Monday, December 31, 2012

December 31

1955 Bowman #86 - Ted Gray

On this day in 1924, pitcher Ted Gray was born.

Born in Detroit, Michigan, Ted was the star of his high school and caught the attention of the Detroit Tigers, who signed him at age seventeen, in 1942. He joined the Tigers in 1942, but did not play. Then he joined the Navy for the remainder of World War II and pitched on the Navy team. He rejoined professional baseball in the 1946 season.

After the 1954 season, he was sent to the White Sox in a six player deal. Gray made his White Sox debut on May 1, 1955 against the Orioles in the first game of a doubleheader. Ted started the game and went one and two-thirds innings, giving up two runs while facing just nine batters. Gray came into a game against the Detroit Tigers to start the seventh inning on May 7th and gave up four runs over one and a third innings. The White Sox released Ted on May 23, 1955. He also pitched for and was released by the Cleveland Indians, the New York Yankees and the Baltimore Orioles in 1955.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Catching Up This Week

I apologize for the lack of updates over the weekend. Those of you who are personal or Facebook friends already know that there was a death in the family that took priority over the blog. Things should be up to date by mid-week.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

September 16

2009 Allen & Ginter Baseball Highlights #10 - Jim Thome

On this day in 2007, Jim Thome hit his 500th home run.

It was the last game of a home stand. The strain was starting to wear on the fans, waiting for the inevitable blast. Questions and scenarios ran rampant among everyone. Would Jim hit the milestone at home? If so, when?

Things looked bleak on a sunny Sunday afternoon. It was Jim Thome bobblehead day and the Sox were facing the tough Los Angeles Angels. Entering the bottom of the seventh, Jim Thome had one more chance to hit the milestone. The Sox were down 7-1 and Thome was seven batters away. An improbable comeback started to mount. Danny Richar and Andy Gonzalez hit singles. Richar scored on Toby Hall's single. Hall was forced out by Jerry Owens' grounder. Owens stole second base shortly after and scored with Gonzalez on Josh Fields' home run. Jim Thome struck out, followed by a Paul Konerko double and Jermaine Dye lineout. It seemed that Thome's chances of hitting the milestone at home had vanished. The Sox scored four runs, but were still short two runs with time dwindling down.

Juan Uribe walked to lead off the eighth. The next batter, Danny Richar, homered to tie the game. This set up another possible chance for Thome. He would be up in five batters. If the Sox continued on this torrid path, Jim would be up in the eighth. If one of the next three batters hit a solo home run and the rest got outs, then Thome would have to accomplish his historic homer on the road. The next three batters, Gonzalez, A.J. Pierzynski and Owens, all made outs.

MacDougal faced four batters in the top of the ninth, giving up a single, which was erased by a double play, and a walk, but got out of the half inning unscathed. The bottom of the ninth started with a right field single by Darin Erstad off of Angels reliever Dustin Moseley, who just came into the game, replacing Scot Shields. Thome stepped up to the plate and hit a home run to deep center field. No one could have scripted it better. Jim hit his milestone, in front of the home crowd. It was the first 500th home run to be a walk-off and also the first to be hit on that player's own bobblehead day.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

September 15

1965 Topps #198 - Smoky Burgess

On this day in 1964, Smoky Burgess had his first at-bat in a White Sox uniform.

In the top of the eighth inning, Smoky pinch hit for pitcher Joe Horlen. The Sox were down 2-1 to the Tigers in Detroit. The South Siders were smack dab in the middle of a pennant race, so every game counted. Tiger pitcher Dave Wickersham threw a pitch in Burgess' wheelhouse and Smoky responded by hitting a home run to tie the game. The score would stay tied until the tenth inning, when Marv Staehle hit a single scoring J.C. Martin as the go ahead run. The White Sox would win their eighty-seventh game. The Sox would win ninety-eight games in 1964, but lose the pennant by one game to the New York Yankees.

Smoky was selected off of waivers by the White Sox from the Pittsburgh Pirates on September 12, 1964. He spent the rest of his career, until his retirement in 1967, in a White Sox uniform. Burgess only caught seven games for the Sox. He was used almost exclusively as a pinch hitter.

Friday, September 14, 2012

September 14

1986 Topps #447 - Jerry Don Gleaton

On this day in 1957, pitcher Jerry Don Gleaton was born.

Jerry was traded to the Chicago White Sox on June 27, 1984, from the Seattle Mariners, along with Gene Nelson for Salome Barojas. Gleaton hadn't played in the majors since 1982, but Jerry did decently enough in eleven games during the 1984 season for the Pale Hose, that he was with the parent club for the 1985 season.

Gleaton's pitching worsened during thirty-one games in the 1985 season. His ERA ballooned past five, even while primarily working as a left-handed specialist to only a few batters or less per game. Jerry spent all of 1986 with the AA affiliate Buffalo Bisons. Gleaton was selected by the Kansas City Royals through free agency after the 1986 season. With the exception of 1983 and 1986, Jerry spent 1979 through 1992 in the majors.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

September 13

1968 Topps #99 - Rocky Colavito

On this day in 1967, Rocky Colavito ended a shutout in the seventeenth inning.

