Thursday, December 31, 2015

One Last Thank You Before 2015 Goes

 Best use of a Ron Karkovice card I have ever seen.

Thanks for the awesome artwork, Charley!
And for the extra cards.
Sorry for the late thank you.
Check out his new tumblr site.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas

I hope your holidays are joyous and safe.
Merry Christmas from White Sox Cards!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

WSC Birth Years: Carlos Rodon

Card #187 - Carlos Rodon

Born: December 10, 1992

Carlos was originally drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in 2011, but did not sign. In 2014, the Chicago White Sox selected Rodon in the first round of the amateur draft, third overall. Carlos quickly moved up the ranks in the White Sox farm system and made his MLB debut on April 25, 2015.

Rodon's MLB beginnings were encouraging, but a bit rough. During the last two months of the '15 season, Carlos smoothed out those rough edges and transformed himself into an even better pitcher. The smart money is on Rodon continuing to adjust, retool and focus on improvement, where he could eventually find himself near the top of the heap of MLB starting pitchers.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

WSC Birth Years: Chris Beck

Card #186 - Chris Beck

Born: September 4, 1990

Chris was drafted by the White Sox in the 2012 draft. Beck made his MLB debut with the Pale Hose on May 28, 2015. He lasted six innings, walking four and giving up five runs, four earned, on ten hits, in the second game of a double header. Chris was sent back down after the game, but he showed enough promise to be considered for a call up in the future.

Beck started off shaky, but improved almost every inning in his debut. After his demotion, Chris battled injuries that limited his playing time. He'll look to improve upon his taste of the big leagues in 2016. After the winter to heal up, Chris should have a good shot to be called up again.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Good Luck Cubs

The Cubs may not be my favorite team in the MLB, but you guys are from my hometown, so good luck in the playoffs.

White Sox Cards

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Thursday, September 10, 2015

WSC Birth Years: Geovany Soto

Card #185 - Geovany Soto

Born: January 20, 1983

Geovany was selecyed by the Chicago Cubs in the eleventh round of the 2001 amateur draft. He made his MLB debut on September 23, 2005, but played very sporadically over the next few years, until he exceeded his rookie status in the 2008 season. Soto won the NL Rookie of the Year award in 2008 and was named an All-Star. Geovany failed to reproduce his breakout campaign and struggled mightily in 2009. After a few up and down seasons with the Cubs, he was traded to the Texas Rangers on July 31, 2012.

Soto then moved on the the Athletics before signing a minor league contract with the Chicago White Sox on January 22, 2015. Geovany eventually became the reliable second catcher that the White Sox were wanting. While his average might not be anything to write home about, Soto has provided needed stability at the backstop and a little pop at the plate.

Friday, August 28, 2015

2015 WSC Hall Of Fame Voting Results

The votes have been tallied and here are the results.

There were no players elected this year, as no player received 75% of the vote.

Unfortunately no one was inducted into the WSC Hall of Fame Class of 2015!

There will be no new players on next year's ballot, since no player fell below 5% of the vote.

Thank you to everyone who voted!

Here are the final totals.

Hoyt Wilhelm - 33 votes (67%)
Robin Ventura - 32 votes (65%)
Al Lopez - 27 votes (55%)
Bobby Thigpen - 22 votes (44%)
Buck Weaver - 22 votes (44%)
Gary Peters - 18 votes (36%)
Jerry Hairston - 11 votes (22%)
Oscar Gamble - 9 votes (18%)
Dummy Hoy - 8 votes (16%)
Fielder Jones - 8 votes (16%)
Ron Karkovice - 6 votes (12%)
Jorge Orta - 6 votes (12%)
Frank Isbell - 3 votes (6%)

Forty-nine people voted in this election, which is lower than the previous year, so every player seems to have landed closer together than in past years. Buck Weaver  and Al Lopez continue to make gains. Hoyt Wilhelm and Robin Ventura remain close but not quite there. Fielder Jones picked up a few well deserved votes and Frank Isbell is teetering dangerously close to falling off the ballot. Gary Peters' fans seemed to have abandoned him from last year. Dummy Hoy and Oscar Gamble apparently have the same people voting each year, with no gains or losses in votes obtained.

It looked like we would have one or two inducted this year, but a rush of last minute voters pushed those candidates out. It was interesting to see the quick rise and slow decline of players, as more votes accumulated.

Perhaps next year will be a better year for the nominees to be inducted into the WSC Hall of Fame!

