Saturday, June 30, 2012

June 30

2008 Stadium Club #65 - Nick Swisher

On this day in 2008, Nick Swisher became the second White Sox player to homer from both sides of the plate twice in a season.

The first player to accomplish that feat was Jose Valentin, who did that three times during his tenure with the Pale Hose. Nick, who would only play with the White Sox for one season, was considered a mistake trade. The polarizing effect he had on both the clubhouse and the fans made for a quick exit. While top prospects were needed to snag Swisher away from the Oakland Athletics, the return from the New York Yankees was not as great. On the plus side, all three players the Sox got for Nick played with the South Siders at the major league level. On the negative side, all three players (Wilson Betemit, Jhonny Nunez and Jeff Marquez) are all in other organizations.

For as little as Swisher fit in on the White Sox, he did leave a positive aspect. Nick was heavily involved in charity work and made many Sox fans aware of his charity, Swish's Wishes, with helps children with health issues. While entertaining at first, Swisher quickly got under fans' collective skin and "Dirty Thirty" couldn't find much love from a city that loves characters.

Friday, June 29, 2012

WSC Vintage: Roy Elsh

Card #43 - Roy Elsh

Roy played with the Chicago White Sox from 1923 until 1925, but he was considered a top prospect as far back as 1916, when he was recommended to the New York Giants by Zeke Wrigley, who played in the National League from 1896 to 1899. The Pittsburgh Pirates tried to purchase Elsh from the Sioux City Western League team in 1922, but was blocked by the White Sox, claiming that they had first crack at Sioux City players. The relatively new baseball commissioner, Kenesaw Mountain Landis, agreed with Chicago and the next season, Roy found himself starting in left field in the second game of the 1923 season, at Dunn Field in Cleveland. Elsh would steal a base and score a run in his MLB debut. He would steal twenty-four bases in his short career, while only being caught nine times.

As a thirty-two year old rookie, Roy didn't have much of an upside for the majors. His best season at the plate was in 1924, when he hit .306 and had an OPS of .731. As his career wound down, Elsh played each outfield position, pinch hit and even played a little first base, but he wouldn't stick around past a disappointing 1925, where he hit .188 with only one extra base hit, which was a double. He was runner up for the Western League batting title before his MLB debut, but after his MLB days ended in 1925, he slipped down to the A ball Dallas Steers in 1927, which was his last season.

June 29

1971 Topps #311 - Lee Stange

On this day in 1970, the Chicago White Sox purchased Lee Stange from the Boston Red Sox.

Lee had been i the majors since 1961, playing with Minnesota, Cleveland and Boston before the White Sox plucked him out of Boston. The 1970 White Sox were an awful team and they needed any kind of help that could come their way, even a relief pitcher on his last legs.

A far cry from his 1967 World Series appearance with the Red Sox, Stange appeared in sixteen games, had an unimpressive 5.24 ERA, but managed to win one game, in the mix, and surprisingly have zero losses, despite giving up thirteen runs. In his final appearance, in the top of the seventh inning, on September 21st, against the Kansas City Royals, Lee blew a save, giving up a home run to Paul Schaal and walking Cookie Rojas. Bill Melton was able to homer for the Sox, giving them the lead for good, and giving Wilbur Wood the victory.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

June 28

1973 Topps #310 - Dick Allen

On this day in 1973, the apex of the White Sox injury troubles came in a freak injury to superstar Dick Allen.

When fans talk about the doom and gloom of the White Sox, visions of 1919 dance through the dreams of the casual fan; the 1970 team will come to mind for the more observant fan; the 1973 season will stand out for the die-hard fan. This was the season of hard luck injuries. In all, the ChiSox used the disabled list thirty-eight times!

Newly acquired Ken Henderson had torn up his knee sliding into home. Bill Melton, Carlos May and Pat Kelly had nagging injuries. Brian Downing injured his knee on a pop up during his first MLB game. In Anaheim, against the Angels, Mike Epstein crashed into Dick Allen and broke his leg, putting the final nail in the promising season. The Sox had stormed out of the gates and into first place, but the injury bug had a different outcome. Although the 1973 team won 77 games, a fully functioning squad was picked to win the division.

Dick came back strong in 1974, but left the Sox a few weeks before the season's end, due to an ongoing feud with an unhappy Ron Santo. Despite leaving in the middle of September, Allen still won the American League home run title in 1974. With the uncertainty of Dick's career, the Sox were forced to sell his contract to the Atlanta Braves after the season, but Allen announced his retirement instead of reporting to the Braves. The retirement was short lived, as he was coaxed out of retirement to play with the Phillies and ended his career with the Oakland Athletics in 1977. It was a long and strange journey for the 1972 AL MVP.

WSC Birth Years: Eric Stults

Card #109 - Eric Stults

Born: December 9, 1979

Eric signed with the White Sox in December 2011. He would turn out to be one of the last pitchers cut in spring training for 2012. The good impressions that Stults left with the coaching staff paid off on May 7th, when he was called up to start the second game of a double header in Cleveland. Eric pitched six innings, giving up only two runs, keeping his team in the game. He gave way to Will Ohman to start the seventh inning. The Sox tied the game in the eighth, but Matt Thornton surrendered the go ahead run in the bottom of the inning.

