Tuesday, July 31, 2012
On this day in 1997, the Chicago White Sox and the San Francisco Giants made a trade that would polarize Chicago, then help them.
The White Sox, being only three and a half games out, traded Wilson Alvarez, Danny Darwin and Roberto Hernandez to the Giants, decimating the team and creating a yearly topic for baseball fans to gravitate towards as the trading deadline approaches. In return, the Sox acquired Keith Foulke, Bob Howry, Lorenzo Barcelo, Ken Vining, Mike Caruso and Brian Manning. The trade, nicknamed the "White Flag" trade, signaled a surrender while still within striking distance of the division crown. The Sox finished six games behind the Cleveland Indians. Would the three traded pitcher have pushed them over the edge and into the playoffs? That will be speculated and debated for many years.
The trade may not have been popular, but it did pay dividends sooner rather than later. Of the six players acquired by the White Sox, only one, outfielder Brian Manning, did not play with the Pale Hose at some point in the majors. Manning's career ended in 1999, not moving past AA ball. Ken Vining and Lorenzo Barcelo made brief contributions to the pitching staff. Mike Caruso bridged the gap between Ozzie Guillen and Jose Valentin at shortstop. Keith Foulke and Bob Howry were big parts of the 2000 team that won the Central division. Bob Howry would eventually be traded to the Boston Red Sox for Frank Francisco which helped land Carl Everett in July 2003. Keith Foulke would be traded to the Oakland Athletics for the horrid Billy Koch and 2005 World Champion Neal Cotts. While the White Flag trade was a huge mistake for the 1997 team, some players that arrived from the deal helped out with a division crown and a World Championship.
Monday, July 30, 2012
On this day in 1995, John Kruk hit a single and walked away.
John Kruk unretired to play for the White Sox in May 1995. While in Baltimore, Kruk singled, retired again, while on first base, walked to the clubhouse, packed his things and left, never to play again. Kruk batted .308 for his brief tenure with the Pale Hose. It must have been in the plans. He retired for the final time with his career average at .300. He also hit exactly 100 home runs in his ten year career.
There are very few cards of John in a White Sox uniform. This Kodak team issue remains one of the most elusive for most fans. Individual cards are difficult to come by, but the set pops up from time to time.
Sunday, July 29, 2012
On this day in 1989, Fred Manrique was traded to the Texas Rangers, along with another player for three players.
Nobody was happier than I was when Fred Manrique was traded off of the White Sox, but getting him onto another club came at a horrible price. The other player that was traded was fan favorite Harold Baines. It wouldn't be the last time Baines called Chicago home, but Fred Manrique was swallowed into the black hole of baseball oblivion only to be seen on a smattering of baseball cards through the 1990 season. The White Sox got familiar face Scott Fletcher in return, along with a pitcher who could not get an out in a major league game (Wilson Alvarez) before coming to the White Sox and a speedy outfielder who could not hit and didn't have much power (Sammy Sosa), only hitting a home run off of Roger Clemens and bringing a robust .238 batting average.
Baines would come back into the White Sox fold three more times; two as a player and one as a coach. Alvarez threw a no-hitter in his first game with the White Sox, compiling an ERA of infinity after two MLB starts, and became a solid start throughout the mid-nineties. Fletcher stayed with the Sox through the 1991 season and bounced around the majors until 1995. Sosa was traded for an aging player (George Bell) and went on to become a power hitter thanks to some unknown change in his daily regimen. Sosa has since forgotten how to speak English, despite years of speaking it fluently. Manrique played on the South Side for nearly three years, and has played the majority of his games with the White Sox. Fred bounced from the Rangers to the Twins to the Athletics and last played in the majors on May 11, 1991.
Saturday, July 28, 2012
On this day in 1976, John "Blue Moon" Odom and Francisco Barrios combined to throw a no-hitter over the Oakland Athletics in California.
