Monday, April 30, 2012

WSC Birth Years: Don Cooper

Card #103 - Don Cooper

Born: January 15, 1957

After manager Ozzie Guillen left for Miami with two games left in the season in 2011, the White Sox needed to find an interim manager to fill the spot. Thought naturally turned to Joey Cora among the fan base, but with Cora vacating the scene following Guillen to Florida, other plans had to be executed. Enter: Don Cooper. The Chicago White Sox pitching coach, who has been with the organization since 1988, was asked to run the team for the final games.

Cooper took the reigns and managed a split record, one win and one loss. With the previous manager having checked out mentally, dreaming of a Cuban tinged lifestyle in South Beach, the team had been on autopilot for quite some time, with the coaches stepping up their own influences over the team. Don had the task of managing in the wake of a hot winded Venezuelan hurricane and did the job with little fanfare and decent results.

The Don Cooper era only lasted two games, as the White Sox hired former Sox number one pick, Robin Ventura, after the 2011 season. Coop has gone back to his pitching coach duties, as of the beginning of the 2012 season.

* Although Baseball Reference lists his birth year as 1956, every Don Cooper baseball card lists his birth year as 1957, so majority rules and baseball cards rarely lie to me.

April 30

2006 SP Legendary Cuts #55 - Charlie Robertson

On this day in 1922, Charlie Robertson threw the first perfect game for the Chicago White Sox at Navin Field in Detroit, Michigan, against the Tigers.

Charlie pitched the fifth perfect game in history and the first one to be thrown on the road, in only his fifth career start. Hall of Fame catcher Ray Schalk caught Robertson's gem that day, in front of roughly 25,000 fans. As with most perfect games, there was a moment where the perfection is nearly lost and this game was no exception. In the second inning, Detroit left fielder hit a liner to his counterpart, Johnny Mostil, who made an amazing catch to preserve the game.

Robertson never duplicated his feat and developed arm trouble that plagued him the rest of his career. Charlie's accomplishment that day would be the last perfect game in the majors until Game 5 of the 1956 World Series.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

April 29

1989 Upper Deck #548 - John Davis

On this day in 1988, the Baltimore Orioles won their first game of the season after starting 0-21, on a Friday evening in Chicago.

Jack McDowell started the game and was lifted in the top of the seventh inning, after giving up a walk to Joe Orsulak and a double to Pete Stanicek, leaving the Sox trailing Baltimore 4-0. John Davis comes to the rescue and promptly hits Billy Ripken with a pitch. Cal Ripken Jr. reaches on a throwing error by future GM Kenny Williams, causing Pete Stanicek to score. Davis then gets Eddie Murray to ground into a fielder's choice, causing Tito Landrum (pinch running for Billy Ripken) to be out at the plate. A walk to Fred Lynn loads the bases, setting up a fielder's choice by Larry Sheets, where Cal Ripken Jr. scores and the bases are loaded again. Terry Kennedy hits a sacrifice fly to center field, scoring Eddie Murray. Finally, Craig Worthington grounds out to Ozzie Guillen who flips the ball to second baseman Donnie Hill for the force.

The Orioles would add two more in the ninth inning off of future "save master" Bobby Thigpen. The White Sox, who managed early hits by Harold Baines, Carlton Fisk and Ivan Calderon, would only get a ground ball single from Donnie Hill to start the bottom of the ninth the rest of the way. The White Sox lost the game 9-0 and the Orioles ended the worst team start in MLB history. Despite the horrid start, the Orioles only had seventeen less wins than the White Sox in 1988.

WSC Vintage: Frank Shugart

Card #42 - Frank Shugart

Frank had been playing organized baseball since 1888. He had been on the Chicago Pirates of the Players League in 1890. Shugart had also played with the Pittsburgh Pirates, St. Louis Browns, and the Louisville Colonels of the National League. Frank's minor league career would put him on the trajectory to a historical first.

Shugart joined the St. Paul Saints of the Western League in 1896, the beginning of the club's second season removed from their single season in Sioux City as the Cornhuskers. With the exception of a short stint with the Philadelphia Phillies in 1897, Frank was with the Saints until their move to Chicago. Shugart was retained during the team's move and he became one of the very first Chicago White Stockings of the American League in 1900.