White Sox hurler Gary Peters and Cleveland Indians right-hander Sonny Siebert were locked in a 0-0 tie for eleven innings. Both starters were relieved in the twelfth inning after commanding performances. Although Seibert gave up more hits (4), he gave up no walks. Peters gave up ten walks, but only one hit. Both allowed no runs to cross the plate, in the heat of a pennant race. The bullpen continued the good fortune for each side into the seventeenth inning. In the bottom of the seventeenth, the Sox started to stir, with a single from Ken Boyer. Boyer was replaced by Buddy Bradford on the bases. Bradford took second on a passed ball to Tommy McCraw, who eventually was intentionally walked. Rocky Colavito, who had played all seventeen innings in right field, hit a single scoring Bradford from second to win the game. Colavito went 1-7 in the game.

Rocky was traded to the White Sox on July 29, 1967 by the Cleveland Indians for Jim King and Marv Staehle. Rocky didn't make much of an impact with the Sox, just hitting .221, but occasionally, he showed a flare for the dramatic, such as the game against his former team on September 13, 1967. On March 26, 1968, Colavito was purchased by the Los Angeles Dodgers. Rocky was released by the Dodgers in July 1968 and was signed by the New York Yankees, where he finished the season and his career.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

September 12

2008 Topps Red Hot Rookies #16 - Clayton Richard

On this day in 1983, pitcher Clayton Richard was born.

Clayton was selected in the eighth round of the 2005 draft, out of the University of Michigan. He was the second Michigan alum taken in that draft by the Chicago White Sox. The first being Chris Getz, drafted in the fourth round. Richard moved up the ranks in the Sox minor league system each year, until his debut with the parent club on July 23, 2008.

Richard spent part of two years, 2008 and 2009, with the White Sox. During this time, he compiled a 6-8 record with a 5.14 ERA. Throwing errors plagued his time with the South Siders and cost Clayton some victories. On July 31, 2009, Richard, along with Aaron Poreda, Adam Russell and Dexter Carter, were traded to the San Diego Padres for pitcher Jake Peavy.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

September 11

2001 Topps #758 - Chicago White Sox Team

On this day in 2001, the White Sox were in New York, waiting to start a three game series with the Yankees, when tragedy struck.

The calls started pouring in shortly after 9AM, to the Grand Hyatt, where the team was staying. Bullpen coach Art Kusnyer got a wakeup call from his wife. Broadcaster Ken Harrelson was brushing his teeth, when he glanced at the television and saw a tower in flames. The team had arrived at the hotel only three to four hours prior, after getting into town late from Cleveland. Mark Buehrle was anxiously awaiting his first trip to Yankee Stadium. That would ultimately be delayed three weeks.

Chaos, confusion and tense moments were commonplace the rest of the visit. The bustling city of New York had turned into a ghost town before the team's eyes. A general haze hung over the sky and players were waiting for a building to come falling down on them, mainly because the hotel they were staying at was connected to Grand Central Terminal, another potential target. The White Sox received permission to bring buses into Manhattan through the NYPD liaison, who normally worked with MLB teams. Two buses arrived for the team on September 12th, just shy of 24 hours after the attacks began. Two nurses hitched a ride with the Sox across the George Washington bridge. One of the last images of a surreal 24 hours.

Many of the team personnel that were on that trip are still with the club. Out of the players that were part of that trip, only Paul Konerko still remains with the White Sox.

Monday, September 10, 2012

September 10

1960 MacGregor - Ted Kluszewski

On this day in 1924, Ted Kluszewski was born.

On August 25, 1959, the Pittsburgh Pirates traded Ted Kluszewski to the Chicago White Sox for minor leaguer Bob Sagers and Harry "Suitcase" Simpson. Over one season and a half, Ted hit seven home runs and forty-nine RBI. By the time Klu came to the White Sox, his career was nearly over. He was reduced to a part-time player, due to injuries.

Still, Ted provided the right punch to vault the Sox into the postseason for the first time since 1919. Kluszewski hit two home runs in the 1959 World Series opener, helping his team score a 11-0 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers. Ted was taken in the expansion draft by the Los Angeles Angels. The inaugural season in Los Angeles turned out to be Kluszewski's last in the majors.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

WSC Birth Years: Leyson Septimo

Card #118 - Leyson Septimo

Born: July 7, 1985

Originally signed by the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2003, Leyson was selected off of waivers by the Chicago White Sox on June 13, 2011. After making his way through AA Birmingham and AAA Charlotte, Septimo found himself pitching in the big leagues on June 29, 2012, against the Yankees in New York, pitching a perfect ninth inning, striking out Alex Rodriguez and Robinson Cano.

Septimo throws a four-seam and two-seam fastball, a slider and a changeup. He has been used primarily as a left-handed specialist, since his MLB debut, a role in which he has excelled.

September 9

1983 Donruss Action All-Stars #4 - Greg Luzinski

On this day in 1983, Greg Luzinski hit a home run, completing back to back to back home runs for the White Sox.

Rudy Law may have started the bottom of the first off with a groundout to first base, but the next batter would change the fortunes of the White Sox against Tommy John and the California Angels. Carlton "Pudge" Fisk took John deep. Then Tom "Wimpy" Paciorek took Tommy John deep. Finally Greg "Bull" Luzinski took the battered Angels pitcher deep. When all was said and done, Sox pitcher Britt Burns threw a one-hit gem and the South Siders won the game by a score of 11-0. Those three home runs ended up being the only ones hit out that night.

