Tuesday, January 31, 2012

January 31

1911 T3 Turkey Red #121 - Billy Sullivan

On this day in 1909, White Sox catcher Billy Sullivan secured a patent on the first chest protector. It contained a wind pad with compressed air. It was the forerunner of the modern catcher’s chest protector.

Monday, January 30, 2012

January 30

1969 Topps #222 - Duane Josephson

On this day in 1997, Duane Josephson passed away at the age of 54.

Duane signed with the Chicago White Sox before the 1964 season and made his MLB debut with the Pale Hose on September 15, 1965. Josephson's best season came in 1968, when he posted career-highs in hits (107), doubles (16), triples (6), RBI (45), games (128), and was selected to the All-Star Game.

Duane was traded to the Boston Red Sox before the 1971 season. He was forced to retire during the 1972 season, due to pericarditis.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

January 29

2004 Topps Total #361 - Willie Harris

On this day in 2002, the White Sox obtained Willie Harris in exchange for Chris Singleton.

Team four! Perhaps Willie Harris will best be remembered for scoring the winning run in series clinching Game four of the 2005 World Series. Jermaine Dye may have drove him in, but if Willie Harris wasn't on base, the Sox may have had another World Series extra inning game on their hands. Not too shabby for someone who just got into the game as a pinch hitter and ripped a single.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

January 28

2007 Upper Deck #613 - David Aardsma

On this day in 2008, the White Sox sent David Aardsma to the Boston Red Sox in exchange for minor league players Willy Mota and Miguel Socolovich.

Radio broadcaster Ed Farmer favorite player (mostly because he can say Aardsma's last name like a pirate) came to the club via a trade with the Chicago Cubs, which saw pitcher Neal Cotts move to the North Side team. David had a fantastic April for the South Side in 2007, but when May hit, so did everybody else. Aardsma's number slid in May and by June 2nd, he was sent to the minors. David continued to struggle when recalled later in the month. His last game for the White Sox was July 4, 2007, against the Orioles, where he gave up three runs and made a throwing error.

Friday, January 27, 2012

January 27

2010 Upper Deck #139 - Gavin Floyd

On this day in 1983, Gavin Floyd was born.

After beginning his career with the Philadelphia Phillies, Gavin was dealt to the White Sox after the 2006 season. Since joining Chicago, Floyd has matured into a decent starter, who shows flashes of brilliance. Gavin has flirted with numerous no-hit bids during his time with the White Sox. After a stellar 2008 season, Floyd has regressed in the win/loss column, but has gained a veteran presence.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Hooray Red Stripe!

What do I think of the new Sunday home garb for the White Sox? Hooray Red Stripe Beer!
In the past twenty-one seasons, throwback uniforms have become the rage. The Chicago White Sox don't have much variety in their vintage uniforms, so I love it when someone digs out the interesting relics and displays them proudly.

I am a bicentennial baby (1976 for those who are staring blankly at that reference). The first uniforms that I can remember the White Sox wearing are the lovely late 70s/early 80s numbers with the disco collars that had a pajama look to them. I remember vividly, the fan created circus uniforms (it could have been much worse) and the cursive mistake before settling on the current style of uniform.

I have seen throwbacks to 1906, 1917, 1929, 1959 and 1983 from the White Sox since the first Turn Back The Clock Game against the Milwaukee Brewers. Those are just the ones that I can remember off the top of my head. There may be more lingering out there in the recesses of the mind.

I always thought that the early to mid-seventies uniforms would make a great throwback uniform to wear during a game and I wondered why no one thought to drag them out. Now I finally get my wish, as do many others. I have heard nothing but positive response to this Sunday promotion and I can't wait until some photographs from these games start appearing on baseball cards.

January 26

1956 Topps #267 - Bob Nieman

On this day in 1927, Bob Nieman was born.

The White Sox received Bob in a trade with the Tigers after the 1954 season. After spending the 1955 season and a sampling of the 1956 season, Nieman was traded to the Baltimore Orioles, along with George Kell, Mike Fornieles and Connie Johnson for Dave Philley and Jim Wilson.

