THROWBACK THURSDAY: ’03 All-Star Game, Belle’s corked bat, and the St. Joe’s auction


CHICAGO – This week’s edition of “Throwback Thursday” featured a pair of moments that happened on July 15th at the White Sox home ballpark.

We same home ballpark because it had two different names for each moment.

On July 15, 1994, it was Comiskey Park when there was the famous Albert Belle corked bat fiasco. That’s when the White Sox suspected that the Indians outfielder had an altered bat and had it confiscated and put into the umpire’s room.

But after the game, it was discovered that someone had taken the bat and replaced it will one from teammate Paul Sorrento. Reliever Jason Grimsley later admitted it was he who climbed through the ceiling to switch out the bats, putting one from Sorrento instead of Belle since it was suspected all his bats were corked.

A Chicago Police and FBI investigation followed, but eventually, the MLB was able to get Belle’s original bat. When it was found to be corked, he was suspended for seven games after an appeal brought it down from ten.

On July 15, 2003, the last MLB All-Star Game to date in the city was played at then US Cellular Field as the best from the American and National League met to determine who would have home field advantage in the World Series.

Esteban Loaiza of the White Sox started the game while then Cubs manager Dusty Baker led the National League since he was in charge of the reigning NL champion Giants in 2002. In the end, it was Hank Blalock’s two-run eighth-inning homer off Dodgers’ closer Eric Gagne that gave the American League the 7-6 victory.

Garret Anderson of the Angels was named MVP.

Larry Hawley took some time to reflect on both “Throwback Thursday” moments on WGN News Now while also having his own memories of St. Joseph’s (Westchester) High School from the film “Hoop Dreams” on the day in which athletics memorabilia was auctioned off.

Watch all of that in the video above.

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