Bull was purchased by the White Sox from the Philadelphia Phillies on March 30, 1981. Luzinski would spend his final four years in a White Sox uniform. He was chosen "designated hitter of the year" in 1981 and 1983. Greg hit eighty-four home runs with the White Sox.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

September 8

1977 TCMA The War Years #15 - Tom Turner

On this day in 1916, catcher Tom Turner was born.

Tom was selected by the Chicago White Sox from the St. Louis Cardinals on October 3, 1939, in the Rule 5 draft. He made his debut on April 25, 1940, in Cleveland, pinch hitting for pitcher Clint Brown in the top of the ninth inning. Turner struck out in his first plate appearance. The White Sox lost 3-1 and went to a 1-5 record on the young season.

Turner would play with the White Sox for four and a half seasons. He managed a .234 average during his time with the Sox. On July 31, 1944, Tom was purchased from the Pale Hose by the St. Louis Browns. Once there, he hit .320 over fifteen games and made the postseason. Turner made one appearance, in the fourth game of the World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals. He pinch hit for pitcher Tex Shirley and flew out to center fielder Johnny Hopp. The Browns lost the series in six games. That appearance in the World Series was the last time Tom played in the major leagues.

Friday, September 7, 2012

September 7

1982 Donruss #143 - Tony Bernazard

On this day in 1982, Tony went three for four with two RBI.

Although Tony didn't do much at the end of the game, his at-bats before his strikeout consisted of an RBI single, a solo home run and a sacrifice bunt. Bernazard's selflessness at the plate and consistent hitting helped the White Sox get the early lead on Tommy John and Bruce Kison of the California Angels. The White Sox won, in California, 7-4.

Tony came to the White Sox through a trade with the Montreal Expos on December 12, 1980. He was one of the players that helped the White Sox grow with their new owners and develop into a division winning team by 1983. Bernazard probably provided the key ingredient to the 1983 team... by being traded to the Seattle Mariners on June 15, 1983. The White Sox received Julio Cruz in return for Tony, who helped spark that team win the division by twenty games.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

September 6

1911 Turkey Red (T3) #118 - Frank Smith

On this day in 1905, Frank Smith pitched the most lopsided no-hitter in American League history.

Frank did not allow a home run in 1904 or 1905. This control hit its apex on September 6, 1905, when he pitched a no-hitter in the second game of a doubleheader against the Tigers in Detroit. He struck out eight, walked three and retired the last seventeen hitters to pitch the fifth no-hitter in American League history. Detroit starting pitcher Jimmy Wiggs gave up eight runs in the first inning on five walks, five errors and one hit. He was relieved in the second inning, and the White Sox tacked on another seven runs over the remaining innings to build up a fifteen run lead. The Sox won the game 15-0.

Smith was drafted by the White Sox in September 1903. He would go 108-80 over seven seasons with the White Sox before he was traded to the Boston Red Sox in 1910. Frank pitched 156 complete games for the South Siders.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

September 5

1965 Topps #81 - Don Buford

On this day in 1967, Don went three for five with a run scored and an RBI.

Don's big day came to a head in the eighth inning, when he hit the go-ahead home run off of Dooley Womack, to put the White Sox ahead for good against the New York Yankees. After a Fred Klages start that would last only one and a third innings, Wilbur Wood finished out the second inning for the Pale Hose. Steve Jones came in the game to start the bottom of the third inning and pitched four and a third innings to earn the victory in relief.

Buford signed with the White Sox in November 1959 and made his debut in 1963. While his best years would be in Baltimore, the foundation of those years came during the first half of his career in Chicago. In 1966, Don led the league in sacrifice hits with seventeen. Buford was second in the AL in stolen bases in 1966 and 1967, including his career high of fifty-one in '66. He was traded to the Baltimore Orioles, along with Bruce Howard and Roger Nelson on November 29, 1967 for Luis Aparicio, John Matias and Russ Snyder.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

September 4

1986 White Sox Coke #KH - Ken "Hawk" Harrelson

On this day in 1941, Ken Harrelson was born.

Call your sons! Call your daughters! Call your friends! Call your neighbors! It's Hawk's birthday!

While Harrelson never played for the White Sox during his playing career, which lasted from 1963 to 1971, he has certainly (for better or worse) ingrained himself into the lexicon for the baseball team that resides on the South Side of Chicago. Ken was hired as a broadcaster for the White Sox in 1982, after being fired from the Boston Red Sox broadcasting booth, and lasted through the 1985 season. Critical comments that he made during the 1985 season led to Harrelson being promoted to General Manager for the 1986 season. In what could only be called "disastrous", Hawk made questionable moves, such as trading away Bobby Bonilla and firing Tony LaRussa and Dave Dombrowski. Notable players that the White Sox received through trade during Hawk's tenure would be Ivan Calderon and Steve Lyons. Notable signings include Craig Grebeck and Steve Carlton. Scott Radinsky and Matt Merullo were drafted under his watch. His GM tenure is always the source of great debate among White Sox fans. Some bonehead moves were balanced out by smaller moves than panned out in the early nineties.

By 1990, Hawk was back in the broadcast booth for the White Sox, partnered with ex-White Sox player Tom Paciorek. He has since partnered with Darrin Jackson and Steve Stone, regularly since Paciorek's departure. Harrelson is now known more for his jukebox of catchphrases and overblown, imaginary arguments with umpires and personnel from the opposing team. Occasionally, Hawk will giggle like a schoolgirl at White Sox players getting hit in the testicles.

