader against the Kansas City Royals.
After a heartbreaking loss earlier in the day, the White Sox had a last gasp effort in front of the home crowd in the bottom of the ninth. Joel Horlen was called back for pinch hitter Woodie Held, who proceeded to walk. Walt Williams laid a bunt down and sacrificed Held to second. Luis Aparicio hit a flyball to center for the second out. It was down to Carlos May, who hit a single off of Kansas City starting pitcher Bill Butler. Woodie scored to tie the game at two apiece. That tie held until Sox pitcher Cisco Carlos gave up a single to Bob Oliver to score Lou Piniella in the top of the eleventh. Dick Drago came on for the Royals to pitch the bottom of the frame. After giving up a single to Buddy Bradford, Drago retires the next three batters to give the Pale Hose their second loss of the day. Kansas City reached for the moon and landed a rare doubleheader sweep.
Woodie came to the White Sox through a trade exactly one year prior to this game, on July 20, 1968. The ChiSox sent Wayne Causey to the California Angels to complete the trade. By July 20, 1969, Held was in his last big league season and would only play in twenty-seven more MLB games. Over one and a half seasons with Chicago, Woodie hit an anemic .154, which may have been good enough to survive the cut for the dreadful 1970 team, even though Held was already 37 in 1969 and his best days were many moons ago.