@SOXNERD NOTEBOOK: KOPECH’S FIRST ROADIE!

Condensing, expanding and sharing the old @SoxNerd notebook …

Hopefully history repeats: Fireballer Michael Kopech makes his second career start and first on the road today for the White Sox in Detroit.

Do you know what Sox⁠ ⁠phenom and highly-touted and much-anticipated prospect Wilson Alvarez did in his second career start, which was also his first career road start on a Sunday afternoon in August?

HE THREW A NO-HITTER!

On Aug. 11, 1991 in Baltimore, Alvarez made his Sox debut by becoming the first Venezuelan, Sox rookie and lefty to toss a no-hitter in a 7-0 win at Memorial Stadium.

That’s a sweet little coincidence, don’t you think?

https://www.mlb.com/gameday/white-sox-vs-tigers/2018/08/26/531359/preview#game_state=preview,lock_state=preview,game_tab=,game=531359

*Crazy: The Milwaukee Brewers won in miraculous fashion on Friday night/Saturday morning with a relief pitcher scoring the deciding run in a victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The last time the Sox had a reliever score a walkoff run in overtime was when on Aug. 5, 1962 when Juan Pizarro crossed on Mike Hershberger’s 13th inning single in a 3-2 win over the Yankees before 44,444 at Comiskey Park.

*2 few: Kopech’s much-anticipated Major League debut Tuesday was cut short by the rain after two innings.

Prior to Kopech, the last Sox starter to go fewer than two innings in his MLB debut was Rich Barnes, who gave up six runs in 1.2 innings to the Brewers on July 18, 1982.

*The Pitts: White Sox catcher Kevan Smith hit his fifth career home run on Saturday. That tied him with Art Griggs for fourth all-time among Pitt products. … Dick Hoblitzell is tops among Pitt products with 27 bombs.

*Memories: On this date (Aug. 26) in 1925, Red Faber held Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig hitless in eight at bats in the White Sox 1-0 win over the Yankees at Comiskey Park. Willie Kamm’s double in the second scored Harry Hooper in the 12th to win it.

*Quick work: On Friday, Thyago Vieira became the first Sox⁠ ⁠pitcher since the late Daniel Webb on April 15, 2014 to retire the only batter he faced and earn his first big league win.

Webb used one pitch while Vieira used two.

*Memories II: On this date (Aug. 26) in 1935, Zeke Bonura’s straight steal of home in the 15th sent the White Sox to a 9-8 win over the Yankees in the first game of a doubleheader at Comiskey Park. Bonura’s fourth career steal came after Luke Appling scored the equalizer on a fielder’s choice earlier in the frame.

*Long-man Hector: On Aug. 19, Hector Santiago went four innings in relief and got a win.

That day Santiago

… turned in the longest by a Sox reliever since Dylan Axelrod went five innings on Sept. 12, 2013

… was the first Sox⁠ ⁠reliever to throw at least four shutout innings for a win since Jake Peavy on June 25, 2011 vs. the Nationals

… was the first Sox⁠ ⁠lefty reliever to throw at least four shutout innings for a win since Greg Hibbard on Sept. 7, 1991 at Texas

… was the first Sox⁠⁠⁠ ⁠lefty reliever to throw at least four shutout innings for a win at home since Wayne Edwards on Sept. 27, 1990 vs. the Brewers

*Southpaw saves: The since-departed Luis Avilan and rookie Jace Fry are the first Sox lefties with more than one save since Santiago had four and Matt Thornton had three in 2012.

*Top of the order: When Nicky Delmonico hit leadoff on Aug. 15 at Detroit, he became the first Sox first baseman to hit there since Brent Lillibridge on June 17, 2012

*Bottom of the order: On Aug. 12, Adam Engel joined Omar Narvaez (July 29, 2018), Tyler Flowers (Aug. 4, 2014) and Mark Teahen (April 12, 2010) as the only ninth place hitters in Sox⁠ ⁠history with a single, triple and homer in a game

*Michigan man: When RyanLa Marre homered Aug. 14, he became the first University of Michigan product to homer for the White Sox since Chris Getz went deep on July 9, 2008

That blast was also the first by a Sox Michigan native (Royal Oak) since Tom Paciorek (Detroit) touched ’em all at Tiger Stadium on Aug. 8, 1983

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WHITE SOX DEBUT REVIEW

With Michael Kopech up from the minors and poised to wow a yearning fanbase tonight, here’s a look at White Sox Major League pitching debuts … @soxnerd style (thanks to the baseballreference.com Play Index!):

*Most strikeouts by a White Sox pitcher in his MLB debut: 9 by Bob Weiland, Sept. 30, 1928 vs. Philadelphia (9 IP, 7 H, 5 BB, 9 SO) … Bob is a Lane Tech product!

