With the White Sox starting at 10:30 a.m. today, what better time to look back at the franchise’s most memorable morning game.

It really was a good morning for the White Sox and Jim Spencer on May 14, 1976.

Before the afternoon clock struck 12, Spencer tied the franchise record with eight RBIs in the Sox 18-2 win over Cleveland before 13,923 in a morning game at Comiskey Park.

The game started at 10:30 a.m. to promote McDonald’s new breakfast sandwich “the Egg McMuffin.”

Spencer was 3-for-3 with a two-run home run, a grand slam and a two-run single as the Sox banged out 17 hits.

The left-handed hitting first baseman did all that in four innings.

Spencer was given the rest of the morning off after the Sox grabbed an 11-0 lead.

“I’ve never had a half game like that in my life,” Spencer cracked.

Spencer joined Tommy McCraw (May 24, 1967) and Carl Reynolds (July 2, 1930) as Sox players with eight RBI games.

Spencer would duplicate the feat on July 2, 1977 and Robin Ventura had an eight-RBI game in September of 1995 while Yasmani Grandal had one in 2021.

Manager Bob Lemon pulled Spencer, robbing him of a shot at not only the club record but the MLB record as well.

“Next time he has eight, I’ll remind him,” Lemon said in the Tribune.

Spencer didn’t care in the least.

“It’s a long season,” he said. “It gave some other guys a chance to play. We might need ‘em someday.”

@SoxNerd follower @DJFrevs posted a great story that really speaks to the uniqueness of this game on my Twitter feed.


On his birthday, here’s a quick look at Joe Crede’s 2005 postseason for the World Series champion White Sox:

–Donated his glove used throughout the 2005 regular and postseason to the Baseball Hall of Fame

–Hit .289 (13-for-45) with three doubles, four homers and 11 RBI in 12 postseason games for the 2005 White Sox

–Hit go-ahead solo homer in the fourth inning of White Sox 5-3 win in Game 1 of the 2005 World Series

–Homered off Houston’s Roy Oswalt in White Sox five-run fifth in victorious Game 3 of the 2005 World Series

–Hit .294 with two homers and three RBI in the 2005 World Series

–Walkoff double lifted the Sox to a 2-1 series-tying win in Game 2 of the 2005 ALCS at U.S. Cellular Field

–Drove in the tying and winning runs in back-to-back innings of White Sox clinching Game 5 victory in the 2005 ALCS in Anaheim


Note: This is the latest in an occasional series where I identify a random White Sox picture without a date based on what’s in the photo

*The photo: White Sox icon Billy Pierce throws to Sherm Lollar between innings at Comiskey Park as future Hall-of-Famer Ted Williams of Boston observes

*The date: Aug. 23, 1957

*The situation: Pierce is preparing to face Williams to start the sixth inning at Comiskey Park

*What happened: Pierce struck out Williams to start a 1-2-3 sixth as part of a run where he retired 17 of the final 18 hitters he faced in the complete game victory. Pierce finished with a flurry after surrendering a home run to Jackie Jensen in the fourth in the Sox 4-2 win.

*The discovery: This picture — popular on the web because of its beauty — wasn’t as challenging as other pictures I have taken on in this series. I headed to Pierce’s baseball reference page, used the head-to-head matchup with Williams and discovered this moment in time based on the linescore on the scoreboard. I confirmed by cross-checking the games listed on the board as well.

*The matchup: Pierce striking out Williams, arguably the greatest hitter of all-time, was not all that unusual.

The left-handed Pierce was as tough on “Teddy Ballgame” as any pitcher. Williams struck out 14 times against Pierce, tied with Mike Garcia for the most by any hurler. Pierce held “The Splendid Splinter” to a .247 average, which was the lowest among pitchers Williams faced at least 52 times.

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A few nuggets on legendary White Sox pitcher Billy Pierce, who was born on this date in 1927:

 *A member of the franchise’s All-20th Century team, the Detroit native went 186-152 with a 3.19 ERA and a club-record 1,796 strikeouts for the Sox from 1949 to 1961

*The seven-time All-Star became the first White Sox left-hander to lead the league in strikeouts when he whiffed 186 batters in 1953

*Among Pierce’s 186 White Sox wins were three one-hitters, 35 shutouts and 98 victories at Comiskey Park

*The first White Sox first pitcher to start an All-Star Game (1953), Pierce set an A.L. record with five strikeouts in the 1956 Mid-Summer Classic

*14-15 with a 3.62 ERA with 32 games (31 starts) for the 1959 American League champion White Sox

-*Made his fourth consecutive Opening Day start (no decision) in the White Sox 9-7 win at Detroit on April 10, 1959

*Unscored upon three appearances covering four innings with three strikeouts for the White Sox in the 1959 World Series

*FUN FACT: Pitched the first eight innings then started the ninth at first base and returned to the mound after recording one putout before getting the final two outs in defeating the Yankees on June 25, 1953


13 days to Opening Day White Sox fans!

What better time to take a look at the players who wore No. 13 for the White Sox.

Here goes …

*BOB FOTHERGILL, 1932: Listed at 5-foo-10 and 230-pound, the outfielder was nicknamed “Fats” or “Fatty.”

