Today in White Sox History: April 5

Spectacular start: Buehrle didn’t just win to begin 2010, he made a defensive play for the ages. (YouTube)


1960
Shortly before the season opened, the White Sox further decimated their stock of young talent by shipping future All-Star and power-hitting catcher Earl Battey along with future power-hitting All-Star first baseman Don Mincher to the Washington Senators for power-hitting first baseman Roy Sievers.

Sievers gave the Sox some good years, averaging 27 home runs, 92 RBIs and a .295 batting average in two seasons. He had a 21-game hitting streak in 1960 and made the All-Star team in 1961. But Battey, who cried when he was told he was traded, may have won the Sox the pennant in 1964, 1967 or both just by himself (to say nothing of other players shipped out that offseason like Johnny Romano, Norm Cash and Johnny Callison.) Battey would go on to make four All-Star appearances and win three Gold Gloves at catcher. Mincher would become a two-time All-Star.


1974
The White Sox opened the season at home under freezing conditions versus the Angels and Nolan Ryan. The Sox started Wilbur Wood, which prompted broadcaster Harry Caray to comment that the game was “The tortoise against the hare.” This time the hare won, as Ryan and the Angels got an easy 8-2 victory.

The game did have its moments, however. The streaking craze had hit college campuses and on this day a few young ladies in the upper deck decided to partially streak while a young man jumped the outfield fence and ran naked through left field before being hoisted back into the stands by his friends. Sox manager Chuck Tanner had one of the best lines anywhere when asked what he thought about the outfield streaker: “I wasn’t impressed by him.” (nudge, nudge, wink, wink … say no more!)


1977
Literally a few hours before the team was to head north to open the season, owner Bill Veeck traded shortstop Russell “Bucky” Dent to the Yankees. Salary was the reasoning behind the deal, and Veeck’s comment that “I’d trade Dent even-up for any other starting shortstop in the American League” didn’t help matters.

In return the White Sox got outfielder Oscar Gamble, pitcher Bob Polinsky, minor league pitcher LaMarr Hoyt and $200,000. Gamble would be a big part of the 1977 hitting orgy, while Hoyt would have some good seasons with the Sox culminating in the 1983 Cy Young Award.


2004
New Manager Ozzie Guillén figured he had his debut game all wrapped up, as the Sox took a 7-3 lead into the ninth inning at Kansas City. Over the next 20 minutes, the Royals scored six runs to take the game, 9-7. The amazing rally set the modern record for the most runs scored in the ninth inning to win a game on Opening Day.


2010
Mark Buehrle made his eighth Opening Day start, setting the franchise record and breaking the tie he had with Billy Pierce.
Buehrle was brilliant in the 6-0 win over Cleveland, but what everyone was talking about after the game was the play he made on a hard-hit ball off the bat of Lou Marson in the fifth inning. Both ESPN and the MLB Network called it the play of the year.

Marson’s shot ricocheted off Buehrle’s leg and ricocheted towards foul ground on the first-base side of the field. Buehrle sprinted off the mound, fielded the ball with his glove and flipped it between his legs to Paul Konerko, who made a barehanded catch to nip Marson by a step. It was simply an incredible play.


 

 

Today in White Sox History: April 4

caption


1982
One of the most highly-anticipated Opening Days in franchise history got snowed out. The White Sox were set to host Boston and the organization was expecting a crowd of around 50,000. That got torpedoed when a blizzard hammered the entire Midwest, cancelling games for days. In fact, the season didn’t open until April 11 in New York, with a doubleheader win over the Yankees.


1983
The same night North Carolina State upset Houston for the NCAA basketball title, the White Sox opened their division championship season dropping a 5-3 game at Texas. The Sox scored three times in the top of the first but were handcuffed after that. Errors by rookies Scott Fletcher and Greg Walker were costly to pitcher LaMarr Hoyt. The Sox would drop all three games to the Rangers, but rebounded to win 99 of the final 159 to take the division by a record 20 games.


1988
It was Ken Williams’ one moment in the sun as a player. On Opening Day, Williams belted a two-run homer in the fifth inning off of California’s Mike Witt to help the Sox to an 8-5 win. Williams would drive in three runs on the afternoon.


1994
The bittersweet shortened season started in Canada with a rematch of the 1993 ALCS. Toronto won this Opening Day 7-3 by blasting Jack McDowell (the reigning Cy Young Award winner) just as they did twice in the postseason the year before.


