The Chicago White Sox are a professional baseball team based in Chicago, Illinois. The White Sox presently play in the American League's Central Division in Major League Baseball. From to the present, the White Sox have played in U.S. Cellular Field, which was originally called New Comiskey Park. The White Sox are one of two major league clubs based in Chicago, the other being the Chicago Cubs of the National League.
They are most prominently nicknamed "the South Siders", differentiating from the North Side Cubs; "the Pale Hose"; and sometimes by the national media as "the ChiSox", a combination of "Chicago" and "Sox" (as opposed to the BoSox). Other nicknames include "the Go-Go Sox, a reference to 1959 AL champions, who got that nickname; "the Good Guys", a reference to the team's one-time motto "Good guys wear black", coined by Ken "Hawk" Harrelson; and "the Black Sox," the name attributed to the scandal-tainted team. Most fans refer to the team as simply "the Sox". The Spanish language media sometimes refer to the team as Medias Blancas for "White Stockings."
One of the American League's eight charter franchises, the Chicago team was established as a major league baseball club in . The club was originally called the Chicago White Stockings, after the nickname abandoned by the Cubs, and the name was soon shortened to Chicago White Sox. At this time, the team played their home games at South Side Park. In , the team moved into historic Comiskey Park, which they would inhabit for more than eight decades. It was there that, in 1919, the infamous Black Sox Scandal occurred.
A number of notable players have played on Chicago's South Side. Ed Walsh played all but one season in his Hall of Fame career for the White Sox, and owns baseball's lowest ever career ERA. Frank Thomas hit most of his over 500 career home runs for the White Sox. A number of other players ranging from sluggers Jim Thome and Ken Griffey, Jr. and pitchers Tom Seaver and Steve Carlton spent short parts of their careers with the team.
The White Sox also have a unique rivalry with their cross–town rivals, the Chicago Cubs. Prior to the 1960s, the cities of Chicago, St. Louis, Philadelphia, and Boston each had two teams - one in the American League and one in the National League - while New York had two National League teams and one American League team. The teams would only play in occasional exhibition games or in the World Series but never during the regular season, though fans would enjoy seeing their own team finish with a better record than the other. Philadelphia and St. Louis lost their American League franchises, while Boston and New York lost their National League teams, with New York later regaining a National League expansion franchise. Of these cities, Chicago is the only one to have never lost both of its baseball teams, giving the franchises a unique rivalry that has endured over a century of continuous existence. In North American professional team sports, no two teams have existed in the same city for as long. And with the advent of interleague play, the teams now play each other six times each year.
In , the Western League changed its name to the American League. It was still officially a minor league, subject to the governing National Agreement and an underling of the National League. The NL actually gave permission to the AL to put a team in Chicago, provided he not use the city name in the team's branding. Comiskey moved his St. Paul club to the Near South Side and renamed it the White Stockings, grabbing a nickname that had once been used by the Chicago Cubs. The White Stockings won the 1900 American League pennant, the final WL/AL championship season as a minor league. After the season, the AL declined to renew its membership in the National Agreement and declared itself a major league. The war was on.
After acquiring a number of stars from the older league, including pitcher and manager Clark Griffith, the White Stockings also captured the AL's first major-league pennant the next year, in . Headline editors at the Chicago Tribune sports department immediately began shortening the name to "White Sox," and the team officially adopted the shorter name in . The name change to the White Sox was brought on after scorekeeper Christoph Hynes wrote White Sox at the top of a scorecard rather than White Stockings, this scorecard was then seen by the press. The White Sox would continue to be built on pitching and defense in the following years, led by pitching workhorse Ed Walsh, who routinely pitched over 400 innings each season in his prime.
The White Sox spent the next decade alternating between solid and mediocre seasons. During this time, however, they acquired a solid core of players such as catcher Ray Schalk, shortstop / third baseman Buck Weaver, and pitchers Eddie Cicotte, Red Faber and Reb Russell.
The Sox roared through the American League in with a record of 100-54--still a franchise record for wins and winning percentage--and won the pennant by 9 games over the Boston Red Sox. Their offense, led by Collins (.289, 91 runs), Felsch (.308, 102 RBI) and Jackson (.301, 91 runs), was 1st in runs scored. The Sox pitching staff, led by Eddie Cicotte (28-12 1.53 ERA), Williams (17-8 2.97 ERA), Red Faber (16-13 1.92 ERA) and Reb Russell (15-5 1.95 ERA), ranked 1st with a 2.16 ERA.
The Sox faced the 98-56 New York Giants in the World Series. The Sox won Game 1 of the Series in Chicago 2-1 behind a complete game by Cicotte. Felsch hit a home run in the 4th inning that provided the winning margin. The Sox beat the Giants in Game 2 by a score of 7-2 behind another complete game effort by Faber to take a 2-0 lead in the series.
Back in New York for Game 3, Cicotte again threw a complete game, but the Sox could not muster a single run against Giants starter Rube Bensen and lost 2-0. In Game 4 the Sox were shut out again 5-0 by Ferdie Schupp. Faber threw another complete game, but the Series was going back to Chicago even at 2-2.
