If you’ve been reading South Side Sox for a while, you know that Harshman is one of my favorite old White Sox, and I only became aware of him because his name kept showing up at the top of Baseball-Reference.com Play Index searches for the best White Sox starts ever.
I finally dug into those starts over the offseason—he inspired the “White Sox Feats of Strength” series—and the more I read about his story, the more I wanted to read. As a result, I wrote four pretty long posts about a guy who went 48-34 over four seasons.
White Sox Feats of Strength: Jack Harshman’s 16-strikeout game
Harshman set the White Sox’s single-game strikeout record on July 25, 1954 by striking out 16 Boston Red Sox over nine innings. It’s a mark that wasn’t seriously challenged until Chris Sale struck out 15 Tampa Bay Rays last year. If Sale can’t do it, it seems like Harshman could hold the record for at least another 20 years.
White Sox Feats of Strength: Jack Harshman’s 16-inning shutout
A few weeks later, Harshman threw a start that nobody will touch, going the (extra-long) distance in a 1-0 victory over the Detroit Tigers. That post has the story about this line:
...That’s a pretty rich legacy for four years, during which he was overshadowed by Billy Pierce, Dick Donovan and Virgil Trucks. I’m sure it would be a thrill to see Sale or another Sox pitcher strike out 17 in a game, but I don’t mind Harshman holding the record for a long time if it encourages other people to look into his story.