August 8: The Shorts Game

ShortsOn August 8, 1988 the first night game was played at Wrigley Field. You see, every other baseball stadium had installed lights and had played a night game, but up until this point Wrigley (built in 1914) had no lights, and every game was played during the day.  This all changed when the Cubs faced the Philadelphia Phillies in a game that got rained out after three and a half innings. The Cubs eventually played their first full night game at Wrigley the next evening against the New York Mets.

However, we’re not here to talk about that. We’re here to talk about another momentous event in Chicago baseball history; August 8, 1976: The Chicago White Sox play the first game of a double header in shorts.

In 1976, the White Sox had recently been acquired by a new owner, the notorious and magnificent baseball legend Bill Veeck. Unfortunately, the team was not expected to do well that year, so Veeck decided that he’d draw attention to the team by talking up the team’s new uniforms. In a press conference, Veeck stated “We may not be the greatest team in baseball, at least not for a few years, but we’ll immediately be the most stylish team in the game.” and promised that Comiskey Park would replace Paris as the fashion capital of the world.

When the fashion conscious White Sox jerseys were unveiled, the thing that caught the most attention was the presence of shorts. Shorts had never been featured as part of a baseball jersey before because when you consider how much diving and sliding there is in baseball, shorts just aren’t a practical uniform option. Veeck claimed the shorts would be worn on hot days and would allow the players to keep cool.

So, fast forward to August 1976, the Sox were doing terribly, game attendance was dwindling and so Veeck announces that the Sox would wear the shorts during the double header against the Kansas City Royals on August 8. So, on that fateful day the White Sox took the field in shorts, much to the delight of the Royals players who accused the Sox of looking like a softball team.  In the end, the White Sox won the game 5-2 with White Sox player Bill Stein making a sliding steal. However, the Sox players swore to never wear the shorts again and wore pants in the second game of the double header…which they lost, 7–1.

After a lot of thought, I determined that we’d have to find a ridiculous drink to go with those ridiculous baseball uniforms. So, courtesy of the Red Robin restaurant chain, here’s a goofy little concoction fittingly called Sand In Your Shorts. It’s a potent and very sweet mix of liqueurs with a bit of fruit juice to keep you from passing out right there in the restaurant. If this looks like the kind of thing you’d enjoy drinking, then I’m sure you will.

Sand In Your Shorts

  • 1/2 ounce Chambord Raspberry Liqueur
  • 1/2 ounce Vodka
  • 1/2 ounce Peach Schnapps
  • 1/2 ounce Midori
  • 1/2 ounce Triple Sec
  • 3 ounces orange juice
  • 1 ounce sweet and sour mix
  • 1 ounce cranberry juice

Pour the Chambord into the bottom of a 16 ounce glass.  Fill the glass with ice, and then add the rest of the ingredients. Do not stir. Garnish the drink with an orange wedge and cherry on a toothpick. Drink through a straw.

Tomorrow: We sail tonight for Singapore. We’re all as mad as hatters here.

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