*NOT BAD: If I had told you the White Sox would be just six games under .500 on June 20 and …
–key relievers Nate Jones and Zach Putnam were on the disabled list and Jake Petricka spent time there
–No. 2 starter Carlos Rodon would not have pitched an inning and fellow rotation members James Shields, Miguel Gonzalez and Dylan Covey spent time on or are on the disabled list
–journeyman David Holmberg has emerged as an important part of the starting rotation
–Opening Day starting second baseman Tyler Saladino and Opening Day roster members Leury Garcia and Geovany Soto and projected Opening Day starting center fielder Charlie Tilson would be on or spend time on the DL
–the team had taken four road trips of at least nine games already
–Todd Frazier was hitting .205
–the current primary catchers entered 2017 with a COMBINED 41 games of Major League experience
–Jose Quintana was not pitching like Jose Quintana
–the Opening Day center fielder Jacob May and DH Cody Asche were busts and are in Triple-A Charlotte
–Jose Abreu had no home runs at Guaranteed Rate Field
–all this during a rebuilding process, which is seemingly moving along well
THEN, and don’t lie, you would be pleased with the way things are progressing.
I know I am.
*SOX STUPMER: Here is the trivia question flashed on the Sox scoreboard on this date in 2012: Who led the Cubs with a .323 average in the 2003 NLCS a year after leading the Sox with 22 steals (answer below)?
This is one of my most popular blogs … NOTES ON GLORIOUS WHITE SOX ROOF SHOT HOMERS | soxnerdhttps://t.co/SKXpHZj4dx
*BOOLAH-BOOLAH: The White Sox dipped into the college ranks for their first round pick earlier this week but should come as no surprise.
Missouri State slugger Jake Burger became the fourth consecutive collegian taken by the Sox with their top pick in the draft. In addition, the Sox have used 14 of their last 15 top picks on college players.
The last high schooler taken by the Sox in the first round was outfielder Courtney Hawkins in 2012. He is at high Class-A Winston-Salem.
*SOX STUMPER: Here is the trivia question flashed on the Sox scoreboard for the team’s last home game on this date in 2016: Who was the White Sox home run leader the season they hit a club-record 242 roundtrippers (answer below)?
*REMEMEMBER HIM? You can’t blame the Sox for avoiding high school with their top selection. The last prepster they took in the first round that was remotely close to a contributor for them was catcher Mark Johnson, who was taken with the 24th overall pick in 1994.
*WHAT ABOUT …: This does not count left-handed pitcher Gio Gonzalez, thriving with the Washington Nationals, whom the Sox took out of high school with a bonus first round pick in 2004.
The Sox traded Gonzalez before he reached the bigs.
*HIGH SCHOOL STARS: The high schoolers that the Sox took with their top pick that did pan out are Carlos May (1966), Steve Trout (1976), Harold Baines (1977) and Ron Karkovice (1982).
*WHITE SOX ALAMANAC: On this date in 1905, “Gorgeous” George Davis swiped a club record four bases, scored two runs and drove in two in the White Sox 5-3 win over at Washington.
Davis, a future Hall of Famer, drove in Jimmy Callahan with the go-ahead run with a single in the eighth.
*LEGACY: The Sox took Gavin Sheets in the second round on Monday.
Sheets, out of Wake Forest, is the son of Larry Sheets, who hit the final roof shot home run at Comiskey Park by a visitor on May 9, 1987.
Playing for the Orioles, Larry Sheets said: “A home run is a home run,” in the next day’s Tribune.
On the day the draft begins, here are some nuggets on the Sox and the MLB’s annual pickfest:
*NO. 11: The White Sox own the 11th overall pick in the draft, which starts today.
The only time the Sox had that choice was in 1975 when they selected right-handed pitcher Chris Knapp out of Central Michigan University.
Knapp, who made his big league debut for the Sox 93 days after being picked, went 15-8 with a 4.80 ERA in 40 games (32 starts) for the Southsiders from 1975 to 1977.
The Michigander was 12-7 for the 1977 Hitmen and his trade directly netted Richard Dotson and ultimately netted Joey Cora and Warren Newson.
Not a bad pick.
*THE BULL: You know who else was taken at No. 11?
“The Bull” himself, Greg Luzinski, a slugging presence on the 1983 “Winning Ugly” White Sox.