2005
The World Series season got off to a great start, as a packed house saw Mark Buehrle and Shingo Takatsu shut out Cleveland 1-0 in a game that took less than two hours! That season the White Sox would roar out of the gate at 26-9, the best 35-game start in franchise history.


 

Buehrle shines as White Sox win season opener, 1-0

Diamond in the rough: Offense was hard to come by, but Paul Konerko went 2-for-3 with a double, and he scored the only run in today’s victory. (@whitesox_fanly)


Note: With baseball paused for the 2020 season, we’re running some reimagined game recaps in conjunction with NBC Sports Chicago replaying key games of the 2005 White Sox World Series season.


It was a classic pitchers’ duel at US Cellular Field this afternoon, as the White Sox took down Cleveland by a score of 1-0.

White Sox starter Mark Buehrle was on top of his game. Though Cleveland’s hitters only struck out five times in eight innings against him, they struggled to make any kind of sharp contact. Unfortunately, the White Sox’s bats also had trouble, as solving Cleveland starter Jake Westbrook proved to be a difficult task.

The first baserunner of the game for either team was Jermaine Dye, who singled off Westbrook with one out in the second. Dye reached second base on a groundout by Aaron Rowand, but he was stranded at second after A.J. Pierzynski lined out to end the inning. Meanwhile, the first Cleveland baserunner was Victor Martinez, who led off the fifth with a single up the middle. However, that glimmer of hope for Cleveland was dashed on the very first pitch to the next batter, as Aaron Boone grounded into a double play.

The next scoring threat for either team was in the top of the seventh, when Cleveland put runners on first and second with one out. Buehrle fell behind Martinez 2-1, but he made a great pitch to force an easy double play ball to retire the side. As of the seventh-inning stretch, the game was still scoreless. Luckily, the White Sox finally broke through in the bottom half. Slugger Paul Konerko led off with a double into the left field corner for his second hit, becoming the only player with a multi-hit performance. Dye followed by flying out to right, but his fly ball was plenty deep enough to get Konerko to third. Rowand hit a soft grounder to shortstop, but Jhonny Peralta could not handle it, so Konerko scored, and Rowand reached first easily.

The White Sox had a chance to add to the lead, as Rowand stole second, and Pierzynski followed with an infield single (a good play by Cleveland second baseman Ronnie Belliard probably would have gotten A.J. at first, but who cares? A.J. got an infield single to second!) to put runners on the corners. However, Joe Crede grounded into a double play to end the inning.

Fortunately, that run was all the White Sox needed, as Buehrle threw another shutout inning in the eighth, and Shingo Takatsu closed the door with a 1-2-3 ninth inning.

The White Sox open the season with a 1-0 record, while Cleveland drops to 0-1. Freddy García is the White Sox’s probable starter on Wednesday (April 6, 2005), and he is set to take on Kevin Millwood.

Anyway, before I sign off for the day, enjoy these trivia questions from the future:

  1. Which player got the last White Sox single in 2005?
  2. A variation of today’s Aflac Trivia Question: Which pitcher holds the White Sox record for most wins on Opening Day?

Answers

  1. Jermaine Dye, who also got the team’s first single today, as noted earlier.
  2. Mark Buehrle, with four (2002, 2005, 2010, and 2011). Jack McDowell, Billy Pierce, and Chris Sale each had three Opening Day victories with the team.

Meet the Players: Trevor Lines


Trevor started writing Fanposts over on South Side Sox a few weeks ago to share his thoughts on our White Sox, and gain more experience in blogging. He’s a recent graduate of Bellarmine University in Louisville, where he played ball under Larry Owens, former pitching coach of the Kannapolis Intimidators and Bristol Sox. The middle infielder had an amazing experience there, learned a lot about the game, and was able to help bring home some hardware by his senior year.

After graduation, Lines relocated to Madison, Wis. in October for an inside sales job. With territory of Charlotte, he plans on convincing his boss to send him down for a work trip this summer to catch a Knights game. (Knights game tix to seal new sales deals!) The ultimate goal for Trevor is to get back to Louisville, because it’s an awesome place.

This picture above was taken the day after the 2005 World Series. A lot has changed since then, but Trevor is still rocking a cast on his left arm (he recently got wrist surgery to repair some torn ligaments from baseball), so hopefully that is a sign of good things to come for White Sox playoffs in 2020. The injury may keep Trevor on a pitch count for the next few weeks, but he’s excited to contribute to the site and community. His first piece covers four underrated early-season storylines with the White Sox, so check it out.