*MARV GRISSOM, 1952: Wearing No. 13 on the 13th day of September 1952, Grissom struck out 13 Yankees in a 6-5 loss at Comiskey Park

*“BLUE MOON” ODOM, 1976: Combined no-hitter with Francisco Barrios was his last big league victory … On July 28, 1976 in Oakland, Odom fired five innings and gave up one unearned run with nine walks and three strikeouts before giving way to Barrios in the Sox 2-1 win

*HARRY CHAPPAS, 1979-1980: The 5-7 shortstop hit his only home run in 1979. … Prior to that, the last time a shorter Sox player homered was 5-6 Walt “No Neck” Williams in 1972

*JAMIE QUIRK, 1984: One of 16 players in White Sox history with at least one RBI and no hits

*OZZIE GUILLEN, 1985-1997: Only Sox player to make his big league debut wearing 13. … Ozzie was a big part of my “Sox and Friday The 13th” blog https://soxnerd.wordpress.com/2021/08/14/the-white-sox-and-friday-the-13th/

*ANTONIO OSUNA, 2002: Tied Keith Foulke for the White Sox lead with 11 saves in 2002. … Nickname was “El Canon.”

*WILLIE HARRIS, 2003: Surrendered the number and switched to No. 1 when Guillen returned to the Sox as manager in 2004.


21 days to Opening Day White Sox fans!

Here are some nuggets on each player who wore 21 for the Sox:

*Zack Collins: Homered in his first big league at bat on June 21, 2019 at Texas

*Welington Castillo: Homered in his final big league at bat on Sept. 29, 2018

*Todd Frazier: Set Sox record for third basemen with 40 homers in 2016

*Tyler Flowers: Homer off James Shields accounted for the Sox only run in a 1-0 win over Kansas City on Opening Day

*Esteban Loaiza: Represented the Sox and was the American League’s starting pitcher in the 2003 All-Star Game at US Cellular Field

*Cal Eldred: The last pitcher from Iowa to play for the Sox (April 11, 2001) … His win on June 22, 2000 vs. Minnesota at Comiskey Park was the last by an Iowan for the Sox. … Eldred’s shutout of the Twins on June 28, 2000 was the last by a Sox pitcher from the Hawkeye State.

*Scott Sanderson: Gave up Dan Pasqua’s 484-foot homer at Comiskey Park on April 27, 1991 while pitching for the Yankees

*George Bell: Led the 1992 Sox with 25 homers

*Joey Cora: After wearing 21 in 1991, he switched to 28 in 1992 and wore it until 1994

*Matt Stark: Led the Sox Double-A Birmingham affiliate with 109 RBI in 1990. Frank Thomas was fourth with 72

*Robin Ventura: Switched to 23 after wearing 21 in 1989 and 1990

*Gary Redus: Hit the final walkoff grand slam at Comiskey Park on June 4, 1988

*Todd Cruz: Regular shortstop in 1980, Tony La Russa’s first full season as manager

*Rusty Torres: Eight homers in 1979 ranked fifth among Sox switch-hitters at the time

*Bart Johnson: Made his big league debut at age 19 in a start against the Seattle Pilots on Sept. 8, 1969 (loss)

*Lee Maye: Singled as a pinch-hitter off the Twins Jim Perry, in the midst of his Cy Young season, in his Sox debut on Sept. 13, 1970

*Dan Osinski: Only Western Illinois University product to pitch for the Sox

*Jim O’Toole: Only product of Chicago’s Leo High School to play in the Major Leagues

*Ray Herbert: Winning pitcher in the 1962 All-Star Game at Wrigley Field

*Gerry Staley: Led the American League with 15 saves for the 1959 pennant winning Sox

*Bob Powell: Appeared in two games for the Sox (one in 1955 and one in 1957) with no at bats. He did score a run as a pinch-runner in his final appearance on April 20, 1957.

*Stan Jok: Homered in his final start for the White Sox in the first game of a doubleheader split with Baltimore at Comiskey Park

*Sammy Esposito: Fenger High School and Indiana University product was 0-for-2 in the 1959 World Series

*Bud Stewart: At age 37, he was the oldest player to homer for the Sox in five years in 1954

*Eddie Smith: Lefty pitched the eighth and ninth innings in his All-Star debut in 1941 and earned the victory to become the first White Sox pitcher to win an All-Star Game. … Relieved Washington’s Sid Hudson with the National League leading 3-2 in the eighth. The NL extended the lead to 5-2 after scoring two off Smith in the eighth but the AL scored one in the eighth and four in the ninth to pull out a 7-5 win to give Smith the win. … Struck out Pete Reiser looking to start the eighth to become the first White Sox pitcher to record a strikeout in an All-Star Game. … Yielded a two-run homer to Arky Vaughn — first surrendered by a White Sox pitcher in an All-Star Gameafter striking out a looking Enos Slaughter. … After giving up the homer, he was charged with an error – the first by a White Sox player in an All-Star Game — when he failed to touch first base on Billy Herman’s grounder but retired Harry Danning to end the inning. … Worked a perfect top of the ninth, retiring Claude Passeau, Cookie Lavagetto and Terry Moore. …  Gave up two runs on two hits with two strikeouts (no walks) in two innings.

*Les Tietje: Winning pitcher in what could have been the hottest game in White Sox history. With temperatures in Chicago reaching a record 105, the right-hander turned in a complete game in the Sox 4-1 win over Washington at Comiskey Park on July 24, 1934.