Stults then entered his second game for the Sox on May 13th at home against the Kansas City Royals in the ninth inning, replacing Addison Reed with the bases loaded. All of the base runners scored on two groundouts and two singles, leaving the score 9-1 with the Royals on top. On May 17th, the San Diego Padres selected Stults off of waivers. Eric was added to the Padres starting rotation.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

June 27

1960 Topps #131 - Ed Hobaugh

On this day in 1934, Ed Hobaugh was born.

Even though he signed with the White Sox before the 1956 season and has a card in the 1960 Topps set, Ed was drafted by the Washington Senators in the 1960 expansion draft before he could make his MLB debut with Chicago. In three seasons with the Senators, he compiled a 9-10 record with a 4.34 ERA. Hobaugh began as a starter, but as his Washington career progressed, he was moved into the bullpen more and more.

In June of 1964, in a currently unknown transaction, Ed made it back to the Chicago White Sox, but stayed in the farm system. He was released before the 1965 season and then was quickly picked up by the Pittsburgh Pirates and put in their farm system. He was dealt to the White Sox, yet again in April 1969 for Cotton Nash, but the trade between Pittsburgh and Chicago was voided and the players were returned in July 1969.

Thanks For The Flattery Chicago Sun Times

I've been doing Birth Year cards for the White Sox since my first in 2009. As I'm reading the paper I usually find on my driveway, this morning, I flip to the back to read sports and I see this staring back at me.
I won't say that they stole my idea... I'll just say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. I'll also wager a guess that someone in the Sun-Times Media Group reads this blog. So... hi. I hope you keep on enjoying this blog. And thanks for reading!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

June 26

1956 Topps #262 - Howie Pollet

On this day in 1921, pitcher Howie Pollet was born.

After Howie was released by the Chicago Cubs after the 1955 season, he strolled south to the White Sox for the 1956 season. Pollet managed to obtain a 3-1 record with a 4.10 ERA during eleven games with the South Siders. He started four games, finished one and pitched twenty-six and a third innings before being released for good on July 13, 1956.

Pollet was a former teammate of ChiSox manager Marty Marion, so he was given a tryout during spring training. He was released in May, but re-signed shortly after when the Sox traded two pitchers. Howie was well over the hill in his career by that point and when the Sox could do well without his presence, Pollet was finally released. The Pirates came calling almost immediately and Howie was signed two days later, but the writing was on the wall. Pollet did not play in the MLB after the 1956 season.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Choose A Winner

It's time for you to choose the winner!

I have picked five entries that gave me the weirdest vibes just hearing about them. There were some great juxtaposition in those stories and all were great, but I can only choose five. Now, you, dear reader, gets to choose the one.

Here are the entries in chronological order....

1. Room number ball toss
I've been planning a post on this for a long time and I don't know if it's really weird, but back in 1994 I saw a Mariners relief pitcher write his hotel room number on a ball and toss it up to a young woman in the stands who had been flirting with him. I was sitting directly behind her and saw the ball very clearly.

2. Circumcision discussion
 ... hearing some really young bullpen guys at a High-A Ball minor league game talk about circumcisions...

3. Sprinkler interruption
 At a Giants game, the sprinklers went off in the 9th inning in the middle of a pitch. They had to clear the field for a few minutes to dry it off.

4. Rain delay munchies
 The oddest thing I remember goes back to one of my first games. We ran into Paul Splittorff and Buck Martinez (of the Royals) in full uniforms and spikes at one of the concession stands at old Comiskey Park. It was during a rain delay.

5. Helicopter drop off
 I think the strangest thing I've seen is earlier this spring, at the Orioles/Tides exhibition, a news helicopter landed on the field to drop off the channel's sports guy to throw out the first pitch.

Voting is on top of the right sidebar. Good luck. We're all counting on you.

WSC Birth Years: Zach Stewart

Card #108 - Zach Stewart

Born: September 28, 1986

Zach came to the White Sox from the Toronto Blue Jays with Jason Frasor for Edwin Jackson and Mark Teahen. Stewart has had flashes of brilliance, such as throwing seven perfect innings against the Minnesota Twins before giving up a hit to Danny Valencia. Then he retired the last six batters.

Stewart can be frustrating while navigating through the growing pains of a young pitcher. He does have a tendency to give up home runs to opponents. Six out of the nine home runs given up during the 2011 season while with the White Sox were to Kansas City Royals batters.

June 25

1954 Bowman #86 - Harry Dorish

On this day in 1953, Harry Dorish is brought in to relieve Billy Pierce to start the ninth, retires two batters and is relieved by Billy Pierce.

The brainchild of manager Paul Richards, Pierce is moved from the pitching mound to first base to start the ninth, while Dorish was brought in Hank Bauer and Gil McDougald. Harry Dorish replaced third baseman Bob Elliot. First baseman Fred Marsh was moved to third. Pitcher Billy Pierce moved into first base. The Yankees countered by replacing Hank Bauer with Don Bollweg. Bollweg singled off of Dorish and McDougald grounded out. Billy Pierce then moved back to the pitching mound and Dorish was replaced by Sam Mele, who took over first base. Pierce then gave up a walk, but managed a force out and a strikeout to end the game and sweep the Yankees in New York.

