Friday, August 31, 2012

Favorite Cards: California Angels

1985 Topps #61 - Curt Kaufman

Sometimes a card sticks in your mind, years after you've last laid eyes upon it, but you have no earthly idea why. This is one of those cards.

When I close my eyes and remember the cards I ravenously liberated from wax packs in my youth, for whatever reason, this card is one that I always picture. Curt was never even close to a star. In two short seasons with the New York Yankees and one full season with the California Angels, Kaufman never once faced my beloved White Sox. I have virtually no frame of reference for this player, except for this one card that I found in a pack of 1985 Topps, when I was eight or nine.

The first thing that strikes me about this card is the look on Kaufman's face. It's one of concentration and bemusement. Curt would be either twenty-six or twenty-seven when this photograph was taken, yet he looks like the fifth year senior selling cigarettes in the high school bathroom for a quarter each.

Maybe the position of the head, in it's odd way floating ever so slightly to the right of the body. I know this wasn't tampered with, but something is off about the definition of the head in relation to the body that makes me openly question what I am seeing. The blurred trees in the background and the gradient blue sky remind me of the movie E.T. In a strange way, the subtle disembodiment of Kaufman's head and the sleek, thin neck reminds me of Zreck (E.T.'s actual name according to the sequel script), especially the way it seems to be gravitating away from the shoulder area where my eye interprets it should be. The fact that I can see "Angels" spelled out three distinct times just adds to the bizarre juxtaposition.

All these things have definitely contributed to remembering this card after twenty-seven years. Mostly because of these mind games, it continues to be one of my favorite cards.

August 31

1937 O-Pee-Chee (V300) #135 - Vernon Kennedy

On this day in 1935, Vern Kennedy threw a no-hitter against the Cleveland Indians.

Vern threw the first no-hitter at Comiskey Park. The final score was 5-0, but Kennedy was just warming up to his finest season, which came in 1936. Vern went 21-9, made the All-Star team and came in sixth in MVP voting, during the 1936 season.

Kennedy would pitch for the White Sox from 1934 until 1937, compiling a 46-35 record over that time. On December 2, 1937, Vern was part of a six player deal with the Detroit Tigers that sent Marv Owen, Mike Tresh and Gee Walker to the White Sox for Kennedy, Tony Piet and Dixie Walker. Vern would last in the majors until 1945.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

August 30

2003 Upper Deck Vintage #206 - Joe Borchard

On this day in 2004, Joe Borchard hit the longest home run currently hit at U.S. Cellular Field.

This game was a make up game for a June 10th rain out. In the bottom of the second inning, with Juan Uribe aboard, Joe Borchard blasts one 504 feet to right-center field, off of Philadelphia Phillies starter (and future White Sox reliever) Brett Myers, eclipsing the previous mark set by Frank Thomas of 495 feet from 2002 off of Johan Santana, then of the Minnesota Twins. The Phillies and White Sox went back and forth all game, with the Sox prevailing 9-8, even after closer Shingo Takatsu gave up two runs in the ninth inning.

The odds were stacked against Joe Borchard from the very beginning, when he received a $5.3 million signing bonus by choosing to play for the White Sox and gave up a career in football, after being selected 12th overall in the 2000 draft.  He made his MLB debut in 2002, but never lived up to his full potential because of a "football mentality" and inconsistent contact at the plate. When Borchard connected, the results were astounding, but more often than not, Joe looked out of place. The White Sox traded Borchard on March 20, 2006 to the Seattle Mariners for reliever Matt Thornton. Thornton is still in the majors with the White Sox. Joe Borchard last played in the majors in 2007, with the Florida Marlins, and announced his retirement in 2011.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

August 29

1974 Topps #394 - Ken Henderson

On this day in 1975, Ken Henderson becomes the first White Sox player to homer from both sides of the plate in the same game.

Ken struck first in the top of the first with a home run off of Orioles starter Ross Grimsley. Grimsley was replaced by Wayne Garland in the top of the second inning. Henderson's first plate appearance against Garland resulted in a groundout in the top of the third. In the top of the fifth, Ken struck out. In the top of the eighth, Henderson hit his second home run of the game, this time off of Wayne Garland. The Sox won, in Baltimore, 4-2.