Reb Russell started Game 5 in Chicago, but only faced 3 batters before giving way to Cicotte. Going into the bottom of the 7th inning, Chicago was down 5-2, but they rallied to score 3 in the 7th and 3 in the 8th to win 8-5. Red Faber pitched the final 2 innings for the win. In Game 6 the Sox took an early 3-0 lead and on the strength of another complete game victory from Faber (his third of the Series) won 4-2 and clinched the World Championship. Eddie Collins was the hitting hero, batting .409 over the 6 game series while Cicotte and Faber combined to pitch 50 out of a total 52 World Series innings to lead the staff.
However, just before the Series, it became known that some big money was being bet on the Reds, fueling talk that the Series was fixed. The Sox lost to the Reds in eight games.
Rumors of a fix continued unabated through the campaign, even as the Sox roared through the season and appeared on their way to a third pennant in four years. The team's pitching was particularly strong that year; the 1920 White Sox pitching staff was the first in the majors to feature four 20-game winners. In September 1920, an investigation into a fixed Cubs game eventually turned in the direction of the 1919 Series. During the investigation, Cicotte and Jackson confessed. Comiskey, who himself had turned a blind eye to the rumors previously, was compelled to suspend the remaining seven players (Gandil, eventually perceived as the ringleader, the one "connected" to the gamblers, had retired after the 1919 season) before their last season series against the St. Louis Browns. The suspensions ground the team to a halt; they lost two out of three games to the Browns and finished second, two games behind the Cleveland Indians. However, the evidence of their involvement (signed confessions) disappeared from the Cook County courthouse, and lacking that tangible evidence, a criminal trial (whose scope was limited to the question of defrauding the public) ended in acquittals of all the players. Regardless, with the public's trust of the game of baseball at stake, newly-installed Commissioner of Baseball Kenesaw Mountain Landis banned all the accused from baseball for life.
The White Sox finally became competitive again under popular manager Jimmy Dykes, who led them from 1934 to 1946 -- still the longest managerial tenure in team history. However, the White Sox didn't completely recover from their malaise until the team was rebuilt in the 1950s under managers Paul Richards, Marty Marion, and Al Lopez.
Due to Veeck's arrival in 1959, Comiskey Park instantly became a ballpark filled with a series of fan-friendly promotional stunts which helped draw record crowds, the most obvious being the exploding fireworks Veeck installed in the scoreboard to celebrate home runs and victories. Unlike Charles Comiskey, Veeck was also considered a player-friendly owner, and players enjoyed playing for him.
During the 1950s, the team had begun to restore its respectability utilizing an offensive philosophy emphasizing speed and a spectacular style of defense. Perennial All-Star Minnie Miñoso, a former Negro Leaguer who became the Sox' first black player in , personified both aspects, leading the league in stolen bases while hitting over .300 and providing terrific play in left field. The additions of rookie shortstop Luis Aparicio in 1956 and manager Al Lopez in 1957 continued the strengthening of the team, joining longtime team standouts such as Nellie Fox at second base, pitchers Billy Pierce and Virgil Trucks, and catcher Sherm Lollar.
In 1959, the team won its first pennant in 40 years, thanks to the efforts of several eventual Hall of Famers – Lopez, Aparicio, Fox (the league MVP), and pitcher Early Wynn, who won the Cy Young Award at a time when only one award was presented for both leagues. The White Sox would also acquire slugger Ted Kluszewski, a local area native, from the Pittsburgh Pirates for the final pennant push. Kluszewski gave the team a much-needed slugger for the stretch run, and he hit nearly .300 for the White Sox in the final month. Lopez had also managed the Cleveland Indians to the World Series in 1954, making him the only manager to interrupt the New York Yankees pennant run between 1949 and 1964.
After the pennant-clinching victory, Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley, a life-long White Sox fan, ordered his fire chief to set off the city's air raid sirens. Many Chicagoans became fearful and confused since 1959 was the height of the Cold War; however, they relaxed somewhat upon realizing it was part of the White Sox' celebration. The Sox won Game 1 of the World Series 11-0 on the strength of Kluszewski's two home runs, their last postseason home win until 2005. The Los Angeles Dodgers, however, won three of the next four games and captured their first World Series championship since moving to the west coast in 1958. 92,706 fans witnessed Game 5 of the World Series at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, the most ever to attend a World Series game, or for that matter any non-exhibition major league baseball game. The White Sox won that game 1-0 over the Dodgers' 23-year-old pitcher Sandy Koufax, but the Dodgers clinched the series by beating the Sox 9-3 two days later at Comiskey Park.
Although the White Sox had winning records every season from 1951 through 1967, the Yankees dynasty of the era often left the Sox frustrated in second place; they were league runner-up 5 times between 1957 and 1965. Health problems forced Veeck to sell the team to brothers Arthur and John Allyn in , and while the team continued to play well, many of the ballpark thrills seemed to be missing. The White Sox had several outstanding pitching staffs in the 1960s, with pitchers who had the best ERA in four different seasons -- Frank Baumann, 2.67 Gary Peters, 2.33 and again with 1.98 and finally Joe Horlen, 2.06 ().
