Flashback Friday: Foxes vs. Sox (1969)

The 1969 Appleton Foxes took on the Chicago White Sox in an exhibition game at Goodland Field on May 19 of that season.

By Chris Mehring / Wisconsin Timber Rattlers | February 28, 2014 10:40 AM ET

In 1968, the Appleton Foxes were supposed to host the Chicago White Sox in an exhibition game at Goodland Field. The game was rained out.

It was rescheduled for Monday, May 19, 1969. This one was played and it sounds like everyone had a great time.

Here is the game story from John L. Paustian that appeared in the May 20 edition of The Post Crescent.

4,278 Watch Chisox Post 4-3 Victory Over Foxes
Jim Redmon Hits 3-Run Homer; Locker Staves Off Threats in Final 3 Frames

An assemblage of 4,278 appreciative customers came away from Goodland Field Monday night convinced that the gap between major league and minor league baseball is considerably smaller than is commonly believed.

They say the Appleton Foxes, pace-setters of the Class A Midwest League, battle the American League's Chicago White Sox to the wire before dropping a 4-3 decision.

When the exhibition game, snappily played in two hours flat, was over, fans applauded to indicate their enjoyment of the proceedings. "It was the first time," said a member of the White Sox delegation, "that I've ever heard fans clap at the end of a game."

If Tom McCraw had stayed inactive one day longer, the Foxes might achieved their upset. McCraw, who had been sidelined most of the season with a leg injury, returned to action for the first time and drove in three runs as the Chicagoans constructed a 4-0 lead in the first five innings.

Blasts 3-Run Homer

Foxes partisans, who had little to cheer about as Chisox southpaw Don Secrist mowed down 15 straight batters in the first five frames, came alive in the sixth as Jim Redmon blasted a 3-run homer to change the game's complexion.

Thereafter, the Foxes had the parent club hanging on to its narrow lead. The hosts had Bobby Locker, one of the Chisox' top relievers, in trouble in each of the final three innings - but they couldn't push the tying run across.

The first appearance of a major league baseball team in Appleton thus produces a typical White Sox finish - a 1-run decision. The crowd was good-sized in view of the threat of rain that hung over the field several hours before game time. The last two innings were played in a drizzle.

Foxes standouts besides Redmon were Stu Singleton and George Hunter - with two hits apiece - and pitchers Bart Johnson and Rich Moloney, who blanked the major leaguers the final four frames.

Paul Edmonson, a 1-night lend-lease pitcher from Columbus, Ga., of the Southern League also pitched scoreless ball for the Foxes for the first three frames. He ran into a pair of two-run innings (the fourth and the fifth) that cost him the decision.

Shortstop Luis Aparicio and catcher Ed Herrmann were the White Sox, in addition to McCraw, who produced two hits apiece.

Two former Foxes who played for the White Sox reached base every time they were up. Carlos May drew a walk, drilled a single, and was hit by a pitched ball before leaving the contest in the fifth. Pete Ward, who entered the game in the seventh, walked in his two trips.

A Rough Evening

Bill Melton, another former Fox, experienced a rough evening. He struck out twice and hit into a double play in his only three trips.

For the first three innings, the hard-throwing Edmondson kept pace with Secrist, who compiled an 11-2 record at Indianapolis last year. The only hit by either in that span was an infield safety by Aparicio.

In the fourth, Aparicio beat out his second hit - this one to the shortstop. May, an AL Rookie of the Year candidate, slammed a single to left. McCraw singled sharply to right scoring Aparicio. After Melton had hit into a twin killing, Rich Morales doubled in the second run.

Hermann led off the White Sox fifth with a single to right and Secrist popped out trying to bunt. On a ground ball by Walt Williams, Redmon dropped Roger Reid's force-play throw. Bobby Knopp flied out, but May was hit by the pitcher, filling the bases. McCraw whacked a double to left to raise the lead to 4-0.

Singleton lined a leadoff single to left in the sixth to terminate Secrist's perfect game. After Wayne Weatherly and Bart Johnson fanned, Reid socked a double to right, moving Singleton to third. Redmon leaned into one of Secrist's offerings and lost it over the left-field fence - a prodigious 3-run wallop.

The Foxes missed a big opportunity to tie the game in the seventh. Hunter opened with a single and took second on Williams' error. Pinch-hitter Pete Lentine sacrificed him to third.

Ross Sapp batted for Edito Arteaga, but a suicide squeeze attempt went awry, and Herrmann put the tag on Hunter.