The voting for the Class of 2016 will begin some time after the World Series is concluded.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

WSC Birth Years: Adam LaRoche

Card #184 - Adam LaRoche

Born: November 6, 1979

Adam was drafted by the Florida Marlins in 1998, but did not sign. He was also drafted by the Florida Marlins in 1999, but did not sign. LaRoche was then drafted by the Atlanta Braves in 2000, where he chose to sign. He made his MLB debut for the Braves on April 7, 2004. Adam stayed with the Braves for three seasons until he was traded to the Pirates prior to the 2007 season. Two and a half seasons later, LaRoche was traded to the Boston Red Sox on July 22, 2009. His career as a Red Sox player was short lived, as Adam was traded to the Atlanta Braves on July 31, 2009, after playing six games with Boston. After the 2009 season, LaRoche was granted free agency, where he signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks. He would stay a season in Phoenix, then he would sign with the Washington Nationals in 2011, who lost Adam Dunn to the White Sox in free agency. LaRoche would come into his own during his stay in D.C., eventually signing with the White Sox through free agency before the 2015 season, effectively following the wake of Adam Dunn again, who left the White Sox during the 2014 season and retired after a stint with the Oakland Athletics.

LaRoche was brought in to fill the designated hitter role and to rest Jose Abreu at first base occasionally. Adam was signed mainly for his bat, but his hitting in the 2015 season has him flirting with career season lows across the board, not including his 2011 season, which lasted only forty-three games due to season ending labrum surgery on his left shoulder. After a rocky start in Chicago, his numbers are staying steady. If LaRoche can finish strong in 2015, he could be setting himself up for a monster 2016 season.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Saturday's White Sox - Cubs Game

I absolutely love going to the ballpark. The smell of the fresh air. The roar of the crowd. The action on the field.

The picture above was taken from my seat at Saturday night's White Sox/Cubs game. This was my first anniversary present from my wife. She got tickets for us, the kid and my mom. It was a nice family outing.

I spent the fifth inning tracking down the one cotton candy vendor, because the kid had her heart set on the sugary treat. The Sox didn't win, but we had a great time and there was a really decent fireworks show afterward. I even got a chuckle when Bobby Thigpen's brother started messaging me to bother his brother in the middle of a bullpen meltdown.

There was only one aspect of the game that kept the evening from being perfect. No, it wasn't the score of the game. It was one family, two rows in front of my family.

I was at a Crosstown series, so I expect there to be ribbing and some playful taunting. That just adds to the atmosphere. When it crosses the line, ruining the enjoyment of those around you, is when it needs to stop.

There was a family of three males and two females. The two females were mostly quiet. Around the seventh inning, one of the females even looked like she wanted to shrink down until she disappeared. I'm not sure of the dynamic of the family, so I'll just speculate here. The grandfather was a Cubs fan. The father was a Sox fan. The son was a Cubs fan. Every one of them seemed to be deaf, because the volume coming out of their mouths could drown out tornado sirens.

It seemed to be a two pronged attack against the "father" and the father had no problem dishing out insults and blowhard bravado right back at them. In the picture, he's the one in the Konerko jersey. Every time anything on the field happened, all I saw was that Konerko jersey blocking everything but the outfield. The "grandfather" would block the outfield portion of my viewing area. To be fair, right before the game started, the "father" did apologize and mentioned he would be standing up every time something happened. I swear, he was telling the complete and utter truth, not that prefacing this behavior with his non-apology excused this behavior. It did not. By the time I returned with cotton candy for the kid, I was done being my mild mannered self and started to loudly proclaim grand wishes of being able to actually watch the game that we paid for and the some inconsiderate people suck the enjoyment out of sporting events.

The males of the family continued to ignore my thinly veiled statements, but the females started to notice and that's about the time one of them wanted to be invisible. The other fans around me in my section felt the same way my family did, but chose not to be as loud about it. Oh, did I mention that alcohol was involved? It was, but my family was the one that only had water and Pepsi.

I did get to see the two Saladino plays, mostly because they both happened too fast for the jumping bean scream family to react. I had no idea that Robin Ventura was ejected from the game until I got back to my parents' house. That was how much this inconsiderate family blocked my view and distracted me during my anniversary present.

An obnoxious family like this is what gives team's fans a bad name. While the majority of fans are there to enjoy the game and have a good time, a slim few are there to knowingly ruin the good time of those around them. Well, loud family, you didn't ruin my good time, even though you tried like hell to do so. All your family did was show the fans sitting in section 117, what foul-mouthed, inconsiderate, loud jerks that you can be. Aren't you proud? You've succeeded. Maybe you'll get some kind of rusty award that will result in lockjaw.

Absolutely, you should have fun at the ballpark, but not at the expense of others around you. Be courteous to the fans around you.

One last thing... if you are aware of your behavior enough to pre-apologize for it, you are aware of it enough to change it.