The season was especially frustrating, as the team won 98 games, four more than 1959, including their last nine in a row – yet finished one game behind the pennant-winning Yankees, who had a late-season eleven-game win streak that opened up just enough room to stave off the Sox's final charge. The White Sox were also involved in one of the closest pennant races in history in 1967. After leading the American League for most of the season, on the final weekend, the White Sox, Red Sox, Minnesota Twins and Detroit Tigers all had a shot at the pennant. However, the Red Sox would assert themselves in the final weekend, beating the Twins to take the pennant by a single game. The White Sox would finish in 4th at 89-73, three games behind.
The experiment was staggeringly successful - those nine games drew 264,297 fans. In Chicago that season, the Sox drew 539,478 fans to their remaining 58 home dates (72 games, 14 doubleheaders). In just a handful of games, the Milwaukee crowds accounted for nearly one-third of the total attendance at White Sox games.
In , the league expanded from 10 teams to 12, and the Sox schedule in Milwaukee was likewise expanded to include 11 home games (again, one against every opponent). Although those games were attended by slightly fewer fans (198,211 fans, for an average of 18,019) they represented a greater percentage of the total White Sox attendance than the previous year - over one-third of the fans who went to Sox games did so at Milwaukee County Stadium. In the remaining 59 home dates in Chicago (70 games, 11 doubleheaders), the Sox drew 391,335 for an average of 6,632 per date.
Selig was denied an expansion franchise at the 1968 owners' meetings, and turned his efforts toward purchasing and relocating an existing club. His search began close to home, with the White Sox themselves. According to Selig, he had a handshake agreement with Arthur Allyn in early 1969 to purchase a majority stake in the Pale Hose and move them north to the Cream City. The American League, however, blocked the sale, unwilling to give up its presence in a major city. Allyn instead sold his shares to his brother John, who agreed to stay in Chicago. Selig would go on to buy the Seattle Pilots and move them to Milwaukee instead.
The Sox had a brief resurgence in , with slugger Dick Allen winning the MVP award; but injuries, especially to popular third baseman Bill Melton, took their toll and the team finished 5½ games behind Oakland, the eventual world champion.
Several lawsuits against Major League Baseball from Seattle over the move of the Pilots to Milwaukee, Wisconsin almost resulted in the Sox being moved to the Emerald City in . An elaborate scheme for a franchise shuffle soon came to light. The Sox were to be moved to Seattle, then the Oakland Athletics were to take the Sox's place in Comiskey Park. Oakland owner Charlie Finley was from nearby La Porte, Indiana. His A's had not drawn well during their Championship years in Oakland, California, and he wanted to bring them to Chicago. However, the shuffle collapsed when owner John Allyn sold the team to the physically-rehabilitated Bill Veeck. In , the Seattle Mariners were created, thus restoring the major leagues' presence in the Pacific Northwest.
The 1977 season would be a memorable one for the South Siders, led by off-season trade acquisitions Oscar Gamble (.297 avg, 31 hr, 83 rbi), Richie Zisk (.290 avg, 30 hr, 101 rbi) and American League Comeback Player of the Year Eric Soderholm (.280 avg, 25 hr, 67 rbi). The team, known by the press and fans as the "South Side Hitmen" hit a since-broken team record 192 home runs and were in first place in the West as late as August en-route to a 90-72, third place finish. They also drew a team-record 1,657,135 fans to Comiskey (since-broken as well). Manager Bob Lemon was named AL Manager of the Year by UPI for his efforts.
After the end of the season, free agents Gamble and Zisk signed with other teams. Veeck's attempt to replace them with Bobby Bonds and Ron Bloomberg fizzled as the team lost 90 games. Another tough season followed with 87 losses in (including the infamous July 12 forfeit on Disco Demolition Night; see Steve Dahl) and 90 losses in .
Veeck began building a farm system that produced several noteworthy players including Harold Baines and Britt Burns. But Veeck could not compete in the free agent market or afford what he called "the high price of mediocrity." By 1980, the Sox were looking for new ownership. Veeck favored Ohio real estate tycoon Edward J. DeBartolo Sr., who tried to buy several teams and move them to New Orleans. But he pleaded to buy the Sox and promised to stay in the South Side. Unfortunately, the only person blocking the transaction was baseball commissioner Bowie Kuhn, who thought DeBartolo would be bad for baseball interest.
Instead, Veeck sold the team to an ownership group headed by Jerry Reinsdorf and Eddie Einhorn. The new owners moved quickly to show that they were committed to winning by signing All-Star catcher Carlton Fisk from the Red Sox during the 1980-81 offseason. They also retained the club's young, relatively unknown manager Tony La Russa.