It wasn't until the American League became a major league in 1901 that the current statistics for the White Sox started. Comparing minor league and major league stats are similar to comparing apples and oranges. On April 29, 1901, Frank Shugart hit the first home run in White Sox history against Detroit. The Sox lost that game 3-2, but it started a path for the team that would include home run greats such as Bill Melton, Dick Allen, Frank Thomas and Albert Belle. Frank Shugart may have gotten the first home run in White Sox history, but he was soon eclipsed by his teammate Sam Mertes, who led the team in 1901 with five home runs. Shugart finished with two home runs for the 1901 season, which would be his last in organized baseball, after being blacklisted for hitting an umpire in the face on August 21, 1901.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

April 28

2005 Upper Deck Classics #89 - Ted Lyons

On this day in 1946, Ted Lyons wins his 260th and final game of his MLB career.

Ted started his career with the Chicago White Sox in 1923. Through a string of bad teams that placed no higher than third, Lyons was the one constant throughout. A few years after the commissioner cleaned house, Ted emerged on the scene and stayed twenty seasons, until 1942.

In 1946, he pitched again for the White Sox, earning his last win. After twenty-one seasons, Lyons had accomplished everything he was going to accomplish as a player and focused on managing the only team he played for during his career. Although he never played a game in the postseason, he did get selected to the All-Star team in 1939.

Friday, April 27, 2012

April 27

1965 Topps #70 - Bill Skowron

On this day in 2012, Moose Skowron died from congestive heart failure after a long battle with lung cancer.

Moose was always up to spin a good yarn with anyone within earshot. He was an ambassador for both the New York Yankees and the Chicago White Sox. Skowron would entertain White Sox fans every time he dropped in on a broadcast. The longer he stayed, the harder it was to get him to wrap up stories that would keep even the announcers on the edge of their seats with joy.

Skowron was named to the 1965 All-Star team for the White Sox in 1965. He was the prototype slugging first baseman that paved the way for players like Frank Thomas and Paul Konerko to shine on the South Side. Although Moose never made it to a playoff game during his four seasons on the ChiSox, but his teams were always in the running, well into September. If divisional play existed before 1969, Skowron may have had a pennant or two with the White Sox to add to those with the Yankees and Dodgers.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

April 26

2002 Fleer Authentix #116 - Joe Crede

On this day in 1978, Joe Crede was born.

A key member of the 2005 World Championship team, Joe provided spectacular defense and clutch hitting for the Pale Hose. Crede was drafted in the fifth round of the 1996 draft. Joe made his debut in 2000 and left through free agency after the 2008 season.

Crede's time with the White Sox was bookended by postseason berths, in 2000 and 2008, though he did not participate in either of those. His postseason appearances in 2005 produced many highlights including a game-winning RBI double in the bottom of the ninth in the second game of the ALCS. Joe's promising career was cut short due to back injuries.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

April 25

1951 Topps Red Backs #51 - Eddie Robinson

On this day in 1951, Eddie Robinson hit the first rooftop home run by a Chicago White Sox player at the original Comiskey Park. Eddie hit the blast off St. Louis Browns pitcher Al Widmar. Eddie and Al would become teammates on the Pale Hose in 1952.

Robinson would experience the peak of his career with the White Sox and his previous team, the Washington Senators. Eddie would play with seven of the "original eight" American League franchises over his career, the exception being the Boston Red Sox. He did become a scout for the Red Sox after his career was through.

400 For Konerko

Congrats to Paul Konerko on hitting his 400th home run!!!!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

April 24

2009 TriStar Obak #82 - William "Dummy" Hoy

On this day in 1901, William Hoy became the first batter in Chicago White Sox history, after the American League became an officially recognized major league.

Dummy joined the White Stockings in 1900, when they were still considered a minor league team. His only major league season with the White Stockings was in 1901. It was in this season that he broke Tom Brown's record of 3623 career outfield putouts, and also led the league with eighty-six walks and hit by pitch (fourteen times) while finishing fourth in runs and had an on base percentage of .407. Dummy would capture his first pennant with the White Stockings.