Enjoy the game.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

After Seven Years There Are Cards For Sale

I have searched high and wide for an alternative to eBay. I used to have an eBay store called Mercury's Space and it did well enough for me to feed my hobby addiction and pay for itself. I was happy. I was content. It was a perfect symbiotic relationship. What cards I didn't want to keep or couldn't involve in a trade, I sold.

Then in 2008, eBay changed its pricing policies. The sole reason that my store thrived was the commons I offered. Buyers would come in for a higher priced item and fill up on commons. It got rid of my low demand inventory and made people happy. Then eBay screwed with my comfortable existence and no longer offered store items for under a dollar. There went most of my inventory. Every card was $1.00 or more, regardless of worth. I kept my under a dollar listings as long as I could. I even got nasty e-mails from eBay, stating that I would suffer penalties if I did not remove the merchandise. Eventually, all of my under a dollar merchandise was gone and my sales tanked. I had to close Mercury's Space and I have been on the hunt for an eBay alternative ever since.

Seven years later, I think I may have found the perfect online storefront. There are no listing or selling fees, so I can keep reasonable prices. It uses PayPal for payment, so there's no shady shenanigans, waiting for money to pop up. It took much longer than expected, but I think the wait was worth it.

Check out the new Mercury's Space. As of this writing, there are over 500 cards up for sale, with more being added daily. Explore the store. You might see something you like.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

WSC Birth Years: Jeff Samardzija

Card #183 - Jeff Samardzija

Born: January 23, 1985

Jeff was chosen by the Chicago Cubs in the fifth round of the 2006 amateur draft. He was also one of the country's top college wide receivers. Samardzija declined to enter the NFL draft, in order to sign a contract with the Cubs. Jeff made his MLB debut in 2008 and transformed himself into a premier pitcher, albeit one with the worst of luck. Despite having one of the best ERAs, paired with lights out stuff, Jeff only had two winning seasons in his six and a half years on the North side of Chicago.

On July 5, 2014, Samardzija was traded to the Oakland Athletics, after he rejected a five year deal from the Cubs. On December 9, 2015, Jeff was traded to the Chicago White Sox. After a slightly rocky start to 2015, Samardzija pitched well enough for the ChiSox to help change Chicago from a seller to a buyer at the trading deadline.

Monday, August 3, 2015

WSC Birth Years: J.B. Shuck

Card #182 - J.B. Shuck

Born: June 18, 1987

J.B. was drafted by the Houston Astros in 2008. Shuck made his MLB debut on August 5, 2011, against the Brewers, in the fifth inning, replacing pitcher J.A. Happ in the lineup and sliding into right field in place of Brian Bogusevic, who was replaced by pitcher Aneury Rodriguez. J.B. went one for two with a stolen base in his debut game.

After the 2011 season, he next popped up with the Angels in 2013, where he placed fifth in Rookie of the Year voting. Shuck was then purchased by the Cleveland Indians in September 2014, before he was picked up on waivers by the Chicago White Sox after the 2014 season.

J.B. has been one of the key components to the White Sox surge during the summer of 2015. He gives his all in the outfield and carries one of the higher batting averages on the team.

Monday, July 20, 2015

WSC Birth Years: David Robertson

Card #181 - David Robertson

Born: April 9, 1985

David was drafted by the New York Yankees in the seventeenth round of the 2006 amateur draft. He made his MLB debut with the Bronx Bombers on June 29, 2008 against the Mets. While settling into the relief core, Robertson was selected to the 2011 All-Star Game and faced the minimum in the bottom of the second, giving up one hit and getting one strikeout. David then moved up in responsibility to become Mariano Rivera's eighth inning setup specialist. When Rivera retired Robertson took over the closer role.

On December 10, 2014, David signed a four year deal with the White Sox and took over the closer role in the bullpen. Through the 2015 All-Star break, Robertson had nineteen saves and a 2.45 ERA under his belt.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Hours Left To Vote For The White Sox Cards Hall Of Fame

If you are the type of person that waits until the last minute, today is your lucky day! Voting for the White Sox Cards Hall of Fame ends tonight at 11:59 PM CST.

75% of the vote gets a player in and we have had quite the interesting battle this year. Everyone has gotten at least two votes, but it's mostly been a battle between Hoyt Wilhelm and Robin Ventura for top spot.

As of this post, Wilhelm has gotten 67% of the vote, but he has been over 75% for the majority of the time. Robin Ventura is right behind him with 65% of the vote, but he too has spent some time over 75%. Al Lopez, while only having 55% of the vote, is still only a few votes behind.

There are also a few players that are in danger of being dropped from the ballot, if they dip below 5%. It a balance between seeing deserving players getting another shot or going away to give others a chance. That's always a tough call to make with your vote.