The Phillies took the burly first baseman out of Niles (Ill.) Notre Dame High School in 1968.
*SOX STUMPER: Here is the trivia question displayed on the Sox scoreboard for the team’s last home game on this date (2016): Which son of a big league manager earned his only big league win for the Sox on this date in 1985 (answer below)?
*ALSO AT 11: Other notables picked at 11 were Jim Spencer, Andrew McCutchen, Addison Russell, Max Scherzer and Walt Weiss.
*SOX ALMANAC: On this date in 2005, Aaron Rowand’s three-run homer in the 10th off Trevor Hoffman delivered the first-place White Sox an 8-5 win at San Diego.
The Sox tied the game with two in the eighth and Rowand’s homer made a winner out of Cliff Politte, who fashioned two perfect innings of relief.
*HISTORY: No matter who the White Sox take, history says there’s a decent chance he will play in the big leagues.
Through 2012 (the draft that developed the most recent big leaguer in Russell), 71 percent of the players (34-of-48) taken at 11 have played in the bigs.
*IN THE BOOKS! David Holmberg became the 517th White Sox pitcher to notch a victory in the 117-year history of the franchise on Saturday night.
The lefty started and went five innings as the Sox held on to beat host Cleveland 5-3.
*SOX STUMPER: Here is the trivia question displayed at the Sox last home game on this date (2016): Who is the last native of Hawaii to hit a home run for the White Sox (answer below)?
*2009 DRAFT RECAP: Holmberg is the only member of the White Sox 2009 draft class to get a win for the club.
The Sox took Holmberg in the second round that year and dealt him to Arizona with fellow pitcher Daniel Hudson for Edwin Jackson on July 30, 2010.
After stints with Arizona and Cincinnati, the Sox re-signed him as a minor league free agent on March 30.
Holmberg is one of two members of the Sox 2009 draft class to pitch for the team with Taylor Thompson (44th round) being the other. Thompson amassed a 10.14 ERA while appearing in four games for the 2012 Sox.
Catcher Josh Phegley (first round) and outfielder Trayce Thompson (second round) are the other products of the Sox 2009 draft class to play for the team.
Outfielder BrIan Goodwin (17th round) and pitcher Kevin Chapman (50th round) were drafted by the Sox, did not sign and went on to play in the bigs.
*LONG SAVE: Saturday was the first two-inning save of David Robertson’s White Sox career and just the second of his 10-year big league career.
The right-hander set down six of the seven batters he faced to earn his 10th save in a 5-3 win at Cleveland.
Robertson’s other two-inning save came Sept. 3, 2011 for the Yankees vs. Toronto.
Robertson posted one four-out save in each of his first two seasons with the Sox.
*SOX ALMANAC: On this date in 1999, Greg Norton’s two-run homer helped the White Sox notch their inaugural regular-season win over the Cubs at Wrigley Field with a rain-shortened 5-3 victory.
Jim Parque went the distance for his second straight win.
The game was halted by rain after the top of the sixth and delayed for 2 hours and 33 minutes before it was called.
*NEW GUY: If you are scoring at home, Alen Hanson became the 1,733 player to don the White Sox uniform when he pinch-ran (and scored) on Saturday night.
Hanson, a utility specialist, was claimed by the Sox off waivers from Pittsburgh on Friday.
The 1,733 players are the 13th-highest total in baseball history and fifth in American League history, per baseballreference.com.
Here’s a look, @SoxNerd style, at Pat Seerey, the @WhiteSox four home run man, in the wake of Scooter Gennett’s quadruple tater day earlier this week:
*WHA’ HAPPUN? On July 18, 1948, White Sox left fielder and cleanup man Pat Seerey hit four home runs in a 12-11 win over the Philadelphia A’s in 11 innings before 17,296 at Shibe Park.
*EXCLUSIVE COMPANY: The 5-foot-10 right-handed hitter is the only Sox player with four bombs in a game. … At the time, Seerey joined Lou Gehrig (June 6, 1932 at Philadelphia) as the only American Leaguers to homer four times in a game. He was the fifth player overall (with Gehrig and National Leaguers Bobby Lowe, Ed Delahanty and Chuck Klein) to do it. … After Seerey, a four-homer game wouldn’t be accomplished again until June 10, 1959 when Rocky Colavito launched four homers in a row. … Gennett became the 17th player to join the list for the Reds vs. the Cardinals on June 6.