Perhaps to placate the fans, the owners launched a uniform design contest. The fans were given the opportunity to vote on the finalists. The winning design featured red, white, and blue with large bars.
Doug Rader, then manager of the Texas Rangers, derisively accused the team of "winning ugly" for their style of play, which reflected a tendency to win games through scrappy play rather than consistently strong hitting or pitching. Rader also thought that if the Sox played in the Eastern Division, they would finish 5th behind powerhouses such as Baltimore, New York, and Milwaukee. Chicago media and Sox fans picked up on the phrase, and turned "Winning Ugly" into the team slogan. While they had a great run in the regular season, they were not able to carry that over into the postseason as they lost to a powerful Baltimore Orioles team 3 games to 1 in the AL Championship Series. Hoyt led the Sox to a 2-1 victory in Game 1, but the Orioles clinched the series with a 3-0 ten-inning victory in Game 4. White Sox pitcher Burns pitched a "gutsy" game, throwing 9⅓ shutout innings before a home run by Tito Landrum broke up the game and the hearts of the South Side faithful.
Despite a number of innovations in its original construction - including a lower deck concourse that circumscribes the entire stadium, allowing a view of the game from any location - the park was often criticized for its sterile appearance and steep upper deck. The playing field's distance from the stands has also been criticized by Chicago fans accustomed to more intimate ballparks.
In recent years, money accrued from the sale of naming rights to U.S. Cellular has been allocated for renovations to make the park more aesthetically appealing and fan friendly. Notable renovations of early phases included: re-orientation of the bullpens parallel to the field of play (thus decreasing slightly the formerly symmetrical dimensions of the outfield); filling seats in up to and shortening the outfield wall; ballooning foul-line seat sections out toward the field of play; creating a new multi-tiered batter's eye, allowing fans to see out through one-way screens from the center-field vantage point, and complete with concession stand and bar-style seating on its 'fan deck'; renovating all concourse areas with brick, historic murals, and new concession stand ornaments to establish a more friendly feel. The stadium's steel and concrete was repainted dark gray and black. The scoreboard Jumbotron was also replaced with a new Mitsubishi Diamondvision HDTV giant screen.
More recently, the top third of the upper deck was removed in and a black wrought metal roof was placed over it, covering all but the first eight rows of seats. This decreased seating capacity from 47,000 to 40,615. 2005 also saw the introduction of the Scout Seats, redesignating (and re-upholstering) 200 lower deck seats behind home plate as an exclusive area, with seat-side waitstaff and a complete restaurant located underneath the concourse. The most significant structural addition besides the new roof was 's FUNdamentals Deck, a multi-tiered structure on the left field concourse containing batting cages, a small Tee Ball field, and several other child-themed activities intended to entertain and educate young fans. This structure was used during the 2005 playoffs by ESPN and Fox Broadcasting Company as a broadcasting platform.
Designed as a 5-phase plan, the renovations were completed after the season with the 5th and final phase. The most visible renovation in this final phase was replacing the original blue seats with green seats. The upper deck already had new green seats, put in before the beginning of the 2006 season. Beginning with the season a new luxury seating section was added in the former press box. This section has amenities similar to those of the Scout Seats section.
On July 11, as part of the celebration of Comiskey Park, the White Sox played a Turn Back the Clock game against the Milwaukee Brewers. The White Sox wore their 1917 home uniforms. This was the first Turn Back the Clock game in the major leagues and started what has become a popular promotion. New Comiskey park opened in 1991, and was completed at a cost of $167 million.
As in 1983 and 1993, this 2000 team could not carry its success over into the postseason, getting swept by the wild-card Seattle Mariners in the Division Series. Despite new club records for hits (1,615), runs scored (978), RBI (926), home runs (216), and doubles (325), the Sox managed to hit only .185 in the ALDS and failed to score a run after the third inning in any of the three games. In 2003, Comiskey park was re-named after cell phone company U.S. Cellular bought the naming rights at $68 million over 20 years.
Among the other changes that occurred in 2005 (and still seen in 2006) was the creation of a new marketing campaign, referring to the team's new style of play. 2005 saw a much-reduced reliance on power hitting (even though the team still hit over 200 home runs on the season), and a move toward speed and defense. This culminated in what locally became known as "Ozzieball" or "Grinderball". As part of the marketing campaign, the White Sox began inventing "The Grinder Rules", a list of fictitious "rules" created as a part of an advertising campaign, and a way of reminding fans about the changes to the team, and the success it was bringing. The first Grinder Rule became the team's motto for the 2005 season: "Win or die trying!"
The rules themselves are an "incomplete" list, as the numbers are somewhat random. They are collected from print, billboard, television, and radio advertisements, as well as advertising at U.S. Cellular Field, where the White Sox play their home games.
