@SoxNerd Blog for May 31:

*WELCOME BACK! In the wake of Tuesday’s game, here’s a look at some notable returns in White Sox history:

–CHRIS SALE, May 30: The vaunted showdown between Sale, who pitched for the Sox from 2010 to 2016, and Jose Quintana never materialized.

Greeted with a standing ovation as he took the field, Sale did get the win but he was hardly the dominant slinger he was during his time on the south side and so far this season with Boston.

Sale gave up six runs (five earned) on 10 hits with two outs walks and nine strikeouts in five innings to move to 6-2.

Sale’s saving grace was that Quintana really struggled, yielding seven runs on 10 hits in 2.2 innings.

–MARK BUEHRLE: The most popular White Sox player of his era received a no decision in his first trip to the Cell (where he is the all-time leader with 90 wins) bump as a visitor on Aug. 16, 2014 for Toronto.

Pitching for a crowd of 29,420 and against his successor as Sox ace John Danks, Buehrle went 5.1 innings and was touched for three runs on seven hits with three strikeouts and no walks.

Toronto ultimately won, 6-3.

–A.J. PIERZYNSKI: Following eight productive seasons with the Sox, Pierzynski joined Texas and made his USCF homecoming on Aug. 23, 2013.

Pierzynski, greeted overwhelmingly warmly by the 31,891 Sox partisans, was 1-for-4 with a run and an RBI in Texas’ 11-5 win.

He was 0-for-3 vs. Sale, who was tattooed for four homers, singled off Dylan Axelrod and had a sac fly RBI vs. Matt Purcey.

–JIM THOME: The affable slugger was fanned by Tony Pena as a pinch-hitter for Minnesota in his first game at USCF as a visitor on April 9, 2010 after leaving the Sox.

Thome K’d in the 10th inning of Minnesota’s 4-3 win in 11 innings.

*SOX STUMPER: Here is the trivia question submitted for display for the Sox last home game on this date in 2014: Who is the only position player to appear in the postseason for both the White Sox and the Padres?

Answer below.

More Homecoming gems … 

–FRANK THOMAS: It was the best of both worlds when “The Big Hurt” made his triumphant return to the stadium where he blossomed into one of the most dominant right-handed hitters of his era.
On May 22, 2006, the Sox all-time home run leader –resplendent in the kelly green and yellow Oakland uniform — hit two roundtrippers but the defending World Series champions prevailed 5-4.

Thomas, two jacks — the only ones he would hit as a visitor to New Comiskey Park/U.S. Cellular Field, helped the A’s build a 4-0 lead heading into the last of the fifth.

The Sox scored five unanswered runs with Pablo Ozuna driving the decider with an infield single in the ninth before 39,354 fans at 35th and Bill Veeck Drive.

–MAGGLIO ORDONEZ: After establishing himself as an offensive force for the Sox between 1998 and 2003, Ordonez returned to U.S. Cellular Field for the archrival Tigers in 2005.

Shaking off an awkward and uncomfortable leg injury in his final season with the Sox in 2004, “Maggs” had a monster series while being showered with jeers and cheers for Detroit from July 18-20, 2005.

After going 2-for-3 with a walk in his USCF visitor debut, Ordonez then collected five hits in his next seven at bats as the Tigers took two of three from the future World Series champions.

*SOX ALMANAC: A Tommy John appearance on the Guaranteed Rate Field big board recently prompted this Tweet so I’d thought feature the ageless lefty in today’s history lesson 

On this date in 1971, Tommy John outdueled Jim Palmer with a five-hitter in the White Sox 1-0 win over the Baltimore Orioles in Game 1 of a doubleheader split before 19,588 at Comiskey Park.

Ed Herrmann’s sixth inning single scored Rich McKinney with the game’s only run. John gave up five hits and one walk with strikeouts in upping his record to 3-5 in logging the first of three shutouts he would have that season.

John faced the minimum through five and got out of a bases loaded jam in the sixth by striking out Merv Rettemund with the bases loaded.

John stranded Brooks Robinson on third in the seventh and finished by retiring the final seven batters he faced.

–ROBIN VENTURA: In his second New York stop after parting company with the Sox, Ventura was 0-for-4 with an error at third for the Yankees in his New Comiskey Park homecoming.

A Memorial Day crowd of 43,781 watched the Yanks win 10-6.

–OZZIE GUILLEN: After 13 seasons with the Sox and an uncomfortable split, Guillen returned to New Comiskey Park as a visitor for the first time on April 29, 1998.

As a bench player/utilityman, Guillen flew out as a pinch-hitter for the second out in the ninth of a 16-7 Sox win.

Mike Caruso, who supplanted Ozzie as the Sox shortstop was 2-for-4 with two runs and two RBI that night.

–HAROLD BAINES: The smooth-swinging lefty was 3-for-3 — all singles — in his Comiskey Park debut as a visitor on Aug. 17, 1989 for Texas.

Baines, traded to Texas 19 days earlier, had all but one of his team’s hits in Greg Hibbard’s complete game effort.

Three days later, the Sox retired Baines’ No. 3.

–LUIS APARICIO: The best fielding shortstop of his generation was 1-for-3 with a walk for Baltimore in his first game as a visitor to Comiskey Park.

The Sox won 7-0 behind Ray Herbert’s complete game.

–MINNIE MINOSO: The Cuban Comet was 0-for-4 for Cleveland in his first game at Comiskey Park after being dealt away by the Sox on May 9, 1958.
The Sox won 5-0.



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