23 days to Opening Day White Sox fans!

23 random facts on Robin Ventura, one of the Sox most popular No. 23s:

1. His NCAA record 58-game hitting streak at Oklahoma State was halted by future Sox teammate Jack McDowell of Stanford

2. He was a member of the gold-medal winning 1988 Olympic baseball team

3. The Sox made him the 10th overall pick of the June 1988 draft. He was selected right after the Cubs took Ty Griffin

4. Ventura played just 129 minor league games at Birmingham (AA) before debuting for the Sox on Sept. 12, 1989

5. Ventura’s manager at Birmingham was Sox Gold Glove-winning outfielder Ken “The Bandi” Berry

6. Ventura walked in his first big league plate appearance off Baltimore’s Pete Harnisch on Sept. 12, 1989 in the Sox 11-1 win over the Orioles

7. Ventura collected his first big league hit later in that game with a single off Olympic teammate Ben McDonald. He plated Steve Lyons with that hit for his first RBI

8. Ventura made the first of his seven opening day starts at third base for the Sox in 1990. Only Willie Kamm made more Sox opening day starts at third than Ventura

9. Ventura hit his first career homer off Boston’s Roger Clemens on April 18, 1990 at Comiskey Park

10. Ventura suffered through an 0-for-41 skid in 1990

11. Despite that drought, Ventura finished seventh in the American League Rookie of the Year voting

12. Ventura is the career leader among Oklahoma State products with 1,885 hits

13. Ventura is the only Sox third baseman with a 100-RBI season (2)

14. Ventura set a Sox record for third basemen with 34 home runs in 1996 (since broken)

15. Ventura, Todd Frazier, Joe Crede and Bill Melton are the only Sox third basemen with a 30-homer season

16. Ventura is a six-time Gold Glove winner, which is second in Sox history to shortstop Luis Aparicio’s seven

17. Celebrated his 25th birthday with his first All-Star selection. … Replaced Wade Boggs in the bottom of the fourth and played the rest of the game at third base. … Went 2-for-2 with a run, a double and an RBI for the first multi-hit game by Sox player in an All-Star Game since Richie Zisk in 1977. … Doubled to first off Fred McGriff’s glove (against Bob Tewskbury) in the sixth to score Carlos Baerga. … Double was the first by a White Sox player in an All-Star Game since Zisk in 1977. … Became the fifth White Sox player to hit safely in his first All-Star plate appearance (Chico Carrasquel 1951, Sherm Lollar 1956, Ron Kittle 1983, Harold Baines 1985) and the sixth to hit safely in his first All-Star at bat (Jimmy Dykes 1933, Chico Carrasquel 1951, Sherm Lollar 1956, Ron Kittle 1983, Harold Baines 1985). … Singled to center off Doug Jones with no out in the eighth and was eventually forced at third. … Handled two chances (one putout, one assist) without an error.

18. Ventura was the first Sox third baseman to homer in the postseason (Game 5 1993 ALCS)

19. Ventura is the only Sox first-round pick to manage the team (full-time)

20. Ventura wore 21 in 1989 and 1990 before switching to 23

21. Ventura is tied with Paul Konerko for the all-time Sox lead with 10 grand slams

22. Ventura hit the first walkoff grand slam at New Comiskey Park/US Cellular Field/Guaranteed Rate Field on July 31, 1991 off Texas’ Rich Gossage

23. Ventura hit .158 (2-for-19) vs. Nolan Ryan


I was not Maryland-Baltimore County of the #108Tourney.

A 16 seed in the White Sox Dave Region, I could not replicate the stunning upset the Retrievers pulled on No. 1 Virginia in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament in 2018 in the annual Twitter event staged by Section 108 (@fromthe108).

WSCR host Leila Rahimi waxed me 65 percent to 35 percent with over 2,400 votes cast.

Thanks to everyone for voting for me and for the vocal support throughout the day. Frankly, I did better than I thought I would based on the excellent work Leila does and her well-deserved popularity.

It’s just an honor to be included in the brackets.

Thanks, too, to the 108 crew for putting so much time and effort into this tourney. Their quality input ingot this thing is why this it is so popular.

Really this event shows how unbelievably robust and enthusiastic White Sox Twitter is.

Good luck to everyone else the rest of the way.

Look for me voting and promoting the tourney through its conclusion.


24 days to Opening Day White Sox fans!

Wearing No. 24, Yasmani Grandal has become the most prolific switch-hitting catcher in White Sox history.

Grandal set the single-season and career record in this category with his seventh homer while catching of 2020. He broke the single-season mark of six set by Dioner Navarro (2016) and Ben Davis (2004) and the career mark of the same number held by Navarro, Davis and Chad Kreuter.

Grandal has also hit more homers (31) than all of the other 13 Sox switch-hitting catchers combined.

Sox switch-hitting catchers Navarro (6), Davis (6), Kreuter (6), Adrian Nieto (2), Hector Gimenez (2), George Dickey (4) and Ken Silvestri (4) owned 30 homers prior to Grandal joining the Sox. The other five switch-hitting backstops — Hector Sanchez, Ed Fernandes, Raul Casanova, Dutch Fehring and Joe Sudgen — never homered for the Sox.