You can follow Trevor @TLines2 on Twitter. Take a second to welcome him to the team!

 


Hometown Morris, Ill. 

White Sox fan since as long as I can remember (born in 1995)

First White Sox memory Ohh-ee-ohh…MAGGG-LIO. Or the “Na Na Na Na Hey Hey Hey Goodbye” chant when opposing pitchers got yanked. Can’t wait to have that electricity back in Sox Park.

Favorite White Sox memory Overall? 2005 World Series (cliché) In person? Jordan Danks’ first MLB HR (walk-off to beat A’s)

Favorite White Sox player Current? Yoán Moncada — that swing tho All-Time? Mark Buehrle

Next White Sox statue Hawk Harrelson. BIG Hawk guy. Can’t wait for his HOF speech

Next White Sox retired number José Abreu

Go-to concession food at Sox Park Dollar Dog Wednesdays

Favorite Baseball Movie Major League: entertaining movie, and good memories watching it on bus trips with teammates

Hall of Fame Speed Round
Mark Buehrle Originally said no, did some research and switching to yes. Guaranteed 200 IP. World Series champ. Arguably best fielding pitcher in history. Only pitcher in history to face the minimum three times. All other pitchers with both a perfect game and no-hitter are in HOF.
Joe Jackson Yes
Paul Konerko Not unless you add 250 stolen bags to his resume
Minnie Miñoso Yes
Omar Vizquel No
Chris Sale Yes, eventually

South Side Hit Pen on the field Second Base

True or false: Every jumbled pile of person has a thinking part that wonders what the part that isn’t thinking isn’t thinking of. False. I don’t really think about thinking; I just think. (No “internal monologue,” for those of you who saw that viral phenomenon last week.)

2019 Top Moment in White Sox History inductee: DeWayne Wise, The Catch

“THE CATCH”
JULY 23, 2009
U.S. CELLULAR FIELD

IN THE NINTH INNING OF MARK BUEHRLE’S PERFECT GAME ATTEMPT VS. THE TAMPA BAY RAYS, VETERAN DEWAYNE WISE WAS INSERTED IN CENTER FIELD AS A DEFENSIVE REPLACEMENT. ON THE SIXTH PITCH OF THE INNING, GABE KAPLER DROVE A DEEP FLY THAT WISE TRACKED DOWN, GLOVING THE DRIVE OVER THE OUTFIELD WALL AND BOBBLING THE BALL AS HE TUMBLED BACK ONTO THE FIELD. THE 18TH PERFECT GAME IN MLB HISTORY REMAINED ALIVE, TWO FINAL OUTS WERE RECORDED, AND ONE WEEK LATER THE TEAM UNVEILED A PERMANENT TRIBUTE TO “THE CATCH” AT THE TOP OF THE WALL IN LEFT-CENTER, FOREVER COMMEMORATING THE MIRACLE PLAY.


On Thursday, July 23, 2009, Mark Buehrle threw baseball’s 18th perfect game, and the second-ever by a White Sox pitcher. And it would never have been possible without a miraculous defensive play by center fielder DeWayne Wise.

Trailing 5-0 in the top of the ninth inning, Rays leadoff hitter, Gabe Kapler hit a deep fly ball to left-center field, where Wise, who had just entered the game as a defensive replacement, made a spectacular catch, robbing Kapler of a home run and preserving the perfect game for Buehrle.

The play is considered one of the greatest in White Sox history, not just for saving the perfect game, but also because of its degree of difficulty, the amount of ground covered to get to the wall, and Wise holding onto the ball after briefly juggling it on the way to the ground after the catch.


And now, a personal story.

On Tuesday, July 21, as I sat working on a contract project, my lovely wife, philskatie, a teacher on summer vacation, suggested we jump-start our wedding anniversary celebration by going to the White Sox afternoon game on Thursday. That sounded like a great idea to me. I arranged to take the afternoon off, double-checked the start time to make sure we’d have time to pick up our kids from day care afterward, and had a pair of tickets held at will-call. It all sounded like a great idea.

We had our usual seats in the 534 box (I still have the ticket stubs, of course), the wife with a hot dog, me with a polish and a brat. We were ready to go. So, apparently, was Buehrle. So too, apparently, was DeWayne Wise.