Only 43 people have voted so far, so a few well placed votes can really make the difference!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

WSC Birth Years: Melky Cabrera

Card #180 - Melky Cabrera

Born: August 11, 1984

Melky signed as an amateur free agent in 2001 with the New York Yankees and made his MLB debut with them on July 7, 2005. Cabrera only saw action in six games during his first season, but saw regular playing time in every season since then. He spent 2005 through 2009 with the Yankees, then was traded to the Atlanta Braves for the 2010 season. The Braves released Melky after the 2010 season, over concerns of his ballooning weight. Cabrera signed with the Kansas City Royals for the 2011 season. He was then traded to the San Francisco Giants for the 2012 campaign, where he became an All-Star, but was subjected to a fifty game suspension. Melky signed as a free agent with the Toronto Blue Jays for the 2013 and 2014 seasons.

Cabrera signed with the White Sox on December 16, 2015 and was part of an off-season splash made by the Pale Hose with the signings of well known commodities to upgrade their lackluster areas. Melky has heated up since mid-June and could lead to a resurgence of the White Sox as a playoff contender in an up for grabs American League Central.

Friday, June 26, 2015

2015 Stadium Club

After some misguided starts in the past decade, it looks like Stadium Club might finally be back on track. Here's the thing... the sets almost always look fantastic, but little things like set identity confusion and sky high price points made the last few sets not sell well. Thankfully, there are no gimmicks like short-printing and serial numbering every third card and the price is more reasonable this year.

Are there parallels? There sure are. Inserts? You betcha! Sadly, this has been the norm for quite some time now and I do not see it going away. Some people chase parallels like chasing the dragon. It's fun and exhilarating, but you will never catch the dragon and you will never chase them all down. There are choices in life and I choose sanity.

Luckily, there is more to this set than just rainbows of color to collect and trashy gimmicks. There is the photography to marvel at. There is the player selection to awe at. There is the simplicity of design to ponder. There is a Hall of Fame cameo on a Hall of Famer card. This is truly a grand spectacle of modest proportions.

The White Sox have nine cards in the set.

69 - Chris Sale
112 - Paul Konerko
121 - Luis Aparicio
129 - Adam Eaton
152 - Jose Abreu
164 - Carlton Fisk (with Tom Seaver cameo!)
180 - Adam LaRoche
229 - Dayan Viciedo
256 - David Robertson

The only puzzling part of this is the inclusion of Dayan Viciedo. He is with his second club since leaving the White Sox. Melky Cabrera or Jeff Samardzija weren't better options here? Despite that little speed bump, this is a set that is a must have. There is a healthy mix of current and classic players and no crazy gimmicks designed to set it apart from other releases. This set stands on its own merits.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

WSC Birth Years: Dan Jennings

Card #179 - Dan Jennings

Born: April 17, 1987

Dan made his MLB debut with the Miami Marlins on April 30, 2012, after being selected in the ninth round of the 2009 amateur draft. Jennings crafted a reputation as a solid middle reliever with the Marlins. On August 7, 2014, while pitching for Miami in relief, Dan was struck by a line drive in the head in Pittsburgh, suffering a concussion, but returning to the mound less than a month later.

Jennings was traded to the White Sox on December 11, 2014, in exchange for Brazilian pitching sensation Andre Rienzo. Dan has had his share of success with Chicago, but he has also been plagued by a few bad outings, including a horrific 40.50 ERA in his ChiSox debut.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

WSC Birth Years: Micah Johnson

Card #178 - Micah Johnson

Born: December 18, 1990

Micah was drafted by the White Sox in the ninth round of the 2012 amateur draft. Johnson has steadily climbed the ranks in the minor leagues until he broke camp with Chicago in 2015.

Making his MLB debut on April 6, 2015, Opening Day, Micah went one for three. Johnson appeared in twenty-seven games before being sent down to AAA in mid-May. During that time, Micah batted .270 and stole three bases. Johnson's downfall was his defense. In the last seven games before being sent down, Micah committed three errors. A little more seasoning in the minors may build on this taste of the majors.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Sunday, June 7, 2015

WSC Birth Years: Matt Albers

Card #177 - Matt Albers

Born: January 20, 1983

Matt graduated from a high school near Houston, Texas in 2001. The Astros took him in the 23rd round of the 2001 draft. Albers made his way through the Houston farm system until he made his MLB debut with the Astros on July 25, 2006. He switched back and forth between the bullpen and the starting rotation for his two years with the Astros and his first year with the Orioles in 2008. Matt spent three seasons with Baltimore, before spending time with the Red Sox, the Diamondbacks, the Indians and the Astros for a second time.

Albers signed a minor league contract with the White Sox on February 13, 2015. He features a sinkerball thrown in the mid-90s and offsets that with a hard slider and a curveball. Matt appeared in four games with the Pale Hose before suffering a broken finger in a brawl with the Kansas City Royals on April 22, 2015.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

2015 Diamond Kings

Diamond Kings really class the place up. They are usually more artful than the average card. Mostly on since 1982, Diamond Kings have separated Donruss from the competitors. Even the worst Donruss releases benefited greatly from the inclusion of Diamond Kings.