Grandal is fourth all-time among switch-hitting catchers with 172 homers behind Jorge Posada (275), Todd Hundley (202) and Jason Varitek (193).


On this date in 1995, the “Mock” Sox took the field.

Twenty-seven years ago today, behind starter Dennis “Oil Can” Boyd’s three strong innings and Shawn Buchanan’s “walkoff” single, the White Sox – absent of any union players – defeated the Kansas City Royals 4-3 in their Grapefruit League opener before 1,504 at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota, Fla.

With the owners and players still at loggerheads, spring training games went ahead as scheduled with teams fielding non-union veterans and minor leaguers.

The 35-year old Boyd, who hadn’t pitched in a big league game since 1991, gave up one run on four hits while striking out two.

“I feel good to be in a game atmosphere,” said Boyd, who indicated he was not worried about being labeled a strikebreaker. “It’s what I live for. I showed I can still pitch and that’s what it’s all about.”

The Sox tied the game in the ninth and then won it in the 10th on Buchanan’s RBI single. Among those in the Sox lineup were Pete Rose Jr., former Cub Fernando Ramsey, ex-Angel Kent Anderson and one-time Sox players Chris Cron and Bill Lindsey.


On this date in 1994, Michael Jordan went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts in an intrasquad game before 1,736 at the White Sox minor league camp in Sarasota, Fla.

Jordan who signed a minor league contract with the Sox on Feb. 7, batted sixth and played for coach Joe Nossek’s team.

In his first at bat, Jordan made good contact against James Baldwin but Warren Newson snared the liner in left with a backhanded grab.

In his final two at bats, Jordan was whiffed on offspeed pitches by Rodney Bolton and Scott Christman.

“It was my first game and I felt nervous out of element,” said Jordan,l. “Hopefully, I’ll get another chance and be a little more comfortable.”


Mixed emotions greeted the news that Julio Cruz had passed.

Of course, I couldn’t help but feel sadness for the death of the man. Cruz succumbed to cancer at the age of 67 on Tuesday.

I smiled, too because the way Cruz played made a lot of people happy, including myself and legions of White Sox fans.

The news brought me back to that wonderful night of September 17, 1983 at Comiskey Park.

The game was delayed 38 minutes at the outset and lowly Seattle was putting up a fight, but that didn’t dampen the spirits of the 45,646 on hand. After all, a win would clinch the Sox the West Division title and their first postseason berth since 1959.

It was only fitting that Cruz, the player who invigorated the team, scored the winning run on Harold Baines’ walkoff sacrifice fly.

Cruz gleefully crossing the plate with his fists raised in triumph with that historic run is one of the most iconic pictures in White Sox history.

Nicknamed “Juice,” he certainly juiced the White Sox after he was acquired from Seattle for Tony Bernazard on June 15.

The Sox were 28-32 when he arrived. The Sox finished the season 99-63. You do the math.

Sadly, the run Cruz scored was the peak for him with the Sox and the “Winning Ugly” Sox for that matter.

But if you need one moment to encapsulate who Julio Cruz was, look no further than that picture of him crossing the plate on Sept. 17, 1983.

Some @SoxNerd tidbits on Cruz:

*Cruz made his big league debut for the Mariners against the White Sox on July 4, 1977 in the Seattle Kingdome. That game was the first the Sox played indoors and Oscar Gamble’s homer was the franchise’s first under a roof.

*Cruz’s first hit was a single off Francisco Barrios. He was thrown out trying to steal by Jim Essian shortly thereafter.

*A switch-hitter, Cruz slashed .251/.311/.311 in 99 games for the 1983 “Winning Ugly” White Sox. He stole 24 bases in 30 attempts.

*Cruz’s first homer in Seattle was an in-the-park shot off the White Sox Ron Scheuler on June 26, 1978 at the Kingdome. … Cruz also homered off Sox pitchers Steve Trout and Jerry Koosman

*Cruz began the 1983 American League Championship Series vs. Baltimore 1-for-9. He did his best in that heartbreaking Game 4, going 3-for-3 with a walk and two steals in the 3-0 loss in 10 innings at Comiskey Park. … Cruz was the last player to steal a base in the postseason at Comiskey.

*Cruz’s only home run at Comiskey Park was a grand slam off Boston’s Bob Ojeda on April 28, 1984.

*Ed Sherman, a former Chicago Tribune White Sox beat writer, had poignant recollections of Cruz on his Facebook page. It’s public so check it out!


On this date in 1988, the White Sox acquired promising outfielder Lance Johnson and pitcher Ricky Horton from the St. Louis Cardinals for pitcher Jose DeLeon.

It took some time but this deal executed by general manager Larry Himes turned out to be a good one.

After struggling in 1988 and not making the club in 1989, Johnson blossomed into a productive player.

The product of Triton Junior College hit .300 over his final 50 games in 1989 and was in the big leagues to stay. Johnson hit at least .274 in each year between 1990 and 1994 in becoming a fan favorite.

He led the A.L. in triples in each season between 1991 and 1994 while covering a lot of ground in center field. Johnson was an important part of the White Sox A.L. West Divison championship season of 1993.

In addition to hitting .311 with 14 triples, Johnson swiped 35 bases and went 4-for-9 with a homer and four RBIs in the Sox two victories in the A.L.C.S.