*Last pitcher to make his MLB debut with the Sox: Jace Fry, in relief, on Sept. 5, 2017 vs. Cleveland (1/3 IP/2 ER, no decision)

*Last pitcher to make his MLB debut with the Sox as a starter: Dylan Covey on April 14, 2017 at Minnesota (5.1 IP/1 ER, no decision)

*Last time the Sox won a game in a pitcher MLB debut: April 14, 2017 at Minnesota (Sox 2, Twins 1 … Covey, no decision)

*Last Sox pitcher to lose his MLB debut: Chris Beck, May 28, 2015 as the starter in the second game of a doubleheader at Baltimore (6 IP/4 ER)

*Last Sox pitcher to make his MLB debut as a starter at home: Chris Bassit, Aug. 30, 2014, second game of a doubleheader vs. Detroit (6.1 IP, 4 ER … took the loss)

*Last Sox pitcher to win his MLB debut: Scott Carroll, April 27, 2014 vs. Tampa Bay (7.1 IP/1 ER) … That was a great day with Scott’s parents on hand to witness it

*Last Sox pitcher to earn a win as a reliever in his MLB debut: Jake Petricka, Aug. 22, 2013 at Kansas City (Got the only batter he faced to ground into a double play … Petricka also the last Sox pitcher to make his MLB debut in extra innings)

*Last Sox pitcher to take a loss as a reliever in his MLB debut: Heath Phillips, Sept. 5, 2007 at Detroit (2/3 IP, 1 R in the 11th at Detroit)

*Last Sox pitcher to throw a complete game in his MLB debut: Paul Edmondson, June 20, 1969 (second game) at Angels (9 IP, 2 H, 1/1 R/ER, 3 BB, 2 SO … Win) … He died in a car wreck shortly before spring training 1970

*Last Sox pitcher to throw a complete game and lose in his MLB debut: Charlie Barnabe, April 14, 1927 at Cleveland (8 IP, 7 H, 3/1 R/ER, 4 BB, 1 SO)

*Last (and only) Sox pitcher to throw a complete game shutout in his MLB debut: Weiland, Sept. 30, 1928 vs. Philadelphia (9 IP, 7 H, 5 BB, 9 SO)

*Last Sox pitcher to bat in his MLB debut: Brandon McCarthy, May 22, 2005 at Cubs (0-for-2, 2 strikeouts)

*Last Sox pitcher to hit safely in his MLB debut: Edmondson, 2-for-4 … Also the last pitcher to record an RBI and a multi-hit game in his MLB debut … no Sox pitcher has homered in his MLB debut

*Last Sox pitcher to earn a save in his MLB debut: Salome Barojas, April 11, 1982 at New York (3 IP, 0 H, 0 R/ER, 0 BB, 1 SO)

*Last Sox pitcher to blow a save in his MLB debut: Brian Drahman, April 16, 1991 at New York (1.2 IP, 1 ER)

*Last Sox starter to go at least 5/6/7/8/9 in a MLB debut: Covey/Beck/Carroll/Edmondson/Edmondson

*Last Sox pitcher to retire the first batter in his MLB debut: Aaron Bummer, July 20, 2017 vs. Cubs (struck out Anthony Rizzo swinging)

*Last Sox pitcher to surrender a homer to the first batter he faced: Brad Goldberg (Justin Upton), June 30, 2017 at Detroit

*Last Sox pitcher to retire every batter he faced in his MLB debut: Blake Smith, Sept. 10, 2016 vs. Kansas City (1 IP)

*Last Sox pitcher to not retire a batter in his MLB debut: Chris Sale, Aug. 6, 2010 at Baltimore (2 batters, 1 hit, 1 walk)

*Shortest start by a White Sox pitcher in an MLB debut: Jim Scoggins faced two batters on Aug. 26, 1913 vs. Washington at Comiskey Park. … Faced two batters (1 walk, 1 reached on an error, 1 unearned run). … Took the loss … Never pitched again

*Longest start by a White Sox pitcher in his MLB debut: Shovel Hodge, 10 innings, Sept. 6, 1920 vs. Detroit in the second game of a doubleheader at Comiskey Park … Gave up two hits, seven walks and four unearned runs to get the win.