Henderson was traded to the White Sox from the San Francisco Giants on November 29, 1972, along with pitcher Steve Stone for Tom Bradley. Ken spent three seasons with the White Sox, but his 1973 season was cut short by a torn knee that happened trying to slide at home plate on May 25th. Henderson rebounded for two solid full seasons before being traded to the Atlanta Braves on December 12, 1975, along with Ozzie Osborn and Dick Ruthven for Larvell Blanks and Ralph Garr.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

August 28

1999 Topps #6 - Ray Durham

On this day in 1998, Ray Durham hit two home runs in a doubleheader, at home, against the Texas Rangers.

The American League mark for home runs in a doubleheader was tied by the White Sox and Rangers during the two games played. Ray Durham homered in both games. Jeff Abbott, Albert Belle, Mike Caruso, Mike Cameron and Robin Ventura all homered for the Sox. The Rangers added home runs from Juan Gonzalez, Will Clark, Ivan Rodriguez, Rusty Greer, Roberto Kelly and Royce Clayton. John Snyder gave up all the Ranger home runs in the first game and Scott Eyre gave up all the Ranger home runs in the second game. Rick Helling gave up all the White Sox homers in the first game. John Burkett, Eric Gunderson and Danny Patterson gave up the White Sox home runs in the second game.

Ray Durham was drafted in the fifth round of the 1990 amateur draft by the Chicago White Sox. He made his MLB debut with the Sox on April 26, 1995. He hit .278 with one hundred six homers and four hundred eighty-four RBI with two hundred nineteen stolen bases during his eight seasons on the South Side. He was traded to the Oakland Athletics on July 25, 2002 for pitcher Jon Adkins.

At least one Chicago area game show contestant thinks Ray Durham is in the Hall of Fame.

Monday, August 27, 2012

August 27

1910 E90-3 American Caramel - Ed Hahn

On this day in 1875, outfielder Ed Hahn was born.

On May 10, 1906, the Chicago White Sox purchased Hahn from the New York Highlanders. It may have been the luckiest break for Ed. New York was a decade and a half away from the start of their American League dominance and Hahn would be out of the majors after his last season for the Pale Hose in 1910. At age thirty, Ed was in contention for the first time in his career. He made the most of it with six hits and four runs in the World Series against the crosstown Cubs in 1906.

Hahn's best season came the next year, in 1907, when he averaged .255 and rapped out one hundred fifty-one hits. He had one more decent season in 1908 before his numbers swooned. In his last season, 1910, he only appeared in fifteen games and hit a paltry .113.

WSC Aesthetic: DeWayne Wise

Card #13 - DeWayne Wise

Sunday, August 26, 2012

August 26

1990 Donruss #371 - Ken Patterson

On this day in 1987, Ken Patterson was traded to the White Sox by the New York Yankees.

The biggest name to go to New York in this deal was utility player Jerry Royster. The other two players involved, one for each side, never made it to the majors. Royster was released by the Yankees prior to the 1988 season. Patterson made his MLB debut for the White Sox on July 8, 1988, at home against the Boston Red Sox, where he went three and two-thirds innings, giving up three hits, one walk and zero runs. His first batter, shortstop Jody Reed, singled to third, scoring catcher Rich Gedman, but that run was charged to Steve Rosenberg. Ken got second baseman Marty Barrett and third baseman Wade Boggs to fly out for the final outs of the top of the fifth inning.

Patterson spent four seasons with the White Sox, mostly trotting out of the bullpen when the game was well out of hand, but occasionally starting in his first few seasons. Ken even managed to accumulate four saves. Despite being the go to mop up guy, Patterson went 11-4 during his tenure with the South Siders. On March 30, 1992, Ken's playing days with the White Sox were over, when he was traded to the Chicago Cubs, along with Sammy Sosa, for dwindling slugger George Bell. Patterson pitched one season for the North Siders and two seasons for the California Angels before embarking on another minor league career in the Angels and Royals systems.

