Category Archives: Chris Kamka

@SOXNERD BLOG: MONCADA BREAKS ON THROUGH IN CLEANUP SPOT

The latest @SoxNerd Blog …

What we have learned the last few days, @soxnerd style!

*CLEANING IT UP: Prior to Yoan Moncada’s arrival, it had been a while since the White Sox had a second baseman break on through to the cleanup spot.

Moncada is the first @whitesox second sacker to hit fourth since Jim Morrison — the slugger not the singer — batted there on June 20, 1980 against Detroit at Comiskey Park. Ed Farmer took the loss that day, by the way.

Moncada made his third Sox start at cleanup in Thursday’s series opener in Boston.

Speaking of Boston …

Moncada is the first Sox second baseman to start out of the fourth hole vs. Boston since fellow former Red Sox Mike Andrews on Aug. 22, 1972 at Comiskey Park.

The last time a Sox second baseman started at cleanup in Boston prior to Moncada    on Thursday was Cass Michaels on May 5, 1950.

*A CONSTANT: This will mark the 117th consecutive season the White Sox will battle their red counterparts in Boston.

The first White Sox game in Boston was June 17, 1901 when the home team win the first game as part of a doubleheader split.

This is the 107th year in a row the White Sox are playing in Fenway Park.

Did you know the White Sox spoiled the formal dedication of Fenway Park. On May 17, 1912, among parades, pomp, circumstance and dignitaries, the White Sox prevailed 5-2 with winning pitcher Ed Walsh going 3-for-3. The White Sox used a four-run ninth to win.

*NO. 634: Rookie Nicky Delmonico became the 634th player to homer for the White Sox with his first career homer on Thursday.

And this from Nerd pal @ckamka …

*MORE NICKY: On Tuesday, Delmonico became the first Sox player to make his big league debut batting fifth since @TheBigHurt_35 aka Frank Thomas did it on Aug. 2, 1990 in Milwaukee.

Here’s the list of recent Sox 5-hole @mlb debuts flashed on the Guaranteed Rate Field scoreboard that night.

*CLEANUP KEVAN: Moncada wasn’t the only Sox player hitting in rare air in the fourth hole recently.

On Wednesday, Kevan Smith was the first Sox catcher to cleanup since A.J. Pierzynski on Sept. 27, 2011 and the first right-handed hitter to do it since Carlton Fisk on Oct. 1, 1991.

Digging deeper, Smith was the first Sox rookie catcher to start at cleanup since Matt Merullo on July 2, 1991. In addition, Smith was the first right-handed hitting rookie catcher to start out of the fourth spot since John Romano on Sept. 12, 1959.

*BACK-TO-BACK CHAMPS: The recently-completed sets vs. the @cubs and @Indians marked the first time the Sox had played the defending league champs in consecutive series at home.

This was the second time and second year in a row the Sox played the reigning World Series teams in back-to-back series. In 2016, the Sox played at Kansas City May 27-29 before heading to New York to play the Mets May 30-June 1 in the MATT ALBERS SERIES.

Other seasons in which the Sox played both of the previous years World Series teams were 2003 (Giants and Angels), 2004 (Marlins and Yankees), 2008 (Rockies and Red Sox) and 2011 (Cardinals and Rangers).

*A HIT BY A PITCHER: Here’s what I excavated in the wake of pitcher Carlos Rodon’s two-run double on July 25 at Wrigley Field:

–Rodon’s two RBI were one more than Sox pitchers amassed between 2013 and July 24, 2017

http://mlb.mlb.com/r/video?content_id=1648798083

–Rodon’s double was the first by a Sox pitcher since reliever Matt Albers‘ rocked the Big Apple on June 1, 2016

–Rodon’s two-bagger was the first by a Sox pitcher since Mark Buehrle on June 29, 2011

–Rodon’s double was the first by a Sox pitcher IN CHICAGO since fellow starter Stan Bahnsen victimized Texas’ Dan Stanhouse in the second game of a doubleheader on Aug. 4, 1972 at Comiskey Park.

–Prior to Rodon, the last Sox pitcher to log an RBI in the second inning was Philip Humber on June 16, 2012 at Dodger Stadium

*SIR PAUL: Sir Paul McCartney played two songs on July 25-26 at the the Hollywood Casino and Amphitheater and Casino that he and The Beatles played during their Aug. 20, 1965 day-night doubleheader at Comiskey Park: Can’t Buy Me Love and A Hard Day’s Night.

*NOTE: The Baseball Reference website and Play Index rocks!