In typical Beuhrle fashion, he whipped through the first few innings before the onions cooled on the sausages. (The entire game lasted 2:03. And I’ve actually been to a Buehrle complete game that was shorter.) The game was fun, the Sox were winning, the crowd was excited.

In the sixth inning, though, the park had become electric. When Buehrle retired the side in the bottom of the inning, the crowd exploded. My wife asked me, “Why is everybody going nuts?” Following now-outdated protocol, I pointed silently to the scoreboard. She got it then. But I confess, neither of us could remember for certain if he had walked anybody. So I threatened convention and asked a guy in the row ahead of us. “Nope,” he said. “At least I don’t think so.”

As with most Buehrle starts, he made it seem ordinary, workmanlike, another day at the office, even as the crowd got more and more animated and excited through the seventh and eighth. I noticed when Wise was inserted for the ninth, but didn’t initially think much about it. Seemed like a good move, though I’d never have guessed how good.

The Catch itself was one of those great moments where when it happens, you only realize how great it was afterward. There was a palpable and audible collective inhale as the ball arced up and out, which you can hear it in the video. The ball drifted some, and it wasn’t clear initially that it was going out until it started carrying farther and farther. And, as you can also hear in the video, the ballpark erupted at and after The Catch. I cannot recall, in all honesty, if I noticed the juggle in real time or not. I saw Wise go down and then hold the ball aloft as he jumped back to his feet.

After that, the perfect game seemed ordained, and the rest of the inning became in its own way anticlimactic. Hernandez’s K and Bartlett’s grounder felt about as routine as the last two outs of a perfect game can feel, I suppose. I can’t really say because, like fellow attendee Brett Ballantini and undoubtedly every soul standing in the ballpark that day,  I’ve never been to another perfect game.

We did, though, go back to a game about 10 days later when, and without our prior knowledge, the Sox were distributing posters of the Sports Illustrated cover commemorating the game. One of these days (I’ve been telling myself for 10 years) I’m going to get it framed, along with the stubs.

They say, correctly, and perhaps obviously, that any no-hitter or perfect game is dependent upon the defense. DeWayne Wise provided a great case study.


And now, back to our regularly scheduled post.

DeWayne Wise could be the poster boy for the replacement-level, journeyman major leaguer. He played a total of 11 seasons, for six different teams, the longest of which was the White Sox, for four years in two different stints. He compiled a grand total of 0.7 bWAR (0.8 for the Sox), and a career slash line of .228/.264/.381, for an OPS of .645. The 2009 season was, statistically, his best: a 0.8 bWAR. Defensively, he was solid, if unspectacular, for his career.

Except, of course, for that one play capping a miracle start. That one great Catch that seals Wise’s little corner of history, and his place of honor in the SSHP White Sox Hall of Fame.


 

Today in White Sox History: October 25

Blum of a blast: The longest game in World Series history ended soon after a midseason pickup made his mark. (YouTube)

1955 — Sox co-GMs Chuck Comiskey and John Rigney made their first trade: Shortstop Chico Carrasquel and center fielder Jim Busby went to Cleveland for slugging centerfielder Larry Doby, the left-handed power hitter the Sox had been lacking the previous three years. The deal also made room in the starting lineup for a rookie shortstop from Venezuela named Luis Aparicio.


1983 — Thanks to the most wins in the majors and a second-half run among the best ever, pitcher LaMarr Hoyt won the Cy Young Award. Hoyt was 9-8 at the All-Star break, then exploded to go 15-2 in the back half to end the year with a record of 24-10 and an ERA of 3.66. In addition, Hoyt pitched almost 261 innings with only 31 walks. He then threw a brilliant, complete game, 2-1 win over the Orioles in the ALCS in Baltimore.

Hoyt became the second White Sox pitcher to ever win the award, following Early Wynn. He easily outdistanced Kansas City’s Dan Quisenberry, 116-81, in voting points. Hoyt won 52 games for the White Sox between 1981 and 1983.


2005 — Game 3 of the World Series set the record for the longest by duration in history. The 14-inning game in Houston lasted five hours, 41 minutes and ended when another White Sox role player, Geoff Blum, belted a home run to give the club a 6-5 lead. It would end 7-5, with Game 2 starter Mark Buehrle picking up the save.