And, along the way, he earned the nickname “One Dog” from Hall-of-Fame announcer Hawk Harrelson because of his number and baserunning style. The tag has endured as one of the most popular monickers in team history.

DeLeon had some good years with the Cardinals but he was nowhere nearly as valuable to his team as Johnson was to the Sox.

DeLeon made his way back to the Sox for the 1993, 1994 and 1995 seasons as an effective reliever.

Horton appeared in 52 games for the 1988 Sox before being dealt to Los Angeles for Shawn Hillegas on Aug. 30, 1988.


A look at the White Sox and Joe West, the MLB leader with 5,460 games umpired, whose retirement was announced on Friday:

*THE BEGINNINGS: The first time West worked a White Sox game was July 15, 1999 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. West was stationed at third base in the Cardinals 3-2 win in 13 innings.

“Country Joe’s” first Sox game behind the plate was a 7-0 loss at Cleveland on May 31, 2002. He called balls and strikes for Sox pitchers Gary Glover, Matt Ginter and Kelly Wunsch, who were throwing to Mark Johnson.

West’s first game at Guaranteed Rate Field came on June 30, 2003 when he worked second base in a 10-3 Sox win (the park was known as U.S. Cellular Field then).

Two days later, West was behind the plate for the first time in a Sox home game. He worked overtime going 12 innings in an 8-6 Sox win thanks to a two-run home run from Frank Thomas.

That was quite a notable game aside from West’s duties. The contest was the first for new Sox acquisitions Roberto Alomar and Carl Everett and featured Paul Konerko’s first career pinch-hit homer.

*HAPPY 100TH EJECTION! That game also featured the first Sox ejection by West, which was the 100th of his career according to @LFNJSinner who logged each of West’s tossings on Twitter https://twitter.com/lfnjsinner/status/1489684406851809288?s=21

Manager Jerry Manuel got the heave-ho for disputing a fair/foul call on a home run in the first inning. It was Manuel’s seventh ejection of the season and the 14th of his career.

Manuel was irked that the home run was not called fair until Twins manager Ron Gardenhire complained to umpires.

The Sox believed the home run hit the pad in foul territory and not the foul pole as was ruled.

“(Catcher) Sandy (Alomar) got me run,” said Manuel, who indicated the call was correct. “He told me it hit the pad (in foul territory).”

The ejection was one of a career-high 11 West would have that season.

*SOX EJECTIONS: West ejected Sox personnel 10 times (he finished his career with 196).

After Manuel, West sent Ozzie Guillen to the showers three times (June 24, 2007, June 23, 2009 and May 26, 2010), Tim Anderson (Sept. 22, 2018 and April 17, 2019), Rick Renteria (Sept. 22, 2018 and April 17, 2019) twice and Mark Buehrle (May 26, 2010) and Robin Ventura (Aug. 15, 2015) once. 

West tossed Tony La Russa three times when he was manager of the Cardinals (July 5, 1998, July 18, 2002 and Sept. 25, 2010).

*THE MOMENT: West’s most celebrated incident with the White Sox came on May 26, 2010 in Cleveland when he ejected Guillen and Buehrle from his perch at first base for arguing.

At issue were the two balks West called on Buehrle.

Guillen was ejected after West’s first balk call in the opening inning. The call prompted an exchange between Buehrle and West during which Guillen approached West.

According to reports of the day, Guillen wanted to know why West was disrespecting his pitcher. When Guillen did not return to the dugout when West told him to, an animated Guillen was tossed.

“Ozzie came out to protect his pitcher, which was probably a good idea at the time, because Buehrle was drawing lines in dirt on the mound (to show he was within the rules of a legal throw to first), and he was about to get ejected then,” West told the ESPN 1000. “(Guillen) said he was out there not to argue the balk but to protect his pitcher, which he should come out in that situation.

“I said, ‘Everything is OK now, Ozzie, you can go back to the dugout.’ And he got mad because I told him you can go back. He used a few profanity-laced lines that got him ejected.”

Said Guillen: “I never criticized him about the call. I never did. That’s his call and I always respect that. I say what I feel about that particular moment. I think what I said was right.”

Ozzie was in the clubhouse when Buehrle was thrown out by West two innings later after a second balk call.

West’s thumb came when an increasingly agitated Buehrle threw his mitt to the ground.

“I think he’s too worried about promoting his CD and I think he likes seeing his name in the papers a little bit too much instead of worrying about the rules,” Buehrle said of West, who dabbles a country music singer.

West said he hated to see Buehrle leave the game.

“(That) is what’s kind of disheartening,” West said. “This is one of the fastest-working pitchers in the world. We’re not trying to get him out of the game. As soon as I kicked him out of the game, I was thinking, ‘This is great, now how long is this game going to take?’

“We’re not looking to pick on anybody. The simple fact of the matter is he balked. He didn’t like it, he threw his glove and that’s what happened. Things like that happen. I don’t hold any ill will toward him or Ozzie. I think it’s one of those things that just happened.”

West, Buehrle and Guillen were all fined by MLB over the incident.

“I didn’t say anything. I didn’t touch anybody. I didn’t do anything to cause anything,” Buehrle told the Associated Press upon learning of the fine. “I figured there was going to be a fine because no matter what, you get tossed from a game no matter what it is, there’s always a fine. That’s what I assumed I was getting. If I was getting suspended, I think I would have been surprised, yeah.”