Blue Moon started the game and threw five plus innings of no-hit ball. The biggest flaw in his day were nine walks, which helps the Athletics score one run. Odom started the bottom of the sixth with a walk to DH Billy Williams. Manager Paul Richards took out Blue Moon and put in relief pitcher Francisco Barrios. After Larry Lintz, pinch running for Billy Williams, stole second, Barrios walked Sal Bando. It looked like the thin 2-1 lead was in danger, but Francisco managed to get Gene Tenace to foul out to catcher Jim Essian and induced a double play that forced Bando out at second and caught batter Claudell Washington in a rundown, where he was eventually out a second base. That was the last obstacle for Barrios to overcome and when he got Ken McMullen to groundout to shortstop Bucky Dent, Francisco Barrios pitched four innings of relief to salvage a no-hitter.
After peaking in 1977, Barrios declined until he was released by the White Sox in 1981. Francisco devolved into personal grudges with umpires and teammates, even getting into a fistfight with Steve Trout. The low point of his career came when he was arrested on a narcotics charge in 1981. Barrios rebounded in the Mexican Pacific League and was ready to sign a contract with the Milwaukee Brewers when he died of a heart attack, due to a drug overdose.
Friday, July 27, 2012
On this day in 2011, Alejandro De Aza hit his first MLB home run.
In his first at-bat as a member of the White Sox, in the bottom of the second inning at U.S. Cellular Field, on an 0-2 count, Alejandro De Aza launched his first MLB home run to right field, off of Detroit Tigers pitcher Max Scherzer, scoring Alexei Ramirez. It was all the scoring that the White Sox would need, as John Danks went six plus innings, only giving up a solo homer to Austin Jackson to lead off the top of the seventh. Chris Sale and Sergio Santos nailed it down for the remaining three innings to preserve the win.
Alejandro was selected off of waivers from the Florida Marlins on October 21, 2009. He made his Sox debut in 2010 and has made more appearances each year until he became the starting center fielder in 2012.
Thursday, July 26, 2012
On this day in 1931, Lew Fonseca went two for two with four RBI, making up four of the five runs the White Sox mustered against the Yankees in New York.
The score may have been 22-5, but Lew Fonseca had other ideas. In his first two plate appearances, Lou had a double and a triple, but with the game rapidly getting out of hand, manager Donie Bush decided that keeping Fonseca in a losing game was a lost cause, especially since this was the second game of a doubleheader with New York. Lew was replaced by Bob Fothergill in right field and in the fourth spot in the lineup, who then went 0 for 2 at the plate. Things were so lost in this game that Smead Jolley, who had only played the field in three games due to a fractured ankle, took over for duties in left field for Carl Reynolds. Jolley had a hit in his only plate appearance.
Fonseca came to the White Sox from the Cleveland Indians on May 17, 1931 in exchange for Willie Kamm. Lew played his last full season in 1931. In 1932, he became the manager for the Chicago White Sox and only played a handful of games during the 1932 and 1933 seasons. Fonseca lasted fifteen games into the 1934 season and was replaced by Jimmy Dykes after a 4-11 start.
I went in with a simple plan last year. I was going to try to fill some holes in my collection. I was also going to try to get rid of all my cards from 1981 to present and try to trade them for either vintage or something I needed to complete a set. I think I made the most out of my parameters, but I'll let you be the judge.
1983 Topps #46 - Richard Dotson
I needed one card to complete my 1983 White Sox team set and this was it. I am very happy to put this set to rest.
1983 Topps #488 - Alfredo Griffin
This was the one card I remember from my very first pack of cards. It was the card that started my interest in collecting. Without this card in my first pack, I may have shunned cards altogether and headed down the wrong path and became an RCA Studio II fanatic or a Jart champion.
1980 Topps #594 - Dick Tidrow
I said I would take anything 1980 or earlier and this qualifies. Tidrow would switch leagues in a rare Cubs/WhiteSox trade.
1980 Topps #612 - Cliff Johnson
Something about this card just screamed, "Take me home... NOW"... and I listened.
1979 Topps #238 - Balor Moore
I was hoping to trade up but got stuck with it. Vintage is never a bad thing though. Love those uniforms.