WSC Birth Years: Kevin Youkilis

Card #116 - Kevin Youkilis

Born: March 15, 1979

Kevin came to the White Sox through a trade with the Red Sox. Boston got fan favorite Brent Lillibridge and pitcher Zach Stewart. The Red Sox thought they were unloading a broken down veteran. What the White Sox got was a revitalized Youkilis who has helped to shore up a troublesome position.

Kevin has been mostly on a tear since landing on the South Side. His production has far exceeded any player before him at third base. His average, home runs and clutch hits are up. Youk also fits in well in the clubhouse. Kevin's value increased further when he was able to fill in at first base to relieve Adam Dunn while Paul Konerko was out for a week with a concussion. Youkilis may not be the All-Star that he once was, but he doesn't need to be either. His presence adds strength to the lineup and the infield.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

August 25

1982 Fleer #349 - Dennis Lamp

On this day in 1981, Dennis Lamp takes a no-hitter into the ninth inning.

The first batter in the ninth inning for Lamp at County Stadium in Milwaukee was future Hall of Fame Brewer Robin Yount. Yount ripped a double to left field and Dennis Lamp's no-hit bid was dashed. Jim Gantner grounded out to second, moving Yount to third. Thad Bosley grounded to second, scoring Yount and ruining Dennis' shutout. Paul Molitor grounded out to Dennis Lamp himself to end the game. A failed no-hitter turned into Lamp's first complete game in a White Sox uniform.

Dennis came to the White Sox through a rare trade with the Chicago Cubs. The Sox sent pitcher Ken Kravec north to Wrigley for Lamp. Kravec spent a horrid two ears in a Cubs uniform, but Dennis thrived on the South Side, becoming a favorite among White Sox fans. Lamp spent three years in a White Sox uniform, ending in a playoff series against the Baltimore Orioles in 1983. After the 1983 season, Dennis signed with the Toronto Blue Jays. He hung around in the majors until 1992.

Friday, August 24, 2012

August 24

1922 E121 American Caramel #51 - Harry Hooper

On this day in 1887, outfielder Harry Hooper was born.

On March 4, 1921, Harry Hooper was traded to the Chicago White Sox from the Boston Red Sox for Shano Collins and Nemo Leibold. During his five years on the South Side, Hooper actually put up better numbers than the twelve years he spent in a Red Sox uniform. Although being on the wrong side of thirty when he arrived in Chicago, the production wouldn't last.

Harry hit .302 during his time with the Pale Hose as opposed to the .272 he hit with the Carmines. He also hit forty-five home runs with the White Sox during his five year tenure. Over twelve years with Boston, he only managed to hit thirty. After baseball, Franklin Delano Roosevelt made Hooper Postmaster of Capitola, California, a position he held for twenty-four years. Harry was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1971.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

August 23

2006 Upper Deck #110 - Freddy Garcia

On this day in 2005, Freddy Garcia one-hits the Twins in Minnesota, but loses.

Freddy's only mistake came in the eighth inning, as a Jacque Jones home run led off the inning. Garcia pitched a complete game, but the White Sox offense could not overcome Johan Santana's eight inning effort, nor could they overcome a Joe Nathan ninth inning. The home run broke up a no-hitter by Freddy.

Garcia came to the Sox through a trade with the Seattle Mariners on June 27, 2004. He was one of the key pieces acquired during the 2004 season that would make a huge impact during the 2005 championship run. After the 2006 season, Freddy netted Gavin Floyd and Gio Gonzalez in a trade with the Philadelphia Phillies. Garcia signed back with the Sox on June 8, 2009 and stayed with the team through the 2010 season.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

August 22

2006 SP Legendary Cuts #62 - Sloppy Thurston

On this day in 1923, Hollis "Sloppy" Thurston strike out the side on nine pitches against the Philadelphia Athletics.

At Comiskey Park, in the twelfth inning, Sloppy struck out center fielder Beauty McGowan, shortstop Chick Galloway and third baseman Sammy Hale, in succession, on nine pitches. He did this in his rookie season. Thurston entered the game in the eleventh inning, but lost the game in the thirteenth, after pitching three innings of relief. Sloppy struck out a total of six batters and walked in his only plate appearance.

