Nine years ago, Buehrle no-hit Rangers

On April 18, 1991, new Comiskey Park opens

Nine years ago, Buehrle no-hit Rangers

CHICAGO -- The date of April 18 holds special significance in White Sox lore.

Mark Buehrle threw a no-hitter against the Rangers on a cold night at U.S. Cellular Field on this day in 2007. Buehrle, who doesn't exactly fit the no-hitter profile with his 85-mph fastball, followed up that with a perfect game hurled against the Rays at home on July 23, 2009.

And in 1991, after beginning the campaign with six victories on a seven-road trip, the White Sox returned home to open up the new Comiskey Park. It was the first new sports facility in Chicago since Chicago Stadium in 1929 and the first new baseball-only stadium in the Majors since Royals Stadium in 1972, per White Sox gameday notes.

Detroit won that contest by a 16-0 margin.

"It was a nice new stadium and everyone was excited," said a smiling White Sox manager Robin Ventura, who played third base and finished 2-for-4 during Frank Tanana's complete-game effort. "But it didn't go well that day. It wasn't a good day all the way around."

Dignitaries such as Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley and Vice President Dan Quayle were in attendance for a game that got out of hand when the Tigers scored six in the third off of Jack McDowell. Detroit scored 10 in the fourth off relievers Brian Drahman and Ken Patterson, sending 15 men to the plate.

"I remember the ball was flying out of here," Ventura said. "I remember everybody thinking this was going to be a hitter's park the first day because it was cold and the ball was flying out of here. It was so opposite of that. This was a pitchers park all the way after that.

"It was very much like what happened this year. We showed up from the road and had to play that day. You get here and have no idea where anything is at because nobody has ever been here. You didn't know where you were parking, how to get in the clubhouse or where your locker was. Your routine of going to hit or do something wasn't there."

Ventura remembers that the Oak Ridge Boys performed the national anthem. Future World Series champion manager Ozzie Guillen started at shortstop for the White Sox and future Hall of Famers Frank Thomas (first base) and Carlton Fisk (catcher) also were in the lineup.

Sammy Sosa started in right field for the White Sox on April 18, 1991. Sixteen years later, Sosa was the only Rangers hitter to reach base via a Buehrle one-out walk in the fifth. Buehrle promptly picked Sosa off first, leading to Joe Crede's stellar play on a Gerald Laird grounder to third to end the no-hitter.

Scott Merkin is a reporter for Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.