It is nice to see Panini revive this storied franchise. The only mark against this release is the same reason that killed Donruss in the first place, all the parallels. There are less parallels than in the mid-aughts, but they are there nonetheless and it is a little sad to see.

The most exciting thing about this release is the varied checklist. There is a healthy mix of current and former players, including a couple Black Sox, an under-appreciated player from the twenties, a few standby Hall of Fame options, and a rookie who is two teams removed from his MLB debut with the White Sox just nine months ago.

The White Sox have nine cards in the set.

8 - Alexei Ramirez
29 - Chris Sale
73 - Joe Jackson
77 - Jose Abreu
89 - Lefty Williams
93 - Luke Appling
108 - Nellie Fox
143 - Willie Kamm
151 - Andy Wilkins

This is a welcome addition to any White Sox collection. The mix of players is fantastic and comes with surprises. This is definitely not your cookie cutter release.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Draft Years: 1967

 With the thirteenth pick in the 1967 amateur draft, the Chicago White Sox chose third baseman Bill Haynes, out of Headland High School in East Point, Georgia. Bill had an eight year career between the White Sox and the Kansas City Royals. Despite a .303 career batting average, Haynes never made it past AAA ball. He only spent two seasons in the White Sox farm system before moving to the Royals farm system.

Vida Blue, Dave Kingman and Jerry Reuss all were drafted after Bill Haynes and before the second pick for the Sox at number thirty-three, a shortstop names Stuart Singleton, who also never made it to the majors. At this point, the White Sox had two opportunities to choose my pick and failed to get the job done, instead wasting their picks on minor league filler.

The better choice would have been the thirty-ninth pick...

Don Baylor.

Don enjoyed a nineteen year career, appeared in an All-Star game, won an MVP and won three Silver Sluggers. This is the first pick that the White Sox truly wasted. Out of fifty picks in the entire 1967 draft, the White Sox picked three that barely made it to the majors. Chris Ward, Dennis O'Toole and Jim Norris. Basically the White Sox batted .060 for the '67 draft and all three "hits" were bunts that fooled the third baseman by straddling the line and never going foul. Don Baylor would have been a much more solid hit.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

WSC Birth Years: Emilio Bonifacio

Card #176 - Emilio Bonifacio

Born: April 23, 1985

Emilio originally signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2001, making his MLB debut for them on September 2, 2007. Since his debut with the D'backs, Bonifacio has appeared in games for the Nationals, the Marlins, the Blue Jays, the Royals, the Cubs and the Braves before signing with the White Sox for the 2015 season.

Emilio signed on as a super-sub and he has really lived up to that billing. In the first two months of the 2015 season, Bonifacio has played at second base, third base and center field, as well as pinch hit and pinch run.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Meet The 2015 Candidates

It's time to vote again for the WSC Hall of Fame.

Some names may look familiar, others may not. The voting encompasses the White Sox from 1894 through five seasons ago. I try to keep a healthy mix of players from all throughout White Sox history. Here's a little about each candidate.

Oscar Gamble (1977, 1985)
Oscar was originally part of the '77 South Side Hitmen, endearing himself to the south side faithful with his outlandish hair, unusual batting stance and machismo. He hit .297 with 31 homers for the 1977 team. He returned to the Sox in 1985 for a good chunk of the season to wrap up his MLB career.

Jerry Hairston (1973-1977, 1981-1989)
Jerry specialized in pinch hitting, which is why he spent parts of 14 seasons with the Pale Hose. Hairston pinch hit in his last game and fittingly singled.

Dummy Hoy (1900-1901)
William joined the Sox in 1900, during the last season as a minor league team. He was with the team when the Sox became a major league team in 1901. The 39 year old Hoy led off  and played center in 1901 becoming the first MLB batter for the ChiSox. He led the league in walks and hit-by-pitches, while helping the Sox to their first MLB AL pennant.

Frank Isbell (1896-1909)
Frank played first, second and outfield. He led the AL in stolen bases in 1901 with 52. Isbell was a pennant winner in 1901 and a World Champion in 1906. He was first in first base assists in 1901 and 1902. He was first in fielding range at first base in 1909. Frank is linked all the way back to the St. Paul Apostles team in 1896, two years removed from the beginning of the club in Sioux City, Iowa.

Fielder Jones (1901-1908)
Fielder led the league in sacrifice hits in 1904. He was first in fielding percentage in the outfield in 1903 and 1906. Jones also managed the team from 1904 until 1908. He was a pennant winner in 1901 and a World Champion in 1906.