Harry Dorish was credited with a hold and Pierce won the game, but a few may argue that Pierce earned the win and the save, since Dorish did pitch between his pitching appearances in that game.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

June 24

1980 O-Pee-Chee #142 - Ralph Garr

On this day in 1977, Ralph Garr hit a home run which turned out to be a long single.

In the third inning of a game against the Minnesota Twins at Metropolitan Stadium, Ralph hit a three-run home run off of pitcher Paul Thormodsqard. Instead of the homer, Garr passed up catcher Jim Essian on the bases and was called out. Eric Soderholm and Essian scored on the mistake. Ralph was credited with a single and an out. The Sox lost the game 7-6, dropping them out of first and vaulting the Twins to the top of the AL West division, in their place.

This card of the Roadrunner is from the Canadian version of Topps in 1980. The card is exactly the same as the Topps version except for the team affiliation. Ralph had been purchased from the White Sox by the California Angels on September 20, 1979. Only the OPC version reflects this.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

June 23

1993 Score #437 - Shawn Abner

On this day in 1992, Shawn Abner went 3 for 4 against the Cleveland Indians in a White Sox winner in Chicago.

Although Tim Raines and Robin Ventura provided the bulk of the offense, Shawn Abner did manage to plunk three hits off of Cleveland pitching. One off of  future Cubs pitcher Dave Otto, one off of future White Sox reliever Dennis Cook and one off of future Milwaukee Brewer Eric Plunk. Abner only was able to score one run and did not contribute any RBI on the day, but the team won 7-1 on a Jack McDowell complete game.

Abner was chosen first in the 1984 draft by the New York Mets, but never played in the big leagues with New York. He made his debut with the San Diego Padres, played briefly with the California Angels and ended things with the White Sox. Although he played his best MLB season with the ChiSox, Shawn never played in the majors past 1992.

Friday, June 22, 2012

June 22

2012 Topps #342 - Kosuke Fukudome

On this day in 2012, Kosuke Fukudome was designated for assignment by the Chicago White Sox.

Fulfilling a wish from November 2007, White Sox GM finally got his man on Valentine's Day 2012, when Fukudome signed a one year contract, with a second year option, as a fourth outfielder. With all three main outfielders having fantastic starts, there was little opportunity for Kosuke to start, but he managed to sneak into twenty-four games.

After a promising start, Fukudome's production started to trail off with erratic playing time. An injury put him on the disabled list, and when his replacement outperformed him, Kosuke's future with the White Sox was in jeopardy. Fukudome had seven hits, two runs, four RBI and eight walks for the Pale Hose in fifty-one plate appearances. His only extra base hit was a double.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

June 21

1973 Topps #20 - Stan Bahnsen

On this day in 1973, Stan Bahnsen beat the Oakland Athletics 2-0, but allowed twelve hits, including three to catcher Ray Fosse, and one walk, proving that style is no match for substance.

The combination of poor hitting by the A's with runners in scoring position, poor base running and dumb luck caused this amazing performance by White Sox pitcher Stan Bahnsen. It's described as amazing because only one Oakland player, Joe Rudi, grounded into a double play. The eventual 1973 World Champions would leave ten men on base. In the fifth inning, the Athletics had three straight singles, but failed to load the bases or score.

Bahnsen was a twenty-one game winner in 1972, his first year with the South Siders, and had an 18-21 record in 1973. Stan got progressively worse each year for the Sox, until he was traded to the Oakland Athletics in 1975 with Skip Pitlock for Dave Hamilton and Chet Lemon.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

June 20

1986 Topps #531 - Tony LaRussa

On this day in 1986, Chicago White Sox manager was fired at the insistence of GM Ken Harrelson, after a 26-38 start to the season.

Owner Jerry Reinsdorf has called the approval of this firing his biggest mistake. The Oakland Athletics snapped the available LaRussa within a few weeks and went on to multiple World Series appearances. The White Sox continued their tumble to the cellar, with interim manager Doug Rader and eventual manager Jim Fregosi. Perhaps Harrelson was in a bad mood, seeing that it was the fifteenth anniversary of his last MLB game played, and LaRussa was the easiest target. Tony was a man that the new GM was not fond of, to put it lightly, and they often clashed. In hindsight, most of Harrelson's moves were the right call, but the majority of his decisions were extremely unpopular. The LaRussa firing was one of Hawk Harrelson's biggest blunders as a GM. As recently as the night before his firing, LaRussa was defending the Sox from people accusing the atmosphere to be that of a circus or soap opera. Much like a soap opera, LaRussa's demise came swiftly and took many fans by surprise.

LaRussa won the last game he managed for the White Sox, breaking a five game losing streak. Tony went 45-34 with the Oakland Athletics to finish out the 1986 season, which meant he went 71-72 for the entire season, combining both teams records under him. LaRuss has won six pennants and three World Series, all after being fired from the White Sox.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

June 19

1952 Topps #50 - Marv Rickert

On this day in 1950, Marv Rickert hit his first home run with the Chicago White Sox, which won the game in the bottom of the eleventh inning against Sid Hudson of the visiting Washington Senators.