1978 Topps #86 - Dave Tomlin
Another card that just couldn't get traded away, but I love that uniform!
1978 Topps #107 - Ed Halicki
Halicki is just a fun name and I want to Photoshop a stool under Ed. He looks like he should be sitting on a stool, relaxing against a bar, trying to hit on an unsuspecting woman. Not pitching in a major league game.
1976 Topps #282 - Dan Osborn
The last card I needed to complete my 1976 set. Awesome!
1975 Topps #318 - Ernie McAnally
The old school Expos uniform. Spring training palm trees. Tilted photography. Great name. How could I pass on this? I just can't!
1975 Topps #169 - Cookie Rojas
This year, I got my own Cookie. And no one can take it away from me.
1972 Topps #173 - Clay Kirby
Great card and oddly, only the front has creases, not the back.
1975 Topps #116 - Ed Farmer
So this is what Ed Farmer looks like in another organization. Kinda like Greg Brady.
1967 Topps #208 - Jack Lamabe
Needed this gem for my 1967 set.
1961 Topps #29 - Don Nottebart
1961 Milwaukee Braves rookie! Ended his career as a Cub in 1969.
1961 Topps #203 - Eddie Bressoud
Played against Hawk Harrelson in the 1967 World Series. I wonder if Hawk has any stories about Eddie. He came in as a late inning defensive replacement at shortstop for the Cardinals in Game 2 and Game 5 and never batted.
1954 Topps #140 - Tom Wright
I am impressed that this is a card from 1954, from a team who has since relocated. I am not particularly impressed with the condition. The top left corner looks like it was a snack for a hungry animal of the rodent variety.
1954 Topps #91 - Bob Oldis
This isn't a pristine card either, but it is in much better condition. I'm glad because this is the card that I was most looking forward to when I unlocked it. I love the color shot of Bob! The black and white image reminds me of the angels and devils that would pop up on people's shoulders when they had a tough decision to make. Add in the currently non-existent team (I know they still exist, just not in that city) and it creates a near perfect card and the best of the bunch!
I was skeptical when I won an unopened pack from the 70s or 80s. I had a premonition that it would be either from 1987, 1988 or 1989.
I can say that I did get some pretty decent cards in the 1989 pack, but it's still a 1989 pack. Any card I can potentially get from there, I have probably owned at least five times over. I wonder if I can still win a trip to 1990 spring training?
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
On this day in 1959, Harry Simpson hit a single that drove in the winning run in the bottom of the seventeenth inning.
A marathon game at Comiskey Park involving the Baltimore Orioles and the Chicago White Sox went ridiculously long. Sherm Lollar tied up the game in the bottom of the ninth with a home run, putting the crowd of 12, 562 into a frenzy. The excitement was short lived as walks to Al Smith and Bubba Phillips were erased by a sacrifice bunt by Johnny Romano and a double play hit into by Jim McAnany. Each team had their share of opportunities, but it remained tied until the bottom of the seventeenth. Jim Landis and Sherm Lollar started the inning off with singles. Al Smith was intentionally walked, loading the bases. Jim Rivera hit into a fielder's choice, forcing Landis out at the plate, but keeping the bases full. Skipper Al Lopez pinch hit Harry Simpson for Bubba Phillips. Harry hit a single to right field that scored Sammy Esposito, who pinch ran for Lollar.
Harry came to the White Sox through a trade with the Kansas City Athletics for Ray Boone on May 2, 1959. He stayed until August 15, 1959, when he and Bob Sagers were traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Ted Kluszewski. Simpson played thirty-eight games for the South Siders in 1959, hitting .187 in 79 plate appearances.
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Born: December 12, 1977
When Brent Morel went down with back issues, the White Sox looked to recently released infielder Orlando Hudson to fill in at third base, a position he had not played at the major league level. The experiment worked well in the short term for the Pale Hose. Orlando came in and immediately contributed both in the field, making fantastic ranging plays, and at the plate, where he brought a spark of life to the dormant position.