Hoy is credited with introducing hand signals to the game to help others communicate with him during the game. There is little evidence to support this myth. Dummy did use hand signals with players and coaches, but there is strong evidence that it was introduced into the game much earlier. William lost his hearing at three years old after suffering from meningitis, so the assumption that he introduced hand signals to baseball certainly has a certain plausibility to it, but no basis in fact.

Hoy finished his career with the Cincinnati Reds in 1902. He retired with a .287 batting average, 2044 hits, 1426 runs, 726 runs batted in, 248 doubles, 121 triples, 40 home runs and broke Tom Brown's record of 4461 career total chances in the outfield.

Monday, April 23, 2012

April 23

1956 Topps #238 - Walt Dropo

On this day in 1955, the Chicago White Sox clobbered the Philadelphia Athletics by the score of 29-6.

The twenty-nine runs scored is an American League record. The Sox had seven home runs in the game. Walt Dropo and Bob Nieman each had seven RBI. Sherm Lollar and Minnie Minoso added five RBI each.

Walt manned first base for the South Siders from 1955 until June 1958, when he was selected off of waivers by the Cincinnati Redlegs. Dropo came to the Sox via trade from the Detroit Tigers. Bob Nieman and Ted Gray also came to the Pale Hose in that trade.

Dropo made his MLB debut in 1949 and was named AL Rookie of the Year in 1950, while with the Boston Red Sox. Walt played until 1961 with the Baltimore Orioles.

WSC Birth Years: Philip Humber In Action

Card #102 - Philip Humber - In Action

Born: December 21, 1982

A bonus card based on the 1982 Topps In Action subset.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

WSC Birth Years: Philip Humber

Card #101 - Philip Humber

Born: December 21, 1982

The path of Philip Humber is a long and strange one. In the 29th round of the 2001 draft, the New York Yankees selected Humber, but he chose not to sign. Instead, Philip attended Rice University. It was a wise decision, as Humber was selected third overall in the 2004 draft by the New York Mets.

During his first season in the Mets minor league system, Philip was shut down due to elbow pain, which eventually required Tommy John surgery. He made his MLB debut with the Mets in September 2006. Humber's potential never surfaced in New York, so he was traded to the Minnesota Twins in 2008. Philip's struggles continued with Minnesota. After spending more time in the minors, he signed a contract with the Kansas City Royals in December 2009. While Humber earned his first MLB win with the Royals, he was put on waivers, where the Oakland Athletics claimed him in December 2010. When the A's 40 man roster filled up, Philip was waived again, where the Chicago White Sox claimed him on January 18, 2011.

While with the White Sox, pitching coach Don Cooper worked with Humber on a slider and a few mechanics. The tinkering worked, as Humber started to improve, taking a no-hitter into the seventh against the New York Yankees on April 25, 2011, in just his sixth MLB start. Philip continued to gain experience and confidence as a starter, while subbing for the oft injured Jake Peavy.

On April 21, 2012, Philip Humber pitched the 21st perfect game in MLB history, joining ex teammate Mark Buehrle and 1920's hurler Charlie Robertson as pitchers who have accomplished that feat while in a Chicago White Sox uniform.

April 22

1959 Topps #328 - Lou Skizas

On this date in 1959, the Chicago White Sox scored eleven runs in the seventh inning in a game against the Athletics in Kansas City. The Pale Hose only managed one hit in that inning. Lou Skizas scored a run without even batting in the inning. Here's how Baseball Almanac describes it. Not only did Skizas score without batting, but two Jim Landis plate appearances resulted in outs. Pitcher Bob Shaw was out twice; once by strikeout and once by forceout during a Landis at-bat.