The ALDS also set the tone for what would be an unusually suspenseful post-season; while their first game was considered a blow-out, the remaining games saw the White Sox making the most of rare opportunities and hanging on to narrow leads. In the first inning of game 1, the White Sox put up 5 runs, and never looked back. A late inning three-run home run by Scott Podsednik - his first home run of the season, was the icing on the cake in the game 1 blowout. In Game 2, the White Sox were actually down 4-2 when Red Sox second baseman Tony Graffanino, formerly playing for the White Sox, let Juan Uribe's potential inning-ending, double-play grounder go through his legs; one out later, Tadahito Iguchi hit a three-run homer to left that clinched the game for the White Sox. In Game 3, Orlando Hernández entered the game with the bases loaded and nobody out with the White Sox ahead by only one run in the bottom of the sixth inning. Based on their regular season performance, it was later calculated that the Red Sox's probability of winning at that point was .662, even though they were trailing by one run. Instead, the first two batters, Jason Varitek and Tony Graffanino, both popped out, and Johnny Damon struck out swinging on a breaking ball. Hernandez went on to retire six of the next seven batters, and the White Sox's rookie reliever Bobby Jenks closed out the game.
In Game 2 on October 12, the teams were involved in one of the most controversial endings in baseball playoff history. With the score tied 1-1 with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, A. J. Pierzynski apparently struck out to end the inning. At first Pierzynski headed back to the dugout but ran to first base upon realizing that umpire Doug Eddings had ruled that Angels catcher Josh Paul (a former White Sox player) did not field the ball cleanly, meaning he would have to either tag the batter or throw to the first baseman to record the out (see uncaught third strike). Despite vehement protests from various members of the Angels, including manager Mike Scioscia, Pierzynski was awarded first base. Pinch-runner Pablo Ozuna replaced Pierzynski and stole second base. Third baseman Joe Crede then delivered a double on the third pitch to give the White Sox a 2-1 win. Overshadowed by that play was the 1-run, 5-hit complete game pitched by Mark Buehrle. Buehrle's excellent effort allowed the White Sox to capture their first-ever home victory in ALCS history.
Buoyed by their win, the White Sox traveled to Anaheim, California, where starters Jon Garland, Freddy García, and José Contreras (who had dropped Game 1 to the Angels in Chicago) pitched three more complete game victories consecutively over the Angels, giving the White Sox their first American League pennant since 1959. White Sox slugger Paul Konerko was named the ALCS MVP, on the strength of his two home runs, 7 RBI, and .286 average.
Especially in light of the evolution of the game, the White Sox four straight complete games was considered an unbelievable achievement. In fact, since José Contreras pitched 8⅓ innings in game 1, the White Sox bullpen saw a total of ⅔ of an inning pitched (by Neal Cotts) in the entire series. The last time four consecutive complete games had been pitched in a championship series was in the 1956 World Series between the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Yankees, and the 1928 Yankees were the last team to win four consecutive complete games in a championship series. In fact, the last time any major league pitching staff had hurled four straight complete game victories was near the end of the 1983 regular season, when the Texas Rangers accomplished the feat.
Game 1 saw Astros' ace Roger Clemens leave the game with a hamstring injury, and Chicago took advantage of its opponents' weakness, winning 5-3. Joe Crede especially made an impressive showing with his stellar defensive plays at third base.
Game 2 of the Series, as in the ALCS, saw the White Sox again involved in a controversial play. With the Sox down 4-2 in the seventh with two outs and two runners on base, the home plate umpire ruled that Jermaine Dye had been hit by a pitch, while the Astros argued (and TV replays confirmed) that the ball had actually hit the bat. Dye was given a free pass to first, and the next batter, Paul Konerko, launched a grand slam into left field to give Chicago a 6-4 lead. Houston tied the game on a two-run single with two outs in the top of the ninth, but in the bottom of the ninth, Scott Podsednik hit a walk-off solo home run off Brad Lidge to give the White Sox a thrilling 7-6 victory and a 2-0 lead in the Series. Podsednik was the first player in major league history to hit a home run in the World Series after not having hit any during the regular season. (He did, however, have a home run in Game 1 of the ALDS against Boston, making the World Series home run his second of the playoffs.)
The World Series then shifted to Houston for Game 3, in which Astros' starter and NLCS MVP Roy Oswalt cruised with a 4-0 lead until the wheels totally came off for him with a five-run fifth by the White Sox. The Astros managed to tie the game in the eighth, but repeatedly blew scoring opportunities in the next few innings. Finally, in the top of the 14th, former (and current) Astro Geoff Blum hit a tie-breaking home run; the Sox took a commanding 3-0 Series lead with a 7-5 victory in the longest World Series game in history (in terms of time; tied for most innings). Ozzie Guillén sent Mark Buehrle in to get the last out in the bottom of the 14th to get the save after he had started Game 2, and later remarked that he was set to send Pablo Ozuna (a position player) in to pitch if the Astros somehow extended the game.