@SOXNERD BLOG: A BASES-LOADED TRIPLE!

The first @SoxNerd Blog of the rebuild!

Yes, he’s the most anticipated arrival from the Sox minor league system in decades.

Yes, he loves Twinkies.

Yes, he’s a good-looking dude.

Yes, he can run, field, hit, throw and hit for power.

Yoan Moncada is all those things but the thing I love him for most RIGHT NOW is his bases-loaded triple.

NERD!

Bases-loaded triples have fascinated me for a long time now.

I don’t know if it’s because the play can be a game-changer or the triple is the most exciting play in baseball but something about this situation prompted me to start logging these incidents years ago.

The same is true for one-out saves and 1-0 White Sox victories (256 of them by the way!).

I have logged every White Sox bases-loaded triple digging as deeply as I can before the lack of information delayed me.

For those of you scoring at home, that is 1947!

With that being said (and with some always-sensational contributions from the great Chris Kamka at @ckamka), here’s a deep look inside Moncada’s bases-loaded triple Friday in Kansas City, which was his first big league hit:

–Moncada’s bases-loaded triple came in a Sox loss, which is a recent rarity. Prior to Friday, the Sox had won three in a row and five of their last six games in which they had a bases-loaded triple. … In the last 10 seasons, the Sox are 15-3 in games in which they had a bases-loaded triple

–Along those same lines, the Sox SHOULD NOT lose the next game in which they have a bases-loaded. Dating to 1947, the Sox have NEVER lost consecutive games when they have logged a bases-loaded triple

–Moncada’s bases-loaded triple was the first by a Sox sixth-place hitter since Jose Valentin on May 27, 2000 vs. Cleveland at Comiskey Park

–Moncada’s bases-loaded triple was the first by a Sox player in Kansas City since Conor Gillaspie on Sept. 16, 2014

–Moncada’s bases-loaded triple padded the Sox lead, which is a rarity based on recent history. Prior to Moncada, the last two and five of the last six Sox bases-loaded triples had given the Sox the lead. The only one that padded a Sox lead in that span was Marcus Semien’s three-bagger at Texas on April 20, 2014

–Three of the last four Sox bases-loaded triples (and four of the last seven) have been by second basemen (Brent Lillibridge Aug. 1, 2010, Moncada, Sanchez and Semien).

–Friday was the Sox first bases-loaded triple by a second baseman in Kansas City since Ray Durham on April 15, 1996

–2016 broke a string of three seasons in which the Sox had had a bases-loaded triple. … That was the longest streak since a 10-year run from 1994 to 2003

–The Sox did not have a bases-loaded triple between June 30, 1986 (Ozzie Guillen) and May 17, 1992 (Steve Sax)

–Among the more obscures players to notch bases-loaded triples with the Sox are Liu Rodriguez, Tony Muser, Bob Spence, Matt Batts, Phil Masi, Bob Souchock and …


JIM McANANY!

–July 12, 1959 was the greatest day in the history of White Sox bases-loaded triples. In  fact, it could be argued that day is the greatest day ever in the history of bases-loaded triples. On that day at Comiskey Park, Jim McAnany logged a bases-loaded triple in each game of a doubleheader!

 

 

@SOXNERD BLOG JULY 15: I’LL MISS YA, Q!

@SoxNerd Blog for July 15 …

*ON Q: I will miss Jose Quintana, who was dealt to the Cubs for three prospects on Thursday.

Not only was the left-hander a classy and consistent performer, there were some aspects to his being that really helped the @SoxNerd on Twitter and in the Scoreboard Control Room at Guaranteed Rate Field. This, of course, in addition to all the standard information that the accomplished career of Quintana provided.

Notes on digging deep on Quintana …

–I got a lot of mileage of his Major League rankings among natives of Colombia. Quintana ended his White Sox career the all-time leader among Colombians with 890 strikeouts, 169 starts among pitchers and 1,055.1 innings and second to Julio Teheran with 50 victories. …Quintana was the first native of Colombia to make an Opening Day start for an American League team (2017)

–I loved the fact that his last name started with ‘Q,’ which put him in rare air in White Sox history. He and “Long” John Quinn and Tom Qualters are the only pitchers with a last name that starts with ‘Q’ to play for the Sox. Quintana is the first ‘Q’ to earn decisions and victories for the Sox since Quinn in 1918. … In addition, Quintana and Quinn (Boston 1922 and Brooklyn 1931) are the only ‘Q’ pitchers to make an Opening Day start.

