Saturday, March 31, 2012

March 31

1998 Lemon Chill #22 - Charlie O'Brien

On this day in 1998, Charlie O'Brien made his White Sox debut, going three for four with one RBI helping the White Sox win their Opening Day match against the Texas Rangers at the Ballpark in Arlington by the score of 9-2. O'Brien had the highest batting average of any player on the field after this game.

Charlie enjoyed his highest average since his rookie season with the Oakland Athletics in 1985, during his time with the South Siders. O'Brien played in fifty-seven games for the White Sox before being traded to the Anaheim Angels for two minor league prospects on July 30, 1998.

Friday, March 30, 2012

March 30

2012 Topps Heritage #35 - Chris Sale

On this day in 1989, Chris Sale was born.

The White Sox first round draft pick in 2010, Chris saw a rapid rise through the minor league system. He was the first player from the 2010 draft to make his MLB debut, which happened in the eighth inning of a game against the Baltimore Orioles on August 6, 2010.

Sale eventually won the closer role after a series of poor performances from other Sox relievers in the role during the 2011 season. While Chris did excel at times in the closer role, the Pale Hose plan to turn him into a starter for the 2012 season. Through the 2011 season, Sale has a 4-3 record with a 2.58 ERA and twelve saves.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

March 29

1954 Red Man #AL22 - Ferris Fain

On this day in 1921, Ferris Fain was born.

On January 27, 1953, the Philadelphia Athletics traded Ferris and Bob Wilson to the Chicago White Sox for Ed McGhee, Joe DeMaestri and Eddie Robinson. Coming off off two straight betting titles with Philadelphia, the Sox probably thought they were getting a great deal. Unfortunately, Fain had a hot temper and got into a brawl with White Sox fans in a Maryland cafe, which derailed his 1953 season and took his career off track.

Ferris spent 1953 and 1954 with the White Sox, hitting .272 and making the All-Star squad both years. After the 1954 season, he was traded to the Detroit Tigers in a multiple player deal. After baseball, Fain became a custom house builder, but found a green thumb growing marijuana, which led to a four month house arrest in 1985 and an eighteen month prison sentence in 1988.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

March 28

1977 TCMA Jacksonville #8 - Joe Gates

On this day in 2010, Joe Gates died at age 55.

Joe made his MLB debut with the Chicago White Sox on September 12, 1978. Gates played twenty-four games for the Pale Hose between then and his last MLB game on June 24, 1979. Joe played in eight games in 1978 and had six hits and one RBI with a .250 average.

In 1979, Gates appeared in sixteen games for the South Siders, but only managed one hit. That lone hit was a triple, on May 13, 1979 against the Kansas City Royals. This turned out to by Joe's only extra base hit in the majors.

Gates won the Southern League AA batting title for Knoxville in 1978, batting .332 and stealing 38 bases before being promoted to the White Sox. After his playing career ended, Joe became the head baseball coach at Gary Wirt high school for 28 years before the school closed in 2009. At the time of his passing, Gates was the bench coach for the Gary SouthShore RailCats. Joe was a native of Gary, Indiana.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

March 27

1999 Upper Deck #339 - Jaime Navarro

On this day in 1967, the abysmal Jaime Navarro was born.

I only say abysmal because Jaime Navarro's time with the White Sox could only be described as getting a root canal done without Novocaine by a three year old Capuchin monkey using a rusty fork covered in dog feces and pig vomit. Jaime's "accomplishments" with the Chicago White Sox included leading the league in wild pitches, hits allowed, and earned runs allowed in 1997; leading the league in wild pitches and losses in 1998; and improving only enough in 1999 to not lead the league in any worst category. The biggest contribution Navarro ever made to the White Sox was bringing Jose Valentin and Cal Eldred to the team when Jaime and John Snyder were traded to the Milwaukee Brewers in January 2000.

Navarro finished his three year stint with the Chicago White Sox sporting a 25-43 record, a 6.06 ERA and 696 hits allowed in eighty-seven starts and one hundred two total games played.

Monday, March 26, 2012

March 26

1983 Donruss #291 - Chico Escarrega

On this day in 1982, Chico Escarrega was sold to the Chicago White Sox by the Campeche Pirates of the Mexican League.

Ernesto was a thirty-two year old rookie when he made his MLB debut with the White Sox on April 26, 1982. Chico appeared in thirty-eight games in the 1982 season, including two starts. He earned one save and struck out thirty-three batters.