Game 4 was a pitcher's duel between Freddy García and Brandon Backe. The game was scoreless until Jermaine Dye singled to center off of Brad Lidge, driving in Willie Harris for what turned out to be the winning run. This was the second game of the series in which Lidge had given up the game winning run (Podesednik's home run in Game 2). Game 4 also saw a spectacular defensive play by Juan Uribe, as the Chicago shortstop fell two rows into the stands in order to retire Chris Burke for the second out in the bottom of the ninth. Uribe also earned the assist in the final out of the Series on the next play, as he narrowly threw Orlando Palmeiro out at first to give the White Sox their first World Series crown since 1917. Dye was named the World Series MVP in the four-game sweep.
The White Sox championship run can be considered one for the ages. Apart from a brief shaky stretch in early September, the White Sox team displayed sheer dominance as evident by the wire-to-wire first place in American League. Only the 1927 Yankees and the 1984 Detroit Tigers were able to achieve such a feat. Their 11-1 postseason record was tied with 1999 Yankees as the best single post season mark. (Only Cincinnati Reds in 1976 had a better winning percentage by going 7-0.) Also, their 8 game winning streak (the four wins over the Angels and the sweep against the Astros) is tied with the Boston Red Sox (who won 8 games in a row en route to their 2004 World Series championship) for the longest postseason winning streak in Major League History. The White Sox also became the only team to win all three post-season victories on the road. Amazingly, despite their 105 year history, this was only the franchise's third World Series championship, (following victories in 1917 and 1906). It also marked their first pennant since the advent of divisional play in 1969 (the White Sox won the inaugural American League pennant in 1901, but this was 2 years prior to the first modern World Series).
Despite missing the playoffs, the team enjoyed numerous successes during the year. Following the Fourth of July weekend, the White Sox won both crosstown interleague series against the rival Cubs, taking the first two games of each series at U.S. Cellular Field and Wrigley Field. The White Sox finished interleague play with a record of 14-4, including a 7-2 mark in National League parks.
This was the first year a White Sox manager had led the AL All-Star squad since 1960, when Al Lopez led the team. In addition to manager Ozzie Guillén, the White Sox had six representatives at the 77th All-Star Game at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, the most among any club: starting pitcher Mark Buehrle, closer Bobby Jenks, catcher A. J. Pierzynski, first basemen Paul Konerko and Jim Thome, and right fielder Jermaine Dye. José Contreras was originally selected to pitch in the All-Star Game, but was replaced by Francisco Liriano. Guillen removed Contreras from the roster after a 117-pitch performance in a 19-inning game against Boston on the last day before the All-Star Break. As a result of Contreras not pitching during the break, he would set an unusual modern-day mark in Major League Baseball by starting two consecutive games.
Pierzynski was the last White Sox to be named to the team after winning the year's Final Vote, in which the fans select the 32nd and final player on both the AL and NL squads. Pierzynski is the second White Sox to be selected, following Scott Podsednik's nomination in 2005. Dye competed in the 2006 CENTURY 21 Home Run Derby; he managed to hit 7 home runs in the first round, but David Ortiz and Ryan Howard both surpassed that total to knock Dye out of the competition. Dye was only the fourth White Sox to compete in the Derby, joining Carlton Fisk (1985), Konerko (2002), and Frank Thomas (1994, 1995).
The White Sox drew 2,957,414 fans for an average of 36,511, third in the AL. There were a total of 52 sellouts, breaking the previous team record of 18. The White Sox also drew 75 crowds in excess of 30,000, another franchise record. The Sox had just one game with a crowd below 25,000: April 18 against the Kansas City Royals. On August 9 against the New York Yankees, the White Sox surpassed 2 million fans for the eighth time in franchise history and for the second consecutive year (1983, 1984, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, and 2005). Also, on August 30 versus the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, the team surpassed 2.5 million fans for the first time since 1993, and for only the fourth time in franchise history: 1991, 1992, and 1993. It is their 25th consecutive one million-plus attendance season and 46th overall.
There was a competition for the fifth starter's role between newly-acquired rookies Gavin Floyd and John Danks. Danks would ultimately win the role with a good spring showing.
At the conclusion of spring training, the White Sox opened the 2007 season at home against the Cleveland Indians. José Contreras would start the opener, marking the first time since 2001 that Mark Buehrle did not pitch the season opener. Contreras would be ineffective, giving up 8 runs (7 earned) on 7 hits over 1-plus innings in an eventual 12-5 loss.
On April 15, Sox pitching held the Cleveland Indians to two unearned runs and a hit, but the Sox would lose 2-1, raising concerns about the usually potent Sox offense. Scott Podsednik, the Sox' best hitter with a .303 average, would be placed on the disabled list with an adductor pull, compounding the Sox' offensive woes.
On April 18, Buehrle pitched a no-hitter against the Texas Rangers, 6-0. Buehrle's only blemish was a walk to Sammy Sosa in the fifth, but Buehrle would promptly pick Sosa off during the next at-bat. Buehrle secured his spot in the MLB record books when he forced Rangers catcher Gerald Laird to ground out to third baseman Joe Crede at 9:14 P.M. CDT, sending the crowd of 25,390 at U.S. Cellular Field into a frenzy. He would face the minimum of 27 batters using 106 pitches (66 strikes), with the one walk to Sosa and eight strikeouts. This was the first no-hitter by a White Sox pitcher since Wilson Alvarez did it against the Baltimore Orioles on August 11, , the first no-hitter at home since Joel Horlen's no-hitter on September 10, , and the first no-hitter in the American League since April 27, , when then-Boston Red Sox starter Derek Lowe no-hit the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 10-0. Jermaine Dye hit a grand slam and Jim Thome added two solo homers in the history-making night.