*Most runs given up in a big league debut by a Sox pitcher: Arnie Munoz, 11, June 19, 2004 at Montreal … Pitched three innings and gave up 10 hits for the loss

*Last White Sox player to wear No. 34 in a MLB debut: Shortstop Jason Dellaero, Sept. 7, 1999 vs. Angels (0-for-3)

*Last White Sox pitcher to wear No. 34 in a MLB debut: Bill “Bugs” Moran, April 12, 1974 at Angels (Gave up two unearned runs in 3.2 innings of relief in a no decision)

*Only Sox pitcher to make his MLB debut on an Aug. 21: Grant Bowler, 1931 vs. Philadelphia at Comiskey. … 2.2 innings of relief (two earned runs), no decision

*Last Sox pitcher to make his MLB debut with a catcher doing the same: Simon Castro throwing to Josh Phegley on July 5, 2013 at Tampa Bay

AN ODE TO WHITE SOX LOGGING!

Jose Abreu recorded his team-leading 20th go-ahead RBI in Friday night’s White Sox win over the Kansas City Royals at Guaranteed Rate Field.

17 of Daniel Palka’s 49 RBI (35 percent) have either tied the score or given the White Sox the lead.

I know this because I “log” White Sox go-ahead and game-tying RBIs using the “system” posted above.

“Logging” used to be such a huge part of my baseball season.

I’m sure my wife, Laura, and daughters, Katie and Ellie, remember the three-ring binders, legal pads, glue sticks and newspapers that were part of a morning routine I had of cutting, pasting and logging and logging and logging and logging.

In the pre-web days of “1 Dog,” “The Big Hurt,” “Black Jack” and others, I logged Sox home average, day average, homers, two-out RBI, game-tying/go-ahead RBI, ninth-inning RBI, extra-inning RBI and more.

The goal was to flash these stats on the New Comiskey Park scoreboard when applicable in the game.

Over the years, they’ve been called “hot stats,” “secret stats” or “situational stats.”

Now some call it analytics.

The internet does my logging for me now — usually in the form of a baseballreference.com or mlb.com sortable database — BUT there are still some things that I log because the web doesn’t do it exactly the way I want it.

And that work — along with the work that has replaced my logging — makes it way onto the board and it looks a little something like this (from a game earlier this season) …

timmy

ABOUT LAST NIGHT: @SOXNERD OVERLOAD!

https://www.mlb.com/gameday/indians-vs-white-sox/2018/08/10/531144#game_state=final,lock_state=final,game_tab=videos,game=531144

A 1-0 win? A homer-only 1-0 win? A walkoff win … on a homer by a rookie on the eve of Jim Thome Day?

WARNING! WARNING! WARNING! @SOXNERD OVERLOAD!

Here’s a look at Friday night’s (Aug. 10, 2018) White Sox homer-only 1-0 walkoff win (thanks to Daniel Palka) over Cleveland … @soxnerd style:

Friday was …

*the first 1-0 homer-only walkoff win in White Sox history

*the third 1-0 walkoff walkoff win in the history of New Comiskey Park/U.S. Cellular Field/Guaranteed Rate Field. The first came on June 7, 1997 when Harold Baines’ one-out single in the 11th scored Dave Martinez (in town on the Northside this weekend as Nationals’ manager) against Baltimore. The second came on June 24, 2012 when Eduardo Escobar’s one-out single in the 10th scored Alejandro De Aza against Milwaukee

*the White Sox 197th walkoff win in the history of New Comiskey Park/U.S. Cellular Field/Guaranteed Rate Field.

*the Sox second walkoff win this season. The first also came on a homer by Trayce Thompson against Minnesota on May 3

*the 57th walkoff homer in the history of New Comiskey Park/U.S. Cellular Field/Guarteed Rate Field

*the 258th 1-0 regular season win in White Sox history and 260th overall (counting the the 1959 World Series and two in the 2005 postseason … DON’T STOP BELIEVN’!)

