Bringing together a few SoxNerd nuggets on Opening Day – the best day:
*FOR STARTERS: I greet you with some promising news.
The White Sox are 6-0 in games started by pitchers making their debut with the club on Opening Day.
Today, Jeff Samardzija will make his Sox debut as the White Sox Opening Day starter.
Pitchers are 5-0 in those assignments with Roy Patterson (1901 in the franchise’s inaugural game), Patsy Flaherty (1903), “Sad” Sam Jones (1932), Ed “Bull” Durham (1933), Ricky Horton (1988) and David Wells (2001) earning victories.
Jaime Navarro got a no decision in his Sox debut in 1997.
*SHARK BITES: Samardzija will become the second pitcher to start an Opener for both Chicago teams. “The Shark” started the Cubs curtain-raiser in 2013 and 2014. He will join Jaime Navarro, who started the Cubs 1996 Opener and the White Sox 1997 and 1998 Openers. … Samardzija will become the first Notre Damer to play for the Sox since Ron Reed in 1984. Like footballer Samardzija, Reed was a multi-sport start for the Fighting Irish as an accomplished hoopster.
*HELLO, CHAMPS: Today marks the 11th time the White Sox will christen a season against the reigning American League champions.
The White Sox are 4-6 in those games and have dropped their last two contests to the pennant winners (2012 to Texas, 1994 to Toronto).
The last time the White Sox ruined the opener of a current A.L. king was in 1984 when they deposed the team that deposed them in the playoffs – the Baltimore Orioles.
Other wins over the defending A.L. champs came in 1982 vs. the Yankees, 1935 vs. the Tigers and 1908 vs. the Tigers.
Other losses over pennant winners came in 1980 to Baltimore, 1975 to Oakland, 1955 to Cleveland and 1909 to Detroit.
*BIG LEAGUE DEBUT: Second baseman Micah Johnson is scheduled to make his Major League debut as a White Sox starter today.
This will be the 43rd time this will happen and the second season in a row it has occurred.
Last year, Jose Abreu made his big league debut in the White Sox Opening Day win over the Twins at U.S, Cellular Field. The eventual A.L. Rookie of the Year made his debut more memorable with a double in his first at bat.
In recent years, Alexei Ramirez (center field! in 2008), second baseman Tadahito Iguchi (2005) and shortstop Mike Caruso (1998) have made their debuts with an Opening Day start for the Sox.
Other notables to do this for the Sox are Ozzie Guillen (1985), Harold Baines (1980), Jim Landis (1957), Luis Aparicio (1956), Chico Carrasquel (1950) and three of the “Eight Men Out”: Buck Weaver (1912), Hap Felsch (1915) and Swede Risberg (1917).
Johnson will become the seventh White Sox second baseman to make his big league debut as an Opening Day starter. The others: Dave Brain (1901), Gus Dundon (1904), Rollie Zeider (1910), Buck Redfern (1928), Durham and Iguchi.
The only pitcher to do this was Roy Patterson in the franchise’s inaugural game in 1901.
*SOXNERD NUGGETS: I have spent a better part of my adult life researching walkoff wins at the Cell, 1-0 White Sox wins and bases loaded triples. … Here are some nuggets gleaned from those logs just so some of my insane pursuits get used somewhere: The Sox only 1-0 win on Opening Day was in 2013 at home against Kansas City thanks to Tyler Flowers’ fourth-inning homer. … The Sox have never had a walkoff win on Opening Day at New Comiskey Park/U.S. Cellular Field. The Sox last walkoff win on Opening Day came in 1978 when Wayne Nordhagen’s two-out double scored Chet Lemon for a 6-5 win over Boston before 50,754 at Comiskey Park. After Bobby Bonds led off the frame with a groundout, Ron Blomberg socked a game-tying homer. Lemon then singled and dashed home one batter later. … I have logged every White Sox bases-loaded triple since 1949. None have come in an Opener … HOW ABOUT TODAY?
Have a great day on this, the best day, Sox fans!