*THE HOMERS: Seerey went deep off Carl Scheib to start the fourth, hit a two-run two-out shot off Scheib in the fifth, launched a two-out, three-run blast in the sixth off Bob Savage and socked a solo homer off Lou Brissie in the 11th.
The roundtripper in the 11th proved to be the game-winner and his seventh RBI, one shy of the club record.
*SOX ALMANAC: On this date in 1974, Ron Santo, starting at second base, hit two homers – including an inside-the-park shot — in the White Sox 10-6 loss to the Boston Red Sox before 16,678 at Comiskey Park.
The multi-homer game, the 26th and last of his career, came a day after Santo hit a grand slam. The former Cub would hit just one more homer for the Sox the rest of the season.
More on Seerey …
*QUITE THE BONUS: Seerey walked out of Shibe Park with his name etched in the record book and with an extra $500.
A Philadelphia advertiser promised $300 to any player who hit three home runs in a game at Shibe Park. After his third homer, the advertiser called the park and said he would make it $500 if Seerey hit a fourth.
Seerey’s SABR biography revealed the $200 bonus. The Chicago Tribune’s account of the game reported the $300 prize.
*SOX ALMANAC II: On this date in 1975, Hank Aaron made his Comiskey Park debut as the Brewers’ designated hitter in a White Sox 1-0 loss.
4,949 on the Southside witnessed Aaron’s 1-for-3 performance. Aaron’s hit was an eighth-inning single off Rich Gossage.
Even more on Seerey …
*PREVIOUS BIG GAMES: This wasn’t the first offensive explosion of Seerey’s career.
On July 13, 1945, Seery hit three homers and drove in eight in Cleveland’s 16-4 whipping of the Yankees in the Bronx.
*DON’T FORGET ABOUT HIM! Seerey’s landmark game overshadowed a career performance by Don Kolloway.
While Seerey was clearing the fence four times, Kolloway was 5-for-7 with a double, a triple, two runs and three RBI as part of the Sox incredible 24-hit attack.
Cass Michaels wasn’t bad either that day, either, going 4-for-6 (four singles) with three runs.
*CIAO! Marino Pieretti, the only native of Italy to play for the Sox, earned the save in the Seerey game.
The righty, born in Lucca, Italy, retired Ferris Fain with the bases loaded to make sure Seerey’s big day did not go to waste.
*ANTI-CLIMATIC: The Sox dropped the nightcap 5-1 in six innings in a game cut short by Philadelphia’s curfew law, according to the July 19 Tribune.
Seerey was 0-for-2 with a run and a walk in the nightcap.
*THAT TEAM WAS TERRIBLE: The doubleheader split dropped the Sox to 26-51 en route to a 51-101 finish under manager Ted Lyons.
On the 73rd anniversary of D-Day, a few nuggets … @SoxNerd style:
*ON THIS DATE: All Major League games, including the White Sox exhibition at the nearby Great Lakes Naval Station were postponed as the country turned its attention to Allied invasion in Europe.
*THE DAY AFTER: The White Sox game against the Detroit Tigers at Comiskey Park June 7 went on as scheduled.
There was no mention of the invasion in the Chicago Tribune story on the game.
*SOX STUMPER: Here is the Sox Stumper sumbitted for the last White Sox last home game on this date in 2015: Whose first strikeout with the White Sox was the 4,001st of his career on Aug. 12, 1986 at Detroit?
More on the Sox and WWII …
*A HERO: Jake Jones, a World War II hero, played for the White Sox for a spell.
A highly-decorated flying ace in the Pacific, the right-handed swinging first baseman hit .231 with six home runs and 33 RBI in 79 games for the White Sox in 1941-42 and 1946-47.
The Epps, La., native assembled one of the most impressive war records among ballplayers in the military.
Here’s a link to his @SABR biography http://sabr.org/bioproj/person/0859d68b
*CELEBRATION: A little year prior to D-Day, the White Sox were part of a patriotic outburst at Yankee Stadium.
On July 25, 1943, after the Sox won the first game 2-1, the nightcap of their doubleheader at Yankee Stadium 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.
*WHITE SOX ALMANAC: On this date in 1966, Lee Elia clubbed the first home run of his career in the White Sox 5-1 win – their fifth straight – at California.