Monday, September 3, 2012

RIP Michael Clarke Duncan

Rest in peace, White Sox fan.

September 3

1987 Fleer #507 - Bobby Thigpen

On this day in 1990, Bobby Thigpen broke Dave Righetti's save record.

In the ninth inning, manager Jeff Torborg made a couple of changes. First, he replaced Frank Thomas at first base with Steve Lyons. Then he replaced pitcher Barry Jones with Bobby Thigpen. The crowd at Comiskey Park went wild when Thiggy took the mound. Royals manager John Wathan made one move of his own. He replaced third baseman Bill Pecota, who was leading off, with Kevin Seitzer. Seitzer proceeded to ground out to shortstop Ozzie Guillen. Center fielder Brian McCrae hit a ground ball between second and first. Future Hall of Famer George Brett, who was the designated hitter that night, stepped into the batter's box. Brett hit a ground ball to second baseman Scott Fletcher, who threw to Guillen, who stepped on second and threw to Lyons for the double play. Thigpen had saved his forty-seventh game, a new record. He would go on to record fifty-seven saved in 1990, a record that would stand until 2008, when Francisco Rodriguez broke the mark with sixty-two.

Bobby was drafted by the White Sox in the 1985 June amateur draft, in the fourth round. He spent eight seasons with the White Sox, racking up 201 saves. He was dealt to the Philadelphia Phillies on August 10, 1993 for pitcher Jose DeLeon. Thigpen signed with the Seattle Mariners before the 1994 season and pitched in seven games for the team before being released. Bobby went to Japan and played with the Fukuoka Daiei Hawks for the 1994 and 1995 seasons. Thigpen was back in the White Sox organization in 1996, but never made it past AAA. Bobby is currently a pitching coach in the White Sox minor league organization.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

WSC Birth Years: Brian Omogrosso

Card #117 - Brian Omogrosso

Born: April 26, 1984

To say that injuries haven't been a factor in delaying Brian's promotion to the majors would be like saying frozen water didn't play a major role in the sinking of the Titanic. Injuries were the only reason, but they played a huge part in why. Omogrosso was drafted by the Chicago White Sox in 2006, in the sixth round of the amateur draft. Brian already had Tommy John surgery in 2005, which led to a season out of college ball.

Omogrosso rose through the ranks slowly in the White Sox minor league system. By 2009, he had finally worked his way up to AAA Charlotte, when a torn labrum sidelined him again. Brian started back at the bottom in 2010, while returning from that injury. By 2011, he was back in AAA and finally made his MLB debut against the Texas Rangers on July 3, 2012. His first two games weren't at all spectacular, but Brian has settled down since and was brought back up to the parent club in the first wave of September call-ups.

September 2

1995 Topps #77 - Tim Raines

On this day in 1995, Tim Raines had his American League record forty consecutive steals end.

In the bottom of the third inning, at Comiskey Park, against the Toronto Blue Jays, Lance Johnson hit safely with one out. Johnson then stole second base with Tim Raines at the plate. It becomes moot when Rock Raines walks. With Dave Martinez at the plate, Lance and Tim attempt a double steal. Lance successfully steals third base, but Blue Jays catcher Randy Knorr throws Raines out at second, ending his AL record streak of consecutive steals at forty.

Tim came to the White Sox through a trade with the Montreal Expos on December 23, 1990. The Sox sent Ivan Calderon and Barry Jones to Canada in return for Raines, Jeff Carter and a player to be named later, which was Mario Brito. Rock played for the White Sox from 1991 until 1995, when he was traded to the New York Yankees after the '95 season for minor league pitcher Blaise Kozeniewski. Raines was third in stolen bases in 1991 and had a 100% stolen base percentage in 1994. He was also first in 1992 for left fielder range and first in left field fielding percentage in 1993. Tim returned as a coach with the White Sox for the 2005 and 2006 seasons.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

September 1

2009 Upper Deck Icons #16 - Carlos Quentin

On this day in 2008 Carlos Quentin broke his wrist, ending his season prematurely.

If Joe Crede and Orlando Cabrera had only gotten outs, along with the flyball out by A.J. Pierzynski, in the ninth inning, Carlos Quentin would have never stepped to the plate for one last time. It was during this at-bat by Quentin that he fouled off the second pitch by Indians starter Cliff Lee. Carlos was so frustrated by that foul ball that he automatically did something he had done thousands of times before. He took the bat in his left hand and hit down the bat head on his closed right fist. Only this time he missed and nicked his wrist. He finished the at-bat by grounding into a double play, ending the game.

While the injury didn't prevent the White Sox from getting into the postseason. The Pale Hose only won twelve more games after September 1st, but it was enough to squeak by the Minnesota Twins in a Game 163. It did rob Carlos Quentin of a possible MVP trophy, at the very least. Without Quentin in the lineup for the ALDS against the Tampa Bay Rays, the White Sox looked limp. The White Sox only won the third game of the playoff series and their hopes of repeating as World Champions just a few seasons after their eighty-eight year drought ended was quickly dashed. This was Quentin's season to prove himself and he derailed it all by himself. Carlos provided peeks into his brilliant 2008 performance in further seasons with the Sox, but could never replicate his first season on the South Side. He was traded to the San Diego Padres on December 31, 2011 for Simon Castro and Pedro Hernandez.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Favorite Cards: California Angels

1985 Topps #61 - Curt Kaufman

Sometimes a card sticks in your mind, years after you've last laid eyes upon it, but you have no earthly idea why. This is one of those cards.