His appearances tailed off after another third base acquisition took over his regular duties at third, but Hudson still provides speed and versatility off the bench and another option for spot starts. Orlando has taken his reduced role in stride, choosing to focus on the team as a whole rather than complain about his playing time. Playing on a White Sox team that has been in first place the majority of the time Hudson has been on the team surely makes that decision easier.
On this day in 1960, Nellie Fox got his 2,000th hit in the first game of a doubleheader in New York.
Nellie started his day with his 2,000th hit, off of Yankee pitcher Jim Coates, with a single to left field in the first inning. Luis Aparicio led off the game with a strikeout before Fox got the first hit of the ballgame for his milestone. Nellie would also lead off the fourth inning with a single and score the first run of the game when first baseman Roy Sievers hit a single to left field.
Fox would collect 2,663 hits in his MLB career. 2,470 of them would be during his fourteen season stint with the White Sox. Nellie also spent three seasons with the Philadelphia Athletics at the beginning of his career and two seasons with the Houston Colt .45s at the end. Fox would be inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1997 by the Veterans Committee.
Monday, July 23, 2012
On this day in 2009, Mark Buehrle throws the 18th perfect game in MLB history, and the 16th no-hitter in White Sox history, in Chicago against the Tampa Bay Rays.
"Alexei?! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! History!"
A ground ball to shortstop Alexei Ramirez, who threw to first baseman Paul Konerko, signaled the final out to the second perfect game in Chicago White Sox history. Mark had previously thrown a no-hitter on April 18, 2007, also at U.S. Cellular Field, against the Texas Rangers. His only blemish in that game was a walk to Sammy Sosa, who was promptly picked off. Buehrle ended up facing the minimum twenty-seven batters in each of his no-hitters.
The perfect game was helped offensively in the second inning by a grand slam off the bat of Josh Fields, giving the ChiSox a 4-0 lead. Scott Podsednik and Alexei Ramirez had back to back doubles to lead off the fifth inning which added another run. While there was a share of great plays behind Mark that day, none had a greater impact than a play in the ninth inning. DeWayne Wise came in the game as a defensive replacement in center field, moving Scott Podsednik to left and Carlos Quentin to the dugout. The leadoff hitter, Gabe Kapler, hit a deep flyball to left center, which Wise tracked and caught, taking a home run away, bobbling the ball, but hung on to save Buehrle's perfect game.
Mark was drafted by the White Sox in the 38th round of the 1998 amateur draft and made his debut with the Sox in 2000. After twelve seasons with the White Sox, Buehrle followed manager Ozzie Guillen to Florida as part of the Miami Marlins. Mark went to four All-Star games, won three Gold Gloves and won a World Championship during his time with the Pale Hose.
Sunday, July 22, 2012
On this day in 1962, Floyd Robinson tied a Chicago White Sox team record by recording six hits in a single game.
Floyd started early against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. In the top of the first, Robinson hit a single off of Red Sox starter Bill Monbouquette. He was stranded at third base. In the third inning, Floyd hit a single again off of Monbouquette. This time he scored on an Al Smith double. In the fourth, Robinson hit a single off of Mike Fornieles, but was stranded at third. In the fifth, Floyd hit a single off of Hal Kolstad, driving in Luis Aparicio. Robinson was stranded at first base. In the seventh inning, Robinson hit a single off of Galen Cisco and was stranded at third. In the ninth inning, Floyd hit his sixth single of the day off of Dick Radatz and was stranded at first base. Robinson hit six singles, scored a run and collected one RBI in a White Sox 7-3 victory in Boston.
Floyd was obtained by the White Sox through a minor league agreement with the Cleveland Indians before the 1957 season. He made his Sox debut in 1960 and was third in Rookie of the Year voting in 1961. Robinson led the league with forty-five doubles in 1962. He also came in fourth that year with 109 RBI and his .312 batting average was good enough for third in the American League. After the 1966 season, Floyd was traded to the Cincinnati Reds for Jim O'Toole.