While with the South Siders, Bob batted .285, which was only slightly better than his time at Detroit. Nieman went on to have his greatest success with Baltimore. Bob started his big league career with the St. Louis Browns, in 1951, which became the Baltimore Orioles in 1954, where he was eventually traded in May 1956.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

January 25

1990 Bowman #319 - Scott Fletcher

On this day in 1983, Scott Fletcher was traded from the Chicago Cubs to the Chicago White Sox as part of a deal that kept the White Sox from taking an unprotected Fergie Jenkins in the free agent compensation draft. Scott had two different stints with the White Sox. He played mainly at shortstop, third and second base.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

January 24

2010 Topps Opening Day #219 - Tyler Flowers

On this day in 1986, Tyler Flowers was born.

Tyler made his MLB debut with the White Sox in 2009 and has been an emergency backup for the past three seasons. 2012 may hold a true backup catching position for Flowers. Tyler had his first taste of starting catcher in 2011, when injuries sidelined both Ramon Castro and A.J. Pierzynski.

Monday, January 23, 2012

January 23

1991 Classic #T30 - Matt Stark

On this day in 1990, the Sox signed Matt Stark.

Matt already had MLB experience when the Pale Hose signed him. Stark played in five games with the 1987 Toronto Blue Jays. Even though he was a catcher, he never appeared in a game at that position for the White Sox. In the eight games that Matt played for the Sox, after his September 1990 call up, he played five as the designated hitter and three as a pinch hitter.

Stark spent 1991 playing for the White Sox AAA team in Vancouver and never again graced the majors, but continued to play minor league ball on and off until 1999.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

January 22

1996 Collector's Choice #513 - Danny Tartabull

On this day in 1996, Danny Tartabull was traded to the White Sox from the Oakland Athletics for Charles Poe and Andrew Lorraine.

Danny spent one season with the White Sox, batting .254, while hitting 27 home runs and 101 RBI, playing in 132 games. It was a career resurgence for Tartabull, who had been slowed by injuries in previous years. The Sox chose not to re-sign him in 1997, which turned out to be a stroke of luck. The Phillies threw two million dollars at him, which he originally scoffed at, but thought differently when the Cincinnati Reds turned out to be the only other team interested in his services with a five hundred thousand dollar offer.

Tartabull played three hitless games with Philadelphia, broke his foot and never played again. The White Sox dodged an expensive bullet there.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

January 21

1987 Topps Traded #106T - Jerry Royster

On this day in 1987, the White Sox signed Jerry Royster.

While with the Sox, Jerry played at third base, left field, second base and designated hitter during the course of fifty-five games. Royster hit an unhealthy .240 with the Sox before he was traded to the New York Yankees in August 1987. Jerry was on par with the rest of the 1987 White Sox batters, as no one that season hit over .293, with most hitting in the .250 range or lower.

Royster was signed as infield insurance by GM Larry Himes. He could play second, third, shortstop and the outfield. He was the third infielder added by Himes, after Donnie Hill and Fred Manrique. After third baseman Tim Hulett was sent to the minors in June 1987, Royster platooned with Steve Lyons at third. The plan was to play Lyons against right-handed pitchers and Royster against lefties.

Jerry was a popular player in the clubhouse and thought that the 1987 White Sox were the best group of guys he had played with, at the time he was traded. The Sox obtained pitcher Ken Patterson and infielder Mike Soper from the Yankees. Pat Keedy took Royster's roster place on the Sox, as manager Jim Fregosi liked Keedy's versatility.

Friday, January 20, 2012

January 20

1966 Topps #486 - Tommy John

On this day in 1965, Tommy John came to the White Sox from the Cleveland Indians in a three team trade that also saw Tommie Agee and Johnny Romano land on the White Sox. Cam Carreon was traded to Cleveland by the Sox and Jim Landis, Mike Hershberger and Fred Talbot were traded to the Kansas City Athletics in the deal. The Indians got Rocky Colavito from the Athletics in the three team deal.

