Today in White Sox History: March 19

Brief encounter: Chappas was a 1979 cover boy. Catching is Mike Colbern, who had an almost-identical career to the diminutive shortstop. (Sports Illustrated)


1979
White Sox shortstop prospect Harry Chappas appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated with the caption “The Littlest Rookie.” Chappas was all of 5´3´´. His career was as brief as his height: In three years he appeared in 72 games with 184 at-bats, one home run, two stolen bases and 15 walks.  

 

This Week in White Sox History: March 8-14

The Most: Johnny Mostil (left), one of the best outfielders in White Sox history saw things take a very bad turn 93 years ago.


March 8, 1948
WGN, channel 9 in Chicago, announced that it would televise White Sox games for the first time. Veteran radio sports broadcasters Jack Brickhouse and Harry Creighton would become the first White Sox TV announcers in history.


March 9, 1927
Popular Sox outfielder Johnny Mostil attempted suicide in a hotel room in Shreveport, La. Despite razor cuts to his wrist, neck and chest, Mostil survived and returned to the team in April although he’d only play in 13 games that season. In 10 years with the White Sox, Mostil would hit better than .300 four times. After his career he’d become a longtime White Sox scout/coach and help develop future players like All-Star outfielder Jim Landis.


March 10, 1995
After two stints at White Sox spring training and a full season in Birmingham, Michael Jordan announced he was giving up baseball. Part of the reason was because of his struggles with the game, but the other, larger part (as he explained to author Bob Greene, in the book, “Rebound, The Odyssey of Michael Jordan”) was because he was being pressured by Sox G.M. Ron Schueler to cross the MLBPA picket line.

With “replacement” games set to start, Jordan stated that he was told if he didn’t cross the line, he’d be banished from the main clubhouse. Jordan was furious, saying that he was promised by owner Jerry Reinsdorf he wouldn’t have to take that step. Jordan explained that under no circumstances would he ever cross a labor picket line regardless of sport: “I told them from the beginning that I didn’t want them to use me to make money in the spring training games. We had an understanding. It was never supposed to even come up. I was disgusted that the promise wasn’t going to be honored,” he told Greene. Jordan would return to the Bulls and win three more championships.


March 11, 1968
White Sox rookie pitcher Cisco Carlos was part of the cover shot for Sports Illustrated. The headline read, “The Best Rookies Of 1968.” Unfortunately, Carlos didn’t turn out to be one of them, either in the short term or the long one. In fact, of the five players on the cover only Johnny Bench and Mike Torrez made a name for themselves in the sport. In two-and-a-half seasons with the White Sox, Carlos went 10-17.


March 12, 1973
White Sox third baseman and former AL home run champ Bill Melton appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated. The headline read, “Chicago Comes Out Swinging. Slugger Bill Melton.” Melton would have a nice comeback season after missing most of 1972 with a herniated disc, hitting .277 with 20 home runs and 87 RBIs.


March 13, 2000
White Sox slugger Frank Thomas is again featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated. A lengthy story covered his career, controversies and his desire to return to the top of the game. The headline stated, “Don’t Question My Desire. Frank Thomas Comes Out Swinging.” Thomas would have a spectacular season in 2000, losing out on his third AL MVP to Jason Giambi, who’d later admit to using steroids in grand jury testimony. Frank’s numbers in 2000 included a .328 batting average, 43 home runs, 143 RBIs, 112 walks and a slugging percentage of .625.


March 14, 1994
Sports Illustrated took issue with former NBA superstar Michael Jordan and his attempt to play baseball. Jordan was on the cover of SI again, but in a negative light. The headline read, “Bag It Michael! Jordan and the White Sox Are Embarrassing Baseball.” From that day on, Jordan (who was always very cooperative with that magazine) would never speak to Sports Illustrated again.

Today in White Sox History: February 28

Feistmeisters: Two consummate red-ass managers descended on Chicago in 1966. (Sports Illustrated)


1966
White Sox manager Eddie Stanky appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated along with Cubs skipper Leo Durocher. The tagline read: The Lip and The Brat Invade Chicago. Stanky would have solid years in his two complete seasons as White Sox manager (almost winning the pennant in 1967), and he was considered a tactical genius when it came to the game. But his shortcomings in temperament, media relations and personnel management were his undoing. He was fired just 79 games into the 1968 season.