Marv was purchased by the White Sox from the Pittsburgh Pirates on May 29, 1950. Rickert ended up playing eighty-four games with the Pale Hose, in what would be his last season in the majors. Marv would hit four home runs with the Sox, but wound up in the International League in 1951, playing for the Philadelphia Phillies AAA team, the Baltimore Orioles. He finished out his career with the St. Louis Browns AAA team, the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1952.

The interesting detail on this card is that Rickert is pictured in a Chicago White Sox uniform, despite not having played in their system for nearly two years. It's not like he was on the Sacramento Solons of the Pacific Coast League waiting for a call up to the White Sox from their AAA affiliate. Both the Sox and Rickert had moved on long before. Marv's only other cards, 1947 Tip Top and 1984 TCMA 1946 Play Ball feature him on the Chicago Cubs.

Monday, June 18, 2012

June 18

1990 Topps #326 - Tom McCarthy

On this day in 1989, Tom McCarthy pitched six and a third innings of relief, giving up no runs, trying to keep the White Sox in the game against the Boston Red Sox at Comiskey Park.

The White Sox would turn around their club in 1990, but the seeds of that resurgence were found all over the dismal sixty-nine win season of 1989. One week after signing Frank Thomas, Steve Rosenberg gave up nine hits and seven runs in two and two-thirds innings. Rosenberg threw two wild pitches in his short time on the mound, but only managed to have two runs earned out of the seven, thanks in part to errors from Eddie Williams and Carlos Martinez.

One of the few bright spots on the field in the 1989 season for the White Sox happened when McCarthy took the mound. Although he scattered seven hits and walked one, not another run crossed the plate for the rest of the game. The Sox mounted their comeback with two-run homers by Fred Manrique in the third inning and Ivan Calderon in the sixth, but Boston relief pitchers Bob Stanley and Lee Smith prevented the ChiSox from hitting in the final three innings. Yes, the White Sox didn't win the game, but perhaps the seeds were planted for the team to embrace the "Comeback Kids" mentality of the early nineties.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

WSC Birth Years: Josh Kinney

Card #107 - Josh Kinney

Born: March 31, 1979

Josh signed with the White Sox on January 9, 2011 and stood out in Spring Training, but couldn't pitch his way into a roster spot on a mostly set bullpen by the time the club broke for the regular season. As with most players that make a positive impression in the spring, he was asked to stick in the organization for the opportunity to be brought up later in the year.

Kinney found his opportunity, just in a way that he couldn't have imagined. When pitcher Philip Humber was hit in the head by a line drive, Josh found himself called up to the parent club. After thirteen appearances, he had given up thirteen earned runs in seventeen and two-thirds innings for a Rubenesque 6.62 ERA. Kinney became a free agent after the 2011 season and signed a minor league deal with the Seattle Mariners for 2012.

What Does A 1969 Topps White Sox Master Set Look Like?

After years of not pulling the trigger on a few key cards, I finally picked up the last three cards I needed to complete the 1969 Topps White Sox set.The ones tripping me up? Bill Melton, Wilbur Wood and Carlos May. Three players that have entered into the folklore of White Sox fans, but get passed over frequently by most everyone else.

This should have been one of the easier team sets to complete. There were no league leader cards and the Luis Aparicio card was acquired early. Once I got Tommy John into the collection, the rest should have fallen right into place. Wouldn't you know that other cards were lurking in the dark, taunting me with higher prices than I was willing to pay, until one glorious day last week, I found one at auction for 99 cents. As luck would have it, I found another card at auction for 99 cents. Miraculously, I won both auctions at my opening bid and the sellers had reasonable shipping rates that were both under two dollars. I decided to press my luck and search for the last card. Serendipity played a part, I'm sure, as I found that last card for $1.49 with free shipping. So, without further delay, I present...


I'm really enjoying the symmetry of the rookie cards, all in the seventh pocket of each page. There seems to be a good mixture of posed and portrait pictures too. Sandy Alomar's picture was left over from the 1968 set and I believe that Wilbur Wood's picture may be left over too. It doesn't matter. All that matters is that the journey for this vintage set is finally over. I'm slowly completing the White Sox master team sets of the sixties and seventies from Topps. Today I am one set closer to completing that goal.

June 17

1997 Flair Showcase Row 0 #178 - Doug Drabek

On this day in 1997, Doug Drabek fanned Ryne Sandberg with two Cubs on to squash a rally and help preserve the lead, which became an eventual White Sox winner.

After being drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the eleventh round of the 1983 draft, the Sox sent Drabek and Kevin Hickey to the New York Yankees in August 1984 to complete a deal for Roy Smalley that was made the month before. How did that trade work out? Smalley went to the Twins in a trade for a player they had before that wouldn't see the majors again and a player that would never play in the majors. Hickey bounced around the minors, saw MLB action with the Baltimore Orioles and eventually became the White Sox batting practice pitcher. Drabek would find success with the Pittsburgh Pirates and make it back to the White Sox in 1997 at the tail end of his career.

