Category Archives: cubs


Chicago’s top third basemen of the 1970s are celebrating their White Sox trade anniversaries today.

On this date in 1973, the Sox acquired Ron Santo from the Cubs. Two years later, they shipped Bill Melton to the California Angels.

Here are the details:


In the biggest swap between the Chicago franchises, the Sox acquired Santo from the Cubs for pitchers Steve Stone, Jim Kremmel and Ken Frailing and catcher Steve Swisher.

The Cubs, looking to go young, turned to the Sox to deal Santo after Santo became the first player to refuse a trade (to the California Angels) based on the 10-5 clause (10 years in the big leagues, five years with the same club).

While the Cubs didn’t get much production out of their end of the deal, this swap has to be considered a bad one for the Sox.

Santo, the heart and soul of the Cubs from 1960 to 1973, never seemed comfortable on the Southside and “was vocal in his criticisms of Dick Allen’s special privileges,” according to Rich Lindberg’s “White Sox Encyclopedia.”

Santo lasted one forgettable year with the Sox, hitting .221 with five homers and 41 RBIs while playing DH, second base and third base.


Two years later, the Sox traded Melton, their all-time home run leader, Bill Melton to the Angels in a four-player exchange.

Melton, a third baseman, went west with pitcher Steve Dunning for first baseman Jim Spencer and outfielder Morris Nettles.

Melton hit a Sox record 154 home runs between 1968 and 1975.

He set a Sox record with 33 home runs in 1970 and then tied it a year later when he became the first player in franchise history to lead the league in roundtrippers outright.

His later years with the franchise were hampered by a back injury and squabbles with broadcaster Harry Caray.

Melton’s injury in 1972 was particularly devastating.

“If Melton didn’t come up with a herniated disc in mid-season, he played just 60 games that year, I think that club would have gone onto the World Series,” White Sox GM Roland Hemond, who made both the Santo and Melton swaps, recalled years later.

Spencer was a solid contributor at the plate and a sensational contributor in the field for the Sox in 1976 and 1977.

The left-hander became the first Sox first baseman to win a Gold Glove in 1977.

On two occasions in 1977, he tied the club record with eight RBIs in a game (May 14, 1977 and July 2, 1977).

Melton played with the Angels in 1976, hitting six homers in 118 games. He played his final game on Aug. 30, 1977 for the Indians vs. the Sox in Cleveland. Melton was fanned by Ken Kravec in his last AB.

Melton, always a fan favorite, has worked as a studio analyst on Sox cable telecasts.

He was the subject of this entertaining White Sox Talk podcast



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

–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 three 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: I Wanna Be Your Man, Can’t Buy Me Love and A Hard Day’s Night.

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


The latest @SoxNerd Blog …

A few random nuggets on the White Sox-Cubs series, @SoxNerd style … 

*Anthony Swarzak earned his first career save in the White Sox 3-1 win over the Cubs at Wrigley Field on Monday.

The only other pitcher to do that was Jesus Pena in the Sox 4-2 win in 12 at Wrigley Field on July 7, 2000.

Much like Swarzak, Pena, a lefty, K’d the last batter he faced (Brant Brown).

Unlike Swarzak, who recorded four outs and got a called K (Willson Contreras) to end it, Pena faced one man and got him swinging.

That was the only save of Pena’s career.

*Prior to Swarzak, the last Sox pitcher other than David Robertson to save a game vs. the Cubs was Matt Lindstrom on May 5, 2014 at Wrigley Field.

*The Sox lead the all-time series with the Cubs, 58-51.

*The Sox won their first game as defending champs vs. the Cubs. On May 19, 2006, Mark Buehrle and the Sox, backed by a Jim Thome homer, dumped Greg Maddux and the Cubs 6-1 at Wrigley Field.

*Rick Renteria and Robin Ventura are the only Sox managers to win their debuts vs. the Cubs. … Terry Bevington, Jerry Manuel and Ozzie Guillen all dropped their first games vs. the Cubs.

*Statcast finally determined Matt Davidson’s homer went 476-feet with an exit velocity of 110 mph.

DingerTracker had … 

*Exclusive company …

*Too easy 

*Hashtag “proud grandpa … ”


@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!


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Rick Renteria managed his first game for the White Sox on Tuesday at Guaranteed Rate Field.

In the wake of Tuesday’s loss, here are some White Sox Opening Day nuggets … @SoxNerd style:

*Skipper report: Rick Renteria became the first man to manage an Opening Day game for both Chicago franchises on Tuesday.

Johnny Evers, the first baseman of the famed double play combination,  is the only other man to skipper the Cubs and the Sox.

After managing the Cubs in 1913 and 1921, Evers was hired to guide the Sox in 1924 but didn’t start until May because of illness.  

*Skipper report II: Renteria is 0-2 in openers. The Cubs dropped his managerial debut 1-0 in Pittsburgh in 2014. … The last Sox full-time manager to win his first game with the club was Jerry Manuel in 1998. Robin Ventura lost his debut in 2012 while Ozzie Guillen dropped his in 2004.

*Tyler talk: Tyler Saladino was 2-for-4 with a run and a walk leading off and playing second base in his first big league Opening Day assignment.

Counting his minor league days, Saladino boosted his average to .444 (8-for-18) in Opening Day games.