Thurston was purchased by the Chicago White Sox in May 1923, after debuting with the St. Louis Browns. Sloppy stayed with the Pale Hose through the 1926 season. He was dealt to the Washington Senators with Leo Mangum for Roger Peckinpaugh. Thurston ended up with a 43-44 record for some awful White Sox teams. His ERA was 4.32 over four seasons on the South Side.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

August 21

2005 Topps World Series #19 - Chris Widger

On this day in 2005, Chris Widger ties a White Sox record by hitting a fourth home run in an inning.

In the bottom of the fourth inning, facing Yankee fireballer Randy Johnson, Pablo Ozuna grounded out to start off the half inning. Tadahito Iguchi hit a home run, followed by Aaron Rowand and Paul Konerko. Jermaine Dye and Juan Uribe hit back to back singles, setting up an improbable situation for backup catcher Chris Widger. Chris hit the fourth home run of the inning, scoring Dye and Uribe. Brian Anderson fouled out and Geoff Blum lined out to end the inning, but the damage was done. Despite the bad inning, Randy Johnson was the only Yankee pitcher on the mound. It was enough for the White Sox to prevail 6-2.

Widger signed with the White Sox in December 2004. He played a complimentary backup to newly acquired catcher A.J. Pierzynski for the 2005 season and part of the 2006 season. Chris was released on July 24, 2006, when the Sox re-acquired Sandy Alomar Jr. Widger last played for the Baltimore Orioles to finish the 2006 season. While hitting decently in 2005 with .241, Chris's average went down under .200 in 2006. He finished his White Sox career with a .221 average.

Monday, August 20, 2012

August 20

1957 Topps #99 - Bob Keegan

On this day in 1957, Bob Keegan threw the first night no-hitter in White Sox history.

In his last good year, Keegan pitched a no-hitter against the Washington Senators in front of the home crowd at Comiskey Park. Bob's only blemishes on the evening were walks to catcher Lou Berberet in the fifth and pinch hitter Faye Throneberry in the sixth inning. Berberet was left on base and Throneberry was eliminated during a double play off the bat of third baseman Eddie Yost.

Keegan pitched for the White Sox, his only team, from 1953 until 1958. He compiled a record of 40-36 over those six seasons. Bob's best season came in 1954, when he won sixteen games and was an All-Star.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

August 19

1974 Topps #286 - Tony Muser

On this day in 1972, Tony Muser makes the most out of his opportunity.

Trailing the Red Sox 3-0, going into the bottom of the ninth, the pitcher spot is set to lead off. Skipper Chuck Tanner removes pitcher Tom Bradley from the game and pinch hits Tony Muser to face Boston hurler Luis Tiant. Tony starts the ball rolling with a single to right fielder Reggie Smith. Unfortunately, a line out to Smith from Pat Kelly, a foul out to Red Sox third baseman Rico Petrocelli by Mike Andrews and a strikeout by Dick Allen ended any chance the Pale Hose may have had to rally. Tony, however, did get a hit off his former team in a late game situation.

Muser came to Chicago with Vicente Romo on March 31, 1971 from Boston in a trade that sent Duane Josephson and Danny Murphy to the Red Sox. Tony played first base, outfield and designated hitter for the ChiSox for parts of five seasons before being traded to the Baltimore Orioles on June 15, 1975 for Jesse Jefferson. Muser hit .280 over his five seasons in Chicago, but rarely hit more than a single.

WSC Birth Years: Jordan Danks

Card #115 - Jordan Danks

Born: August 7, 1986

Jordan was drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the nineteenth round of the 2005 draft, but did not sign. He was again selected by the Sox in the second round of the 2008 draft. This time, Danks did sign with the ChiSox. It may have helped that his older brother John was already playing for the White Sox at the major league level. Jordan began his career in the White Sox system in 2008, with the Kannapolis Intimidators Class A team, for ten games.

