Tuesday, May 22, 2012

May 22

1977 Topps Cloth #55 - Richie Zisk

On this day in 1977, Richie Zisk became only the second player in White Sox history to hit a blast into the center field bleachers at old Comiskey Park.

Out of all the excitement that Richie brought to the South Side Hitmen that season, this may have been the most exciting and the most anticlimactic. The home run came off of Dave Rozema in the eighth inning of a 14-3 loss to the Detroit Tigers.

Zisk would leave the White Sox with the best season in his career, blasting thirty home runs and 101 RBI to go along with a nice .290 average. Even with number twenty-two's career best season, the Sox had the unfortunate luck to be in the American League West, which was won by the Kansas City Royals in 1977 with 102 victories. The Texas Rangers came in second with 94 wins and the Pale Hose lagged behind both teams with a still respectable ninety wins.

Zisk's name may have faded a bit into the background in Chicago lore, replaced by names such as Baines, Fisk, Thomas, Jackson, Belle and Konerko, but Richie Zisk's name still comes up whenever fans reminisce about that magical 1977 season, when the Sox almost hit their way into the postseason with rent-a-players.

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