Escarrega retired before the 1983 season, at the age of thirty-three. His only MLB win came on July 10, 1982 against the Blue Jays in Toronto.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Difference Between Class And Crass

I am still a huge Mark Buehrle fan. Despite his move to South Beach over another round on the South Side, I will support Buehrle and cheer him on. I will still collect his cards in a Marlins uniform. The only time I will ever root against Mark Buehrle will be when he faces the Chicago White Sox. Why? He has been a favorite of mine for many years and he is a class act all the way. His exit from Chicago was low key and heartfelt. We understood why he had to leave, but we wanted him to stay anyway. Buehrle will always get my respect. On the way out of town, he expressed his desire to come back to the White Sox someday. This is a man who was clearly torn and made a tough decision that was right for him and his family. These are the reasons why I will collect his Miami Marlins cards.
I appreciate everything that Ozzie Guillen brought to the White Sox, both as a player and as a manager. As a player, he helped bring the AL West crown to Chicago in 1993 and he was the voice of reason and experience on the field. He solidified the infield and managed to be a menace on the basepaths despite his low batting average. As a manager, he brought the first World Series title to Chicago in eighty-eight years. He squeezed an AL Central title out of the 2008 team.

Guillen was a flash fire. He burned brightly at first, but his flame died quickly. We knew his eccentricities and made exceptions for them. Then, along with his mouth, everything went south. The first crack in the armor was making Sean Tracey cry and making him lose enough confidence to never sniff the majors again. Ozzie tasted another man's tears and it seemed to suit him. During the last few years, it appeared that Ozzie was more interested in screwing with a player's frame of mind than winning ballgames. Questionable feuds popped up with everyone from umpires, players and reporters. I could even stomach the unnecessary Twitter wars, but the grand finale would be my last straw.

I don't mind that Ozzie went to Miami. No long term manager stays in the same place forever. Even Bobby Cox went to Toronto to manage for four years. After checking out somewhere in the middle of the season, Guillen couldn't be bothered to finish out the last two games of the season, thus exposing us all to the Don Cooper managerial experience.

While Reinsdorf may have reluctantly signed off on Ozzie's wish to leave his responsibility two days early, in the eyes of the fans, Guillen just abandoned his team that he had already given up on months before. The Tasmanian Devil act had finally rolled over on the most important piece of the Chicago White Sox; the fan. A whirlwind Miami appearance, and much later a half-hearted love letter to Chicago, and it was all over. If it wasn't for these last acts of desperation and greed by Ozzie Guillen, I probably would have held on to a few Miami Marlins cards of him. Sometimes it's not what you do, but how you exit that leaves the greatest impression on fans. After many great things, including a World Championship, Sox fans will remember Ozzie for his cowardice and selfishness. It shouldn't be like that. I wished it wouldn't have ended like that, but those actions are out of my control. It is what it is and that was a slap in the face to all the people who supported him, even when it seemed like the whole world was against Ozzie Guillen. I will not be actively pursuing any Miami Marlins cards of Ozzie Guillen.

The free agent poaching bonanza claimed some great names and some great talent, but only one player has both, plus the cool, laid back confidence that made him the steal of the offseason; Mark Buehrle.

March 25

1990 Score Rookie & Traded #80T - Jerry Kutzler

On this day in 1965, Jerry Kutzler was born.

Jerry came into an exhibition game between the White Sox and the crosstown rival Cubs on April 23, 1990 and impressed manager Jeff Torborg enough, that less that a week later Kutzler was in the starting rotation. Jerry only lasted through seven starts in the 1990 season, but he showed enough moxie that he has stuck in the minds of Sox fans for over two decades.

Kutzler was in danger of being sent down after his first few major league starts with the Pale Hose, but he developed a slider that kept him around slightly longer. What ultimately sunk Jerry was that he gave up ten earned runs on sixteen hits in only eleven innings over his last three starts. After the Adam Peterson experiment, Alex Fernandez took over Kutzler's spot in the rotation for the next seven seasons.

Jerry was drafted by the Chicago White Sox in 1987 and made his debut in 1990. He stayed in the Sox organization through the 1991 season. Between 1992 and 1995, Kutzler bounced between the Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers and the Kansas City Royals minor league systems. Jerry's last MLB game was on May 31, 1990, where he took the only loss of his major league career. He finished with a 2-1 record and a 6.07 ERA in seven games.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

March 24

2008 Upper Deck #338 - Heath Phillips

On this day in 1982, Heath Phillips was born.