Danks rose through the ranks of the farm system, but seemed to have hit a wall entering the higher levels of the minors. Jordan's defensive skills were fine, but his plate discipline and average took a nosedive. In 2012, his batting skills improved enough to get the call and on June 7, 2012, Danks made his MLB debut against the Toronto Blue Jays as a pinch runner for Paul Konerko in the eighth inning. Jordan's first hit came the next day, when he replaced Dayan Viciedo in left field at the start of the sixth inning against the Houston Astros. On August 10, 2012, Danks hit his first home run, off Pat Neshek of the Oakland Athletics, for a thrilling White Sox winner in the bottom of the ninth.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

August 18

1995 Topps #229 - Bob Zupcic

On this day in 1966, Bob Zupcic was born.

Bob was picked up on waivers in May 1994 from the Boston Red Sox. He made his White Sox debut on May 14, 1994, hitting for Joey Cora in the top of the ninth inning against the Texas Rangers. Zupcic would hit a line drive single to left scoring Ozzie Guillen, forcing Rangers pitcher Rick Honeycutt out of the game. The Pale Hose still lost the game 5-2.

Zupcic made starts in the outfield, giving much needed rest to the regulars. He also made a handful of appearances at the infield corner positions. Bob's last appearance would be on August 4, 1994, fittingly back in Texas against the Rangers. Zupcic would go 0-3 with two strikeouts. The MLB strike would happen on August 12th, cutting the season short and dashing any postseason hopes for the ChiSox. Chicago would release Bob before the beginning of the 1995 season. Zupcic hit .205 for the White Sox and rapped out eighteen hits in his short tenure.

Friday, August 17, 2012

August 17

1987 Fleer #635 - Steve Carlton

On this day in 1986, Steve Carlton was picked up on waivers by the Chicago White Sox.

Carlton had just struck out Eric Davis for his 4,000th strikeout, when the San Francisco Giants decided to cut ties with him. Steve had performed very sub-par for the Giants and when the allure of the milestone strikeout was over, so was Carlton's welcome.

Steve performed very well for the 1986 White Sox, during his short stint in Chicago. He won four games in ten starts for the Pale Hose, but was released after the season.

It always seemed weird to me that Steve Carlton's Fleer card commemorating his 4,000th strikeout, showed him in a White Sox uniform instead of a Giants uniform. Who am I to complain though? I didn't approve that mess.

Cashing In On Hawk-isms

Ken "Hawk" Harrelson has been around baseball for fifty plus years, as he will inevitably mention at least three times a game. Lately, he has been pulling out catchphrases from all his broadcasting years. If he's not telling a story, Hawk might sound close to a jukebox. Push a button and there is a phrase for almost every situation.

Hawk is also pretty sly at seamlessly transitioning sponsors into the broadcast. Here's a radical idea to generate some extra income to use for free agents, waiver deals, trades and draft signings. Sponsor the Hawk's greatest hits.

That's a can of corn. This can of corn sponsored by Green Giant Whole Kernel Sweet Corn. If you have a can of corn, ho ho ho, make it Green Giant.

That's a chopper, two hopper. The Chopper Hopper can process almost any agricultural product like corn into a mash or puree for a variety of industrial uses, including ethanol production. The Chopper Hopper by the good folks at Moyno Inc.

Cinch it up and hunker down. Cinch-it, the revolutionary dog collar by Petnique. Inspired by the great outdoors for ultimate performance.

Oh, he got a cookie and couldn't do anything with it. For a cookie you can do something with, try Matt's Cookies. Traditionally delicious.

Dadgumit! Dad's Gum Care, for a comforting formulation for relief of symptoms associated with Gingivitis, Pyorrhea, Sore or Bleeding Gums that can be used by anyone, not just dads. Essential oils by Gritman.

Double barreled action in the bullpen. For double barreled action, Ugartechea, classic shotguns at a fraction of the cost.

We're down to our last bullet. When you're down to your last bullet, make it a Barnes Bullet. The leading lead free bullets provided to the hunting, military, and law enforcement industries.
There's a little duck snort. Brought to you by Aflac. I love that duck.

Ducks on the pond. When you have ducks on the pond, feed them Wonder Bread. America's favorite bread.

Get foul. It will! When you need to get fowl, get Brown's Chicken and Pasta. It tastes better.

That was a 1, 2, 5 double play, for those of you scoring at home. For those of you who are scoring at home, use Trojan brand latex condoms. America's #1 most trusted condom brand.