When I close my eyes and remember the cards I ravenously liberated from wax packs in my youth, for whatever reason, this card is one that I always picture. Curt was never even close to a star. In two short seasons with the New York Yankees and one full season with the California Angels, Kaufman never once faced my beloved White Sox. I have virtually no frame of reference for this player, except for this one card that I found in a pack of 1985 Topps, when I was eight or nine.

The first thing that strikes me about this card is the look on Kaufman's face. It's one of concentration and bemusement. Curt would be either twenty-six or twenty-seven when this photograph was taken, yet he looks like the fifth year senior selling cigarettes in the high school bathroom for a quarter each.

Maybe the position of the head, in it's odd way floating ever so slightly to the right of the body. I know this wasn't tampered with, but something is off about the definition of the head in relation to the body that makes me openly question what I am seeing. The blurred trees in the background and the gradient blue sky remind me of the movie E.T. In a strange way, the subtle disembodiment of Kaufman's head and the sleek, thin neck reminds me of Zreck (E.T.'s actual name according to the sequel script), especially the way it seems to be gravitating away from the shoulder area where my eye interprets it should be. The fact that I can see "Angels" spelled out three distinct times just adds to the bizarre juxtaposition.

All these things have definitely contributed to remembering this card after twenty-seven years. Mostly because of these mind games, it continues to be one of my favorite cards.

August 31

1937 O-Pee-Chee (V300) #135 - Vernon Kennedy

On this day in 1935, Vern Kennedy threw a no-hitter against the Cleveland Indians.

Vern threw the first no-hitter at Comiskey Park. The final score was 5-0, but Kennedy was just warming up to his finest season, which came in 1936. Vern went 21-9, made the All-Star team and came in sixth in MVP voting, during the 1936 season.

Kennedy would pitch for the White Sox from 1934 until 1937, compiling a 46-35 record over that time. On December 2, 1937, Vern was part of a six player deal with the Detroit Tigers that sent Marv Owen, Mike Tresh and Gee Walker to the White Sox for Kennedy, Tony Piet and Dixie Walker. Vern would last in the majors until 1945.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

August 30

2003 Upper Deck Vintage #206 - Joe Borchard

On this day in 2004, Joe Borchard hit the longest home run currently hit at U.S. Cellular Field.

This game was a make up game for a June 10th rain out. In the bottom of the second inning, with Juan Uribe aboard, Joe Borchard blasts one 504 feet to right-center field, off of Philadelphia Phillies starter (and future White Sox reliever) Brett Myers, eclipsing the previous mark set by Frank Thomas of 495 feet from 2002 off of Johan Santana, then of the Minnesota Twins. The Phillies and White Sox went back and forth all game, with the Sox prevailing 9-8, even after closer Shingo Takatsu gave up two runs in the ninth inning.

The odds were stacked against Joe Borchard from the very beginning, when he received a $5.3 million signing bonus by choosing to play for the White Sox and gave up a career in football, after being selected 12th overall in the 2000 draft.  He made his MLB debut in 2002, but never lived up to his full potential because of a "football mentality" and inconsistent contact at the plate. When Borchard connected, the results were astounding, but more often than not, Joe looked out of place. The White Sox traded Borchard on March 20, 2006 to the Seattle Mariners for reliever Matt Thornton. Thornton is still in the majors with the White Sox. Joe Borchard last played in the majors in 2007, with the Florida Marlins, and announced his retirement in 2011.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

August 29

1974 Topps #394 - Ken Henderson

On this day in 1975, Ken Henderson becomes the first White Sox player to homer from both sides of the plate in the same game.

Ken struck first in the top of the first with a home run off of Orioles starter Ross Grimsley. Grimsley was replaced by Wayne Garland in the top of the second inning. Henderson's first plate appearance against Garland resulted in a groundout in the top of the third. In the top of the fifth, Ken struck out. In the top of the eighth, Henderson hit his second home run of the game, this time off of Wayne Garland. The Sox won, in Baltimore, 4-2.

Henderson was traded to the White Sox from the San Francisco Giants on November 29, 1972, along with pitcher Steve Stone for Tom Bradley. Ken spent three seasons with the White Sox, but his 1973 season was cut short by a torn knee that happened trying to slide at home plate on May 25th. Henderson rebounded for two solid full seasons before being traded to the Atlanta Braves on December 12, 1975, along with Ozzie Osborn and Dick Ruthven for Larvell Blanks and Ralph Garr.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

August 28

1999 Topps #6 - Ray Durham

On this day in 1998, Ray Durham hit two home runs in a doubleheader, at home, against the Texas Rangers.

The American League mark for home runs in a doubleheader was tied by the White Sox and Rangers during the two games played. Ray Durham homered in both games. Jeff Abbott, Albert Belle, Mike Caruso, Mike Cameron and Robin Ventura all homered for the Sox. The Rangers added home runs from Juan Gonzalez, Will Clark, Ivan Rodriguez, Rusty Greer, Roberto Kelly and Royce Clayton. John Snyder gave up all the Ranger home runs in the first game and Scott Eyre gave up all the Ranger home runs in the second game. Rick Helling gave up all the White Sox homers in the first game. John Burkett, Eric Gunderson and Danny Patterson gave up the White Sox home runs in the second game.

