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MAY 6 (1964) - Roof*
By Bill Grimes
May 6, 2007 - 7:51 PM

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Up on the roof

 

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS MAY 6, 1964 Chicago White Sox slugger Dave Nicholson hit a home run over the roof of old Comiskey Park in Chicago on this day in baseball history. Some believe the ball cleared the roof, which would have meant it traveled over 570 feet, but that cannot be confirmed. Nicholson, a relative unknown, joined a select group that day. Before May 6, 1964, only Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Jimmy Foxx, Hank Greenberg, Ted Williams, Mickey Mantle, Bill Skowron, Elston Howard and former White Sox Eddie Robinson and Minnie Minoso had hit home runs on or over the roof at Comiskey. It was done numerous times after Nicholson did it, but several factors have to be taken into account; home plate was moved up, a livelier ball was used, and the pitcher’s mound was lowered to benefit the hitter.

Dave Nicholson had potential written all over him when he broke in with Baltimore in 1960, but the potential never blossomed. His best year was 1963 with the White Sox. He played in 126 games, hit 22 home runs and had 70 RBI. The problem was, he hit only .229 (the highest batting average in his 7 years in major league baseball) and struck out a club record 175 times.

At 6 - 2, 215 pounds, Nicholson is probably more known for something he did off the field as anything he did on it. He became so frustrated after a particularly tough day that he shut off the showers so hard in the Sox locker room none of his teammates could turn them back on. The story is confirmed by former teammate Jim Landis.

Read more:
Total White Sox: The difinitive encyuclopedia of the World Champion Franchise, by Richard L Lindberg, copyright, 2006
http://archive.sportingnews.com/baseball/ballparks/comiskeyold.html
http://www.flyingsock.com/OldComiskey/Letters.htm
http://www.baseball-almanac.com/players/player.php?p=nichoda01
http://chicago.whitesox.mlb.com/cws/history/season_records.jsp
http://www.andrewclem.com/Baseball/ComiskeyPark.html

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