"In one of the most bizarre innings in baseball history, the Sox get eleven runs in the 7th inning as part of their 20 - 6 win at Kansas City. The 'uniqueness' of it is that fact that those eleven runs scored on only one hit! It took 45 minutes to play. Here is the play by play from it:

WHITE SOX 7TH: GORMAN REPLACED WARD (PITCHING); Ray Boone reached on an error by DeMaestri [Boone to first]; Al Smith reached on an error on a sacrifice bunt by Smith [Boone to second]; Johnny Callison singled to right [Boone scored (unearned) (error by Maris), Smith scored (unearned) (error by Maris), Callison to third]; Luis Aparicio walked; Aparicio stole second; Bob Shaw walked; EARL TORGESON BATTED FOR SAMMY ESPOSITO; FREEMAN REPLACED GORMAN (PITCHING); Torgeson walked (walk was charged to Gorman) [Callison scored, Aparicio to third, Shaw to second]; Nellie Fox walked [Aparicio scored, Shaw to third, Torgeson to second]; Jim Landis forced Shaw (pitcher to catcher) [Torgeson to third, Fox to second]; Sherm Lollar walked [Torgeson scored (unearned), Fox to third, Landis to second]; BRUNET REPLACED FREEMAN (PITCHING); Boone walked [Fox scored (unearned), Landis to third, Lollar to second]; Smith walked [Landis scored (unearned), Lollar to third, Boone to second]; Callison was hit by a pitch [Lollar scored (unearned), Boone to third, Smith to second]; LOU SKIZAS RAN FOR CALLISON; Aparicio walked [Boone scored (unearned), Smith to third, Skizas to second]; Shaw struck out; "BUBBA" PHILLIPS BATTED FOR TORGESON; Phillips walked [Smith scored (unearned), Skizas to third, Aparicio to second]; Fox walked [Skizas scored (unearned), Aparicio to third, Phillips to second]; Landis grounded out (pitcher to first); 11 R, 1 H, 3 E, 3 LOB."

Not only did Skizas score without batting, but two Jim Landis plate appearances resulted in outs. Pitcher Bob Shaw was out twice; once by strikeout and once by forceout during a Landis at-bat.

PERFECTION!!!!

Congrats to Philip Humber for pitching his first complete game! Oh, and for making that complete game a PERFECT GAME!!!

Humber became the 21st pitcher to accomplish that feat and the third while in a White Sox uniform.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

April 21

1999 Topps Traded #T63 - Kip Wells

On this day in 1977, Kip Wells was born.

Kip was selected by the Chicago White Sox in the first round of the draft in 1998. He made his MLB debut on August 9, 1999 against the Detroit Tigers, winning his first outing. Wells would go 20-21 for the Sox over three years before he was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates after the 2001 season.

Wells enjoyed some marginal success in Pittsburgh. He spent parts of five seasons with the club, while lowering his ERA. After the Pirates, Kip bounced around the major and minor leagues. Wells signed a minor league deal with the Chicago White Sox in April 2012, only to mutually agree to part ways after ten days.

Friday, April 20, 2012

April 20

1948 Leaf #66 - Orval Grove

On this day in 1992 pitcher Orval Grove died.

Orval spent his entire career with the White Sox, getting his first taste in 1940. By 1943, he proved himself as a reliable starter and stayed in the rotation with help from his 4-F status, which meant he was ineligible for military service. Grove won his first nine starts in 1943, the first pitcher to do that since Lefty Williams in 1917. Orval lost his attempt at ten wins in a row by issuing a balk against the Yankees which lost the game for the White Sox.

Grove nearly joined the ranks of pitchers that threw no-hitters. With one out left to go in the ninth inning of a game against the New York Yankees, Joe Gordon ripped a double that was fair by inches, to end Orval's closest no-hit bid. Ironically, Gordon and Grove became close friends after their playing careers were over. Grove declined in the last few years of his MLB career. In his last year, 1949, he only pitched two-thirds of an inning in one game before being demoted.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

April 19

1961 Bazooka #7 - Minnie Minoso

On this day in 1960, Minnie Minoso belted a grand slam, a game winning home run and had six RBI in a wild win over the Athletics. Minnie was reacquired over the offseason and found himself on a defending championship team. Reminiscent of a meltdown by the 2012 pitching staff a few days ago, the 1960 staff blew a 9-2 lead, making Minoso's heroics necessary.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

April 18

1992 Pinnacle #291 - Jack McDowell

On this day in 1991, "new" Comiskey Park opened up across the street from the original building. Jack McDowell was the starting pitcher for the Pale Hose against the Detroit Tigers. The Motor City Kitties trounced the South Siders 16-0 in an Opening Day that will live on in infamy. The Tigers managed to put together a ten run inning in the fourth off of relief pitchers Brian Drahman and Ken Patterson.