Saladino singled and eventually scored to lead off the game and the season. The last time that happened for the Sox was in 2015 with Juan Pierre ina 15-10 win at Cleveland. Prior to Saladino, the last time a Sox player led off the season with a hit and scored in Chicago was Pablo Ozuna, who doubled and crossed on Darin Erstad’s homer, in 2007.

*Hail Colombia: Jose Quintana joined Julio Teheran as the only Colombian pitchers to start an Opening Day game.

Quintana made his first start in an Opener for the Sox on Tuesday while Teheran made his fifth Opening Day start for the Braves on Monday.

*On ‘Q:’ Quintana became just the second pitcher in big league history whose last name starts with ‘Q’ to start an Opening Day game.

The other? “Long” John Quinn for the Boston Red Sox in 1922 and for the Brooklyn Robbins in 1931.

*Abreu file: Jose Abreu was 2-for-4 with an RBI on Tuesday, jacking his Opening Day average to .429 (6-for-14).

Abreu has hit safely in all four of his big league season premieres with a home run and three RBI.

*New guys: The White Sox had six players starting in their first Opening Day game for the club on Tuesday: Saladino, Tim Anderson, Omar Narvaez, Quintana, Jacob May and Cody Asche.

The previous two times that happened, in 2005 and 2000, the Sox reached the postseason.

The last time the Sox had more than six starters making their first Opening Day start for the club was in 1981, the first year of the current ownership.

*May day: Jacob May, the Sox third round pick in the June 2013 draft, made his big league debut in Tuesday’s Opener.

He is the nephew of Carlos May, who was the first Sox draftee (1966) to make an Opening Day start for the club in 1969.

Also Tuesday, May joined Daryl Boston (1985), John Cangelosi (1986), Mike Cameron (1998), Aaron Rowand (2003-05) and Brian Anderson (2006) as the only Sox draftees to make an Opening Day start for the club.

*One for Skilling: Monday marked just the 10th time the White Sox scheduled Opening Day game was “weathered out.”

The last time the Sox lost their starter to Mother Nature was in 2009 when the forecast of high winds, cold, rain and snow prompted the team to call off the game vs. the Royals early and reschedule (and play) it the next day.

*Draft class: Anderson joined Lee “BB” Richard (1971), Bucky Dent (1974-76) and Harry Chappas (1978) as the only players drafted and signed by the Sox to make an Opening Day start at shortstop for the club.

Anderson was the Sox first round pick in 2013.

*Catching on … not: J.C. Martin is still the only catcher to start an Opening Day for the Sox and the Cubs.

Geovany Soto had a chance to do it but he did not start for the Sox on Tuesday. Soto was the Cubs Opening Day backstop from 2008 to 2012.

Martin started Sox curtain-raisers behind the plate in 1963 and 1964 and for the Cubs in 1970.

*Historical link: Melky Cabrera did not homer for the Sox on Opening Day but he has in the past.

Cabrera hit the final Opening Day home run in the original Yankee Stadium in his first Opening Day game in 2008. The first Opening Day home run in the “House that Ruth Built” was hit by … Babe Ruth, of course! The Babe went deep against the A’s in the 1923 inaugural in Yankee Stadium.


Dallas Green, who died on Wednesday, made one significant trade with the White Sox during his days as general manager of the Cubs.

It was a deal Green HAD to make in order to save face.

In January of 1983, Chicago’s baseball teams, at the height of their rivalry, pulled off their biggest deal with each other.

This was more than a routine trade, though.
There was strategy, bluffing, saving face, blaring headlines, scrutiny , drama … Good stuff.

In the middle of a contentious rebuild and culture change, the blustery and boisterous Green was faced with the prospect of being embarrassed or being swindled by his crosstown rival.

Green chose the latter but some would say both happened.

On Jan. 25, 1983, the White Sox and general manager Roland Hemond acquired infielders Scott Fletcher and Pat Tabler and pitchers Dick Tidrow and Randy Martz from the Cubs for starting pitcher Steve Trout and reliever Warren Brusstar.

The biggest swap between Chicago’s Major League teams came after the Sox flirted with selecting future Hall of Famer Jenkins, who was the Cubs’ best pitcher in 1982 and one of the most popular players in franchise history, as compensation for losing free agent outfielder Steve Kemp.

The compensation for free agent loss was born out of the 1981 players strike and would net the Sox Tom Seaver a year later and got them Joel Skinner after the 1981 campaign.

Under the rules of the day, teams that lost a free agent were allowed to pick a from a pool of unprotected players as compensation.

The Cubs left Jenkins unprotected figuring teams would not waste their time on 39-year old pitcher with a big ($500,000) contract. It is for those reasons the Mets left Seaver unprotected a year later.

The Cubs got to keep Jenkins (the Sox chose pitcher Steve Mura from the Cardinals instead) but had to surrender three promising players and established setup man in exchange for the enigmatic Trout and adequate Brusstar.

When the whole matter was settled Green said he was “relieved.”

Man, did the Chicago Tribune have a field day with this one, too.

“Sox feast on hostage Cubs,” blared one headline. “Tiny Roland puts big hit on Dallas,” read another.

The deal was more sizzle than steak with none of the principles having a long term impact on their new teams.

Fletcher and Tidrow were contributors to the Sox A.L. West title team in 1983 and Trout was a member of the Cubs’ 1984 N.L. East Division title team but none of the members of this trade ever blossomed into star.