Doug spent 1997 with the Pale Hose before moving on to Baltimore. Drabek did have a record above .500 with the Sox, but had a ghastly ERA of 5.74. His best days were behind him, but he managed to squeeze out some quality innings for the South Siders. As for the setup to the Sandberg strikeout, Doug created his own mess by hitting the leadoff batter of the sixth inning, Brant Brown, before getting Mark Grace and Sammy Sosa to fly out. Dave Clark singled to put runners on first and third, setting up the Ryno strikeout, which was Drabek's final batter of the game. Matt Karchner pitched two quick innings before Roberto Hernandez got the save on three straight groundouts after giving up a double to Sammy Sosa, who eventually scored on Kevin Orie's groundout, and a walk to Dave Clark to start the ninth inning.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

June 16

1970 Topps #618 - Billy Wynne

On this day in 1969, Billy Wynne pitched a complete game and won a major league game in Milwaukee, Wisconsin without the benefit of an actual team being based in the state.

To test the waters in Milwaukee after the Braves jettisoned themselves to Atlanta, County Stadium was used as a Chicago White Sox home park for June 16th. The White Sox won the game 8-3 against the Seattle Pilots. Billy helped his own cause by getting a hit and two RBI in the game.

Despite the rumors that the White Sox might move to Milwaukee and a built in fan base of White Sox fans in Wisconsin, the losers of this game actually moved to Milwaukee the following season and became the modern day Milwaukee Brewers, resulting in the Seattle Pilots becoming a fascinating one year MLB team.

Friday, June 15, 2012

June 15

1981 Fleer Star Stickers #114 - Ed Farmer

On this day in 1979, the Chicago White Sox traded Eric Soderholm to the Texas Rangers for Ed Farmer and Gary Holle.

Only Farmer played for the White Sox out of the two players acquired for Soderholm. Gary Holle never made it back to the majors after the trade. Ed, who is a Chicago native, saved his best for the hometown crowd. He played with the Sox from June 1979 until 1981. His best season was 1980, where he made the All-Star team, saved a career high thirty games and won a career high seven games.

While Farmer may have moved on to Philadelphia after the ChiSox, he eventually came back to the organization in the early nineties as a color commentator on the Sox radio broadcasts. After doing color commentary during the 2005 World Series, Ed moved over to the play by play side of the broadcasts.

So It's Come To This: A Contest

 Yes, that cocky gentleman with the mustache is the same cocky gentleman that has no filter during the Chicago White Sox television broadcasts. Why is it here? No particular reason. I ran across it a few weeks ago and the absurdity of it made me smile. Hawk Harrelson was your father's brother's nephew's cousin's former roommate. What does that have to do with this post? Absolutely nothing! It's almost as absurd as a Winnebago with wings. Hawks. Eagles. Meh. Everything on television is starting to blend into one another.

Instead of going on some Hawk-ish tangent, let's get down to brass tacks. This is my 2,500th post. It only took me four years, seven months and six days. They weren't all winners, but I hope I've kept things entertaining, or at the very least interesting. For this milestone post, I would like to give away some White Sox cards. But there's a catch. Isn't there always?

I'm going to make you work for it... just a little. Then, it will all be up to a group of your peers.
What the heck do I mean by that? Well, I'm getting to that. And no, the Spaceballs references have nothing to do with it either. Here's what you have to do.

I want to know the weirdest thing you have ever seen at a Major League ballpark. Leave your answer and a brief explanation in the comments section. Isn't that simple? Sure it is! Here's where it gets complicated, sorta.

I will choose what I think are the five best answers and let the readers decide which is the absolute best. Any duplicate answers will not be chosen. Be original and stop being a copycat. I like you better that way. Whichever comment gets the most votes, will get some White Sox cards.

You have until Saturday, June 23, 2012 at 11:59PM CST to get your answers in the comment section. Only your first comment will count and duplicate answers will be ignored, so choose wisely.

Good luck and have fun!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

June 14

1980 Topps #522 - Jim Morrison

On this day in 1982, the Chicago White Sox traded Jim Morrison to the Pittsburgh Pirates for pitcher Eddie Solomon.

Primarily an infielder for the Sox, with the occasional DH appearance, Jim hit decently for a team that was struggling with identity. He played for the Pale Hose from 1979 until June 1982, which was the adjustment period between the rent-a-player philosophy that spawned the South Side Hitmen and the surprising 1983 team that Texas Rangers manager Doug Rader coined Winning Ugly.

While Morrison went on to play another six years, mostly for the Pirates, but with short stints in Detroit and Atlanta to end his career, the man he was traded for, Eddie Solomon played in six games for the White Sox in 1982 and never played in the majors again. Aurelio Rodriguez took over duties for Jim at third base, but was just a stopgap until Vance Law moved there permanently in 1983, when Jerry Dybzinski arrived from Cleveland to take over shortstop.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

June 13

1957 Topps #85 - Larry Doby

On this day in 1957, New York Yankees pitcher Art Ditmar throws behind Larry Doby's head during the first inning of a game in Chicago, sparking a brawl.

The pitch got away from catcher Yogi Berra and Ditmar came in to cover the plate, to prevent Minnie Minoso, who was on second base, from  attempting to score. Larry said to Ditmar, "Watch where you're throwing that ball." Ditmar responded with, "F*** you", and Doby quickly clocked him with a left hook. The Yankees swarmed Walt Dropo and brought him to the ground, where Billy Martin kicked him hard in the ribs. Yankee outfielder Enos Slaughter nearly had his shirt ripped off his body.