–His high number of 62 also provided some good stuff. It was difficult to nail down a pitcher with a higher number to make a start for the Sox. Gerry Staley is listed as wearing No. 66 for the 1956 Sox but he wore two different numbers that season, which muddies the research waters a bit. Still, though, I transformed that high number into a few nuggets.

*MORE Q: I was hoping Quintana would get one more start with the White Sox so I could flash a few of the stats I dug up after his sacrifice fly in his last start.

Here are a few I Tweeted out …

#JoseQuintana aka @jose_quintana24 1st sac fly RBI by a @whitesox pitcher since #JoelHorlen on 5-12-71 vs Washington @ ComiskeyPark

#JoseQuintana aka @jose_quintana24 1st sac fly RBI by a @whitesox starting pitcher since @TommyJohn288 on 9-14-69 vs Oakland @ ComiskeyPark

#JoseQuintana aka @jose_quintana24 1st sac fly RBI by a @whitesox starting pitcher on the road since GaryPeters on 6-24-69 @ Seattle

From our pal Chris Kamka …

Here are some that did not make it to Twitter …

–Quintana’s sac fly was the first by a Sox player with a Q last name since Aug. 14, 2011 when Carlos Quentin’s fourth-inning fly plated Juan Pierre in a 6-2 win over Kansas City at U.S. Cellular Field on Aug. 14, 2011

–Quintana drove in his right fielder, Willy Garcia, with his sac fly. The last time a Sox pitcher plated his right fielder in that fashion was on July 31, 1966 when Horlen brought in Ken Berry in a 4-1 win over the Yankees in the first game of a doubleheader at Comiskey Park.

Sorry, Q you won’t see these next week. We love ya’ but you’re the enemy now!

ALL ATWITTER OVER MINNIE’S HALL CAMPAIGN

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Minnie Miñoso’s career was one of firsts.

He was the first African American to play for the White Sox.

He was Major League Baseball’s first Cuban star.

He was the first big leaguer to appear in five different decades.

If Chris Kamka and scores of others have their way, Minnie will be the first player inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame thanks to a primary push from Twitter.

The stats coordinator for Comcast SportsNet Chicago recently launched the @Minoso9HOF Twitter account (with the #MinnieHOF hashtag) to ramp up the campaign to get Minoso his long overdue spot in Cooperstown.

The account has 653 followers and counting.

“After seeing the incredible Hall of Fame campaign for Tim Raines launched by Jonah Keri, Ryan Spaeder and others, it made me think that maybe it isn’t too late to get the ball rolling for Minnie,” Kamka said. “I know he’s not on the ballot and that it’s a much tougher mountain to climb, but everything needs to start somewhere.

“A spot in the Hall of Fame is something Minnie deserves, and even though he’s not here to see it, it’s something his family deserves to see as well. And it’s something White Sox fans and Minnie Miñoso fans deserve to see. And at the very least, I can use this opportunity to honor a great ballplayer and a great man.”

Raines’ candidacy, which resulted in a successful election in January, got on-line support from the likes of Keri and Spaeder.

Kamka isn’t alone in his drum-beating for Miñoso’s Hall of Fame induction.

A quick Google search of “Minnie Miñoso Hall of Fame” produces countless articles from organizations such as ESPN and the New York Times touting and supporting the “Cuban Comet’s” candidacy for the Hall.

Miñoso made 15 appearances on the Baseball Writers Association of America’s Hall of Fame ballot but never approached the 75 percent needed to get elected. Minnie’s best showing on the writers ballot was in 1988 when he was listed on 21.1 percent of the vote.

The Veterans Committee and Golden Days committee have failed Minnie repeatedly with the most recent disappointment coming in 2015. The next time this era is up for election is in 2020.

The Miñoso/Kamka account, which uses the hashtag #MinnieHOF, features a timeline which is dotted with stats, facts and anecdotes on the colorful and remarkable career of Miñoso, who died on March 1, 2015.

Some examples:

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For Kamka, who makes a living crunching, contextualizing and making sense of the numbers, this campaign is a no-brainer.

“Minnie Miñoso is deserving Hall of Famer because he was an All-Star performer in the Negro Leagues, because he was a pioneer for Black Latinos in the Majors and because he was a dominant player in the American League for a long period of time,” said Kamka, whose @ckamka Twitter account has over 22,000 followers.

“Minnie is a great source of pride among White Sox fans and among baseball fans in general. Seemingly every White Sox fan has a Minnie Miñoso story.  He was one of the finest baseball ambassadors of his day.