On September 5, 2007, Heath made his MLB debut in Detroit against the Tigers in the eleventh inning of a loss, which was his first decision in a major league uniform. His next relief appearance was two days later and Phillips achieved his first MLB win.

Heath appeared in four more games, all no-decisions. After working his way through the White Sox minor league organization for seven years, Phillips signed with the New York Yankees in January 2008. As of this writing, Heath has yet to make it back to the majors, with his last appearance being on September 30, 2007.

Friday, March 23, 2012

March 23

1966 Topps #281 - Bruce Howard

On this day in 1943, pitcher Bruce Howard was born.

Bruce was signed by the White Sox in 1962 and by the next season, he was pitching with the big club. In the grand tradition of most Pale Hose pitching prospects, Howard started his big league experience in the bullpen, notching his only save in his rookie season of 1963.

By 1964, Bruce was mostly a starter. Although the Sox weren't against throwing him into the pen when absolutely needed. Until the end of the 1967 season, when Howard was traded with Roger Nelson and Don Buford to the Baltimore Orioles for Luis Aparicio, John Matias and Russ Snyder, the Sox were a formidable force to be reckoned with. The team was built on a philosophy of versatility and what was best for the team. If it wasn't for the lack of divisional playoffs in the mid-sixties, the White Sox may have had a few more World Series appearances under their belt. Always the bridesmaid and never the bride could be the motto of the mid-sixties Chicago White Sox teams.

After five seasons with the Chicago White Sox, Bruce had a .500 record with a 2.91 ERA, which was slightly better than his career average. Howard split the 1968 season between the Orioles and the Washington Senators.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

March 22

1959 Topps #103 - Billy Goodman

On this day in 1926, Billy Goodman was born.

In 1958 and 1959, Billy patrolled third base for the Pale Hose. He occasionally played the other three infield positions as well. Goodman's average took a nose dive in 1959, despite the team making the World Series that year.

By 1960 and 1961, his last years with the White Sox, Billy had become a part time player. Coming to the White Sox in a trade with the Orioles in December 1957, Goodman was released by the team in April 1962, before he saw any playing time with the Sox that year. He signed as a free agent with the Houston Colt 45s in May 1962, which turned out to be his last season in the majors.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

March 21

2005 Upper Deck Firtst Pitch #302 - Jeff Bajenaru

On this day in 1978, Jeff Bajenaru was born.

Jeff was drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the thirty-sixth round of the 1999 draft. By some miracle, Bajenaru made his MLB debut with the Sox on September 4, 2004. Thirty-sixth rounders don't typically make it to the big leagues, so Sox fans were witnessing something special. What defied the odds even more, was that Jeff was injured in 2002 and did not play at all, due to Tommy John surgery.

After briefly appearing in 2004, Bajenaru appeared in an even briefer four games in 2005, earning himself a World Series ring in the process. Not bad for someone who wasn't even on the postseason roster. Before the 2006 season, Jeff was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks for Alex Cintron.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

March 20

1952 Topps #133 - Al Widmar

On this day in 1925, Al Widmar was born.

On April 17, 1952, Al Widmar made his debut for the Chicago White Sox in the top of the fourth inning against the Cleveland Indians. Over two innings, he gave up a solo home run to first baseman Luke Easter and gave up four total hits.

This turned out to be Al's only appearance in a White Sox uniform. He finished the 1952 season with the minor league Seattle Rainiers. Widmar would never again make the majors, but he hung on in the minors until 1958.

Monday, March 19, 2012

March 19

1990 Upper Deck #503 - Ivan Calderon

On this day in 1962, Ivan Calderon was born.

Ivan came to the White Sox through a trade with the Seattle Mariners, as the player to be named later in 1986 for Scott Bradley. Ivan quickly established himself as a player to watch and he became a fan favorite. With regular playing time, Calderon's average climbed into the high two-hundreds with the South Siders. On December 23, 1990, Ivan was the key player in a trade with the Montreal Expos for Tim Raines.

Calderon was back with the White Sox on August 31, 1993, but was a shell of his former self as a player. He appeared in nine games and could only muster a .115 average. He was not placed on the post-season roster.

Ten years later, Ivan was facing the counter at "El Trompo" bar, a few blocks from his house, in Loíza, Puerto Rico, when he was shot six times in the back and once in the head on December 27, 2003 around 8 P.M. He was forty-one years old. The case remains unsolved.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

March 18

1957 Topps #278 - Fred Hatfield

On this day in 1925, Fred Hatfield was born.

