Jack Brohamer (Trading Card Database)

September 24, 1977: Jack Brohamer hits for the cycle to lead White Sox over Seattle

This article was written by Joseph Wancho

Jack Brohamer (Trading Card Database)On June 27, 1922, catcher Ray Schalk became the first player in Chicago White Sox history to hit for the cycle. Schalk was better known for his work behind the plate than for his hitting, with a lifetime .253 batting average and just 11 home runs in 18 seasons. He was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1955 mostly for his defensive prowess.

For more than half a century after Schalk’s accomplishment, he remained the only White Sox player with a cycle. Generations of White Sox hitters, including Hall of Famers Luke Appling, Luis Aparicio, Nellie Fox, Minnie Miñoso, and 1972 American League MVP Dick Allen, came and went, but none managed to single, double, triple, and homer in the same game.

If White Sox fans were to choose the next player who would hit for the cycle, Jack Brohamer seemed to be an unlikely candidate. Over a nine-season major-league career, he hit for a modest .245 average, with only 12 triples and 30 home runs in 805 games.

The White Sox had acquired Brohamer in a trade with the Cleveland Indians on December 12, 1975. In 1976 he started at second base and batted .251, but his role was diminished in 1977. The 27-year-old Brohamer was now the utility infielder, playing both second base and third.

Chicago had finished sixth in the six-club AL West Division in 1976, and manager Paul Richards was replaced by Bob Lemon. The hiring reunited the new skipper with team owner Bill Veeck, who purchased the White Sox in 1975 from John Allyn. Veeck and Lemon were together in the late 1940s in Cleveland when Veeck was the Indians’ owner and Lemon a star pitcher. Another acquaintance Lemon renewed was with White Sox general manager Roland Hemond. Lemon was the manager of the Seattle Angels of the Pacific Coast League (1965-1966) when Hemond was the scouting director for the AL’s Los Angeles Angels (1961-1969).    

The White Sox had not won a title since their 1959 AL pennant, but Lemon’s team was in the division race for much of the 1977 season. Their offense was so potent that they were dubbed the South Side Hitmen. The White Sox smacked 192 home runs, the most in team history and second only to the Boston Red Sox’ 213 in the AL.

At the end of July, the White Sox took three of four games from the defending AL West champion Kansas City Royals and drew over 131,000 to Comiskey Park. Their lead over the Royals ballooned to 5½ games heading into August. But Chicago reversed its course with an 11-18 record in August and fell 2½ games behind Kansas City. The Royals then won 16 games in a row and 24 of 25 to take control and coast to the end of the season.

The ’77 Seattle Mariners were in their expansion season, and it was the first season of big-league baseball in the Great Northwest since the Seattle Pilots of 1969. Like many first-year clubs, the Mariners had their shortcomings when it came to talent. Still, they took season series over the Texas Rangers, Minnesota Twins, Detroit Tigers, and Oakland A’s. Under the direction of manager Darrell Johnson and because the Athletics (59-91) were a shell of their championship teams earlier in the decade, the Mariners (59-94) even had a chance to avoid finishing last in their initial season.

Seattle was finishing up the home portion of its schedule with a four-game series against the White Sox. Chicago took the first game on September 22, a 5-4 victory. Seattle won the second game, 3-2.

The third game was played on Saturday, September 24. The starting pitchers were Ken Kravec (9-8, 4.33 ERA) for Chicago and Diego Segui (0-6, 5.47 ERA) for Seattle. Kravec had won six games in a row in June and July but followed that streak with four straight losses in August. Segui, who had celebrated his 40th birthday earlier in the season, had hurled with the Pilots in 1969. He was in the last season of a 14-year career with six big-league teams.

Chicago’s Ralph Garr led off the game with an infield single and raced to third base on Chet Lemon’s double to left field. Segui, in his final big-league start, threw a wild pitch to score Garr. Segui came back to strike out Royle Stillman, but then gave up a double to center field by Oscar Gamble. Lemon scored and the White Sox led 2-0.

Johnson made the move to his bullpen, waving in Greg Erardi. The rookie right-hander initially did his part, as Eric Soderholm lined out to shortstop. The Mariners played the percentages and intentionally walked Jim Spencer to get to Brohamer, who entered with a .225 batting average, one home run, and 15 RBIs in 56 games. He had not started for Chicago in 13 days. But the White Sox second baseman crushed Erardi’s offering high and far over the right-field wall to give Chicago a 5-0 advantage.1

“We just made too bad a start,” said Johnson. “I was amazed at Diego Segui’s pitching. He just didn’t have good stuff.”2

Seattle got a run back in the bottom of the second frame. They loaded the bases against Kravec. The southpaw hit Dave Collins to force in Dan Meyer from third base.

The score remained 5-1 Chicago until the top of the fifth inning. With one away, Spencer singled to right field and advanced to third on a double to right by Brohamer. Johnson went to his bullpen again and brought in Bob Galasso. The right-hander walked Don Kessinger to load the bases. Bill Nahorodny followed with a fly ball scoring Spencer.

The White Sox extended their lead to 7-1 in the top of the sixth, when Brohamer singled home a run with two out. He needed just a triple to hit for the cycle.

He led off the ninth inning and ripped a hit to center field. He raced around the bases until he stopped at safely at third. “Bob Lemon was the manager, and after I’d hit a homer, two doubles, and a single in four times at bat, before I went to the plate the fifth time he told me, ‘If you hit the ball, don’t stop running until you get to third base,’ and I didn’t,” recalled Brohamer.3

Seattle scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth to make the final score 8-3. Kravec (10-8) was credited with the win while Segui (0-7) took the loss. Brohamer was 5-for-5, drove in four runs, and scored twice. It was his most productive game in the big leagues. He entered the record books for both teams. Not only was Brohamer the second White Sox player to hit for the cycle,4 it was the first cycle recorded in the Kingdome.5

Seattle won the fourth game of the series, 5-4. Chicago (90-72) finished the season in third place, 12 games behind first-place Kansas City (102-60). The Mariners (64-98) finished in sixth place in the AL West, edging Oakland (63-98) by a half-game.

The cycle in Seattle turned out to be Brohamer’s last hurrah with the White Sox. He signed a three-year free-agent contract with Boston after the season. He appeared in 166 games as a utility infielder with the Red Sox before returning to Cleveland to conclude his career in 1980.



This article was fact-checked by Kevin Larkin and copy-edited by Len Levin.

Photo credit: Jack Brohamer, Trading Card Database.



The author accessed Baseball-Reference.com and Retrosheet.org for box scores and play-by-play:





1 It was the fifth and final appearance of Erardi’s major-league career.

2 Hy Zimmerman, “Sox Whip M’s, 8-3,” Seattle Times, September 25, 1977: G1.

3 Russell Schneider, What Ever Happened to Super Joe? (Cleveland: Gray & Company, 2006), 191.

4 Through 2023, four more White Sox have hit for the cycle: Carlton Fisk in 1984, Chris Singleton in 1999, José Valentín in 2000, and José Abreu in 2017.

5 The Mariners played at the Kingdome from 1977 through June 1999. The only other player to hit for the cycle there was Seattle’s Jay Buhner in 1993.

Additional Stats

Chicago White Sox 8
Seattle Mariners 3

The Kingdome
Seattle, WA


Box Score + PBP:

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