On July 6, the White Sox announced the signing of Mark Buehrle to a contract extension worth $56 million over four years. The move came after weeks of rumors of Buehrle possibly being traded.
Overall, the White Sox season was hampered by injuries and a team-wide hitting slump. However, the season was not a complete failure with Mark Buehrle's no hitter, Jim Thome's 500th home run, and closer Bobby Jenks 41 consecutive batters retired (tying Jim Barr's all-time record and breaking the American League record.) Jenks would later fall short of the all time record when Kansas City Royal's player Joey Gathright slapped a ground ball into left field just out of the reaches of third baseman Josh Fields and shortstop Juan Uribe.
At the end of the season, the team was half a game behind the Minnesota Twins at the top of the American League Central standings -- as a result, a game against the already-eliminated Detroit Tigers that had been postponed due to inclement weather was played on September 29, 2008. The White Sox won, necessitating a one-game playoff with the Twins to determine the division winner on September 30, 2008.
On September 30th, 2008, the White Sox won a tiebreaker 1-0 against the Minnesota Twins for the American League playoff spot after a diving catch from Brian Anderson. A game saving throw to home plate from center-fielder Ken Griffey Jr. to catcher A. J. Pierzynski on a flyout to keep Michael Cuddyer from scoring would keep the Twins scoreless through the top of the 5th inning. John Danks pitched on only three days rest and threw 103 pitches for 2 hits and no runs in eight innings. Bobby Jenks would close the game in the 9th. The only run of the game came from a Jim Thome home run, the 541st of his career. This was the lowest scoring tiebreaker game in MLB history. The White Sox are also the only team in MLB history to beat three different teams on three consecutive days: the Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers, and Minnesota Twins. They play the Tampa Bay Rays in the ALDS.
Although the uniforms in the very early days of the franchise featured a block "C" in red, the uniforms' primary color switched to a navy or midnight blue (on white) after a couple of years. Again, a block "C" was often the only adornment.
In 1912, however, the White Sox debuted one of the most enduring and famous logos in baseball -- a large "S" in a Roman-style font, with a small "O" inside the top loop of the "S" and a small "X" inside the bottom loop. This is the logo associated with the 1917 World Series championship team and the 1919 Black Sox. With a couple of brief interruptions, the dark blue logo with the large "S" lasted through 1938 (but continued in a modified block style into the '40s). Through the 1940s, the White Sox team colors were primarily navy blue trimmed with red.
The White Sox logo in the '50s and '60s (actually beginning in the 1949 season) was the word "SOX" in an Old English font, diagonally arranged, with the "S" larger than the other two letters. From 1949 through 1963, the primary color was black (trimmed with red after 1951). The Old English "SOX" in black lettering is the logo associated with the Go-Go Sox era.
In 1964, the primary color went back to navy blue, and the road uniforms changed from gray to pale blue. In 1971, the team's primary color changed from royal blue to red, with the color of their pinstripes and caps changing to red. Curiously, the 1971-1975 uniform included red socks.
In 1976 the team's uniforms changed again. The team's primary color changed back from red to navy. The team based their uniforms on a style worn in the early days of the franchise, with white jerseys worn at home, blue on the road. The team also had the option to wear blue or white pants with either jersey. Additionally the teams "SOX" logo was changed to a modern-looking "SOX" in a bold font, with 'CHICAGO' written across the jersey. Finally, the team's logo featured a silhouette of a batter over the words "SOX".
The new uniforms also featured collars and were designed to be worn untucked - both unprecedented. Yet by far the most unusual wrinkle was the option to wear shorts, which the White Sox did for the first game of a doubleheader against the Kansas City Royals in 1976. After being ridiculed by fans and pundits, and George Brett calling the White Sox "the sweetest team we have ever played," the White Sox retired the shorts, wearing pants in the nightcap and thereafter. The Hollywood Stars of the Pacific Coast League had tried the same concept at one time, and it was also poorly received. Apart from aesthetic issues, as a practical matter shorts are not conducive to sliding, due to the likelihood of significant abrasions.
Upon taking over the team in 1980 new owners Eddie Einhorn and Jerry Reinsdorf announced a contest where fans were invited to create new uniforms for the White Sox. The winning entry was submitted by a fan where the word "SOX" was written across the front of the jersey, in the same font as a cap, inside of a large blue stripe trimmed with red. The red and blue stripes were also on the sleeves, and the road jerseys were gray to the home whites. It was in those jerseys that the White Sox won 99 games and the AL West championship in 1983, the best record in the majors.
