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This Day In Sox History...November 19

Lip Man 1

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November 19, 1913 – After playing a number of games in the U.S. spreading and promoting baseball the White Sox and Giants boarded the liner R.M.S. Empress of Japan to cross the Pacific and start the world portion of their tour. They played in Japan, Hong Kong, China, the Philippines, Australia, Egypt, Ceylon, France, Italy, the Vatican and England where they played before King George V.

The Sox avoided disaster twice on the trip as when crossing the Pacific they ran smack into a typhoon and then in Italy a 20-foot section of train track was removed for repair over a river. The engineer barely saw it in time and stopped just short of plunging into a 60-foot drop into the water which would have killed everyone on board.

The Sox would sail home on the Lusitania, a ship that would be torpedoed in May 1915 during World War I. For the tour itself the Sox won 24 games, the Giants 20 and there were two ties. 


November 19, 1996 - The Sox shocked the baseball world when owner Jerry Reinsdorf announced that he had signed slugger Albert Belle to the largest contract in baseball history.

Sox fans were torn between being happy the Sox spent money on a star and being worried because of Belle’s sullen, moody reputation. Other baseball owners were furious with Reinsdorf, feeling that he deliberately signed Belle to the large contract to pay them back for agreeing to settle the 1994 labor dispute. Reinsdorf would be removed from the labor relations board, the body that advised the commissioner in all labor matters, over it.

Belle would put up some monster seasons with the Sox especially in 1998 when he hit .328 with 49 home runs, 48 doubles and 152 RBI’s.  He had a clause in his Sox contract that said he had to be one of the three highest paid players in baseball and when the team wouldn’t agree to give him a raise because other players passed him in salary, they let him go as a free agent. He signed with Baltimore, had two more excellent seasons then had to retire because of a bad hip injury.

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