Said West when asked of the fine:”I will say that’s none of your business.”

*PILING ON: Longtime White Sox announcer Ken “Hawk” Harrelson fashioned one of his best rants during these incidents, which were broadcast on WGN-TV.

“Joe just get over there and umpire.”

“Joe is looking for problems.”

“I’ll tell you the last couple of years Mr. West has had some problems with the White Sox.”

“He’s a joke. He’s becoming a joke is what he’s doing. He’s becoming a joke to the umpiring profession.”

“It’s getting to be that time for Mr. Joe West.”

“Joe West deserves a suspension. He needs a rest.”

“Joe West wanted to stick it up (Buehrle’s) behind and he did. He should be suspended. That is a flat out absolute disgrace to the umpiring profession what this guy has been doing.”

Here’s the rant: https://youtu.be/c2Nvy3SFs7M

Hard to believe that Hawk was effusive in his praise of West in West’s final season and said they had been friends for 10 years.

*STATS: Speaking of Buehrle, he was 1-0 with a 1.88 ERA in two starts with West behind the plate.

Other Sox pitchers’ performances with West calling balls and strikes:

–Freddy Garcia, 3-1 with a 4.91 ERA in five starts

–Jose Contreras, 1-0 with a 6.75 ERA in six games (three starts). This does not include Game 1 of the 2005 World Series where he gave up three runs in seven innings with West behind the plate.

–John Danks, 3-1 with a 2.87 ERA in seven starts

–Jon Garland, 2-3 with a 3.21 ERA in five starts

–Lucas Giolito, 1-1 with a 2.25 ERA in two starts

–Bobby Jenks, four saves in six appearances with a 0.00 ERA (eight innings). Counting Game 1 of the 2005 World Series, Jenks was unscored upon in seven appearances covering 9.1 innings with five saves and 13 strikeouts with West behind the plate.

–Lance Lynn, 1-2 with a 4.84 ERA in six appearances

–Dallas Keuchel, 3-0 with a 1.54 ERA in three starts

–Liam Hendriks, two saves with a 0.00 ERA in four appearances (one start)

*HE WAS THERE: Among the notable White Sox games West worked included …

–Harold Baines’ one win as White Sox temporary manager on Aug. 18, 2004 (Guillen was serving a suspension). West was behind the plate that day as he was on Harold Baines Day Aug. 11, 2019.

–seven games during the regular season of the White Sox 2005 World Series campaign

–the 2005 All-Star Game in Detroit where he called balls and strikes for Buehrle’s start and win

–Game 1 of the 2005 World Series at U.S. Cellular Field where he was behind the plate (also worked RF in Game 2; LF in Game 3 and 3B in Game 4)

–Game 4 of the 2008 American League Division Series (third base), which was the last Sox home playoff game prior to 2021. He also was also behind the plate for Game 1, in right field for Game 2 and in left field for Game 3).

–Tim Anderson’s “bat flip” game vs. Kansas City on Sept. 22, 2018  at Guaranteed Rate Field (second base) where he threw out (among others) Anderson and Renteria.

“I don’t have much to say about him,” Anderson told the AP at the time. “Everybody knows he’s terrible.”

*THE RECORD: The White Sox really did West right the night he set the record for most games umpired on May 25, 2021 at Guaranteed Rate Field..

There were graphics, video tributes, celebrities, flowers and, yes, boos, as West broke Hall-of-Famer  Bill Klemm’s 80-year old record by working his 5,376th game.

“It was tough to hold back a tear or two, but Tom Hanks said (in a ‘A League of Their Own’) there is no crying in baseball, so you can’t do it,” West told the AP. “It was a very nice thing.”

The Oak Ridge Boys, friends of West, sang the national anthem and other West pals the San Diego Chicken, Emmylou Harris, Mark Eaton, Jim McMahon and Larry Gatlin were on hand as was Commissioner Rob Manfred.

The warm fuzzies didn’t last long.

The next day West ejected Cardinals manager Mike Schildt, who was yukking it up with West less than 24 hours earlier. Schildt was sent to the showers for protesting West’s decision to make incoming reliever Giovanny Gallegos change his hat after detecting a suspicious substance.

This was the last game West worked at Guaranteed Rate Field.


Major League Baseball revealed Friday that umpire Joe West is retiring.

And Sox fans couldn’t be happier.


I re-tweted MLB’s picture of West with the news of his retirement accompanied by the quote: HE GONE.

The piling on began immediately.

Here’s a sampling of the comments to my tweet (which at last look had 597 likes, 13 quote tweets and 26 retweets, which is a lot for me). Subtitle this virtual booing …

For more visit my timeline at @soxnerd.


On this date in 1982, the White Sox made a little history when they became the first team to acquire a player with a pick from the free agent compensation pool which was part of the settlement of the protracted strike that fractured the 1981 campaign.

After losing stopper Ed Farmer to free agency, the Sox selected 21-year old catcher Joel Skinner, who was left unprotected by the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Skinner, the son of former big league pitcher Bob Skinner, was coming off a year in which he hit .266 with 11 homers and 63 RBIs for the Pirates’ Class-A Greenwood affiliate.