Ray Durham was drafted in the fifth round of the 1990 amateur draft by the Chicago White Sox. He made his MLB debut with the Sox on April 26, 1995. He hit .278 with one hundred six homers and four hundred eighty-four RBI with two hundred nineteen stolen bases during his eight seasons on the South Side. He was traded to the Oakland Athletics on July 25, 2002 for pitcher Jon Adkins.

At least one Chicago area game show contestant thinks Ray Durham is in the Hall of Fame.

Monday, August 27, 2012

August 27

1910 E90-3 American Caramel - Ed Hahn

On this day in 1875, outfielder Ed Hahn was born.

On May 10, 1906, the Chicago White Sox purchased Hahn from the New York Highlanders. It may have been the luckiest break for Ed. New York was a decade and a half away from the start of their American League dominance and Hahn would be out of the majors after his last season for the Pale Hose in 1910. At age thirty, Ed was in contention for the first time in his career. He made the most of it with six hits and four runs in the World Series against the crosstown Cubs in 1906.

Hahn's best season came the next year, in 1907, when he averaged .255 and rapped out one hundred fifty-one hits. He had one more decent season in 1908 before his numbers swooned. In his last season, 1910, he only appeared in fifteen games and hit a paltry .113.

WSC Aesthetic: DeWayne Wise

Card #13 - DeWayne Wise

Sunday, August 26, 2012

August 26

1990 Donruss #371 - Ken Patterson

On this day in 1987, Ken Patterson was traded to the White Sox by the New York Yankees.

The biggest name to go to New York in this deal was utility player Jerry Royster. The other two players involved, one for each side, never made it to the majors. Royster was released by the Yankees prior to the 1988 season. Patterson made his MLB debut for the White Sox on July 8, 1988, at home against the Boston Red Sox, where he went three and two-thirds innings, giving up three hits, one walk and zero runs. His first batter, shortstop Jody Reed, singled to third, scoring catcher Rich Gedman, but that run was charged to Steve Rosenberg. Ken got second baseman Marty Barrett and third baseman Wade Boggs to fly out for the final outs of the top of the fifth inning.

Patterson spent four seasons with the White Sox, mostly trotting out of the bullpen when the game was well out of hand, but occasionally starting in his first few seasons. Ken even managed to accumulate four saves. Despite being the go to mop up guy, Patterson went 11-4 during his tenure with the South Siders. On March 30, 1992, Ken's playing days with the White Sox were over, when he was traded to the Chicago Cubs, along with Sammy Sosa, for dwindling slugger George Bell. Patterson pitched one season for the North Siders and two seasons for the California Angels before embarking on another minor league career in the Angels and Royals systems.

WSC Birth Years: Kevin Youkilis

Card #116 - Kevin Youkilis

Born: March 15, 1979

Kevin came to the White Sox through a trade with the Red Sox. Boston got fan favorite Brent Lillibridge and pitcher Zach Stewart. The Red Sox thought they were unloading a broken down veteran. What the White Sox got was a revitalized Youkilis who has helped to shore up a troublesome position.

Kevin has been mostly on a tear since landing on the South Side. His production has far exceeded any player before him at third base. His average, home runs and clutch hits are up. Youk also fits in well in the clubhouse. Kevin's value increased further when he was able to fill in at first base to relieve Adam Dunn while Paul Konerko was out for a week with a concussion. Youkilis may not be the All-Star that he once was, but he doesn't need to be either. His presence adds strength to the lineup and the infield.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

August 25

1982 Fleer #349 - Dennis Lamp

On this day in 1981, Dennis Lamp takes a no-hitter into the ninth inning.

The first batter in the ninth inning for Lamp at County Stadium in Milwaukee was future Hall of Fame Brewer Robin Yount. Yount ripped a double to left field and Dennis Lamp's no-hit bid was dashed. Jim Gantner grounded out to second, moving Yount to third. Thad Bosley grounded to second, scoring Yount and ruining Dennis' shutout. Paul Molitor grounded out to Dennis Lamp himself to end the game. A failed no-hitter turned into Lamp's first complete game in a White Sox uniform.

Dennis came to the White Sox through a rare trade with the Chicago Cubs. The Sox sent pitcher Ken Kravec north to Wrigley for Lamp. Kravec spent a horrid two ears in a Cubs uniform, but Dennis thrived on the South Side, becoming a favorite among White Sox fans. Lamp spent three years in a White Sox uniform, ending in a playoff series against the Baltimore Orioles in 1983. After the 1983 season, Dennis signed with the Toronto Blue Jays. He hung around in the majors until 1992.

Friday, August 24, 2012

August 24

1922 E121 American Caramel #51 - Harry Hooper

On this day in 1887, outfielder Harry Hooper was born.

On March 4, 1921, Harry Hooper was traded to the Chicago White Sox from the Boston Red Sox for Shano Collins and Nemo Leibold. During his five years on the South Side, Hooper actually put up better numbers than the twelve years he spent in a Red Sox uniform. Although being on the wrong side of thirty when he arrived in Chicago, the production wouldn't last.

Harry hit .302 during his time with the Pale Hose as opposed to the .272 he hit with the Carmines. He also hit forty-five home runs with the White Sox during his five year tenure. Over twelve years with Boston, he only managed to hit thirty. After baseball, Franklin Delano Roosevelt made Hooper Postmaster of Capitola, California, a position he held for twenty-four years. Harry was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1971.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

August 23

2006 Upper Deck #110 - Freddy Garcia

On this day in 2005, Freddy Garcia one-hits the Twins in Minnesota, but loses.