Larry Doby and Walt Dropo were ejected for the White Sox and Enos Slaughter and Billy Martin were ejected from the Yankees side. Future Sox player Bill "Moose" Skowron was an active participant in the brawl but did not get ejected. The Yankees, perhaps inspired by the melee, scored three runs in the fifth inning off of Billy Pierce and end up winning 4-3.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

June 12

1967 Topps #178 - John Buzhardt

On this day in 1967, the Chicago White Sox and the Washington Senators played a twenty-two inning game at D.C. Stadium which brought about change to the American League.

With one out in the bottom of the fourteenth, John Buzhardt replaced Hoyt Wilhelm on the mound for the White Sox.He immediately got Cap Peterson to line into an inning ending double play. Little did Buzhardt know that he would making the trip out to the mound eight more times. John breezed through the Washington lineup until the twenty-second inning.  Things started off fine with Fred Valentine grounding out, but a walk to Hank Allen, a single for Cap Peterson and an intentional walk to Mike Epstein, set up Paul Casanova to single home the winning run to left field, scoring Hank Allen.

The game took six hours and thirty-eight minutes to play. The length of play of this game led the American League to institute a curfew that no inning can start after 1 AM. This new curfew would directly affect the Sox in 1984, when the Pale Hose and the Milwaukee Brewers played a twenty-five inning game that had to be concluded the next day before the regularly scheduled game.

Monday, June 11, 2012

June 11

2012 Topps #228 - Brent Lillibridge

On this day in 2011 Brent Lillibridge saved the game for the White Sox with a home run robbing catch.

The Oakland Athletics' Coco Crisp hit a long one towards left field in the eighth inning with Daric Barton on second. Lillibridge leaped above the wall, between murals of Nellie Fox and Harold Baines on the outfield wall, and grabbed Crisp's blast and reeled it back in. The play left starter John Danks speechless on the mound. Danks ended up winning his second game in a row after going winless in his first eleven starts because of Brent's amazing catch.

In a rare occurrence, the play that happened on this day has been immortalized on Brent Lillibridge's 2012 Topps base card.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

June 10

1928 R315 - Smead Jolley

On this day in 1930, White Sox outfielder Smead Jolley had a career day, which helped his team give Hall of Fame Lefty Grove his first loss of the season, after starting 1930 with seven consecutive wins.

Smead wasn't known for his defense. In fact, he was known more for his misadventures in the field. The Sox were playing the eventual World Champion Philadelphia Athletics on June tenth and Jolley managed to go 2 for 5, with three RBI and topped it off with his eighth home run. Not only were his hitting skills on display that day, but his fielding skills were superb.

In the top of the tenth, Smead threw a runner out at the plate, saving the potential winning run from scoring. If that weren't enough, in the eleventh inning, Jolley made a fantastic running catch and fired to home plate for an out, saving the game for the Pale Hose. The ChiSox pulled it out in the bottom of the eleventh with a 7-6 victory. Smead hit a single, and since he was one of the slowest base runners on the team, Hall of Fame pitcher Ted Lyons pinch ran for him and ended up scoring the seventh and decisive run in the game.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

June 9

1988 Score #112 - Ken Williams

On this day in 1987, outfielder Kenny Williams broke up a no-hitter by Oakland Athletics pitcher Curt Young in the eighth inning with a two-run home run.

The White Sox were already trailing the White Elephants 7-1, when the top of the eighth started. Pat Keedy grounded out to third baseman Mark McGwire to begin the White Sox half of the eighth. Milquetoast Fred Manrique worked the count in his favor and walked. Future foot in mouth manager Ozzie Guillen flew out to left field. Then came the moment of truth for future GM Kenny Williams. He hit a two-run bomb over the wall in Oakland Coliseum to bring the South Siders within four. That would be the lone hit for the White Sox that day, as the A's went on to win 8-3, adding a Stan Javier solo home run in the bottom of the eighth.

Kenny would be traded to the Detroit Tigers before the 1989 season for pitcher Eric King. Before his playing career was done in 1991, Williams played for both Canadian teams. After a stint in Toronto, Kenny had a brief stay in Montreal. By November 1992, Williams joined the White Sox as a scout and worked at several positions in the organization before landing the general manager job in October 2000, replacing Ron Schueler.

2012 Topps Archives

I could complain about the lack of White Sox cards in a 241 card set, but I won't. I could also complain about the lack of variety in the precious few White Sox cards there are in a 241 card set, but I won't be cynical like that. Instead, I will focus on the positives in a set that I should not like, but actually do.

The set is designed after a few key sets in Topps history. The 1954 set, the 1971 set, the 1980 set and the 1984 set. I'm not sure how these sets were chosen, but I'm not disappointed with any of them. I questioned 1980 slightly, but decided to just go with it.

The 2012 Topps Archives set is rounded off by the once popular All-Time Fan Favorites featuring retired players in a multitude of designs. This is where the set starts to shine with variety and also becomes some collectors' worst nightmares, as the card designs are fast and furious and seemingly random.

The White Sox have two cards in the entire set.

26 - Paul Konerko
46 - John Danks

Each of the two cards is in the 1954 design. Both have the yellow background. There are also gold parallels and the requisite printing plate parallels for each card, which should make it very easy to collect. If you are just going for the White Sox base cards, save your money and just buy the individual cards. Chances are, it will cost you less than one pack of 2012 Topps Archives.