General Manager Roland Hemond made this choice with an obvious eye to the future because, as they say, Carlton Fisk wasn’t getting any younger.

Skinner was called up by the Sox for short stints in 1983, 1984 and 1985. He was was given the starting job and Fisk was moved to left field in 1986 -– Ken Harrelson’s only season as Sox GM — but never blossomed.

With Skinner off to a .154 start, Fisk regained his familiar spot behind the plate on May 12.

On July 30, Skinner’s time with the Sox ended when he was dealt to the Yankees in a six-player swap.

He returned to the White Sox organization in 2012 when he began a five-year managerial career in the minor leagues. He managed at Triple-A Charlotte from 2012 to 2015 and at Class-A Winston-Salem in 2016.


Note: This is the latest in an occasional series where I identify a random White Sox picture without a date based on what’s in the photo

The photo: A nocturnal shot of the Comiskey Park scoreboard from the must-follow Comiskey Crew Twitter account at @ComiskeyCrew https://twitter.com/ComiskeyCrew/status/1483580216589041666?s=20

The date: Sept. 5, 1990

The situation: Ozzie Guillen is set to leadoff the sixth in the White Sox 3-0 win over Kansas City in the 11th-to-last game at Comiskey Park … Guillen flew out as part of a 1-2-3 inning against Mel Stottlemyre decreasing his .293 average a bit

The discovery: I just had a hunch really.

Comiskey Park’s final season was 1990 and the Royals were the opponent.

One of the best games from that season was a Sept. 5 clash with KC so I was just hoping it would be that game and … IT WAS!

I confirmed my hunch by checking the scoreboard linescore and Guillen’s average in the pic against the boxscore and Guillen’s 1990 gamelog at retrosheet.org.

I never get tired of talking about, thinking about or writing about this game, which veered off into so many memorable directions.

This picture is a wonderful microcosm of the evening. If this photo were to be zoomed out, the park would be beautifully lit with the 19,526 on hand comfortably dressed because it was a gorgeous evening.

While the park was in its final days, this was hardly a somber occasion.

In fact, the place was electric. These final moments at “the baseball palace of the world” were more like an Irish wake with fans celebrating the park instead of mourning it.

There was a lot to celebrate this night as manager Jeff Torborg’s upstart collection of emerging talent and accomplished veterans were fighting to keep pace with the big bad Oakland A’s in the American League West.

As the scoreboard depicts, this was pitcher’s duel with Greg Hibbard matching Stottlemyre goose-egg for goose-egg while bobbing and weaving with the likes of George Brett, Bo Jackson, Frank White and Willie Wilson.

This scintillating game reached its peak with two outs in the eighth inning.

With the game still scoreless, the Royals loaded the bases thanks to a Kevin Seitzer double, an intentional walk to Brett and an unintentional walk to Danny Tartabull.

That brought Bo Jackson to the plate.

Torborg had one of the best bullpens in the game that year. Anchored by Bobby Thigpen and his record-setting 57 saves, the Sox relief corps was bolstered by ultimate setup men Barry Jones and Scott Radinsky and the workmanlike Donn Pall, Ken Patterson and Wayne Edwards.

Even with the righty Jackson facing the lefty Hibbard, Torborg did not make a change.

The fact that Thigpen had saved five games in the last six days made Torborg’s decision easier.

No problem.

It took all of three pitches for the slight Hibbard (6-0, 185) to vanquish the great Bo Jackson.

When Jackson, who would become a member of the Sox 210 days later, swung and missed at a Hibbard change for his fourth whiff, the fans went bonkers.

This truly was one of the last great dramatic moments at the oldest active ballpark in the Major Leagues.

After that finish to the top of the eighth, there was no way the Sox were going to lose.

A bases-loaded two-run single by rookie Robin Ventura and an RBI single by Ivan Calderon provided the Sox with their cushion.

The inning started with a walk to Frank Thomas, who was playing in his 33rd game and was already showing the discerning eye that would make him one of the most feared hitters in history. In addition that frame was moved along by a sacrifice bunt from … (scrawny) SAMMY SOSA.

By the way, that first Sox run was scored by pinch-runner Rodney “Scooter” McCray, who would gain immortality a year later when he ran through an wall as a member of the White Sox Triple-A affiliate in Vancouver.

God I loved this game. It had a little bit of everything, didn’t it?

The ninth was almost anti-climactic. Well, Hibbard made it feel that way anyway.

The crafty Mississippian needed just 10 pitches to retire the side in order to complete the four-hitter and the only shutout of his career.

In addition to all the drama, this contest holds tremendous sentimental value for our family.

This was the last game my wife, eight months pregnant with our first, attended at Comiskey Park, a place where we forged some of the most lasting friendships in our relationship.

Exiting the park I remember thinking I am going to tell my daughter she was part of one memorable and beautiful nights in the waning days of one of baseball’s greatest cathedrals.

All that from one picture!