Tommy spent seven seasons with the White Sox, compiling a 2.95 ERA with the Pale Hose with an 82-80 record, fifty-six complete games, twenty-one shutouts, eight hundred eighty-eight strikeouts and three saves.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

January 19

2006 Upper Deck Special FX Purple #566 - Pablo Ozuna (/150)

On this day in 2005, the White Sox signed Pablo Ozuna.

Pablo appeared in a career high 70 games and also had career highs with 203 at-bats, 56 hits, and 11 RBI. Ozuna also had 14 stolen bases including a steal of home. During Game 2 of the 2005 ALCS, A.J. Pierzynski advanced to first base on a controversial dropped third strike call. Ozuna pinch ran for him, stealing second base on the second pitch of the at bat to Joe Crede. Ozuna scored the game winning run on a double by Crede.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

January 18

2011 Topps Update Cognac Diamond #US196 - Philip Humber

On this day in 2011, Philip Humber was waived by the Oakland Athletics and claimed by the Chicago White Sox.

Humber responded by having the best year of his career, to this point. Philip forced the Sox to keep him in the rotation, leading to a six man rotation that lasted a good chunk of the 2011 season. Humber crushed a career high 21.2 innings pitched with the Kansas City Royals in 2010, by pitching 163 inning with the White Sox in 2011.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

January 17

1960 Topps #256 - Dick Brown

On this day in 1935, catcher Dick Brown was born.

Brown came to the White Sox through a trade with the Cleveland Indians, which saw Norm Cash, Bubba Phillips and John Romano go to Cleveland and Minnie Minoso, Don Ferrarese and Jake Striker come to Chicago. Dick only played in sixteen games with the White Sox in 1960 and batted a career low .163. Brown had seven hits, three home runs and five RBI for Chicago. He continued his career with the Detroit Tigers and Baltimore Orioles before being forced to retire due to a brain tumor, which eventually claimed his life at age 35.

Monday, January 16, 2012

January 16

1972 TCMA The 1930s #86 - Jo-Jo Morrissey

On this day in 1904, Jo-Jo Morrissey was born.

In fourteen games, Jo-Jo made three errors as a fielder. During a May 27 game against the Detroit Tigers, while replacing Jimmy Dykes at third base, Jo-Jo made an error that cost the game for the White Sox, when he allowed three runs to score. He was more adept at making errors in the field than being a prolific batter. He managed only seven hits, but made the most of them by getting six RBI, scoring three runs and walking twice. In an impressive feat, Morrissey only struck out three times. It wasn't enough to overcome his poor fielding as he hit a career low .184 for the White Sox in 1936, his last year in the majors and his only with Chicago.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

January 15

2011 SP Legendary Cuts #162 - Roger Peckinpaugh (06/10) (Auto)

On this day in 1927, Roger Peckinpaugh came to the White Sox in a trade with the Washington Senators. The Senators received Sloppy Thurston and Leo Mangum in exchange for Peckinpaugh.

Roger batted .295 for the Pale Hose in 1927, which would be his final year of playing in the majors. He only appeared in sixty-eight games, with sixty of those at shortstop. The next year, Peckinpaugh started his managerial career with the Cleveland Indians.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

January 14

1996 Fleer #76 - Mike Sirotka

On this day in 2001, Mike Sirotka was dealt to the Toronto Blue Jays, along with Brian Simmons, Kevin Beirne and Mike Williams for David Wells and Matt DeWitt.

Damaged goods and underwhelming performances highlighted this trade. Dubbed "shouldergate", Mike Sirotka arrived to the Blue Jays with shoulder problems, which contributed to Sirotka never pitching again. It also sparked outcry from Toronto GM Gord Ash, which caused Bud Selig to rule that the trade stood as is.

Neither team really benefited from the trade, as David Wells had his worst year since 1994, in his lone year with the White Sox. Wells only won five games for the Pale Hose, which is only slightly better than the zero games played with the Jays for Sirotka.

Friday, January 13, 2012

January 13

1993 Conlon #747 - Aaron Ward

On this day in 1927, the New York Yankees traded Aaron Ward to the White Sox for Johnny Grabowski and Ray Morehart.