McDowell didn't make it out of the third inning, giving up the first six runs for the Tigers. His last pitch was a two-run home run to Rob Deer. Jack would rebound to win the Cy Young Award in 1993, then to catch the ire of New York fans in 1995 by giving them the finger.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

April 17

1953 Bowman Color #39 - Paul Richards

On this day in 1951, Paul Richards managed his first MLB game, debuting with the Chicago White Sox against the St. Louis Browns. The Sox trampled the Browns 17-3.

Richards brought a new strategy to the South Side as manager. His style of game emphasized pitching, defense and speed, rather than relying on home runs for run production. The new method worked and began a string of seventeen consecutive seasons above .500, which is the third longest streak in MLB history.

Paul spent 1951 through 1954 as manager of the White Sox. The team would be competitive, but always come up short of the New York Yankees. He moved on to manage the Baltimore Orioles in 1955 and stayed there through 1961. Bill Veeck asked Richards to return to managing in 1976 and he took over the White Sox once again. After a losing record in 1976, Paul retired from managing.

Monday, April 16, 2012

April 16

1949 Bowman #141 - Tony Lupien

On this day in 1948, the Chicago White Sox played the Chicago Cubs in a exhibition game. That exhibition became the first MLB game to be broadcast on WGN-TV. Not much is remembered about the game itself, but the White Sox won 4-1. Jack Brickhouse called the action at Wrigley Field.

Tony Lupien was in the middle of his tenure with the Pale Hose. He appeared in the most games during the 1948 season, so it stands to reason that he may have appeared in this exhibition. Tony's only season with the Sox was 1948, where he played first base in all 154 games. He hit a career low .246 for the season and committed eleven errors. Lupien led the league in putouts with 1,436. He was selected off of waivers by the Detroit Tigers in January 1949, but never again appeared in a major league game.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

April 15

1989 Swell #73 - Virgil Trucks

On this day in 1954, Virgil Trucks became the first opposing pitcher to play in an official MLB game in Baltimore, Maryland, when the Chicago White Sox opened Memorial Stadium against the newly transplanted and newly named, Baltimore Orioles.

It was almost fitting in a way that Virgil "Fire" Trucks would open up the new park in Baltimore as the first opposing pitcher, since he was part of the last season in St. Louis, before the Browns moved to Maryland and changed their name. Virgil was traded to the Pale Hose on June 13, 1953 from the Browns. He stayed with the Sox until he was traded after the 1955 season. During that time, Trucks went 47-26 with a 3.14 ERA for the South Siders. Between St. Louis and Chicago, he won twenty games in 1953. He followed that with nineteen games won in 1954. Virgil made his second and final appearance at the All-Star Game in 1954, representing the White Sox.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

April 14

2008 Bowman Sterling #BS-ARU - Adam Russell (Auto)

On this day in 1983, relief pitcher Adam Russell was born.

Adam earned his first MLB win in the tenth inning of a game against the Cleveland Indians on July 1, 2008. Russell quickly earned his second win in a similar situation, in the tenth inning of a game against the Cleveland Indians, the very next day. Adam would go to 4-0 in his first ten appearances.

He was set to repeat that success in 2009, until he became a part of a trade to the San Diego Padres for Cy Young Award winner Jake Peavy. Russell was drafted by the White Sox in the sixth round of the 2004 draft.

Friday, April 13, 2012

April 13

1988 Score Rookie & Traded #66T - Jeff Bittiger

On this day in 1962, Jeff Bittiger was born.

Jeff had short stints with the Phillies and Twins before finding a semi-permanent place with the Chicago Whit Sox during the 1988 and 1989 seasons. Bittiger was a spot starter for the Sox, but spent most of his time in the bullpen.

