(670 The Score) In the moment, veteran reliever David Robertson realized that what was occurring was hilarious. Perhaps it wasn’t appropriate to laugh at the scene just yet, but someday soon enough, it would be.
It was July 23, 2016 at then-named U.S. Cellular Field, and Robertson had just entered the White Sox’s clubhouse on the tail end of ace Chris Sale – in a fit of rage – cutting up collared 1976 throwback uniforms that the team was supposed to wear that day in conjunction with a special marketing promotion. Sale was scheduled to pitch that day, and he thought the uniforms were uncomfortable. So Sale literally cut them up.
On Wednesday afternoon, Robertson – who now pitches on the other side of town for the Cubs – reflected on the jersey-cutting incident during an interview on the Parkins & Spiegel Show and explained how he got his personal throwback jersey autographed by Sale later in the season as the two shared a laugh looking back.
“So I was a little late to the clubhouse,” Robertson said. “I was late to the party on that day. But I will say, those were a tough jersey to wear, and Chris Sale would not have looked very flattering in that dress. So I came in. Obviously, there’s a buzz about the clubhouse and I look around like, ‘Hey, these uniforms are all cut up. Hmm, this is going to be interesting. What’s going to happen?’ A few things happened. I think Chris got in some trouble for that one. But being the veteran that I was, I came in and immediately knew what was going to happen. I grabbed my jersey, balled it up, shoved it in the back of my locker. Because I knew later on in the year, there would be the right opportunity and chance to ask Chris for an autograph and maybe some choice words on the back of my jersey.”
Sale was happy to oblige.
“So that’s what I did,” Robertson said. “I hung around until the last week (of the season) and just kind of snuck it back out and got Chris to autograph it and put some choice words on it for me. And now it’s up in my house. It’s a great little keepsake to have. It’s a good little story to tell people.”
Robertson laughed when asked what message Sale wrote on the jersey, explaining he couldn’t repeat those words on live radio. To paraphrase, Sale wrote it was the ugliest jersey he ever saw.
“A little more choice words than that,” Robertson added. “He just didn’t like these jerseys. And I love Chris. That was a good one. I couldn’t believe that happened. I’d never seen anything like it.”
Robertson added his cut-up jersey isn’t in shreds. It simply has one huge slice in the back of it.
“It’s like a gown, open back,” Robertson said.
On the day of the incident, Sale was scratched from his start and sent home by the team. Sale was then suspended five days by the White Sox for his actions. The White Sox traded him to the Red Sox in the ensuing offseason, a move in December 2016 that kicked off their rebuilding process in earnest.
Robertson pitched for the White Sox for part of the 2017 season before being traded to the Yankees.