*was the 29th homer-only 1-0 win in White Sox history and first since Todd Frazier’s solo shot in the seventh beat the Rays on Sept. 28, 2016

*was the third homer-only 1-0 win in White Sox history thanks to a rookie (Palka, Marcus Semien in 2014 and Ken Berry in 1965)

As expected, our pal and must-follow Chris Kamka had some beautiful nuggets about the game:

More on Friday’s big win:

*Five of the Sox last nine 1-0 wins have come on homers

*the first White Sox 1-0 win came on May 19, 1902 when Sam Strang scored on an error in the first inning at Detroit. Clark Griffith made the lead hold up with a complete game effort.

*Harry Lord accounted for the White Sox first 1-0 homer-only win on May 7, 1912 against Washington. Lord’s fourth-inning shot came just in time as the game in DC was halted after five innings because of rain.

*Prior to Palka’s homer, the latest the Sox got a homer in a 1-0 win came in the 11th inning on May 7, 1974 in Detroit. In one of the most underrated games in franchise history, Ed Herrmann’s shot in the 11th got Wilbur Wood and the Sox a victory. Wood went the distance, giving up two hits with 11 strikeouts.

Looking ahead …

And the blog I posted on “Gentleman Jim” when he was voted into the Hall in January:

https://soxnerd.wordpress.com/2018/01/28/a-look-at-hof-jim-thome-soxnerd-style/

OMAR … OH WOW!

No way anyone saw this coming.

The White Sox catcher Omar Narvaez the best hitter in the game?

It’s true!

Since June 7, Narvaez is leading the Major Leagues with a .420 average with 34 hits in 81 at bats.

That’s 81 at bats, which is a pretty hefty sample size.

How out-of-the-blue is this?

Consider …

*Narvaez was hitting .170 when he started this tear after games of June 5.

*Narvaez has 14 multi-hit games since June 5. He had 19 multi-hit efforts all of last season and just one through June 5 of this season.

*Narvaez’s average his rookie season was .267. Last season, it was .277.

*Narvaez has 11 extra-base hits since June 5 only six fewer than he compiled in his first two big league seasons.

*Narvaez hit only .245 in Triple-A and .222 in Double-A before joining the Sox

Sunday, Narvaez was 3-for-4 with a single, a triple and a homer while hitting ninth as a catcher.

That combo made for some interesting facts thanks to Baseball Reference’s Play Index and the @SoxNerd‘s noggin:

*The triple was the first of Narvaez’s career.

*Narvaez was the first White Sox player to triple wearing No. 38 since Eduardo Escobar’s first career three-bagger on April 8, 2012.

*Narvaez was the first Sox player to triple at home wearing No. 38 since Pablo Ozuna on May 7, 2006 vs. Kansas City

*Other 38s to triple for the Sox: Henry Cruz (1978), pitcher Frank Baumann (1962), Norm Cash (1959), Phil Masi (1950-52), Don Wheeler (1949), pitcher Glen Moulder (1948), and Dave Philley (1946).

*Narvaez joins Tyler Flowers (Aug. 4, 2014), A.J. Pierzynski (May 25, 2012), Josh Paul (April 24, 2000), Carlton Fisk (May 16, 1984), Brian Downing (April 21, 1974), Earl Battey (Sept. 24, 1957), Buck Crouse (July 2, 1928), and Ray Schalk (June 27, 1922) as the only Sox catchers since 1908 to triple and homer in the same game.

*Of those catchers, Narvaez, Flowers, Paul, Downing and Schalk also threw out a runner trying to steal in their 3B-HR tilt.

*Sunday marked just the second time since 1908 the Sox had lost when their catcher homered and tripled in the same game. The other time? Fisk on May 16, 1984 when he hit for the cycle in a loss to Kansas City at Comiskey Park.

*Narvaez, Flowers and Paul are the only Sox backstops to homer and triple in a game from the ninth spot.

*Narvaez, Flowers, Fisk, Battey and Schalk are the only Sox catchers to single, triple and homer in a game.

TODAY IN SOX HISTORY … MUSSOLINI, SWEEPS, NO. 400 FOR FRANK AND MORE!