Elia’s blast came in the second, an inning after the Sox had taken the lead for good on Floyd Robinson’s RBI single.
Dennis Higgins, the cousin of Joe Crede, fired four perfect innings for his second save in preserving Juan Pizarro’s fifth win.
Last on the Sox and WWII …
*RIP GENE STACK: White Sox minor league Gene Stack, the first player drafted from a Major League roster into the military, became the first baseball player to die during service on June 26, 1942.
The right-handed pitcher from Sagniaw, Mich., died of a heart attack following an army game.
An autopsy later revealed that Stack, under contract to the White Sox at the time, succumbed to pneumonia.
In his only season as a pro, Stack, a righty, went 19-11 with a 3.84 ERA for the White Sox affiliate in Lubbock, Texas in 1940.
After being drafted the following December, Stack reported to Fort Custer in Battle Creek, Mich., Jan. 7, 1941.
He collapsed and died at a Michigan City, Ind., establishment after taking a loss to the Michigan City Cubs.
To pick up our spirits, here’s a historical look back on some of what happened on this date in Sox history … VICTORIES ONLY!
1914, SCOTT DEATH ON CLEVELAND: Jim “Death Valley” Scott tossed the first of his two one-hitters of his White Sox career in a 2-0 win over Cleveland Indians at Comiskey Park.
1917, A HAPPY FIRST: Hap Felsch socked a two-run homer in the first as the White Sox won 4-2 at Philadelphia. Reb Russell fanned five in the complete game victory as the future World Series champs stayed in a tie for first place in winning their fourth in a row.
1924, SOX STOP YANKS SHORT: Eddie Collins and Earl Sheely each drove in two runs as the White Sox and Ted Lyons held on for a 4-3 win over the Yankees and Babe Ruth before 9,000 at Comiskey Park. The Yankees scored two in the ninth to make it close but Lyons got out of the jam for his fourth win.
1930, KERR BESTS BABE: John Kerr’s homer with two out in the 10th pushed the White Sox past the Yankees and Babe Ruth, who hit his 18th homer, 8-7 before 14,000 at Comiskey Park. Kerr’s blast was his first of the year and came off future Hall of Famer Lefty Gomez.
1932, GOOD MOVE, LEW: Player-manager Lew Fonseca inserted himself as a pinch-hitter and he delivered a game-winning single in the 10th in the White Sox 6-5 win at St. Louis. Fonseca’s single scored Red Kresse, who had three hits, and made a winner out of Tommy Thomas, who gave up one run on four innings of relief.
1933, 3s RULE: DeKalb native Evar Swanson and Al Simmons each had three hits and three RBIs in the White Sox 13-6 win in the first game of a doubleheader sweep at St. Louis.
1939, JOLLY OLLIE: South Bend native Ollie Bejma had a single, triple and homer in the White Sox 14-9 win over Philadelphia in the first game of a doubleheader at Comiskey Park.
1940, JOE COOL: Joe Kuhel hit two homers off future Hall of Famer Red Ruffing in the White Sox 7-3 win over the Yankees in New York. Kuhel drove in four and Taffy Wright homered in support of Eddie Smith, who went the distance for the win.
1957, PIERCE FIERCE: Billy Pierce pitched 10 sparkling innings of two-hit ball and was rewarded with a victory in the White Sox 1-0 win over Boston before 38,490 at Comiskey Park. Pierce actually helped his own cause in the 10th. His bunt put two runners in scoring position and forced Boston to load the bases before Nellie Fox came through with the winning hit. Pierce didn’t allow a runner past second in improving to 9-2. After giving up his first hit, the classy lefty retired 15 in a row before yielding a harmless single.
1958, MOVE OVER YOGI, MICK, HERE COMES DON MUELLER: Don Mueller broke a 2-2 tie with an RBI pinch-single in the seventh in the White Sox 7-2 win over the Yankees in New York. Homers by Yogi Berra and Mickey Mantle were the only runs allowed by Billy Pierce, who gave up five hits and fanned six for his fourth win.
1959, TORGEY TOUGH IN THE 17TH: Earl Torgeson’s home run in the 17th inning vaulted the White Sox to a 6-5 win over the Baltimore Orioles before 3,514 at Comiskey Park. This was the Sox longest game since a 19 inning win over Boston on July 13, 1951. The Sox tied the game in the eighth on a Larry Doby RBI and retied the game in the 13th when Torgeson scored on an error.