Aaron would only spend one season with the Sox and it would be his last productive season in the majors, batting .270 in one hundred forty games. Before the 1928 season, Aaron was selected off of waivers by the Cleveland Indians and appeared in just six games with the Tribe. He faded into the minors until his retirement as a player in 1933.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

January 12

2001 Pacific Extreme LTD #93 - Cal Eldred

On this day in 2000, the White Sox dumped problem child Jaime Navarro onto the Milwaukee Brewers with pitcher John Snyder for Cal Eldred and Jose Valentin.

Cal helped shape the 2000 playoff bound White Sox by showing the grit and determination to play through injury and the tenacity to put hardware in his elbow to help his team. After starting the 2000 campaign 10-2, Eldred, who had a history of elbow problems, had a screw put into his elbow in the fall. He petered out with the White Sox in 2001, but he caught on with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2003 and played three more seasons.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

January 11

1931 W517 #43 - Art Shires

On this day in 1930, a lawsuit against Art Shires was dropped for a settlement of $500.

On December 28, 1928 a 53-year-old man from Shreveport, Louisiana man died from head injuries after being hit by a baseball thrown by Shires on May 20, 1928 in a game between Waco and Shreveport. Shires had allegedly thrown the baseball in anger at a group of disapproving Shreveport fans. On March 27, 1929, Shires was sued by the dead man's wife for $25,411. One day after the lawsuit was reported in the papers, Art was exonerated by a grand jury on March 29, 1929.

Art Shires played for the White Sox from 1928 until 1930.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

January 10

1992 O-Pee-Chee Premier #328 - Steve Sax

On this day in 1992, the White Sox acquired Steve Sax from the New York Yankees for Melido Perez, Domingo Jean and Bob Wickman.

Easily regarded as one of the worst trades for the Sox, Steve Sax didn't hit out of the .230 range for his duration with the South Siders. His fielding took a little bit of a dip from his days with New York, but it regressed to levels of his Los Angeles days.

Sax took a back seat to Joey Cora at second base and Tim Raines in left field by 1993. Steve never played in a postseason game in 1993, despite being on the roster all season.

Monday, January 9, 2012

January 9

2010 Historic Autographs "In Memory Of" Update - Ray French

On this day in 1895, shortstop and second baseman, Ray French was born. Ray played briefly for the White Sox in 1924. He mostly played at shortstop, but played three games at second base for the Pale Hose. He managed 20 hits and 11 RBI, while batting .179.

Ray was purchased from the Brooklyn Robins on April 16, 1924 and played his last game on July 10, 1924.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

January 8

1984 Donruss #379 - Julio Cruz

On this day in 1984, the White Sox re-signed free agent Julio Cruz.

After being the spark plug for the 1983 "Winning Ugly" team, the Sox signed Julio to a new contract in 1984. Unfortunately, Cruz did not return to form and slowly trailed off of his hot '83 finish. This was one of the reasons why the 1984 team underperformed and the beginning of a slow decline that would last for the rest of the decade.

The Sox finally cut ties with Julio before the 1987 season, but the damage was done and the Sox would find themselves near the cellar of the American League West until strong drafts led to a Pale Hose resurgence in 1990.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

January 7

1916 M101-4 #96 - Jack Lapp

On this day in 1916, the White Sox purchased Jack Lapp from the Philadelphia Athletics.

Jack would only play forty games for the Sox, hitting .208, in what would be his last year in the majors. Lapp was a second string catcher behind Ray Schalk. Jack's final game was October 1, 1916, during a doubleheader in Cleveland. The 1916 White Sox finished two and a half games back of the Boston Red Sox. He was cut from the White Sox due to ill health.

Lapp died on Friday, February 6, 1920, at the age of thirty-five, from pneumonia, in his home at 4229 North Franklin Street in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, during the night.

Friday, January 6, 2012

January 6

2006 Topps Heritage #84 - A.J. Pierzynski

On this day in 2005, Sox GM Kenny Williams bites the bullet and signs A.J. Pierzynski, despite the ugly rumors that persist about the hard nosed catcher.

The signing turned out to be a stroke of genius, as Pierzynski was a helpful teammate and one of the driving forces behind the surprising World Series Championship year for the White Sox. Controversy follows A.J. wherever he goes, it seems, as he gets in the middle of nearly every play.