There were two players elected this year and one player received too few votes to be on next year's ballot.
Congratulations to Luis Aparicio and Joe Jackson for being the two players inducted into the WSC Hall of Fame Class of 2012!
Ed Herrmann will not be returning on next year's ballot. This means that in addition to new players at shortstop and outfield, there will be a new player at catcher.
Thank you to everyone who voted!
Here are the final totals.
Luis Aparicio - 47 votes (78%)
Joe Jackson - 45 votes (75%)
Nellie Fox - 39 votes (65%)
Harold Baines - 36 votes (60%)
Hoyt Wilhelm - 31 votes (51%)
Robin Ventura - 25 votes (41%)
Al Lopez - 14 votes (23%)
Gary Peters - 10 votes (16%)
Bobby Thigpen - 10 votes (16%)
Oscar Gamble - 7 votes (11%)
Fielder Jones - 6 votes (10%)
Frank Isbell - 4 votes (6%)
Ed Herrmann - 1 vote (1%)
Congratulations, once again, to Luis Aparicio and Joe Jackson for being inducted into the WSC Hall of Fame!
The voting for the Class of 2013 will begin shortly after the World Series is concluded.
Saturday, July 21, 2012
2012 Topps - Brent Lillibridge (Boston Red Sox)
The Chicago White Sox traded Brent Lillibride to the Boston Red Sox along with pitcher Zach Stewart for Kevin Youkilis on June 24, 2012. Since Lillibridge's trade over to Boston, he has appeared in ten games for the Carmines and was 2-16 at the plate. With Carl Crawford coming back from the disabled list, Brent was the odd man out and was designated for assignment.
The likelihood of Lillibridge rejoining the Red Sox in 2012 seems remote, at best. The most likely scenario seems to be another team picking Brent up. Many teams could jump at the chance to pick up a utility player who gives his all on the field. Being that Topps is currently the only game in town with all the licenses, the short time that Lillibridge was on the Red Sox and the probability that another team will pick him up at some point this season, the percentage that Brent Lillibridge will be included in the update series in a Boston uniform seems to be spiraling downward. I've decided to rectify that potential oversight by making this card. Lillibridge has very passionate fans and hopefully this will bring a smile to their faces.
On this day in 1976, Chris Knapp won his first MLB game.
Chris made his debut on September 4, 1975. He only appeared in two games, finishing both, walking four and striking out three. He got another shot in 1976 and made a better impression. He darted between fill-in starter and reliever for most of the time he was up with the parent club. Knapp had gotten his first loss in the second game of a doubleheader against the Texas Rangers on July 4, 1976, in a tough 3-2 loss, where he went eight innings. His next chance to start came in the first game on a doubleheader against the Detroit Tigers on July 21, 1976. Chris threw a complete game against the Motor City Kitties and won 4-1, giving up only four hits. It would be the first win in a sweep of the Tigers that day.
Knapp's second win came on September 8, 1976, when Goose Gossage got rocked by the Oakland Athletics and was taken out after retiring only one batter. Chris relieved Goose for eight and two-thirds innings to finish out the nine inning game. From that point, Knapp was a starter for the White Sox. In 1977, he went 12-7 as the offense helped the Sox win ninety games. After the 1977 season, Chris was traded to the California Angels with Brian Downing and Dave Frost for Bobby Bonds, Thad Bosley and Richard Dotson.
Friday, July 20, 2012
On this day in 1969, Woodie Held pinch hits in the bottom of the ninth and forces extra innings in the second game of a doubleheader against the Kansas City Royals.