Ron Karkovice (1986-1997)
Ron was the steady backup for Carlton Fisk until he finally became the first string catcher. He was first in caught stealing percentage in 1989, 1990 and 1993. He won the AL West pennant in 1993 and the AL Central pennant in 1994.

Al Lopez (1957-1965, 1968, 1968-1969)
Al managed the Sox to the pennant in 1959 to go along with five second place finishes during his tenure.

Jorge Orta (1972-1979)
Jorge was an All-Star for the Sox in 1975. He was the AL Player of the Week three times and finished second in AL batting average in 1974.

Gary Peters (1959-1969)
Gary was AL Rookie of the Year in 1963. He was an All-Star in 1964 and 1967. He was first in ERA in 1963 and 1966 and second in ERA in 1967. Peters won 20 games for the Sox in 1964.

Bobby Thigpen (1986-1993)
Bobby established a then MLB record 57 saves in a season in 1990. He was an All-Star in 1990. Thigpen was first in finished games in 1988 and 1990. He was first in games pitched in 1990. Bobby was AL Pitcher of the Month for May 1990 and won the AL Rolaids Relief award in 1990.

Robin Ventura (1989-1998)
Robin won five Gold Gloves at third base. He was an All-Star for the Sox in 1992. He was first in Intentional Walks in 1998. Ventura was Player of the Month in July 1991. He was known for solidifying the defense at third base, which was a sore spot for many years before Robin took over.

Buck Weaver (1912-1920)
Buck was a World Champion in 1917 and an AL pennant winner in 1919. He was first in sacrifice hits in 1915 and 1916. Weaver batted .333 in the 1917 World Series and .324 in the 1919 World Series. He was the only third baseman that Ty Cobb would not bunt against.

Hoyt Wilhelm (1963-1968)
Hoyt had an ERA of 1.92 over the six seasons he spent with the White Sox. He racked up 41 wins and 99 saves during his tenure with the Pale Hose, mostly in relief appearances, all while perplexing hitters with his knuckleball.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

WSC Birth Years: Kyle Drabek

Card #175 - Kyle Drabek

Born: December 8, 1987

Kyle was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in the first round of the 2006 amateur draft. While in the Phillies minor league system in 2009, Drabek received the Paul Owens award, which are presented to the top pitcher and top position player in the Phillies farm system. On December 16, 2009, Kyle was part of a deal that sent pitcher Roy Halladay to the Phillies, from the Blue Jays. Drabek made his MLB debut for the Blue Jays on September 15, 2010. Since his debut, Kyle has been plagued with injuries which have limited his potential.

On March 27, 2015, Drabek was claimed off of waivers by the Chicago White Sox. He made his White Sox debut on Opening Day, April 6, 2015. Kyle finished his outing with a horrific 13.50 ERA, helped in part by a three-run homer to former White Sox outfielder Alex Rios, as his first batter. He has gotten a little better in later appearances, but time will tell if he regains any of his former glory.

Monday, April 6, 2015

2015 WSC Hall Of Fame Ballot

Here's a Hall of Fame that anyone can vote for: The White Sox Cards Hall Of Fame.

You can vote for as many or as few players as you want. The rules are the same as the MLB Hall of Fame. 75% of the vote will get a player in. At least 5% of the vote will keep a player on the ballot for next year. A player has to be away from the White Sox for a minimum of five years for ballot consideration. If a player cannot get 75% of the vote after 15 tries, he is taken off the ballot.

Last ballot, no one was voted into the WSC Hall Of Fame. Who will make it in this year?

The 2015 ballot includes a player for each positional spot on the field, a designated hitter, a manager, and pitching has been split into spots for starter, middle relief and closer.

Oscar Gamble - DH (5th year) 
Jerry Hairston - OF (3rd year) 
Dummy Hoy  – OF (2nd year)
Frank Isbell – 1st Base (4th year)
Fielder Jones – OF (5th year) 
Ron Karkovice - C (1st year)
Al Lopez – MGR (5th year) 
Jorge Orta  – 2nd Base (2nd year)
Gary Peters - P (5th year)
Bobby Thigpen - P (4th year)
Robin Ventura – 3rd Base (5th year) 
Buck Weaver - SS (3rd year)
Hoyt Wilhelm – P (4th year)

Voting will be through July 14, 2015, with the results announced shortly after. You can vote on the right sidebar. Any position left open due to election or cuts will be filled by another player next year.

The results should prove interesting. Have fun!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

WSC Birth Years: Will Ferrell

Card #174 - Will Ferrell

Born: July 16, 1967

On March 12, 2015, Will was traded to the Chicago White Sox by the Cincinnati Reds. The former Reds third baseman became the new White Sox designated hitter and the Pale Hose became Ferrell's seventh team in one day.