A.J. was in the middle of a dropped third strike debacle, a few fights and many interesting calls. Pierzynski may be the most knowledgeable man on the field at all times, but that, like many other facets involving A.J., is in the eye of the beholder.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

January 5

2011 Bowman Prospects #BP38 - Eduardo Escobar

Happy birthday to Eduardo Escobar, who made his MLB debut with the White Sox in 2011.

Escobar had turned heads as a minor league standout, and put up respectable numbers in very limited appearances in 2011. Appearing in games as a pinch runner, pinch hitter and shortstop, Eduardo managed two hits in seven at-bats. He appeared in nine games in his first season.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

January 4

1949 Bowman #191 - Joe Haynes

On this day in 1941, the White Sox purchased Joe Haynes from the Washington Senators. Joe went on to play with the White Sox through 1948.

While with the Sox, Haynes led the AL in games and games finished in 1942, was the AL ERA champion in 1947 and made his only All-Star appearance in 1948.

Joe was traded to the White Sox by his future father-in-law, Washington owner Clark Griffith.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

January 3

2007 SP Rookie Edition #126 - Gustavo Molina

On this day in 2000, Gustavo Molina was signed as an amateur free agent by the Chicago White Sox. Gustavo made his MLB debut with the White Sox in 2007. He was on the opening day roster due to an injury to backup catcher Toby Hall.

Gustavo was 1-18 with one RBI during his tenure with the White Sox. His lone hit came at U.S. Cellular Field against the New York Yankees. Once Toby Hall came back, Gustavo was sent down and was eventually picked up on waivers by the Baltimore Orioles. After the Orioles, he has played for the Mets, Red Sox and Yankees.

Monday, January 2, 2012

January 2

1976 Chicago's Greats - Bill Veeck

On this day in 1986, Bill Veeck died from cancer, after a lengthy smoking habit. While he is most associated by his contributions with the White Sox, most people have no idea how influential he was all over the game.

When Bill was a child, his father became president of the Chicago Cubs. As a young lad, Bill came up with the idea of growing ivy in the Wrigley Field outfield. This brainstorm helped to define Wrigley Field and is one of the first things that pops into people's heads when they think of the Cubs home field.

While with the Cleveland Indians, Veeck signed Larry Doby to a contract, effectively making Doby the first black player in the American League. He also signed Satchel Paige, making him the oldest rookie in MLB history.

Working with the St. Louis Browns, Veeck hired Eddie Gaedel to pinch hit and allowed the fans to manage a game, which the Browns won, snapping a four game losing streak.

In 1959, Veeck was head of a group that took over the White Sox. He installed the now famous exploding scoreboard and electric blowers to clear home plate of dirt. Bill was forced to sell his shares of the team in 1961, due to poor health, but returned in 1975.

This time, Veeck pulled memorable stunts like having the team wear shorts during three different games and the ill-fated Disco Demolition. He also created the template for the rent-a-player mentality that would become popular with some owners, when he signed star players to one year contracts, in 1977. Veeck would be responsible for reinstating Minnie Minoso two separate times. One of the most enduring stunts that Veeck pulled out of his hat was convincing announcer Harry Caray to sing "Take Me Out To The Ballgame" for the fans during the seventh inning stretch. A reluctant Caray agreed and it became a staple of Harry's schtick, which he moved to the Cubs booth a few years later.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

January 1

1984 Topps #405 - LaMarr Hoyt

Happy birthday to LaMarr Hoyt, who in 1983, helped lead the White Sox to the AL West division title. This was the first time since 1959 that the Sox made the playoffs. That year, LaMarr won the AL Cy Young award and the AL TSN Pitcher of the Year.

Hoyt came to the organization with Oscar Gamble in 1977, as part of the Bucky Dent deal with the Yankees. He was dealt to the Padres after the 1984 season for a package that included a young shortstop named Ozzie Guillen.

LaMarr ran into drug problems that derailed his career, but he eventually rebounded from those woes and is currently drug free and working in the White Sox organization as a roving instructor.
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