The postscript: The second-place White Sox stayed 6.5-games behind Oakland when this night ended. This was the closest the team would get to first place the rest of the season. … Hibbard’s complete game shutout was the 466th by a Sox pitcher (787th overall) at Comiskey Park and the first by a lefty since Jerry Reuss on May 1, 1989. … The first White Sox shutout at Comiskey Park was by Hall-of-Famer Ed Walsh on Aug. 4, 1910, 35 days after the park opened. Walsh threw 16 zeroes against the A’s but had to settle for a no decision in a scoreless tie. … The first Sox shutout by a lefty at Comiskey Park was by Doc White against Cleveland … Hibbard’s blanking was also the first by a Sox pitcher against the Royals since Tom Seaver’s two-hitter on May 14, 1984. … Prior to Hibbard, the last lefty to whitewash the Royals at Comiskey Park was Jerry Koosman, Seaver’s longtime Mets’ teammate, on June 3, 1983. … Guillen’s average wouldn’t get over the .292 displayed in the photo the rest of the way. .

Note: As always, I am open to discussion and correction on this.

More on this game from me …


More features like this …


A few nuggets — @soxnerd style — on Francisco Liriano, who announced his retirement on Monday:

*Liriano was the last pitcher to no-hit the White Sox.

While pitching for the Twins, the left-hander struck out two and walked six as the Sox were no-hit for the first time in nearly a decade in Minnesota’s 1-0 win before 20,901 at U.S. Cellular Field on May 3, 2011.

*One year, two months and 28 days later, the Sox acquired Liriano making him the only pitcher to no-hit and play for the Sox

*Liriano’s no-no was the first against the Sox since Bret Saberhagen turned the trick on Aug. 26, 1991 in Kansas City. Robin Ventura, the Sox manager when Liriano no-hit the club, was 0-for-3 against Saberhagen.

*Liriano’s no-hitter was the third at New Comiskey Park/US Cellular Field/Guaranteed Rate Field and the first one by a pitcher not named Mark Buehrle

*Liriano’s no-no was the first by an opponent vs. the Sox in Chicago since Jack Morris’ gem on April 7, 1984 for Detroit … Andy Hawkins’ no-hit loss for the Yankees on July 1, 1990 at Comiskey Park is not considered an official no-hitter because it did not go nine innings

*Liriano’s two strikeouts were tied for the fewest in a no-hitter vs. the Sox with Cleveland’s Addie Joss on April 20, 1910 and St. Louis’ Ernie Koob on May 5, 1917

*His six walks tied Morris for the most against the Sox in a no-hitters

*Liriano went 3-2 with a 5.40 ERA in 12 games (11 starts) for the 2012 White Sox after being acquired from Minnesota for infielder Eduardo Escobar and pitcher Pedro Hernandez on July 28th

When he was acquired manager Robin Ventura’s team was riding a five-game winning streak and held a 2.5-game lead in the American League Central.

That 2012 team wound up being one of the most disappointing in recent Sox history.

With Liriano and many others faltering, the Sox flopped down the stretch. The Sox held a three game lead on Sept. 18 but finished the season 4-10 and wound up in second place, three games out.

Things got so bad for Liriano in September he was demoted briefly to the bullpen.

After going 2-0 with a 4.56 ERA in five starts in August, the native of the Dominican Republic was 1-2 with a 6.84 ERA in six games (five starts) in Sept./Oct.

His last appearance for the Sox was a loss on Sept. 25. He was tagged for four runs on seven hits in 3.2 innings as the Sox lost 4-3 in Cleveland and fell into a first-place tie with Detroit. A loss the next day knocked the Sox out of first for good.

*On the brink of free agency, Liriano was 3-10 with a 5.31 ERA with Minnesota when he was obtained by the Sox. That brought his record with the Twins to 50-52 with a 4.33 ERA with 788 strikeouts in 733.1 innings in 156 games (130 starts) from 2005 to 2012.

*Liriano made his last start for the Twins in 2012 against the Sox (loss) in Chicago and his first start for the Sox in 2012 against the Twins (no decision) in Minnesota

*His best outing for the Sox was a victory over the Twins on Sept. 15, 2012 in Minnesota that included a little bit of drama.

Making his second start against his former team, Liriano threw 6.2 no-hit innings before giving up a two-run home run to Trevor Plouffe, one of the Twins’ “Piranhas” as Ozzie Guillen used to call them.

He finished the frame but that was the extent of the outing. Liriano struck out nine and walked two in the Sox 5-3 win.

“To be honest, I wasn’t thinking about a no-hitter,” he said afterward. “I was trying to go deep in the game and throw less pitches each inning. … I was just trying to go deep in the game and give us a chance to win the ballgame.”

*Liriano actually turned his career around during his dark days with the Sox.

According to a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review article of Aug. 20, 2013, Liriano righted himself during his bullpen banishment.

“In the U.S. Cellular Field bullpen last season, Liriano watched teammate Brett Myers command his fastball with an over-the-top delivery,” the article said. “Throughout his career, Liriano had thrown with a three-quarters arm slot and struggled with fastball command. After watching Myers, Liriano decided to experiment with a more over-the-top style and found he had better control of his fastball from an elevated arm slot. In the winter, he practiced the motion over and over, building muscle memory.

“The result? Liriano has dramatically improved his fastball command this season in making a strong case for NL Comeback Player of the Year honors.”

That adjustment would have been nice in late August of 2012 instead of a month later.

After becoming a free agent, Liriano signed with Pittsburgh and did win the NL Comeback Player of the Year and received Cy Young votes in 2013 (16-8, 3.02 ERA).

White Sox nuggets