Frank Thomas takes a curtain call after hitting his 400th homer on this date in 2003 (screen shot).

My dad’s birth in 1930 wasn’t the only eventful moment in White Sox history that happened on this date.

Take a look …

1937, THE STRATTON SPLIT: The White Sox split a doubleheader with the Yankees before 50,000 at Comiskey Park. The Yankees took the opener 12-11 behind two homers from Bill Dickey and a game-winner from Joe DiMaggio. The Sox took the nightcap scoring three in the eighth and one in the ninth with Monty Stratton, who was later portrayed in a movie by Jimmy Stewart, getting the victory.

1943, A WIN AND THEN SOME GOOD NEWS: After the White Sox won the first game 2-1, the nightcap of their doubleheader was interrupted with the announcement at “Mussolini has resigned.” The crowd of 19,374 cheered wildly over the news that the Italian dictator was finished. The Yankees won the game 6-3 after Bill Dietrich got the victory for the Sox in Game 1.1954, 16 Ks SO HE WAS HARSH, MAN: Jack Harshman set the club record with 16 strikeouts in the White Sox 5-2 win in the first game of a doubleheader sweep at Boston. Harshman gave up two runs on five hits and five walks in improving to 7-4. Harshman, a lefty, broke the record previously held by Ed Cicotte (Aug. 26, 1914), Jim Scott (June 22, 1913) and Ed Walsh (Aug. 11, 1910 and Oct. 2, 1908). He struck out at least one batter in every inning but the eighth and he whiffed the side in order in the second and seventh innings and also in the fourth.

1959, 17 INNINGS! The White Sox edged the Baltimore Orioles 3-2 in 17 innings before 12,562 at Comiskey Park thanks to an RBI single by the oft-traded Harry “Suitcase” Simpson. Sherm Lollar tied the game with a homer to leadoff the ninth.

1967, TWO WALKOFFS: J.C. Martin and Ken Berry each hit walkoff homers to key the first-place White Sox to a doubleheader sweep of Cleveland before 18,152 at Comiskey Park. This marked the first time in American League history a team had swept a doubleheader with a pair of game-ending home runs.

1971, UP ON THE ROOF: White Sox catcher Tom Egan launched his only roof-shot homer at Comiskey Park in the second game of a doubleheader sweep of Washington before 24,318 on the South Side.

1972, ALL-STAR ALLEN: Dick Allen started at first base in becoming the first Sox representative to bat cleanup in an All-Star Game. Allen went 0-for-3 in the American League’s 4-3 loss in in Atlanta.

1987, NOs. 16 & 19 FOREVER: On the day No. 16 was retired for Hall of Famer Ted Lyons and No. 19 was retired for team legened Billy Pierce, the White Sox topped the Yankees 3-2 before 26,433 at Comiskey Park.

1996, DOMINANT ROBERTO: Roberto Hernandez turned in one of the most dominating performances by a Sox reliever in recent memory in a 4-3 loss to the Texas Rangers in 12 innings before 19,524 at Comiskey Park. Hernandez came on in the ninth and fanned all six of the batters he faced, falling one K shy of the club record. Hernandez threw 26 pitches, 19 of which were strikes.

1998, THE BOMB IN THE BRONX: Mike Sirotka disappointed an Old-Timers’ Day crowd of 55,638 at Yankee Stadium with six strong innings in the White Sox 6-2 win. This was the largest gathering to witness a Sox win since Oct. 3, 1993 when 72,390 watched the Southsiders defeat the Indians in Cleveland.

2001, NO. 8,000: Paul Konerko launched the 8,000th home run in White Sox history in a 7-5 loss at Cleveland. Konerko’s milestone blast came in the second inning.

2003, NO. 400 FOR FRANK: Frank Thomas’ 400th homer helped the White Sox stomp Tampa Bay 7-2 before 22,617 at US Cellular Field. Thomas became the 36th player in big league history to reach that milestone. Esteban Loaiza earned his 13th win and Carlos Lee also homered in the victory.

A PERFECT LOOK BACK

In my prior life, I was Sports Editor of the Kenosha News.

I spent the better part of my 29.75 years there trying to keep my Sox world and my newspaper world separate.

Every now and again, always for the betterment of the paper, the worlds intersected.

Mark Buehrle’s perfect game, which is celebrating its ninth birthday today, was one of those times.