GAS! He gone! Gas-X. The trusted leader in gas relief.

Mercy! Mercy Hospital and Medical Center. For 150 years, a center of excellence.

Rack 'em up! Another double play turned by the Sox! When you have to rack 'em up, use Delta-13, the true triangle. The official billiard rack of the WPBA.

The Sox have something cooking here in the eighth. When you have some cooking to do, learn at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts, right here in the city beautiful, Chicago.

Stretch! Get on back there! Stretch your dollar at Dollar Tree!

You can put it on the board! Yes! Yes to clear and more radiant skin. Yes To Tomatoes skin clearing facial mask. Yes!

As I wrote these, I could actually hear Harrelson shilling these products seamlessly into his jukebox of hits. It might be a great experiment of juxtaposition, but most importantly, it would provide some unexpected entertainment. There were more than a few of these that I had to chuckle at, hearing Hawk's voice rattle these off, if only just inside my head.

Maybe if Hawk becomes an advertising automaton, then Kenny Williams could stop complaining about lack of revenue for a tiny bit. I'm sure there are many more Hawk-isms that could be exploited by advertising.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

August 16

1999 White Sox Lemon Chill #4 - John Snyder

On this day in 1974, pitcher John Snyder was born.

John came to the White Sox through a trade with the California Angels in 1995. The Angels received Jim Abbott and Tim Fortugno, while the Pale Hose welcomed Snyder, Bill Simas, Andrew Lorraine and McKay Christensen. Snyder made his debut on June 30, 1998, in Houston, in a rather unspectacular way. He came into the game in the fifth inning replacing Jaime Navarro. At the time, the Astros were leading by four runs. John worked and inning and two-thirds, giving up six runs and officially put the game out of reach.

Snyder pitched parts of the 1998 and 1999 seasons with the White Sox. He was then traded to the Milwaukee Brewers on January 12, 2000 with Jaime Navarro for Cal Eldred and Jose Valentin. John played one year with the Brewers, and spent the rest of his days in the minors before falling off the map after the 2003 season.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

August 15

1981 TCMA Glens Falls White Sox #18 - Randy Johnson

On this day in 1958, designated hitter Randy Johnson was born.

Randy was drafted by the White Sox in the third round of the 1979 January amateur draft. He made his MLB debut with the ChiSox on July 5, 1980 in a loss against the Oakland Athletics in Chicago. In the bottom of the seventh inning, in his third at-bat, Johnson hit a single to right fielder Tony Armas, but was stranded at second base when the inning ended. He made the last out of his debut game with a flyout to center fielder Dwayne Murphy.

Johnson got into twelve games for the White Sox in 1980, collecting four total hits in that span. Randy was dealt to the Minnesota Twins on September 2, 1981 in a deal that brought Jerry Koosman to Chicago. Johnson eventually landed back in the White Sox minor league system in 1985, which was the last year on record for him in professional baseball. The trade sent Roy Smalley to the Minnesota Twins.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

August 14

2005 Topps Heritage #19 - Juan Uribe

On this day in 2008, Juan Uribe became the last player to homer when the Sox hit four consecutive.

For the first time in franchise history, the White Sox hit back to back to back to back home runs. This happened at home against the Royals in the bottom of the sixth inning. Jim Thome, Paul Konerko and Alexei Ramirez hit their home runs against Joel Peralta. Rob Tejada replaced Peralta on the mound for Kansas City and promptly gave up a dinger to Juan Uribe.

Juan spent 2004 through 2008 with the White Sox. He helped in making the final two outs of the 2005 World Series. The second to last out saw Uribe dive into the stands to catch a ball. The final out was a slow grounder off the bat of Houston Astros pinch hitter Orlando Palmeiro, over the head of pitcher Bobby Jenks, to shortstop Juan Uribe, who threw to first baseman Paul Konerko for the final out that made the White Sox champions for the first time in eighty-eight years.

Monday, August 13, 2012

August 13

1950 Royal Desserts #16 - Luke Appling

On this day in 1943, Luke Appling collects his 2,000th hit.