After five years those uniforms were retired and replaced with a more basic uniform which had "White Sox" written across the front in script, with "Chicago" on the front of the road jersey. The cap logo was also changed to a cursive "C", although the batter logo was retained for several years.
For a mid-season 1990 game at Comiskey Park the White Sox appeared one time in a uniform based on that of the 1917 White Sox.
The White Sox then switched their regular uniform style one more time. In September, for the final series at Old Comiskey Park, the old English "SOX" logo (a slightly simplified version of the 1949-63 logo) was restored, and the new uniform also had the black pinstripes restored. The team's primary color changed back to black -- this time with silver trim. With minor modifications (i.e., occasionally wearing vests, black game jerseys) the White Sox have used this style ever since.
On November 19, 2007, the cities of Glendale, Arizona and Phoenix, Arizona broke ground on the Cactus League’s newest Spring Training facility. The as-of-yet unnamed $76 million two-team facility will be the new home of both the White Sox and the Los Angeles Dodgers for their Spring Training programs. Aside from state-of-the-art baseball facilities at the 10,000-seat stadium the location will include residential, restaurant and retail development, a 4-star hotel and 18-hole golf course. Other amenities include 118,000 sq. feet of Major and minor league clubhouses for the two teams, four Major League practice fields and eight minor league practice fields, two practice infields and parking to accommodate 5,000 vehicles.
Some fans of one Chicago baseball team dislike the other team, while others consider themselves fans of both teams since they are in different leagues (believing "Chicago is Chicago"). Loyalties are often determined by longstanding family allegiance to one team or the other, or, almost as frequently, whether they live on the South Side or the North Side. In this, Chicago retains a local rivalry like those once experienced in other cities. Like Chicago and New York, Boston, Philadelphia and St. Louis once had crosstown rivalries, but have since been lost as teams moved in the 1950s to other cities (even the 1962 expansion New York Mets are a stand-in for the old Giants-Dodgers-Yankee rivalry), Chicago's rivalry is ongoing, dating from the old "baseball wars" of 1901, and no doubt now intensified by the recent White Sox triumph.
The teams have competed fairly equally for local fans for much of their co-existence. Through 2005, the Cubs have drawn greater attendance 60 times, and the White Sox 45 times, but the difference is primarily a recent effect, as the White Sox have only outdrawn the Cubs twice since 1984 (1991-92, the first two years after the current ballpark opened). The Cubs' attendance advantage in the last two decades can partly be attributed to the fact that their games began being broadcast nationally on WGN in 1978, creating a national following for the team and establishing Wrigley Field as a tourist destination, while the White Sox only returned to WGN in 1990 after a 22-year absence. (The Tribune Company, parent company of WGN, purchased the Cubs in 1981. Additionally, far fewer Sox games were initially shown on WGN after their return to the station.)
While Cubs attendance in 1981 had fallen below 10,000 per game, in Harry Caray's first season as the Cubs' play-by-play announcer (on both television and radio), attendance per game almost doubled (even though the Cubs finished 16 games below .500), and in 1983 the team enjoyed the 7th-highest attendance in its history despite falling 20 games under .500; in 1984, the team drew 2 million fans for the first time, a mark it has failed to reach in only one full season since then. On the South Side, in comparison, the White Sox management threatened to move the team to Tampa Bay in the late 1980s, banished fan favorite Andy the Clown from the ballpark, and owner Jerry Reinsdorf played a significant role in the 1994 strike. The introduction of a new ballpark that was quickly surpassed in aesthetics by stadiums such as Cleveland's Progressive Field, Baltimore's Oriole Park at Camden Yards, and Seattle's Safeco Field, also helped to demoralized the fan base. Roster moves, such as trading Harold Baines in 1989, the release of Carlton Fisk during a road trip one day after he broke the record for career games as a catcher, the 1997 White Flag Trade, and not re-signing Robin Ventura in 1998, also contributed to fan hostility.
2B: 1950-63 Retired 1976
SS:1930-50 Retired 1975
60-61,76,80 Retired 1983
68-70 Retired 1984
M:1946-48 Retired 1983
P:1949-61 Retired 1983
C:1981-93 Retired 1997
Retired by all
of MLB Retired 1997
Television broadcasts are split three ways: WGN (both the local feed and WGN America), WCIU-TV (a local independent station) and Comcast SportsNet Chicago. The announcers are the same wherever the game is televised: Ken "Hawk" Harrelson on play-by-play and Darrin "DJ" Jackson on color. Occasionally, well-known former Sox players such as "Black Jack" McDowell, Robin Ventura and Moose Skowron join "Hawk & DJ" in the broadcast booth. In an interesting note, Harrelson left the booth in 1986 to become the White Sox' general manager. Inept in the front office, Harrelson was summarily fired from the front office at the conclusion of the 1986 campaign and returned to the booth for the 1990 season, where he has worked ever since.
Games shown on WCIU are produced by WGN; the WGN logo on the time and score bug is replaced by "SoxNet."
The games are filmed through TrioVideo of Chicago, IL.
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