Here is the column I wrote for the Kenosha News on No. 56’s perfecto:

A few

perfect

thoughts

I was fortunate enough to attend Mark Buehrle’s perfect game in the White Sox 5-0 win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday afternoon at U.S. Cellular Field.

With the exception of Game 2 of the 2005 World Series at the same venue, the “perfecto” was the most amazing, compelling, thrilling, grueling, scintillating, tense sporting event I have ever witnessed.

Here are some observations:

*There’s always a Kenosha connection: Buehrle victimized the Rays, who employ Kenosha native Dick Bosman as their minor league pitching coordinator.

While Bosman was not on hand Thursday, Scott Kazmir, one of his former “students,” was the losing pitcher. Bosman was Kazmir’s pitching coach at Double-A Montgomery in 2004.

The Rays couldn’t have been any classier Thursday. After the game, the team respectfully watched the Sox celebration from the top of their dugout with a few of the Rays politely acknowledging Buehrle.

“Yes, I’m proud to be part of this organization,” Bosman wrote to me in an e-mail. “Good people from top to bottom.”

*Other connections: Former Kenosha Kroaker and Rays reliever Joe Nelson watched the game from the bullpen.   … Current Rays’ pitching coach Jim Hickey pitched against the Kenosha Twins for the Appleton Foxes in 1984.   Don Cooper, Buehrle’s pitching coach, spent some time at Simmons Field as pitching coach for the White Sox South Bend affiliate in 1988.

*Memories: Bosman has a no-hitter himself.

On July 19, 1974, 35 years and one week ago today, the fiery right-hander no-hit Oakland for host Cleveland.

“Of course, every time there is a no-hitter, the memories come flooding back,” Bosman said.

The only blemish on the scorecard that day was a throwing error by Bosman in the fourth inning. At the time, Bosman was just the third pitcher to keep himself from a perfect game because of his own error. The others? The Giants’ Christy Matthewson on June 13, 1905, against the Cubs and the Senators’ Walter Johnson on July 1, 1920 vs.  Boston.

Buehrle, an excellent fielder, handled three chances Thursday. He retired Sox-killer Carl Crawford twice on comebackers and logged a putout on Carlos Pena’s grounder to first.

*More memories: Do you think White Sox bullpen coach Juan Nieves had a flashback when DeWayne Wise preserved the perfect game with a spectacular catch?

Nieves’ no-hitter of April 15, 1987, ended when Brewer teammate Robin Yount gloved Eddie Murray’s fly ball in left-center at Baltimore’s Memorial Stadium.

*Been there, done that: Kenoshan Gene Pobloski was probably wondering what all the fuss over Buehrle’s perfect game was about.

He owns 20 perfect games.

Pobloski was inducted into the Kenosha USBC BA (formerly KBA) Hall of Fame on Feb. 28.

*Mapquest: Prior to Thursday, the closest perfect game to Kenosha was also thrown by a Sox pitcher.

On April 30, 1922, Charles Robertson tossed the first perfect game in Sox history at Navin Field (later renamed Tiger Stadium) in Detroit, which is 337 miles from Kenosha. U.S. Cellular Field is 60 miles from Kenosha.

If Pittsburgh’s Harvey Haddix had a little better luck, his perfect game would have been the closest pitched to Kenosha. On May 26, 1959, Haddix threw 12 perfect innings at Milwaukee County Stadium (41.6 miles from Kenosha) against the Braves. An error in the 13th ended the perfect game and a two-run homer by Joe Adcock later in the frame hung the toughest-luck loss of all-time on Haddix.

Or

If the Cubs’ Milt Pappas had gotten a call from umpire Bruce Froemming, his perfect game would have been the closest to Kenosha. On Sept. 2, 1972, Pappas retired the first 26 batters he faced at Wrigley Field (53.8 miles from Kenosha) before he walked Marv Stahl on two close pitches that Froemming would not call strikes. Pappas got the next batter to pop out to trumpet-tooting Carmen Fanzone at second for the no-no.

*Traffic!  Pat Burrell’s blast that the wall-climbing Wise gloved in the ninth inning wasn’t the only long drive Thursday.

It took me 3 hours and 9 minutes to get home after the game. The game only took 2:03.

No matter … it was worth it!

White Sox nuggets