In Chicago, against the Boston Red Sox, in the first inning, off of pitcher Tex Hughson, Luke Appling hit a single that drove in Wally Moses for the first White Sox run of the game. The White Sox were trailing 2-0, at the time of Appling's 2,000th hit, but that laid the foundation for the White Sox to move ahead for good in the second inning on a two-run homer by Pale Hose catcher Tom Turner.

Luke was plucked from the Atlanta Crackers on August 19, 1930 by the Chicago White Sox and never looked back. Appling played from 1930 until 1950, only missing 1944 and part of 1945 due to military service in World War II. Luke still has the highest season batting average in White Sox history with .388 in 1936. Appling is also the White Sox leader in position player WAR, at-bats, games played, hits, singles, plate appearances and times on base. Luke was a seven time All-Star selection and has his number four retired by the White Sox.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

WSC Aesthetic: Ray Olmedo

Card #12 - Ray Olmedo

August 12

1961 Fleer #136 - Ray Schalk

On this day in 1892, Hall of Fame catcher Ray Schalk was born.

Born in Harvel, Illinois, nineteen years after being incorporated into a village, Ray's original career saw him operating a linotype machine. When advancement in the printers trade proved difficult, Schalk began his career in baseball with the Milwaukee Brewers in 1911. In 1912, the White Sox purchased his contract and Ray made his MLB debut on August 11, 1912, one day before his twentieth birthday.

Schalk was with the White Sox from 1912 until 1928. He also occupied the manager's role in 1927 and 1928. Ray set MLB catching records for putouts, and still holds the MLB career record for double plays with 217 and the AL career mark for assists. Schalk was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1955.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

August 11

1992 Donruss #495 - Wilson Alvarez

On this day in 1991, Wilson Alvarez pitched a no-hitter in his first appearance with the Chicago White Sox.

In Wilson's first MLB appearance, with the Texas Rangers, he could not get a batter out. His ERA was infinity after that game. In his second MLB appearance, his first with the White Sox, he threw a no-hitter against the Orioles in Baltimore.

"Let's just say I got a couple lucky breaks today. That ball stayed in and they hit some bullets right at people." - Wilson Alvarez

 One of the lucky breaks happened leading off the bottom of the eighth. Chris Hoiles hit a ball that was sure to be a triple, but Lance Johnson made a fantastic diving catch to save the no-hitter. Working from the stretch, in the ninth inning, after walks to Cal Ripken Jr. and Dwight Evans, Alvarez struck out Randy Milligan to capture the first White Sox official no-hitter since Joe Cowley's in 1986 and the first no-hitter by a left-hander in White Sox history.

Friday, August 10, 2012

August 10

1992 Fleer #81 - Craig Grebeck

On this day in 1990, Craig Grebeck hit his first MLB home run.

Every major league player remembers their first home run. Especially when, over a twelve year career, they've only hit nineteen. It's hard to forget when that first homer is off of a Hall of Fame pitcher named Nolan Ryan.

Weird things happen in doubleheaders. In the second game of a doubleheader against the Texas Rangers, the White Sox threw out Wayne Edwards as a starting pitcher against Nolan Ryan. Not only did Wayne Edwards get the win over Nolan Ryan, but in the bottom of the second inning, Craig Grebeck and Ozzie Guillen hit back to back home runs of the Ryan Express. Grebeck hit the only home run he would hit in 1990, driving in Ron Karkovice and Sammy Sosa. Ozzie Guillen followed that up with the only home run he would hit in 1990. Grebeck's homer would be all the Sox needed, as they won 5-1 over the Rangers to sweep the doubleheader.

Craig would stay on the White Sox from 1990 until 1995, hitting twelve of his nineteen career homers in a Pale Hose uniform. He would leave for the Florida Marlins through free agency after the 1995 season. Grebeck would also play for the Anaheim Angels, Toronto Blue Jays and Boston Red Sox before his last game in 2001.

WSC Aesthetic: Brian Bruney

Card #11 - Brian Bruney

Thursday, August 9, 2012

August 9

1978 Topps #153 - Steve Stone

On this day in 1977, Steve Stone won his twelfth game of the season.