Freddy's only mistake came in the eighth inning, as a Jacque Jones home run led off the inning. Garcia pitched a complete game, but the White Sox offense could not overcome Johan Santana's eight inning effort, nor could they overcome a Joe Nathan ninth inning. The home run broke up a no-hitter by Freddy.

Garcia came to the Sox through a trade with the Seattle Mariners on June 27, 2004. He was one of the key pieces acquired during the 2004 season that would make a huge impact during the 2005 championship run. After the 2006 season, Freddy netted Gavin Floyd and Gio Gonzalez in a trade with the Philadelphia Phillies. Garcia signed back with the Sox on June 8, 2009 and stayed with the team through the 2010 season.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

August 22

2006 SP Legendary Cuts #62 - Sloppy Thurston

On this day in 1923, Hollis "Sloppy" Thurston strike out the side on nine pitches against the Philadelphia Athletics.

At Comiskey Park, in the twelfth inning, Sloppy struck out center fielder Beauty McGowan, shortstop Chick Galloway and third baseman Sammy Hale, in succession, on nine pitches. He did this in his rookie season. Thurston entered the game in the eleventh inning, but lost the game in the thirteenth, after pitching three innings of relief. Sloppy struck out a total of six batters and walked in his only plate appearance.

Thurston was purchased by the Chicago White Sox in May 1923, after debuting with the St. Louis Browns. Sloppy stayed with the Pale Hose through the 1926 season. He was dealt to the Washington Senators with Leo Mangum for Roger Peckinpaugh. Thurston ended up with a 43-44 record for some awful White Sox teams. His ERA was 4.32 over four seasons on the South Side.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

August 21

2005 Topps World Series #19 - Chris Widger

On this day in 2005, Chris Widger ties a White Sox record by hitting a fourth home run in an inning.

In the bottom of the fourth inning, facing Yankee fireballer Randy Johnson, Pablo Ozuna grounded out to start off the half inning. Tadahito Iguchi hit a home run, followed by Aaron Rowand and Paul Konerko. Jermaine Dye and Juan Uribe hit back to back singles, setting up an improbable situation for backup catcher Chris Widger. Chris hit the fourth home run of the inning, scoring Dye and Uribe. Brian Anderson fouled out and Geoff Blum lined out to end the inning, but the damage was done. Despite the bad inning, Randy Johnson was the only Yankee pitcher on the mound. It was enough for the White Sox to prevail 6-2.

Widger signed with the White Sox in December 2004. He played a complimentary backup to newly acquired catcher A.J. Pierzynski for the 2005 season and part of the 2006 season. Chris was released on July 24, 2006, when the Sox re-acquired Sandy Alomar Jr. Widger last played for the Baltimore Orioles to finish the 2006 season. While hitting decently in 2005 with .241, Chris's average went down under .200 in 2006. He finished his White Sox career with a .221 average.

Monday, August 20, 2012

August 20

1957 Topps #99 - Bob Keegan

On this day in 1957, Bob Keegan threw the first night no-hitter in White Sox history.

In his last good year, Keegan pitched a no-hitter against the Washington Senators in front of the home crowd at Comiskey Park. Bob's only blemishes on the evening were walks to catcher Lou Berberet in the fifth and pinch hitter Faye Throneberry in the sixth inning. Berberet was left on base and Throneberry was eliminated during a double play off the bat of third baseman Eddie Yost.

Keegan pitched for the White Sox, his only team, from 1953 until 1958. He compiled a record of 40-36 over those six seasons. Bob's best season came in 1954, when he won sixteen games and was an All-Star.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

August 19

1974 Topps #286 - Tony Muser

On this day in 1972, Tony Muser makes the most out of his opportunity.

Trailing the Red Sox 3-0, going into the bottom of the ninth, the pitcher spot is set to lead off. Skipper Chuck Tanner removes pitcher Tom Bradley from the game and pinch hits Tony Muser to face Boston hurler Luis Tiant. Tony starts the ball rolling with a single to right fielder Reggie Smith. Unfortunately, a line out to Smith from Pat Kelly, a foul out to Red Sox third baseman Rico Petrocelli by Mike Andrews and a strikeout by Dick Allen ended any chance the Pale Hose may have had to rally. Tony, however, did get a hit off his former team in a late game situation.

Muser came to Chicago with Vicente Romo on March 31, 1971 from Boston in a trade that sent Duane Josephson and Danny Murphy to the Red Sox. Tony played first base, outfield and designated hitter for the ChiSox for parts of five seasons before being traded to the Baltimore Orioles on June 15, 1975 for Jesse Jefferson. Muser hit .280 over his five seasons in Chicago, but rarely hit more than a single.

WSC Birth Years: Jordan Danks

Card #115 - Jordan Danks

Born: August 7, 1986

Jordan was drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the nineteenth round of the 2005 draft, but did not sign. He was again selected by the Sox in the second round of the 2008 draft. This time, Danks did sign with the ChiSox. It may have helped that his older brother John was already playing for the White Sox at the major league level. Jordan began his career in the White Sox system in 2008, with the Kannapolis Intimidators Class A team, for ten games.