After twenty-five appearances in 1988, Jeff only found two appearances the next season. After the 1989 season, Bittiger was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Tracy Woodson. Jeff never again appeared in a MLB game, though he played in the minors until 1995.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

April 12

2002 Fleer Tradition Update #U161 - Antonio Osuna

On this day in 1973, Antonio Osuna was born.

Antonio came to the White Sox in 2001, but one could easily miss him. He only played in four games that year and spent most of the season on the disabled list. Osuna came roaring back in 2002 and played in fifty-nine games. Antonio was traded to the New York Yankees after a fairly successful 2002 for Orlando Hernandez.

Osuna was the first player to wear number 13, after Ozzie Guillen left via free agency after the 1997 season.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

April 11

1970 Topps #518 - Bill Melton

On this day in 1969, the White Sox played the first MLB game in Seattle against the Pilots, who would move to Milwaukee and become the Brewers the next season.

The Pale Hose got their butts handed to them by the expansion team by the score of 7-0. There were no players that had a great offensive game for the Sox, but the man who had the most productive day would be Beltin' Bill Melton.

Bill smacked two doubles and had two walks on the day. He was stranded each time, which goes to show that this isn't a recent phenomenon, as some would have you believe. The White Sox would finish the 1969 season by winning sixty-eight games, which was good enough for fifth place, only four games above the last place Seattle Pilots.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

April 10

1968 Topps #413 - Tommy McCraw

On this day in 1968, riots on the West Side of Chicago hold the attending crowd for Opening Day to less than eight thousand. Out of the 9-0 embarrassing loss, the White Sox managed only two hits, one by Duane Josephson and the other by Ken Boyer. Joel Horlen was removed after only five innings, after giving up seven hits and five runs. Horlen took the loss.

The most productive player that day for the South Siders would be first baseman Tommy McCraw. He drew two walks and stole second. The only other White Sox player to reach base that day was Pete Ward, who walked once.

Monday, April 9, 2012

April 9

1989 Fleer #500 - Barry Jones

On this day in 1990, Barry Jones got the win in the last Opening Day at old Comiskey Park.

Barry relieved Scott Radinsky in the top of the seventh inning with one out and promptly hit Milwaukee Brewers left fielder Glenn Braggs with a pitch. Jones settled down and finished the inning and the next without further incident. The Sox pushed ahead in the bottom of the seventh inning, when Scott Fletcher hit a sacrifice fly to right field to bring in Sammy Sosa and advance Ozzie Guillen to third.

Jones' inning and two-thirds of work was just enough to get the win. Wayne Edwards entered in the ninth inning to retire the first batter. Bobby Thigpen then relieved Edwards for the final two outs and notched his first save of his record breaking season. Barry Jones would go on to win eleven games in 1990, all from the bullpen.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

April 8

2010 TriStar Obak #27 - Denny McLain

On this day in 1963, the Detroit Tigers claimed Denny McLain off of waivers from the Chicago White Sox.

Denny grew up in Markham, Illinois and was signed by the Chicago White Sox in 1962 after high school. McLain was assigned to the Harlan Smokies of the Appalachian League. His debut with Harlan was impressive, pitching a no-hitter and striking out sixteen batters. After two games with the Smokies, Denny was promoted to the Midwest League.

Players with one year of service were open to a waiver draft and while the Pale Hose left McLain in the minors, the Detroit Tigers swooped in and claimed him. His MLB debut would be against the White Sox, who were held to a lone run and seven hits. Denny would become the last thirty game winner a mere five years later. His attitude and addictions would later derail his career.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

April 7

1977 Topps #631 - George & Ken Brett

On this day in 1977, Ken Brett became the first opposing pitcher to start a major league game in Toronto, Ontario against the brand new Blue Jays.

The White Sox started off the 1977 season looking at a field full of snow at Exhibition Stadium, but the Blue Jays prevailed over Ken Brett and the White Sox that day. Perhaps if Ken didn't give up five runs in three innings of work, the outcome could have been different. The Sox would never catch up to that deficit, as Toronto piled on four more runs after Brett's exit. The excitement would be short lived for the Jays, as they would finish with only fifty-four wins for their inaugural season. The White Sox would go on to win an impressive ninety wins, which was good enough for third place in the Western Division that season, behind the one hundred two win Kansas City Royals and the ninety-four win Texas Rangers. Amazingly, those ninety wins would have put the Sox in fourth place in the Eastern Division.