Fred came to the White Sox through a trade with the Detroit Tigers on May 15, 1957. The Sox sent Jim Brideweser, Harry Byrd and Bob Kennedy in exchange for Hatfield and Jim Delsing. Fred played 144 games at third base and three at shortstop for the Pale Hose. He appeared in a total of 175 games for the White Sox, including pinch hitting appearances.

Over the course of nearly two seasons in Chicago, Hatfield managed a .246 average, seven home runs and forty-one RBI. Fred was traded to the Cleveland Indians with Minnie Minoso for Al Smith and Early Wynn, who ended up being key players in the 1959 pennant winning team.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

March 17

1985 Topps Traded #76T - Tim Lollar

On this day in 1956, Tim Lollar was born.

Tim came to the White Sox through the LaMarr Hoyt trade with the San Diego Padres in 1984. That trade also brought Ozzie Guillen, Luis Salazar and Bill Long to Chicago. Lollar spent the early part of 1985 in the White Sox starting rotation, racking up a 3-5 record with a 4.66 ERA over eighty-three innings. He starting thirteen out of his eighteen pitching appearances. Tim was traded to the Boston Red Sox for Reid Nichols on July 11, 1985.

Despite popular belief, Tim Lollar is not related to popular White Sox catcher Sherm Lollar.

Friday, March 16, 2012

March 16

1971 Topps #643 - Rick Reichardt

On this day in 1943, Rick Reichardt was born.

Rick came to Chicago via a trade with the Washington Senators for pitcher Gerry Janeski on February 9, 1971. Rick hung on with the South Siders until he was released by the team on June 28, 1973. By the time, Reichardt got to the White Sox, his playing days were winding down. In 1971, his first year with the Sox, Rick hit double digits in home runs for the last time in his career. His batting average dipped in each successive year.

After he was released by the White Sox, Reichardt played with the Kansas City Royals. He finished up the 1973 campaign with the Royals and retired after one at-bat with them in 1974. Rick's last MLB at-bat was a pinch hit single to the third base side in the ninth inning against the Oakland Athletics on April 9, 1974.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

March 15

1983 Fleer #240 Jim Kern

On this day in 1949, Jim Kern was born.

Jim came to the White Sox through a trade with the Cincinnati Reds on August 23, 1982. Kern showed enough promise with the Sox that he was back the next season, but one angry pitch on April 5, 1983, against the Texas Rangers, resulted in a season ending elbow injury.

"The doctor (White Sox physician Richard Corzatt)," Kern said, "told me I did some unusual things. I tore a couple tendons right off the bone. Usually, that takes some bone with it, but that didn't happen with me. I also tore one ligament right in half. From my shoulder to my wrist there was nothing but blood clots. It was scary to look at. He performed some radical surgery, and he told me, 'You're either going to wind up stronger than you ever were, or it just won't work.' Now I'm about ready to go out and see if it works. If it doesn't, there's nothing I can do about it. I made up my mind that if I couldn't throw 88, I'd hang it up." - Jim Kern (June 1984)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

March 14

1993 Conlon #851 - Jack Rothrock

On this day in 1905, Jack Rothrock was born.

Jack was traded by the Boston Red Sox with Charlie Berry to the Chicago White Sox for Smead Jolley, Bennie Tate, Johnny Watwood and $7,500 on April 29, 1932. Rothrock only played thirty-nine games with the Pale Hose, but he managed to play each outfield position and the infield corners. This was not new to him, as he played all nine positions previously for the Boston Red Sox in 1928.

Part of the reason for his short tenure in Chicago was his .188 batting average. After the 1932 season, the White Sox traded Jack to the St. Louis Cardinals, where he eventually became part of the 1934 World Champion team.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

March 13

1973 Topps #604 - Dennis O'Toole

On this day in 1949, Dennis O'Toole was born.

His brother Jim actually came to the White Sox first, in 1967, but only lasted a few months at the tail end of his career. While Jim was with the team, the Sox took his brother, Dennis, in the 1967 amateur draft. Dennis made his debut in 1969 and pitched a handful of innings each year until 1973 with the South Siders, when he made his longest contribution to the majors with sixteen innings, which was over triple his previous season high innings pitched.

Even though Dennis was taken in the 1967 draft and played in each season since 1969, his first card was in the 1973 set, which marked his last in the majors. O'Toole's only existing cards, according to Beckett's master list, are in the 1973 Topps and O-Pee-Chee sets.