Danks rose through the ranks of the farm system, but seemed to have hit a wall entering the higher levels of the minors. Jordan's defensive skills were fine, but his plate discipline and average took a nosedive. In 2012, his batting skills improved enough to get the call and on June 7, 2012, Danks made his MLB debut against the Toronto Blue Jays as a pinch runner for Paul Konerko in the eighth inning. Jordan's first hit came the next day, when he replaced Dayan Viciedo in left field at the start of the sixth inning against the Houston Astros. On August 10, 2012, Danks hit his first home run, off Pat Neshek of the Oakland Athletics, for a thrilling White Sox winner in the bottom of the ninth.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

August 18

1995 Topps #229 - Bob Zupcic

On this day in 1966, Bob Zupcic was born.

Bob was picked up on waivers in May 1994 from the Boston Red Sox. He made his White Sox debut on May 14, 1994, hitting for Joey Cora in the top of the ninth inning against the Texas Rangers. Zupcic would hit a line drive single to left scoring Ozzie Guillen, forcing Rangers pitcher Rick Honeycutt out of the game. The Pale Hose still lost the game 5-2.

Zupcic made starts in the outfield, giving much needed rest to the regulars. He also made a handful of appearances at the infield corner positions. Bob's last appearance would be on August 4, 1994, fittingly back in Texas against the Rangers. Zupcic would go 0-3 with two strikeouts. The MLB strike would happen on August 12th, cutting the season short and dashing any postseason hopes for the ChiSox. Chicago would release Bob before the beginning of the 1995 season. Zupcic hit .205 for the White Sox and rapped out eighteen hits in his short tenure.

Friday, August 17, 2012

August 17

1987 Fleer #635 - Steve Carlton

On this day in 1986, Steve Carlton was picked up on waivers by the Chicago White Sox.

Carlton had just struck out Eric Davis for his 4,000th strikeout, when the San Francisco Giants decided to cut ties with him. Steve had performed very sub-par for the Giants and when the allure of the milestone strikeout was over, so was Carlton's welcome.

Steve performed very well for the 1986 White Sox, during his short stint in Chicago. He won four games in ten starts for the Pale Hose, but was released after the season.

It always seemed weird to me that Steve Carlton's Fleer card commemorating his 4,000th strikeout, showed him in a White Sox uniform instead of a Giants uniform. Who am I to complain though? I didn't approve that mess.

Cashing In On Hawk-isms

Ken "Hawk" Harrelson has been around baseball for fifty plus years, as he will inevitably mention at least three times a game. Lately, he has been pulling out catchphrases from all his broadcasting years. If he's not telling a story, Hawk might sound close to a jukebox. Push a button and there is a phrase for almost every situation.

Hawk is also pretty sly at seamlessly transitioning sponsors into the broadcast. Here's a radical idea to generate some extra income to use for free agents, waiver deals, trades and draft signings. Sponsor the Hawk's greatest hits.

That's a can of corn. This can of corn sponsored by Green Giant Whole Kernel Sweet Corn. If you have a can of corn, ho ho ho, make it Green Giant.

That's a chopper, two hopper. The Chopper Hopper can process almost any agricultural product like corn into a mash or puree for a variety of industrial uses, including ethanol production. The Chopper Hopper by the good folks at Moyno Inc.

Cinch it up and hunker down. Cinch-it, the revolutionary dog collar by Petnique. Inspired by the great outdoors for ultimate performance.

Oh, he got a cookie and couldn't do anything with it. For a cookie you can do something with, try Matt's Cookies. Traditionally delicious.

Dadgumit! Dad's Gum Care, for a comforting formulation for relief of symptoms associated with Gingivitis, Pyorrhea, Sore or Bleeding Gums that can be used by anyone, not just dads. Essential oils by Gritman.

Double barreled action in the bullpen. For double barreled action, Ugartechea, classic shotguns at a fraction of the cost.

We're down to our last bullet. When you're down to your last bullet, make it a Barnes Bullet. The leading lead free bullets provided to the hunting, military, and law enforcement industries.
There's a little duck snort. Brought to you by Aflac. I love that duck.

Ducks on the pond. When you have ducks on the pond, feed them Wonder Bread. America's favorite bread.

Get foul. It will! When you need to get fowl, get Brown's Chicken and Pasta. It tastes better.

That was a 1, 2, 5 double play, for those of you scoring at home. For those of you who are scoring at home, use Trojan brand latex condoms. America's #1 most trusted condom brand.

GAS! He gone! Gas-X. The trusted leader in gas relief.

Mercy! Mercy Hospital and Medical Center. For 150 years, a center of excellence.

Rack 'em up! Another double play turned by the Sox! When you have to rack 'em up, use Delta-13, the true triangle. The official billiard rack of the WPBA.

The Sox have something cooking here in the eighth. When you have some cooking to do, learn at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts, right here in the city beautiful, Chicago.

Stretch! Get on back there! Stretch your dollar at Dollar Tree!

You can put it on the board! Yes! Yes to clear and more radiant skin. Yes To Tomatoes skin clearing facial mask. Yes!

As I wrote these, I could actually hear Harrelson shilling these products seamlessly into his jukebox of hits. It might be a great experiment of juxtaposition, but most importantly, it would provide some unexpected entertainment. There were more than a few of these that I had to chuckle at, hearing Hawk's voice rattle these off, if only just inside my head.

Maybe if Hawk becomes an advertising automaton, then Kenny Williams could stop complaining about lack of revenue for a tiny bit. I'm sure there are many more Hawk-isms that could be exploited by advertising.
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