Ken, who came to the Sox during the 1976 season, would go 6-4 for the team in 1977, before being traded to the California Angels.

The picture below is from February 15, 1977 at the World Series Club of Hartford County.

Friday, April 6, 2012

April 6

1989 Bowman #65 - Robin Ventura

On this day in 1994, Robin Ventura hit two home runs, including a grand slam in the seventh, helping the White Sox crush the Toronto Blue Jays at SkyDome by the score of 9-2. The grand slam was the fifth of Ventura's career.

On this day in 2012, Robin Ventura made his MLB debut as a manager for the Chicago White Sox, replacing an interim Don Cooper after Ozzie Guillen left with two games to go in the 2011 season.

This 1989 set marked the first Bowman cards in the hobby since 1955, before Topps bought out its rival gum company in 1956.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

April 5

1976 SSPC #143 - Bucky Dent

On this day in 1977, Bucky Dent was traded to the New York Yankees for Oscar Gamble, LaMarr Hoyt, Bob Polinsky and $200,000.

Bucky was drafted twice by the St. Louis Cardinals, once in June 1969 and once in January 1970. He did not sign either time. Instead, Dent signed when the White Sox drafted him sixth overall in the June 1970 draft. Bucky was runner up for Rookie of the Year in 1974 and 1975 saw his first All-Star Game. He spent four years with the White Sox parent club and hit .260 over that span.

Dent would go on to infamy with the New York Yankees for his three-run home run during a 1978 playoff game against the Boston Red Sox. Two of the players received in the trade would help two different successful White Sox teams. Gamble became part of the folklore of the South Side Hitmen in 1977 and Hoyt would help catapult the 1983 team to legendary status in Chicago.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

April 4

1988 Topps Traded #51T - Ricky Horton

On this day in 1988, Ricky Horton was the starting pitcher on Opening Day against the California Angels in Chicago.

To get a sense of just how badly things were for the late eighties White Sox teams, just gaze your eyes upon the 1988 Opening Day starter, Ricky Horton. Does this look like the face of a number one starter? Not really. On a staff that had Jerry Reuss, Melido Perez and future Cy Young Award winner Jack McDowell, Ricky was chosen to get the start.

The White Sox won 8-5 and Horton went eight solid innings. Bobby Thigpen pitched the ninth for his first save of the 1988 season. All in all, the decision worked out well, but Ricky wouldn't have been my first choice for number one starter. Horton came to the Sox from the St. Louis Cardinals in the same trade that brought the Sox outfielder Lance Johnson, on February 9, 1988. Ricky was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers on August 30, 1988 for pitcher Shawn Hillegas.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

April 3

1993 Diamond Marks #54 - Bo Jackson

On this day in 1991, the Chicago White Sox signed Bo Jackson.

Bo was a two-sport phenom and a media juggernaut, but the White Sox signed him after a career threatening injury. The medical staff of the White Sox became one of the motivating factors for Jackson. The first high profile case for the Sox, Bo became a test case for what could be done after devastating injuries.

From the moment Jackson signed, he was a Chicago sensation. Bo amazed fans and teammates alike, when he ran onto the field during the 1991 White Sox home opener when introduced to the crowd. The fans went crazy and Jackson claimed that his "legs took control".

Bo would give the Sox fans a few thrills in 1991 and again in 1993, when he played in his only postseason games as a major league player. This began the tradition of reclamation projects, which included such players as Cal Eldred, Jake Peavy, Ozzie Guilen and Robin Ventura. Jackson's power remained, but his legendary speed all but vanished. With his first appearance in a White Sox uniform, Bo became the first player in the MLB to play with an artificial hip.

Monday, April 2, 2012

April 2

1903 E107 Briesch-Williams #115 - Roy Patterson

On this day in 1900, the Chicago White Stockings played for the first time against the University of Illinois, in Champaign, Illinois. The Pale Hose won 10-9 and Roy Patterson was the winning pitcher.