Today in White Sox History: September 27


Sept. 27, 1959 — The White Sox closed their championship season with a 6-4 win at Detroit and when the final stats were in, second baseman Nellie Fox pulled off a rare feat, leading all American League second baseman in fielding percentage, putouts and assists.                 


Sept. 27, 1963 — During the last home doubleheader, the White Sox caught on to the folk music craze sweeping the nation. Between games against the Washington Senators, the club had a hootenanny promotion where folk groups and singers held a concert on the field.


Sept. 27, 1967— The White Sox finished the season with the two worst teams in the league, the Kansas City A’s and Washington Senators, and fans could smell that elusive World Series.

However it all began to fall apart when the Sox dropped a doubleheader to the A’s (5-2 and 4-0) after rain postponed the game Tuesday night. The Sox, in the middle of a pennant race, got more than three days off, not having played since Sunday afternoon in Cleveland. Pitchers Gary Peters and Joe Horlen got tagged with the losses on “Black Wednesday,” but the final embarrassment was yet to come.


Sept. 27, 1993 — In front of a capacity crowd at Comiskey Park II, the White Sox clinched the Western Division by beating Seattle, 4-2. It was Bo Jackson who clubbed a towering, three-run blast that just dropped over the wall in left that was the difference in the game. The homer capped off an incredible comeback season for one of the finest athletes in history. Also in this game Sox starting pitcher Wilson Alvarez saw his streak of 30 consecutive shutout innings snapped when Seattle got to him for two runs in the eighth. The Sox went 94-68 and took the title by eight games over Texas.


Sept. 27, 2003 — In one of the highest scoring games in their history, the White Sox battered the Royals in Kansas City, 19-3. Pitcher Bartolo Colon won this one easily. Joe Crede and Carl Everett both had four RBIs.


Sept. 27, 2011 — Pitcher Mark Buehrle set the franchise record when, for the 11th straight season he made at least 30 starts, won at least 10 games and pitched at least 200 innings. Buehrle set the milestone during a 2-1 win over the Blue Jays. Those numbers were a testament to his ability, dedication and durability.  


Sept. 27, 2014 — The Chicago White Sox have had a number of great players over the decades. One of them was first baseman Paul Konerko, and on this day the Sox honored Paul with a ceremony and unveiled a sculpture of him. The numbers showed that Konerko was one of the best players in franchise history, hitting 432 home runs and driving in 1,383 RBIs. He was a six time All-Star, a World Series champion, the 2005 ALCS MVP and 2002 Comeback Player of the Year. Konerko would play his final game for the Sox the next day, and retired after 16 seasons with the club. In May 2015, Konerko returned to U.S. Cellular Field and had his No. 14 retired.   

Six Pack of Stats: Angels 9, White Sox 2

One swing of the bat: The home run off of the bat of Mike Thaiss (an 81.9% win expectancy) was all the Los Angeles Angels would need to take the series from the Chicago White Sox. (FanGraphs)

Eloy notches his first career triple and tallies home run No. 22 in an ill-fated loss to the Angels

Although the Chicago White Sox couldn’t find the series equalizer, Eloy Jiménez had himself a numbers game this afternoon.

3

The Tale of Threes:

Eloy Jiménez recorded his first career triple during the top of the fourth inning. With this three-bagger, Eloy has more triples this season than Tim Anderson.

However, Timmy still has a very admirable batting average well into the three-hundreds.

The worst of the threes is that the Angels take three of four games in this late-August set.

’95

Dylan Cease, born in 1995, threw 95 pitches in his eighth career major league baseball game.

5

In all eight major league outings, Cease has pitched at least five innings. Dylan works to save the bullpen, and if he can keep it up and possibly stretch it to six, the bullpen arms will be as sharp as ever. In a game where long starts are needed, Cease provides a bright spot for the future.

22

One-out in the ninth inning, Eloy hit another opposite-field home run in back-to-back games. Lucky No. 22 lands just above the yellow line on the padding of the right field’s wall.

.056

Mike O’Brien, Jason Benetti’s partner-in-crime for this afternoon, dons Mark Buehrle as his favorite baseball player. No. 56 inspired Eloy a little as Jiménez recorded the best WPA of the game for Chicago at .056.

25

The South Side pitchers gave up 25 runs in the four-game series. Allowing over six runs a game will be a habit that must be broken in order to contend in the future. It all comes with the growing pains of the game, and I am confident that these young ballplayers are going to go on a very special run.