There are inserts-a-plenty included in this set. There are, reprints, 1977 Cloth cards, 1967 Stickers, 1968 3D, 1969 Deckle Edge, 1982 In Action and 1958 Classic Combos, but not one single solitary Chicago White Sox card is included in any of these insert sets.

Instead, you will find a scattering of White Sox players in the autographed cards and the relic cards. Bobby Thigpen, Jack McDowell, Carton Fisk, Ron Kittle and Frank Thomas await you in harder to find hits.

On the plus side, if you purchase a hobby box of this release, you might find Cobra Kai autographs waiting for you. Sweep the leg. No mercy.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Trade With The Angels In Order

Trading season is heating up again. This package comes from Tom from the fantastic blog The Angels, In Order.

While not specifically stated as a trade, I will treat it as a trade to be named later. More to the point, if I find something really cool featuring the Angels, I will send it over. I am officially on the clock. Hmmm. I think I watched too much flipping draft coverage during the week.

While Chicago is adjusting to life with two managers who are more or less soft spoken, more Robin Ventura cards keep finding their way to my doorstep. There were four Ventura cards in this package, plus one of last year's managerial model, Oswaldo Jose Fidel Guillen Barrios. I'll welcome any card featuring a White Sox individual. Ventura is a player that is sorely lacking in card trades, so it's nice to see a steady stream of his cards start to trickle in.

Let's see what Tom sent over!

1990 Classic
56 - Carlos Martinez

1990 Topps
461 - Carlos Martinez

1991 Panini
260 - Robin Ventura

1991 Topps
156 - Carlos Martinez
219 - Jack McDowell
378 - Wilson Alvarez

1993 Donruss
403 - Roberto Hernandez

1993 Finest
93 - Robin Ventura
172 - Jack McDowell

1993 Stadium Club Team
1 - Frank Thomas
4 - Dave Stieb
5 - Tim Raines
16 - Carlton Fisk
18 - Jack McDowell
24 - Mike Huff
27 - Ellis Burks

1994 Pinnacle Museum
57 - Jack McDowell

1996 Collector's Choice
17 - Lyle Mouton
361 - Robin Ventura CL

1997 Fleer
73 - Robin Ventura

1998 Bowman
117 - Jeff Liefer

1998 Donruss
95 - Mike Cameron

1998 Score
62 - Ozzie Guillen

1998 Ultra
361 - Mario Valdez

2000 Aurora
33 - Ray Durham

2000 Victory
309 - Paul Konerko

2001 Leaf Rookies & Stars
82 - Frank Thomas

2002 Leaf Rookies & Stars Statistical Standouts
SS-8 - Frank Thomas

2003 Bowman
16 - Bartolo Colon

2003 Donruss Classics
66 - Joe Borchard

2008 Upper Deck First Edition Star Quest
SQ-54 - Paul Konerko

2009 Topps Turkey Red
TR115 - Alexei Ramirez

2009 Upper Deck Starquest Blue Uncommon
SQ-32 - Carlos Quentin

2010 Topps Attax Code
Jake Peavy

2010 Topps Turkey Red
TR108 - Carlos Quentin

2012 Topps Gold Standard
GS-23 - Tom Seaver

2012 Topps Opening Day
203 - John Danks

Thanks, Tom! These will go great in my collection. There are definitely a few that I can use. It's always fun going through players over a twenty-two year span. With Frank Thomas being so dominating and Paul Konerko being so dominating now, it's hard to imagine that Carlos Martinez was the first base option before the Big Hurt came up. I'm one of the few that remembers Mike Cameron on the White Sox, but he is immortalized on cardboard for all eternity. Great memories and a great trade!

June 8

1991 Stadium Club #102 - Ron Karkovice

On this day in 1982, Ron Karkovice signed with the Chicago White Sox, one day after being drafted by the Pale Hose with the fourteenth pick in the amateur draft.

Ron spent twelve seasons with the South Siders, from 1986 until 1997. During that time, Officer Karkovice developed one of the best arms at the catching position for his era. Over the course of his career, he threw out 41% of base stealers. In the AL West championship year of 1993, Ron threw out 54% of would-be base runners.

After years of toiling behind Carlton Fisk, Karkovice was finally given the reigns to the pitching staff in 1992. He didn't disappoint behind the plate, as the Sox pitching staff was one of the finest assembled. Karko's downfall was on the hitting side. Ron's career .221 average never made fans forget the hitting prowess of Hall of Fame catcher Carlton Fisk. Karkovice signed with the Cleveland Indians after the 1997 season, but never made it to the regular season.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

June 7

2008 Bowman Draft Picks And Prospects #BDPP11 - Jordan Danks

On this day in 2012, Jordan Danks made his MLB debut in the eighth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays, in Chicago, pinch running for Paul Konerko.

It's been a long road for Jordan. He was originally drafted in the nineteenth round of the 2005 draft by the Sox, but he elected to go to college instead. The White Sox again drafted Danks in the seventh round of the 2008 draft. This time he signed and started climbing the ranks.