Raps Single

In the Appleton eighth, Singleton led off with a single, and Dana Ryan added a 2-out single. But, the side-arming Locker fielded Redmon's grounder and threw him out.

The Foxes final bid - a 1-out single by Hunter in the ninth - ended as the Chisox executed their only double play of the night.

The highlight of Johnson's 3-inning mound stint was striking out the side - Melton, Moreales, and Woody Held - in the sixth.


As part of the coverage, Ron Witt talked with White Sox Manager after the game. 


Don Gutteridge Lauds Foxes for Showing Against White Sox

A relaxed Don Gutteridge leaned one elbow on his desk, smiled, and remarked: "The Foxes are a good bunch of kids. They didn't know they were playing the big boys out there."

The White Sox manager had been rightfully impressed by Chicago's Class A Appleton farm club after his team had come away with a narrow, 4-3 exhibition victory before 4,278 fans. "I think the game was very profitable. We got everyone into the game except (catcher Duane) Josephson and some pitchers," he added.

Gutteridge, the former coach of the Pale Hose who took over the managing job when Al Lopez quit because of health reasons, was happy because he was able to maneuver his players and give almost everyone a chance at some action.

'Pretty Good'

The contest gave the new Sox pilot a better look at two members of his pitching staff who needed work. Southpaw Don Secrist, who had appeared in only three games so far this season, hurled the first six innings. An ace of the relief corps, right-hander, Bob Locker, then finished up.

"I thought my pitching was pretty good," Gutteridge commented. "You know, Secrist hasn't pitched more than two innings at one time. I think he did get a little tired, though. And Locker has been having trouble with his sinker. He needed to work on that."

Secrist was perfect through the first five frames, setting down the first 15 batters in order. The Foxes Stu Singleton finally broke up his bid for a no-hitter to start the sixth, a hit that eventually led to Jim Redmon's 3-run homer later in the same inning. Locker had trouble with men on through all three frames he pitched but managed to escape unscathed.

Gutteridge could be pleased, too, by the showing of the Foxes' hurlers. Starter Paul Edmundson, called up from the Class AA Columbus farm, looked good for the first three frames against the Sox. He wound up allowing all four runs, but just two were eared. Relievers Bart Johnson and Rich Maloney yielded just two hits in four innings.

Finding another good starting pitcher is a chief item on the Chisox' list of needs. Gutteridge disclosed before the game. "We're looking for another starting pitcher or long relief man," he declared. "We're watching the waivers, but there is nothing in the works right now."

In Good Mood

Another thing that put the Sox' pilot in a good mood was the return of first baseman Tom McCraw. McCraw, out since early spring training with a twisted knee, made his first appearance in a game since Boston's George Scott fell on him.

McCraw responded with two hits, in three trips, including a 2-run double, and drove in three runs for the night. "McCraw told me he felt wonderful," the elated Gutteridge said. "and that makes the game worthwhile in itself."

Gutteridge, a former minor league manager and a one-time roommate f Appleton manager Tom Saffell at Indianapolis, was asked often in his visit to talk about the former Foxes now playing for the White Sox. Here are some of his comments about:

Carlos May - "He's meant a tremendous amount to us this year. When he came to spring training, we didn't know that much about him. From his records, he sounded like a major leaguer, all right, and we were hoping that we could develop him into one from day to day. He has played practically every day, and he'll continue to play until he proves that he can't. He's leading the club in hitting, home runs, and RBIs. We've worked on his fielding and base-running but not much on his hitting. He's gotten stronger - and he just turned 21 last Saturday.

Bill Melton - "He's showed tremendous improvement. I think we can say he developed the last part of last year. He's made some plays at third base that have just been out of this world. He can also play the outfield. The only thing we changed with him was the way he held the bat - he used to uppercut too much."

Pete Ward - "He started out pretty good, but I haven't been playing him lately. He has a sore neck. He was in an auto accident about three years ago, and when he gets in a certain position, it hurts him. The other day he took a high throw and stretched. I'm trying to get him back on the beam. I want to try him at third base and put Melton in the outfield."

Gerry Nyman - "He hasn't been able to pitch all the time because of guard duty. But he stayed ready, and that's the important thing. I think he'll get another starting chance this week."

A recent acquisition for the club has been Bobby Knoop, second baseman from the California Angels. Gutteridge is high on the established defensive star.

"He's the best defensive second baseman in the league," Gutteridge said. "Now with Melton at third, Aparicio at short, and Knoop at second, we figure we've got about the best infield in the American League.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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