Roy started his career with the Western League St. Paul Saints in 1899 and moved with the team to Chicago before the 1900 season. Technically, the Sox were still a minor league team in 1900. The American League would become a major league before the next season and the White Stockings would be one of the original franchises.

Patterson enjoyed a 17-8 record over thirty starts, which included twenty-two complete games. In 1901, Roy became one of the first twenty game winners for the White Sox. The twenty games he won in 1901 would be the only time he would reach that mark in the majors. Clark Griffith would be the other pitcher to reach twenty games for the White Stockings that season, as he won twenty-four games.

On April 24, 1901, Patterson became the first pitcher to earn a victory in an official MLB American League game in a game against the Cleveland Blues. Roy peaked in 1903 and saw less playing time, until his last appearance in the majors on September 24, 1907. Although still with the White Sox, Patterson did not play in the 1906 World Series against the Chicago Cubs.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Best April Fools Day Prank Ever?

Kindergarten Cop: Criterion Collection

1990 • 111 minutes • 1.85:1 • United States
Spine: #620 Editions: DVD, Blu-ray

With muscular sensitivity, Hollywood’s last action hero Arnold Schwarzenegger goes undercover as a teacher of five-year-olds, who include a tumor-forewarning death-obsessive and a genitalia expert.

24 Jul 2012



SYNOPSIS: Historically, the policier and the family comedy were two distinct categories. Then, in 1990, Kindergarten Cop gave us all a lesson in genre revisionism. With muscular sensitivity, Hollywood’s last action hero Arnold Schwarzenegger embodies detective John Kimble, who is compelled to go undercover as a teacher of five-year-olds in order to catch a ponytailed drug dealer. Though it’s distinguished by pulse-pounding suspense, a Crayola-bright palette by cinematographer Michael Chapman (Taxi Driver), and trenchant observations about education in the Bush I era, the film’s emotional center is Schwarzenegger’s gruff yet good-tempered interaction with a class full of precocious scamps, including a tumor-forewarning death-obsessive and a genitalia expert. By leavening a children’s film with enough violence to please even the most cold-hearted bastard, director Ivan Reitman shows that he refuses to color inside the lines.

April 1

1958 Topps #453 - Tom Qualters

On this day in 1935, pitcher Tom Qualters was born.

Despite not being purchased by the Chicago White Sox until April 30, 1958, from the Philadelphia Phillies, Tom managed to appear on a 1958 card wearing a White Sox uniform. Qualters was nicknamed "money bags" due to his status as a bonus baby in Philadelphia. The Phillies had to keep Tom on their roster for two seasons right after signing him. The Phillies signed Qualters on June 16, 1953. In the first two years that he was on the Philadelphia roster, Tom slipped into one game, on September 13, 1958 against the Cardinals in St. Louis. The Steve Bilko homered. Peanuts Lowrey walked and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Rip Repulski was hit by a pitch and Havey Haddix singled to load the bases. Solly Hemus singled and scored Lowrey. Red Schoendienst forced Hemus for the first out of the inning, scoring Repulski. Eddie Phillips pinch ran for Schoendienst. Stan Musial doubled scoring Haddix. Then Ted Kazanski made an error which scored Phillips. After all that, Qualters was finally lifted from his first MLB game, being replaced by Jim Konstanty. Tom didn't get into another game for the Phillies until 1957.

While Qualters spent parts of three years getting into games for the Phillies, he only appeared in eight games. Tom only spent part of one season with the Pale Hose and got into twenty-six games, mostly as a mop up pitcher. His numbers in Chicago were much better than in Philadelphia, but that couldn't secure him a roster spot on the 1959 team. He spent 1959 and part of 1960 in the White Sox minor league system before finally hanging it up in 1962. Tom's last MLB game was on September 25, 1958 with the White Sox against the Detroit Tigers in the ninth inning of a 7-1 loss. Qualters gave up a home run to Gail Harris, the first man he faced in that last inning. If Red Wilson didn't hit into a line drive double play, Tom's next batter would've been Coot Veal.
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