Monday, March 12, 2012

March 12

1960 Topps #17 - Johnny Callison

Johnny was drafted out of high school by the Chicago White Sox in 1957. Callison spent 1958 and 1959 splitting time between the majors and minors. He was left off of the roster, when the White Sox went to the World Series against the Dodgers in 1959. While Johnny's small sample size showed promise in 1958, his numbers had dipped with more exposure to major league pitching. After the 1959 season, Callison was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies for Gene Freese. Gene would spend only one year in Chicago, while Johnny went on to achieve cult status in Philadelphia.

The 1960 Topps card features an annoying habit used by card companies to rush product, but usually keeps the team collectors on their toes and pretty busy. In the effort to get the players on their new teams as quickly as possibly, sometimes a blatantly obvious attempt is made by using a picture of the player in his former team's uniform, with all the logos visible, even though the player is listed with his new team. Another example of this is on Ted Kluszewski's 1961 Topps card, where he is still in his Chicago White Sox hat and uniform, but is listed on the newly formed Los Angeles Angels. This was excusable back then, but it is just lazy when done in today's hobby landscape.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

March 11

1991 Topps #717 - Phil Bradley

On this day in 1959, Phil Bradley was born.

Consider this card Phil Bradley's last taste of the majors. The White Sox acquired Phil from the Baltimore Orioles on July 30, 1990 for fan favorite Ron Kittle. While the Sox got Kitty back the next year, Bradley was off to Japan to play with the Yomiuri Giants. He spent 1992 in the minors with the California Angels and the Chicago Cubs, but never made it back to the majors.

Phil's low batting average and spotty fielding with the Sox assured he wouldn't be back in 1991. On a side note, Bradley finished first in one category in 1990; hit by pitch, with eleven.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

March 10

On this day in 1924, John Perkovich was born.

"Perky" made his debut with the White Sox during a blowout game against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on May 6, 1950. The Red Sox already up 7-1, John entered the game in the bottom of the fourth inning and did what Ken Holcombe and Luis Aloma could not; escape from an inning without giving up a run. Perkovich finished the game, which covered the last five innings. He gave up seven hits and four runs but also struck out three and walked only one.

That was the one and only time Perky played in a major league game. Signed by the Chicago White Sox in 1946, he played in their minor league system until the 1951 season. John split time with the Washington Senators and the Boston Braves AA teams in 1952 before disappearing off the map.

Friday, March 9, 2012

March 9

1972 Topps #685 - Joe Horlen

Joe Horlen was the White Sox player representative on this day in 1972, when the team voted 31-0, in favor to strike while the union and owners were in negotiations. The issues were mainly conflicts with the health and pension benefits of the players.

Two weeks after presenting the team's vote, Horlen was released, after spending parts of eleven seasons with the South Siders. This may have been in the best interests of Joe, as he obtained his only World Series ring in 1972, while a member of the Oakland Athletics. 1972 would be Horlen's last year in the majors. Proving that he could still play almost two decades later, in 1989, Horlen played for the St. Lucie Legends of the Senior Professional Baseball Association.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

March 8

1989 Score #542 - Mark Salas

On this day in 1961, catcher Mark Salas was born.

It seems hard to believe, but Mark Salas only played for the Chicago White Sox during the 1988 season. After his playing career ended in the early nineties, Mark became the bullpen catcher for the Sox from 1996 until 1999. He spent two years as a scout for the Pale Hose, after that. In 2007, Salas started his second stint as the White Sox bullpen catcher. In 2012, he survived the coaching shakeup, after the 2011 season, and is still the Sox bullpen catcher.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

March 7

1975 TCMA 1919 Chicago White Sox - Dave Danforth

On this day in 1890, Dave Danforth was born.

Dave was a left handed pitcher from Granger, Texas, who was with the White Sox from 1916 until 1919. The White Sox drafted Dave out of the minors on September 15, 1915. During 1916 spring training, Danforth taught his signature shineball to two other pitchers, Eddie Cicotte and Hod Eller. Dave went on to participate in the 1917 World Series, pitching one inning and giving up two runs while striking out two, but wasn't around when his two disciples met in the 1919 World Series. Hod became one of the aces of the 1919 Cincinnati Reds World Series staff and Eddie became one of the eight player banned for life shortly after that series.

Danforth led the American League in pickoffs in 1916, with 15. He had a move that bordered on balking.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

March 6

1994 Score Select #404 - Joe Hall

On this day in 1966, Joe Hall was born.