After a heartbreaking loss earlier in the day, the White Sox had a last gasp effort in front of the home crowd in the bottom of the ninth. Joel Horlen was called back for pinch hitter Woodie Held, who proceeded to walk. Walt Williams laid a bunt down and sacrificed Held to second. Luis Aparicio hit a flyball to center for the second out. It was down to Carlos May, who hit a single off of Kansas City starting pitcher Bill Butler. Woodie scored to tie the game at two apiece. That tie held until Sox pitcher Cisco Carlos gave up a single to Bob Oliver to score Lou Piniella in the top of the eleventh. Dick Drago came on for the Royals to pitch the bottom of the frame. After giving up a single to Buddy Bradford, Drago retires the next three batters to give the Pale Hose their second loss of the day. Kansas City reached for the moon and landed a rare doubleheader sweep.
Woodie came to the White Sox through a trade exactly one year prior to this game, on July 20, 1968. The ChiSox sent Wayne Causey to the California Angels to complete the trade. By July 20, 1969, Held was in his last big league season and would only play in twenty-seven more MLB games. Over one and a half seasons with Chicago, Woodie hit an anemic .154, which may have been good enough to survive the cut for the dreadful 1970 team, even though Held was already 37 in 1969 and his best days were many moons ago.
Thursday, July 19, 2012
On this day in 1906, Minter "Jackie" Hayes was born.
On December 4, 1931, Jackie, along with Carl Reynolds and John Kerr were traded from the Washington Senators for Sad Sam Jones and Bump Hadley. Immediately, Hayes became one part of a wonderful double play combo with Hall of Fame player Luke Appling. One time Washington teammate Joe Cronin said the Jackie was "the best double play artist in the league."
Jackie hung around playing mostly the middle infield for the White Sox until 1940. By his last season, Hayes had become a backup to regular second baseman Skeeter Webb, due to a piece of cinder hitting him in the eyes causing him to lose sight in one eye. He would later lose sight in both eyes. On the ninth anniversary of his trade to the White Sox, the team released him.
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
On this day in 1948, Pat Seerey hit four home runs against the Philadelphia Athletics at Shibe Park in Philadelphia.
It was the first game of a doubleheader between the Athletics and the White Sox in Philadelphia. Seerey struck out in his first at-bat, but unleashed four home runs, including the game winner in the eleventh inning. Pat homered off of Carl Sheib in the fourth and fifth innings. He homered off of Bob Savage in the sixth inning. Seerey then fouled out and walked before homering against Lou Brissie, giving the Athletics pitcher his seventh loss of the season. Pat's four home runs gave him eleven for the season. Seerey became only the fifth player in MLB history to accomplish this feat. Pat had a decent outing in the second game of the doubleheader. He walked and scored the only run for the White Sox.
Seerey has the second lowest career home runs of the sixteen players to have hit four home runs in a game. He has eighty-six career home runs. The lowest belonged to Bobby Lowe, the first player to accomplish this feat, who hit his four homers in a game on May 30, 1894. Pat had only been with the White Sox for a month and a half when he hit the homers. He was traded to the Sox with Al Gettel from the Cleveland Indians for Bob Kennedy. Ted Williams put Seerey in his companies 1994 card set because he had never seen anyone else hit four home runs in a game before.
Born: January 28, 1986
Nate was drafted by the White Sox in the fifth round of the 2007 amateur draft. Originally, Jones flirted the line between starter and reliever in the minors. 2007 and 2008 saw him mostly start with a few relief appearances mixed in for good measure. In 2009, all of his appearances were in relief and he earned his first professional save and a 4-1 record, his first winning record. In 2010, the Sox switched him to full time starter and Nate thrived, going 11-6 with a complete game in twenty-eight starts. In 2011, with a promotion to AA, he was switched to full time reliever. Jones' ERA went down, but his win-loss record went down. His command improved and 2012 saw him break with the parent club.
As a key member of the bullpen, Nate brings the heat with a five pitch selection that includes two different fastballs, a slider, a changeup and an occasional curve. While every pitcher will experience ups and downs in the early goings, Jones has persevered through some rough outings and has come out on top. Through the 2012 All-Star break, Nate has had over twice as many strikeouts as walks allowed and a very respectable ERA in the mid threes.
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
On this day in 1959, Jim Landis wins the game by hitting a bases loaded single in the top of the ninth inning to break a scoreless tie.