Will made a spectacular entrance via helicopter into center field, where he swaggered to the dugout to receive instruction. Ferrell struck out on five pitches in his only appearance and was quickly traded to the opposing San Francisco Giants to be their new catcher. He changed uniforms in the Giants dugout and was inserted into the game, becoming the first person to be traded and play for both teams in the same half inning of a single game.

Ferrell started off playing shortstop for the Oakland Athletics, who then traded him to the Seattle Mariners. The Mariners played him at second base, but them they traded him to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, who put Will in center field replacing Mike Trout. The Angels traded Ferrell to the Chicago Cubs for a washing machine. The Cubs used Will as a third base coach, then decided he should man first base. He made his first plate appearance and struck out. The Diamondbacks acquired Ferrell for some ballpark food and put him in left field. Will was traded to the Cincinnati Reds, who played him at first base. The Reds traded him to the White Sox, who used him as their DH. The Sox traded Ferrell to the Giants, who played him behind the plate. The Giants traded Will to the Dodgers, who used him as a pitcher. The Dodgers then traded Ferrel to the Padres, who put him in right field.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

WSC Birth Years: Minnie Minoso

Card #173 - Minnie Minoso

Born: November 29, 1925

As the first black Cuban player to appear in the MLB, Minnie paved the way for countless athletes after him. After becoming a star in the Cuban and Negro Leagues, Minoso signed a contract with the Cleveland Indians and made his MLB debut on April 19, 1949. He bounced between the parent club and the minors, mostly due to racial tensions of the time and not lack of talent, until he was traded to the Chicago White Sox on April 30, 1951, in a three team trade also involving the Philadelphia Athletics.

Minnie hit Chicago with a bang, hitting a 415 foot home run on the very first pitch he saw in his first at-bat against the Yankees on May 1, 1951. The Cuban Comet was second only to Mickey Mantle in WAR, runs scored, total bases, extra base hits, most times on base and runs created from 1951 until 1961 in the American League. He was second to Nellie Fox in triples and hits in the AL from 1951 to 1961. Minoso was also second to Luis Aparicio in stolen bases in the same period in the American League. Minnie would stay with the ChiSox from 1951 until 1957 before being traded to the Cleveland Indians for the 1958 and 1959 seasons. He came back to Chicago for the 1960 and 1961 seasons, spent 1962 playing for the St. Louis Cardinals, played for the Washington Senators during the 1963 season, and came back to the White Sox for the 1964, 1976 and 1980 seasons. He made appearances with the Miami Miracle of the Florida State League and the St. Paul Saints in 2003, to become the only player to have played professionally in seven different decades.

Minoso (aka Mr. White Sox) would make public relations appearances with the Chicago White Sox, up until his death on March 1, 2015. No matter where he went in his baseball life, Minnie always came back to the White Sox.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

RIP Minnie Minoso

“I know that baseball fans have me in their own Hall of Fame -- the one in their hearts. That matters more to me than any official recognition. If it's meant to be, it's meant to be, and I am truly honored to be considered. I've given my life to baseball, and the game has given me so much.” ~ Minnie Minoso

Saturday, February 21, 2015

WSC Birth Years: Chris Bassitt

Card #172 - Chris Bassitt

Born: February 22, 1989

Chris was drafted by the White Sox in the sixteenth round of the 2011 amateur draft. He steadily climbed the ranks in the farm system until he comfortably settles in Birmingham AA. Bassitt made his MLB debut on August 30, 2014, at home, against the Detroit Tigers. He went six and a third innings, picking up the loss.

The outings slowly improved, until Chris was able to cut a seven plus ERA down to 3.94 over six appearances. Bassitt would get revenge over the Tigers, this time in Detroit, on September 22, 2014, when he would blank the Motor City Kitties over seven and two-thirds innings for his first MLB win.

Before the 2015 season, Chris was traded to Oakland, along with Marcus Semien, Josh Phegley and Rangel Ravelo for pitchers Jeff Samardzija and Michael Ynoa.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Draft Years: 1966

 With the eighteenth pick of the 1966 draft, the Chicago White Sox selected Carlos May. Reggie Jackson was long gone by that point and so were a few men who had nice careers. All things considered Carlos May was not a bad pick.

May had a ten year MLB career, was The Sporting News' Rookie of the Year, a two-time All-Star and is the only player ever to wear his birth month and date on his uniform (May 17), when he switched his uniform number from 29 to 17. Perhaps he would have played longer and had better numbers if he hadn't injured himself during a stint with the Marine Reserves in 1969, where Carlos blew off one of his thumbs. Even so, he did very well for himself after the injury. He played from 1968 until 1977 in the majors, then played in Japan for four additional years.