Joe was traded to the White Sox by the St. Louis Cardinals in 1991, while still in the minors. It wouldn't be until 1994 before Joe saw MLB action with the Sox. Hall managed to play in seventeen games for the South Siders that season and hit .393 during that span. The luster had worn off of Joe's play by early 1995, when he was released by the Sox.

Hall did play in to different seasons with the Detroit Tigers, but his time was even more limited there than with the Sox.

Monday, March 5, 2012

March 5

1985 Fleer #529 - Mike Squires

On this day in 1952, Mike Squires was born.

In 1975, and then from 1977 until 1985, Mike Squires played any and every role the White Sox asked of him. Primarily a first baseman, Mike defined himself as a late inning defensive wizard. Squires' finest accomplishment may have been his Gold Glove in 1981.

As the longest tenured player on the 1983 White Sox team, Mike raised the AL West pennant from the roof of old Comiskey Park.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

March 4

1984 Topps #163 - Lorenzo Gray

On this day in 1958, Lorenzo Gray was born.

Lorenzo was a third baseman for the White Sox during the 1982 and 1983 seasons. Gray played a total of fifty-eight games between the two partial seasons.

Lorenzo only had one major league home run and it was a case of "when it rains, it pours". On May 24, 1983, at Comiskey Park, in the bottom of the third inning, Gray hit a home run off of Doug Bird of the Boston Red Sox, to bring the score to 10-4. Lorenzo's home run may have gotten lost in a flurry of scoring early on in the game, but I'm sure he remembers it fondly.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

March 3

1993 Fleer #208 - Scott Radinsky

On this day in 1968, pitcher Scott Radinsky was born.

Debuting for the White Sox in 1990, Scott was one of the hard throwing youngsters that made up a surprising team that would have gone from worst to first in the AL west, if it had not been for those pesky Oakland A's, led by former Sox manager Tony LaRussa and future Sox DH Jose Canseco. In 1991, Radinsky had his best year with the White Sox, going 5–5 with a 2.02 ERA. Scott held batters to a .116 batting average with runners in scoring position, in sixty-seven appearances that season.

After the 1993 season, Radinsky was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Disease, which sidelined him for the entire strike shortened 1994 season. He was back with the White Sox for the 1995 season, but his ERA ballooned to 5.45, so the Sox chose not to re-sign Scott. Radinsky continued with his career, posting better ERAs with the Dodgers, before finishing up his MLB career with the Cardinals and the Indians.

Radinsky's second career was singing in a punk band. Scott enjoyed success with Scared Straight and with Pulley, who opened up for Green Day.

Friday, March 2, 2012

March 2

2003 Jewish Major Leaguers #36 - Moe Berg

On this day in 1902, catcher Moe Berg was born.

From 1926 until 1930, Moe Berg roamed the diamond for the Chicago White Sox. He started out as a solid utility infielder, but was moved to backup catcher in 1928 after a series of injuries to Sox catchers forced the team's hand, a role which he would fill for various teams until his retirement in 1939.

While playing for the White Sox, Berg earned his Bachelor of Laws from Columbia University and passed the New York State bar exam. Moe's biggest accomplishment was being a spy for the U.S. government. He determined that the Germans were not close to developing a nuclear bomb during World War II and received the Medal of Freedom for his efforts.

After the war, Berg turned down numerous MLB coaching jobs, including one for the Chicago White Sox, in order to pursue his dream of working with the CIA. Moe was hired by the CIA again in 1952, but came up empty. When his contract expired, the CIA chose not to renew it. Berg spent the rest of his life trying to work as a spy again for the CIA.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

March 1

1994 Leaf #406 - Scott Sanderson

On this day in 1994, the Chicago White Sox signed Scott Sanderson through free agency.

Growing up near Chicago, Scott had the luxury, as a player, to play on both sides of town. First he played with the Cubs from 1984 until 1989 and he played for the White Sox in 1994. Basically, Sanderson bookended his time with the Cubs with postseason appearances. He was on his way to a third postseason appearance with a Chicago team in 1994, this time for the South Side, when the strike occurred and shut down the season for good.

Scott compiled an 8-4 record in 1994, making the majority of his appearances as starts. He had a nice 3 to 1 strikeout to walk ratio, but gave up twenty long balls. Sanderson was granted free agency during the long offseason and signed with the California Angels for the last two years of his career.
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