1965, 2 HOMERS=ONE WIN: The White Sox got solo home runs from Danny Cater and Floyd Robinson in the 15th inning in downing the Yankees 2-0 in New York. Cater broke the scoreless deadlock when he led off the frame with his fifth homer of the season. After an out, Robinson padded the lead with his fifth blast of the year.
1966, SOX BUZZ SENATORS: John Buzhardt fired a four-hitter in the White Sox 6-0 win over the Washington Senators before 5,453 at Comiskey Park. Coupled with Jack Lamabe’s shutout the day before and some scoreless work two days eariler, Buzhardt extended the Sox scoreless streak to 23 innings. The streak would reach 29 before being broken the next day. The Sox pitching staff was in the midst of a streak in which it would hold opponents scoreless in 53 of 54 innings.
1967, JOHN TOUGH ON KC: Tommy John retired the last 15 batters he faced as the White Sox defeated the Kansas City Athletics 2-0 in the first game of a doubleheader before 30,522 at Comiskey Park. John tossed a five-hitter. The shutout improved John to 4-3 and was one of a league-leading six he would throw that season. The whitewashing began an eight-start stretch in which John would go 5-2 with an 0.98 ERA with five shutouts.
1972: BROOMING THE BOMBERS: Dick Allen’s three-run pinch-hit walkoff homer handed the White Sox a sweep-clinching 5-4 win over the Yankees in Game 2 of a doubleheader before a Bat Day crowd of 51,904 at Comiskey Park.
1974, ALLEN SLAMS YANKS: Dick Allen’s grand slam in the fifth inning gave the White Sox the lead for good in a 9-2 win over the New York Yankees before 14,351 at Comiskey Park. Bucky Dent also homered and Ken Henderson had three hits and an RBI in support of Wilbur Wood, who went the distance for his ninth win.
1976, SOX CHECK THE ECK: The White Sox scored two in the first and two in the fifth off future Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley in a 4-1 win over the Cleveland Indians before 25,833 at Comiskey Park. Rich Gossage, spending the season as a starter, went the distance. “The Goose” scattered nine hits while walking one and striking out three to move to 4-3.
1988, REDUS WALKOFF SLAM: In one of the most dramatic games in recent memory, the White Sox scored six in the ninth with the last four coming on Gary Redus’ grand slam to beat the Texas Rangers 10-8 before 17,101 at Comiskey Park. Ivan Calderon led off the ninth with a home run. After singles by Greg Walker and Dave Gallagher and a walk to Donnie Hill loaded the bases, Mike Woodard singled with one out to pull the Sox to within 8-6. Redus then came up and ended the game with his second grand slam in a week.
1989, REUSS TOUGH ON TWINS: Jerry Reuss turned in six shutout innings for his 215th career victory in the White Sox 2-1 win over the Minnesota Twins before 15,170 at Comiskey Park.
1994, PACO … A GRAND SLAM: Norberto “Paco” Martin broke open a close game with a ninth-inning grand slam as the White Sox pulled away from the Orioles for a 7-1 win in Baltimore. The grand slam was the only one of Martin’s career and the first by a White Sox rookie since Joe DeSa accomplished the feat Sept. 13, 1985 at Seattle. The slam was only the second by a White Sox player in Baltimore.
2005, SOX TOP TRIBE: The first-place White Sox received home runs from Paul Konerko and Joe Crede in stopping the Indians 6-5 before 26,365 at U.S. Cellular Field. The Sox erased a 1-0 deficit with two in their first on a double by Aaron Rowand. Jon Garland, bound for the All-Star Game, pitched into the seventh for his ninth win.
2007, SOX SURVIVE VS. YANKS: Bobby Jenks retired Derek Jeter, who represented the tying run, to nail down the White Sox 6-4 win over the Yankees before 32,703 at U.S. Cellular Field.
2008, FUN IN THE 15TH! Paul Konerko’s homer in the 15th inning finally delivered the first place White Sox a 6-4 win over the Royals before 23,515 at U.S. Cellular Field. Earlier in the game, Jim Thome cranked a 464-foot homer which was the ninth-longest ever at U.S. Cellular Field and the first to land on the park’s center-field concourse.