Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Another 1964?

Today is do or die. Win or go home. You get my drift. There will be a celebration in Chicago today. Someone will go to the playoffs after this final game.

The funny thing is, this isn't the first time that the Sox were down to the wire. They were the bridesmaid team of the fifties and sixties, mostly to the Yankees. Second place was their fate for most of those years. The Sox had great teams but always fell just short.

Take 1967. The Red Sox, Twins, Tigers and White Sox were all in range of the World Series during the final week. The White Sox finished three games back to the Red Sox, when all was said and done.

1967 was the most famous pennant race, but 1964 was the most heartbreaking. The White Sox finished one game back of the Yankees that year. One game. The Sox won 98 games in 1964, which is four more than their last World Series appearance, to that point, in 1959. The Sox won their last nine games. The playoffs seems a lock.

How did they lose? The Yankees had a late season 11 game winning streak. Heartache is not just a Cubs trait. The Cubs failures and near misses just get more publicity. The White Sox have been there too.

1955 - 3rd - 5 games back
1956 - 3rd - 12 games back
1957 - 2nd - 8 games back
1958 - 2nd - 10 games back
1959 - 1st - 5 games up
1960 - 3rd - 10 games back
1963 - 2nd - 10.5 games back
1964 - 2nd - 1 game back
1965 - 2nd - 7 games back
1967 - 4th - 3 games back

Before 1955 and after 1967, the White Sox couldn't even see first place in September with binoculars. During the stretch from 1955 until 1967, they were in the thick of the pennant race until at least the final weeks of the season, for most years.

Will this be the year that the White Sox win by one game? We will all know after tonight.

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