Early Wynn and the Yankees pitcher Ralph Terry were locked in a pitcher's duel at Yankee Stadium. Until the ninth inning, the only hit given up by either side was a single by Ralph Terry in the bottom of the sixth off of counterpart Early Wynn. Sox right fielder Jim McAnany started the ninth inning by singling a ground ball to center, breaking up Terry's no-hit bid. Early Wynn bunted McAnany to second, but ended up safe at first base. Luis Aparicio advanced McAnany and Wynn with a sacrifice bunt. Nellie Fox drew an intentional walk, loading the bases for Jim Landis. Jim ripped a single to right field which scored McAnany and Wynn, which was all Wynn needed as he shut down the Yankees in the ninth. Each team had two hits, thanks to a leadoff bottom of the ninth single by Norm Siebern, which was erased by a double play, but only the White Sox managed to score in the game, thanks to Landis.
Jim roamed center field for the White Sox from his debut in 1957 until 1964. He was traded to the Kansas City Athletics in January 1965 in a three team trade involving the ChiSox and the Cleveland Indians. The Sox received Tommie Agee, Tommy John and John Romano from the Cleveland Indians. The Sox sent Landis, Mike Hershberger and Fred Talbot to the Athletics and Cam Carreon to the Indians. Kansas City sent Rocky Colavito to the Indians in the deal. Landis was dealt to the Indians after the 1965 season, so he ended up playing for all three teams involved in the initial trade.
Monday, July 16, 2012
On this day in 1990, Steve Lyons reveals an entirely different side of himself in Detroit.
Leading off the top of the fifth inning and trailing 4-1, Steve Lyons decides to bunt his way on base. The bunt was decent but it was a close play. Lyons dives head first for first base and is called safe by first base umpire Jim Evans. While Tiger pitcher Dan Petry is arguing the call with Evans, Steve drops his pants to shake the dirt out, conveniently forgetting that 14,770 people are watching in the stands. After his pants were about down to his knees, instant recall hit Lyons and he pulled his pants back up and turned red from embarrassment. After being forced out at second, women in the stands waved dollar bills at Steve as he headed back to the dugout. Besides his "Psycho nickname, this incident earned Lyons an additional nickname of "Moon Man".
Steve's post-career as a broadcaster had been marred by insensitive remarks, resulting in suspensions, apologies and a firing. Lyons still does the post-game show for the Los Angeles Dodgers, despite his very public controversial remarks. While signing autographs for fans, Lyons remarked upon seeing his 1989 Upper Deck card that in the front picture, he was looking at a blonde in the stands.
Sunday, July 15, 2012
On this day in 1978, catcher Miguel Olivo was born.
Miguel was originally signed by the Oakland Athletics and was acquired by the White Sox in a trade with Oakland that sent pitcher Chad Bradford to the A's after the 200 season. Controversy did not elude Olivo for long, as he was suspended for six games and barred from the Futures Game in 2001 for using a corked bat in a minor league game. Miguel maintained his innocence, but it did nothing to alleviate the punishment.
Olivo made his MLB debut on September 15, 2002 for the White Sox. In that game in New York against the Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte, Miguel hit a three-run home run in his first at-bat. In 2003, he became the everyday catcher for the Pale Hose with Sandy Alomar Jr. as his backup. His numbers were a little underwhelming, so in 2004, when the Sox got a chance to trade for Freddy Garcia, Olivo along with Mike Morse and Jeremy Reed went to Seattle for Garcia and Ben Davis. Miguel has since blossomed into a pesky journeyman catcher and Freddy Garcia helped bring a World Championship to the White Sox.
Saturday, July 14, 2012
On this day in 1979, Claudell Washington hit three home runs in a game against the Detroit Tigers.