 

Today in White Sox History: October 31

No fun allowed: The White Sox got this World Series cover, but nothing after they actually won it all.


2005 — As the White Sox were winning their first championship in 88 years, Sports Illustrated put Scott Podsednik and his winning home run from the second game on the cover. The long caption read, “World Series. In A Match Up Of Two Title Hungry Teams, The White Sox Struck First, Dramatically Downing The Astros In Games 1 And 2.”

The magazine then basically ignored the White Sox winning the Series by only putting a small circle shot of the team celebrating in the corner of the following week’s cover, breaking a long standing tradition. The cover that week was Peyton Manning and Tom Brady as the magazine previewed a regular season NFL game.

Description: Description: Scott Podsednik, Baseball, Chicago White Sox
so gross

Today in White Sox History: October 24

(@WhiteSox)


2000 Ken Williams was named the new White Sox GM, replacing the retiring Ron Schueler. Williams, a former Sox player, would bring passion and heart to the position. He also wasn’t afraid to take risks, no matter how many times they failed. He built a World Series champion by 2005, which remains his signature moment in the organization.


2005 — The White Sox winning the pennant for the first time in 46 years, no less on the strength of four straight complete games, drew only a small cover mention in Sports Illustrated. In the upper left corner was a photo of Paul Konerko swinging with the caption, “At Last! The White Sox Are In The World Series.”

Today in White Sox History: October 3

Organ, grounded: Nancy Faust played her last for the White Sox in 2010. (Dan Kraemer/@DanCBS2)

1906 — The White Sox clinched the pennant while waiting out a rain delay in St. Louis against the Browns. When the game was finally played, the Sox shut out St. Louis, 4-0, behind Frank Owen. The Sox would end 1906 at 93-58-3, beating the New York Highlanders (Yankees) by three games for the pennant.


1993 — The Sox rung down the curtain at old Municipal Stadium in Cleveland by beating the Indians, 4-0. Jason Bere got the last win in the cavernous stadium, which was replaced in 1994 by Jacobs Field.


2005 — As baseball was wrapping up the regular season, Paul Konerko appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated sliding into second base in a game against Cleveland. The cover headine read: Playoff Scramble. Who’s Out, Who’s In? White Sox vs. Indians. Yankees vs. Red Sox. 4 teams, 3 Spots

2010 — Beloved by Sox fans for generations as the organist at White Sox ballparks, Nancy Faust played her last game as the team beat Cleveland, 6-5. Nancy took over as Sox organist in 1970 and in the ensuing 40 years rarely missed a game.

Her lasting contribution was unearthing a little known rock song in 1977 that turned into an anthem used by numerous pro and college teams. Nancy started playing Steam’s, “Na Na Hey Hey (Kiss Him Goodbye)” when an opposing pitcher was being removed from the game. It caught on like wildfire with Sox fans, and became one of the things identified with the franchise.

Today in White Sox History: September 28


Sept. 28, 1932J. Louis Comiskey, the new owner and son of Charles Comiskey, tried to rebuild his franchise by sending $150,000 (an unheard-of sum in those days) to the Philadelphia A’s for infielder Jimmy Dykes, outfielder Al Simmons and utility man George “Mule” Haas.

Simmons would become a member of the Hall of Fame in 1953, and in three seasons with the Sox twice drove in more than 100 RBIs. Dykes would eventually manage the team for more than 12 full seasons, beginning in 1934. He had five winning years and one season at .500 in that time, by Brett Ballantini’s managerial WAR the best manager in White Sox history.


Sept. 28, 1953 — The White Sox beat the St. Louis Browns, 3-2, behind Billy Pierce. It was the last American League game ever played in St. Louis, as the Browns moved to Baltimore after the season.


Sept. 28, 1959 — The White Sox team photo appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated. The caption read: “Chicago’s New Champions Sit For Their Portrait.”


Sept. 28, 1997 Frank Thomas won the batting championship with a .347 average. He joined Luke Appling as the only White Sox players to do this. Thomas was one of only a handful of players in major league history with a batting title and at least 450 home runs to their credit. Thomas was also the largest player (both in height and weight) to ever win a batting crown.


Sept. 28, 2003 — White Sox starter Esteban Loaiza recorded his 21st win of the season, beating the Royals 5-1. The 21 wins tied the major league record for the most wins in a season by a pitcher born in Mexico. Loaiza tied the mark set by Fernando Valenzuela in 1986.