Defensive all-timer: Few defensive plays have ever been better than Iguchi’s acrobatic assist in 2006. (@WhiteSox)
2005 So who needs scouts? (just joking …) White Sox GM Ken Williams signed Japanese second baseman Tadahito Iguchi after … watching videotape on him. Iguchi turned into a very solid second baseman and second hitter in the lineup, delivering defense, home runs and RBIs to a team that would go on to take the World Series.
Iguchi’s three-run home run in Game 2 of the 2005 ALDS turned the game around against Boston. The following year, Iguchi’s single in the 19th inning on July 9 beat the Red Sox 6-5 — that game was tied for the fifth-longest in franchise history.
On April 15, 2006 Iguchi turned in one of the most incredible defensive plays in MLB history by throwing out Toronto’s Bengie Molina in the ninth inning of a 4-2 White Sox win. Iguchi threw the ball to first base sailing horizontally off the ground and from a most usual throwing angle.
“Coming off the bat, I know it was going to be a tough play but I knew I still had the time to get him out at first base,” Iguchi told reporters after the game. “I knew it wasn’t an impossible position to still make a throw. But I knew if I was going down I might not be coming back up again. Right now, I feel it in my lower back.”
Clutch work in Beantown: El Duque spun the most storied inning of the 21st Century for the White Sox in the ALDS. (YouTube)
2004 As part of a plan to add more depth to the rotation, the White Sox signed veteran hurler Orlando “El Duque” Hernandez. “The Duke” started strong in 2005, faded somewhat down the stretch, but pitched perhaps the most historic inning in franchise history when he came in to a bases-loaded, no-out situation at Boston in Game 3 of the ALDS. He proceeded to get two pop outs and a strikeout as the Sox held on to win and advance to the ALCS.
El Duque with a dagger: In a postseason filled with memorable pitching performances, Hernandez’s in Game 3 of the 2005 ALDS was the best. (@WhiteSox)
2001 — White Sox All-Star outfielder Magglio Ordoñez became the first player in American League history to have a season with a .300 average, 40 doubles, 30 home runs, 100 RBIs and 25 stolen bases. He doubled against the Minnesota Twins for his 40th of the season — and the milestone.
2005 — At Fenway Park, the White Sox won their first postseason series of any kind since 1917 by beating Boston, 5-3, to sweep the ALDS in three games. Paul Konerko’s two-run home run gave the Sox some breathing room — and then pitcher Orlando Hernandez saved the game. Entering a bases-loaded, no-out, one-run lead situation in the sixth inning, El Duque got two pop outs and a strikeout. It was an amazing performance.