Jordan has been a standout in the last few spring trainings, but never was able to break with the club. The seasoning in the minors and impressive displays in Arizona finally worked, as Danks was called up in place of an injured Kosuke Fukudome. Danks' debut wasn't nearly as impressive as his rise through the organization. He was doubled off of first in an inning ending double play. To Jordan's credit, even the best base runner on the White Sox would have been doubled off in that situation.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

June 6

1957 Topps #213 - Les Moss

On this day in 1955, the Baltimore Orioles traded Les Moss to the Chicago White Sox for Fritz Dorish.

Les spent parts of four seasons with the South Siders, which were his last in the majors. Moss started out fine with Chicago, but progressively got worse at the plate. He was the third string catcher in 1958, but only appeared in two games, despite being in the dugout the entire year.

Moss signed with the Sox again in 1959, but did not play above the minor league level. After his minor league career fizzled out, Les became the White Sox batting practice catcher and scouted for the team. In 1967, he became a coach for the Sox and succeeded Eddie Stanky as manager for two games. When new manager Al Lopez had an  appendectomy which became infected, it was Moss who became the interim manager for thirty-four games in Lopez's absence during the 1968 season.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

June 5

1947 - 66 Exhibits - Don Kolloway

On this day in 1943, Don Kolloway had two hits, including a triple and two RBI, to help lead the White Sox to a victory over the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park, 4-1.

Don played with the White Sox from 1940 until 1943, went off with the 29th Infantry Division during World War II, where he earned a bronze star, then played with the Pale Hose from 1946 until he was traded to the Detroit Tigers for Earl Rapp on May 7, 1949.

From 1956 until 1969, Don owned a bar in Blue Island, Illinois called Kolloways.

Monday, June 4, 2012

June 4

2010 National Chicle #258 - Gordon Beckham

On this day in 2009, Gordon Beckham made his debut with the Chicago White Sox, 364 days after he was drafted.

Gordon would go 0 for 3 in his MLB debut, but he would get his first hit in his fifth game, off of Tigers pitcher Dontrelle Willis at U.S. Cellular Field. After that first hit Beckham would go on a tear, where he would hit .270 with fourteen home runs, forty-one walks, sixty-three RBI and seven stolen bases; all career highs as of June 2012.

While Gordon has been great defensively, his batting hasn't lived up to the draft day hype... yet. In Beckham's fourth season, he seems to be turning a corner at the plate with improved discipline. A healthy Gordon Beckham in the White Sox lineup can only strengthen an already lethal batting order.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

June 3

1963 Post #35 - Joe Cunningham

On this day in 1963, Joe Cunningham broke his collarbone on a freak play that signaled the first blow to the 1963 team.

Joe saw a resurgence as a member of the White Sox in 1962, after a trade from the St. Louis Cardinals the previous year for Minnie Minoso. While running out a ground ball in the fifth inning against the Los Angeles Angels, Cunningham twisted his foot and tripped over first base trying to avoid stepping on Angels first baseman Charlie Dees. Joe fell to the ground and broke his collarbone. He never returned to the level of play that he enjoyed in 1962, although he hung around the majors until 1966.

Cunningham never again played in a hundred games a season after the injury. He would be traded to the Washngton Senators for Moose Skowron in July 1964. The 1963 White Sox team would go on to win ninety-four games, but finish second, ten and a half games behind the New York Yankees. The Sox would improve to ninety-eight wins in 1964, but still finish second, one game behind the Yankees.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

June 2

1997 EX-2000 #12 - Albert Belle

On this day in 1997, Albert Belle ended his twenty-seven game hitting streak, which tied the longest hitting streak (to that point) in Chicago White Sox history.

Albert certainly gave it his all trying to extend his hitting streak. He walked twice, hit two flyballs to center field and hit a screaming liner to left field, but nothing dropped in for a hit. The previous game, Belle had tied Luke Appling for the longest hitting streak in White Sox history. In 2004, Carlos Lee would eclipse both Appling and Albert "Don't Call Me Joey" Belle by hitting in twenty-eight straight games.

Belle would get hits in his next four games after ending the streak. If luck had been with him on June 2, 1997, he might have ended up with a thirty-two game hitting streak, which would still be the club's longest. Alas, Albert will have to settle for the White Sox single season record for home runs with forty-nine dingers.

Friday, June 1, 2012

June 1

1992 Conlon #366 - Bill Dietrich

On this day in 1937, Bill Dietrich threw a no-hitter against the St. Louis Browns at Comiskey Park, by the score 8-0.

Bill was in his first full season with the White Sox (second overall) when he pitched this gem. Dietrich spent eleven seasons with the Pale Hose from 1936 until 1946. While compiling an 80-91 record over those eleven seasons, he threw sixty-eight complete games out of the one hundred ninety-nine he started. Bill's ERA was usually above 4.00, but he usually stayed around .500 each season.

Dietrich wasn't blessed with the most impressive roster behind him, but did have Luke Appling on his defense. These were mostly lean years for the White Sox and it definitely showed on pitchers' numbers. If one were making more recent comparisons, one might think of Greg Hibbard or Mark Buehrle as pitching contemporaries; mostly staying around .500 record-wise, but showing determination and a moderate amount of success, giving quality starts. Bill only walked two batters and struck out five in his no-hitter. While, no Buehrle, Dietrich was no slouch either.
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