Stoney would kick off a string of four years where he would not have a losing record, culminating in his 1980 Cy Young season for the Baltimore Orioles, where he went 25-7. In 1977, Steve would win fifteen games for the White Sox, in his second stint with the team. Stone went seven innings, giving up three runs, eleven hits and one walk while striking out two. It may not have been the prettiest game of Stone Pony's career, but he gave a nice quality start while his offense lived up to their nickname as the South Side Hitmen. Eric Soderholm led the charge with two homers. Most of the hitters followed by example with home runs from Chet Lemon, Oscar Gamble, Jim Essian and Royle Stillman.

Stone played for the White Sox in 1973 and again in 1977 and 1978. The Sox sent Steve to the Cubs on December 11, 1973, along with Ken Frailing, Steve Swisher and Jim Kremmel for Ron Santo. After the Cubs asked Stone Pony to take a pay cut, he played out his contract and signed back with the White Sox for the 1977 season. Owner Bill Veeck took a chance and was rewarded with a 15-12 record from Stoney during the 1977 season. Steve got a raise in the 1978 season and posted a 12-12 record. Stone became a free agent again after the 1978 season and decided he wanted to sign with a team that would have the best shot at the postseason. Steve signed with the Orioles and got to play in the 1979 World Series, for two innings. While with the Orioles, Stoney drastically changed his approach to his pitching and eventually won a Cy Young Award before developing arm trouble by throwing more curveballs. One year after his amazing twenty-five win season, Steve retired. He has since become an intuitive broadcaster for both the Cubs and White Sox.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

WSC Birth Years: Jose Quintana

Card #114 - Jose Quintana

Born: January 24, 1989

Picked up as a minor league free agent after the 2011 season, Jose has proven to be a steal. He was brought up to fill in on May 7, 2012, under a new rule that allows teams to have a twenty-sixth player for a doubleheader. Quintana was brought up again to take John Danks spot in the rotation, when Danks went down with an injury. Jose has pitched above and beyond during that stretch, earning a permanent spot in the rotation.

Quintana has done so well in 2012, he has forced Philip Humber (who had pitched a perfect game in 2012) back to the bullpen, when the ChiSox went back to a five man rotation. The Yankees may be kicking themselves for not re-signing Jose, but the White Sox have been grateful for the move. Quintana has been one of the factors that have kept Chicago in the pennant race during the 2012 season.

August 8

1919-21 W514 #3 - Happy Felsch

On this day in 1914, the Chicago White Sox purchased the contract of Oscar "Happy" Felsch from the Milwaukee Brewers of the American Association.

Happy made his MLB debut on April 14, 1915 for the White Sox with a win over the Browns in St. Louis. From 1915 until 1920 Felsch roamed center field for the Pale Hose. With the exception of 1918, which Oscar only played in fifty-three games due to military service, he was one of the top batters in the league from 1916 through 1920. finishing in the top ten of many offensive categories. Happy also provided excellent defense.

In 1920, Felsch batted .338 with fourteen home runs and one hundred fifteen RBI, at the emergence of the live ball era. Unfortunately, Happy was on the precipice of banishment, due to his involvement in the 1919 World Series scandal. Baseball would never know how high Felsch's numbers could have been in the twenties.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

August 7

1967 Dexter Press #9 - Jerry McNertney

On this day in 1936, White Sox catcher Jerry McNertney was born.

Jerry was signed by the Chicago Withe Sox as an amateur free agent before the 1958 season. Starting with the Holdrege White Sox Class D team in 1958, Jerry slowly worked his way up the Pale Hose minor league system until he made his debut in the 1964 season. Originally, McNertney was an outfielder and first baseman before being converted into a catcher during the 1961 season. All but fourteen games, one with the White Sox, were played at catcher during his MLB career.

After a return to the minors in 1965, Jerry was in the majors full time until the 1973 season. McNertney was never a full time catcher with the ChiSox. Jerry split duties each season he spent with the Sox. McNertney's time with Chicago came to an end during the expansion draft after the 1968 season. He was selected as the seventh pick in the draft by the Seattle Pilots. While in Seattle, he finally became a full time catcher. That luxury would last through his stay in Milwaukee in 1970. Jerry would go back to part time status in his final years with the St. Louis Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Pirates.
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