There was a player taken by the Minnesota Twins as the sixtieth pick in the draft...

Steve Garvey.

A ten-time All-Star, who had four consecutive Gold Gloves and an MVP during a nineteen year career, Steve Garvey would have been a better selection in hindsight. For whatever reason Steve did not sign with the Twins in 1966. He would be drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1968 and play fourteen of his nineteen seasons with them.

There's no guarantee that Garvey would have signed if he was picked higher in the draft in 1966, but it definitely would have been an interesting path if he did. Carlos May was a really good sign. Steve Garvey would have been better.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

WSC All-Stars: Eddie Smith 1941

Card #17 - Eddie Smith

Eddie replaced New York Yankees outfielder Charlie Keller in the lineup for the top of the eighth, taking over the pitching mound from Washington Senators pitcher Sid Hudson, who blew a save opportunity. Eddie pitched two innings, giving up a two-run homer to Pittsburgh Pirates shortstop Arky Vaughan, also scoring St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Johnny Mize, who doubled to right field.

The American League was down five to two, when Boston Red Sox outfielder Dom DiMaggio scored his brother Joe with a single in the eighth. Eddie came back out and retired the side in the ninth. He was pinch hit for by Cleveland Indians third baseman Ken Keltner in the bottom of the eighth, but New York Yankees outfielder Joe DiMaggio ground into a fielder's choice at second to score Keltner, then Boston Red Sox outfielder Ted Williams hit a three-run home run to score New York Yankees second baseman Joe Gordon and Joe DiMaggio to win the game for Eddie Smith.

Monday, February 16, 2015

2015 Topps Toys R Us Series One

This is the best that the Topps flagship set has looked in a few years. After nearly blending in with Bowman and old Fleer sticker designs in the past couple of years, Topps has broken out with a sharp design that looks visually interesting without retreading too many past designs... then they tinted it purple and randomly inserted three cards per blister pack, all of which I have to sign for at work, when UPS drops them off.

Normally, Target and Wal-Mart have their own set Topps parallel colored sets (Target red and Wal-Mart blue), but this year, they have decided against retail exclusive parallel sets and instead opted for retail exclusive insert sets following the exploits of Jackie Robinson and Babe Ruth. Toys R Us stands alone this year in all its purple majesty. I'm not quite sure why Target and Wal-Mart bowed out of the parallel sets this year, but it is a welcome change of pace. I had a love/hate relationship with three retail exclusive parallels and the trouble of chasing them all.

The White Sox have seven cards in the set.

22 - Tyler Flowers
65 - Alexei Ramirez
176 - Jose Abreu
177 - Paul Konerko
256 - Adam Eaton
276 - Conor Gillaspie
341 - Chris Sale (Corey Kluber, Felix Hernandez)

A short but sweet set for the White Sox that includes a final card for Paul Konerko is a nice thing. I suspect that with so few ChiSox cards in series one and so much offseason activity, that there will be a nice chunk of Pale Hose cards in series two. It will be nice to have this set in the Toys R Us purple.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

WSC Legends: Cespedes - Henderson

Card #7 - Yeonis Cespedes/Rickey Henderson

WSC Vintage: Vic Frazier

Card #50 - Vic Frazier

Staring out his career with the Class A Dallas Steers in 1928, Vic was a workhorse with slightly below average stuff, but in the 1929 season, he managed to turn his luck around, making a 4-12 record from the previous season turn into a 16-8 record, while lowering his ERA almost by two. Frazier made his MLB debut with the White Sox on April 18, 1931, in Cleveland, against the Indians. He would give up ten hits and eight runs, only five earned, and take the loss during five inning of work.

Vic's best MLB season would be his rookie campaign, where he went 13-15 with a 4.46 ERA in forty-six games. Never again would he reach those heights in the majors. He stuck with the White Sox until 1933, when he was traded to Detroit on June 2nd for Whit Wyatt. He would last with the Tigers through the 1934 season. He would next pop up in the majors in 1937 with the Boston Bees (the modern day Braves), appearing in three games, as a reliever. 1938 would bring him to Class AA pitching for the St. Paul Saints, part of the White Sox farm system. 1939 saw Frazier split time between the Saints and the White Sox, which would be his last gasp in the majors. Vic appeared in ten games for the Pale Hose, sporting a 0-1 record with a 10.27 ERA. In his last MLB appearance, Frazier gave up eleven hits in three and two-thirds innings at Yankee Stadium in New York. Vic came into the game in the fourth inning, relieving Jack Knott and giving up the last eight runs in a 13-3 loss, before being relieved by Eddie Smith.

Frazier would stay with the Class AA St. Paul Saints through the 1940 season. He pitched one game, lasting two innings, in 1941, for the Class B Pensacola Pilots, taking the loss, before calling it a career.
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