Claudell always seemed to be an enigma on the White Sox. He had a reputation for sleepwalking through games. The ChiSox fans would reinforce this through banners with such disdainful phrases as "Washington Slept Here". Yet on a rare occasion, if the stars aligned perfectly, a display of Washington's power could theoretically be glimpsed, such as the case of July 14, 1979. In front of the home crowd, Claudell's game started out in typical fashion; with a strikeout. In the third, he hit a solo shot off of Detroit pitcher Steve Baker. In the fifth, he flied out to right fielder Jerry Morales. Things seemed to be settling back to normal, until the Tigers made a pitching change to Milt Wilcox. Leading off the seventh, Claudell took Wilcox deep to right for his second homer of the game. Wilcox would allow the next batter Rusty Torres to homer before getting pulled in favor of Dave Tobik. Tobik would allow a home run to Jim Morrison before the inning was over. This set up the eighth inning perfectly. Junior Moore singled to center, Jorge Orta walked, Mike Squires hit a flyball to short for the first out. Then Washington came up and blasted a home run to left that cleared the bases.
Washington would repeat this three homer feat in 1980 with the New York Mets. One reason for the resentment to Claudell in Chicago may be because he came to the Sox in a trade that sent Bobby Bonds to the Texas Rangers. Bonds was just starting to make his mark with the White Sox when he was traded away after only twenty-six games. The fans had already made a connection to Bobby when he was yanked away. Claudell didn't bring much in return when he was traded to the Mets. Only a minor league player that never made it to the majors came back. The trading of Claudell helped pave the way for a mainstay in right field; Harold Baines.
Friday, July 13, 2012
On this day in 1949, the White Sox purchased catcher Eddie Malone from the Chicago Cubs' AAA affiliate Los Angeles Angels.
Eddie batted a respectable .271 for the Sox in 1949, alternating games with Don Wheeler and Joe Tipton. He stayed with the ChiSox in 1950, when he backed up Phil Masi, but only hit .225 before he was purchased by the New York Yankees. Malone was a PCL star, but only appeared with the White Sox in parts of two seasons in the majors.
Did you ever wonder what the "M" stood for in Mickey Mantle's Louisville Slugger M110 bat? That "M" did not stand for Mantle. It stood for Malone. Eddie was the 110th player whose last name started with M to design a bat for the company and when Mantle chose that bat, it's popularity skyrocketed. It still remains a popular model to this day. Away from baseball, Malone served in the Navy during World War II and owned a car dealership after his playing career. He died at age 85, after a long battle with a respiratory illness, according to his family.
Thursday, July 12, 2012
On this day in 1990, Melido Perez threw a no-hitter against the New York Yankees, which was officially unrecognized a few years later, due to the length of the game.
The six inning rain shortened affair was the second time in less than two weeks that Andy Hawkins of the Yankees was pitching when a no-hitter was tossed. Both times he would be on the losing end and both would be slightly odd. The first came at Comiskey Park, where Andy threw a no-hitter, but lost the game 4-0. The second happened when Melido threw a no-hitter against him. For a short time, Melido joined his brother Pascual in the no-hit club. Pascual was actually in the Yankees dugout during Melido's no-hitter. Perez would strike out nine and walk four Yankee batters. The Yankees came close to ending the no-hitter in the fifth inning with two out. Alvaro Espinoza hit a high drive to right-center field, but Lance Johnson was able to get a great jump and made a running catch preserving the pitching gem. In September 1991, commissioner Fay Vincent chaired the Committee on Statistical Accuracy, which changed the definition of a no-hitter. Both Melido and Pascual Perez had their no-hitters thrown from the history books because they were both rain shortened outings. Ironically, since Andy Hawkins only pitched eight innings in his no-hitter on July 1, 1990, it was also stricken from the record.
Melido joined the White Sox in December 1987, when he came to the ChiSox along with Greg Hibbard, John Davis and minor leaguer Chuck Mount in exchange for Dave Cochrane and Floyd Bannister. Perez stayed with the Pale Hose through the 1991 season. Melido was traded to the New York Yankees with Bob Wickman and Domingo Jean for Steve Sax. Melido effectively replaced his brother Pascual on the Yankee roster, since 1991 was Pascual's last year in the majors.