Category Archives: Mark Buehrle

@SOXNERD RELIC OF THE DAY: A PERFECT COVER BOY

A White Sox appearance on the cover of Sports Illustrated is so rare of course I keep them all.

This one, featuring Mark Buehrle’s July 24, 2009 perfect game vs. Tampa Bay at U.S. Cellular Field was issued 11 days after the gem.

You would think this event would be a “no-brainer” for the cover considering the drama and Dewayne Wise’s catch but the Sox had a hard time making SI’s front when they won the 2005 World Series.

When I saw this cover my first reaction was, “Perfect!”

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COUNTDOWN TO WHITE SOX OPENING DAY: 81 DAYS

81 days to Opening Day, White Sox fans!

Win No. 81 of Mark Buehrle’s career was an eventful one and … ONE THAT THE @SOXNERD FAMILY WITNESSED.

On Aug. 1, 2005 the left-hander got the win but saw an impressive streak come to an end.

On an unbearably hot and humid day in Baltimore, Buehrle and the first-place Sox beat the Orioles 6-3 before 47,823 at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

Buehrle’s streak of going at least six innings was halted at 49 when he was inexplicably tossed without warning by plate ump Brian Gorman with two outs in the sixth.

The streak was the longest since Steve Carlton went 69 straight for the Phillies from 1979 to 1982.

Buehrle got the gate for the first time in his career after he plunked B.J. Surhoff with Sammy Sosa (THE TYING RUN) on first base.

The HBP was the latest in a series of plunkings in the four-game set.

Hawk Harrelson was not pleased.

“Oh, come on. What are you doing?” Hawk said on the telecast as reported in the next day’s Tribune. “You’ve got to be kidding me. What are you doing Brian Gorman? Are you nuts?

“Are you nuts? You have got to be. . . . “That is total BS.

“They drill [Tadahito] Iguchi last night … [A.J.] Pierzynski gets drilled . . . aw, I’ll tell you. That is absolutely BS from a veteran umpire.

“I’ll tell you. Some of these umpires have no clue, absolutely no clue. And evidently, he’s one of them. . . .

“The only guy who doesn’t know what’s going on is the guy behind the plate.

“That is so bad. For a veteran umpire . . . that’s so much BS, it’s unbelievable.

“(Buehrle’s 49-game streak of pitching through six innings) was ended by an inept call possibly by an inept umpire.”

By the way, Joe West was the third base ump that day. He would deliver Buehrle his second ejection five years later over a balk call in Cleveland.

Other highlights from that game …

*Prior to the game, the Orioles learned Rafael Palmeiro was suspended for steroids.

*Buehrle improved to 12-4.

*The win completed a four-game sweep, the Sox first in Baltimore in 1954.

A PERFECT LOOK BACK

In my prior life, I was Sports Editor of the Kenosha News.

I spent the better part of my 29.75 years there trying to keep my Sox world and my newspaper world separate.

Every now and again, always for the betterment of the paper, the worlds intersected.

Mark Buehrle’s perfect game, which is celebrating its ninth birthday today, was one of those times.

Here is the column I wrote for the Kenosha News on No. 56’s perfecto:

A few

perfect

thoughts

I was fortunate enough to attend Mark Buehrle’s perfect game in the White Sox 5-0 win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday afternoon at U.S. Cellular Field.

With the exception of Game 2 of the 2005 World Series at the same venue, the “perfecto” was the most amazing, compelling, thrilling, grueling, scintillating, tense sporting event I have ever witnessed.

Here are some observations:

*There’s always a Kenosha connection: Buehrle victimized the Rays, who employ Kenosha native Dick Bosman as their minor league pitching coordinator.

While Bosman was not on hand Thursday, Scott Kazmir, one of his former “students,” was the losing pitcher. Bosman was Kazmir’s pitching coach at Double-A Montgomery in 2004.

The Rays couldn’t have been any classier Thursday. After the game, the team respectfully watched the Sox celebration from the top of their dugout with a few of the Rays politely acknowledging Buehrle.

“Yes, I’m proud to be part of this organization,” Bosman wrote to me in an e-mail. “Good people from top to bottom.”

*Other connections: Former Kenosha Kroaker and Rays reliever Joe Nelson watched the game from the bullpen.   … Current Rays’ pitching coach Jim Hickey pitched against the Kenosha Twins for the Appleton Foxes in 1984.   Don Cooper, Buehrle’s pitching coach, spent some time at Simmons Field as pitching coach for the White Sox South Bend affiliate in 1988.

*Memories: Bosman has a no-hitter himself.

On July 19, 1974, 35 years and one week ago today, the fiery right-hander no-hit Oakland for host Cleveland.

“Of course, every time there is a no-hitter, the memories come flooding back,” Bosman said.

The only blemish on the scorecard that day was a throwing error by Bosman in the fourth inning. At the time, Bosman was just the third pitcher to keep himself from a perfect game because of his own error. The others? The Giants’ Christy Matthewson on June 13, 1905, against the Cubs and the Senators’ Walter Johnson on July 1, 1920 vs.  Boston.

Buehrle, an excellent fielder, handled three chances Thursday. He retired Sox-killer Carl Crawford twice on comebackers and logged a putout on Carlos Pena’s grounder to first.

*More memories: Do you think White Sox bullpen coach Juan Nieves had a flashback when DeWayne Wise preserved the perfect game with a spectacular catch?

Nieves’ no-hitter of April 15, 1987, ended when Brewer teammate Robin Yount gloved Eddie Murray’s fly ball in left-center at Baltimore’s Memorial Stadium.

*Been there, done that: Kenoshan Gene Pobloski was probably wondering what all the fuss over Buehrle’s perfect game was about.

He owns 20 perfect games.

Pobloski was inducted into the Kenosha USBC BA (formerly KBA) Hall of Fame on Feb. 28.

*Mapquest: Prior to Thursday, the closest perfect game to Kenosha was also thrown by a Sox pitcher.

On April 30, 1922, Charles Robertson tossed the first perfect game in Sox history at Navin Field (later renamed Tiger Stadium) in Detroit, which is 337 miles from Kenosha. U.S. Cellular Field is 60 miles from Kenosha.

If Pittsburgh’s Harvey Haddix had a little better luck, his perfect game would have been the closest pitched to Kenosha. On May 26, 1959, Haddix threw 12 perfect innings at Milwaukee County Stadium (41.6 miles from Kenosha) against the Braves. An error in the 13th ended the perfect game and a two-run homer by Joe Adcock later in the frame hung the toughest-luck loss of all-time on Haddix.

Or

If the Cubs’ Milt Pappas had gotten a call from umpire Bruce Froemming, his perfect game would have been the closest to Kenosha. On Sept. 2, 1972, Pappas retired the first 26 batters he faced at Wrigley Field (53.8 miles from Kenosha) before he walked Marv Stahl on two close pitches that Froemming would not call strikes. Pappas got the next batter to pop out to trumpet-tooting Carmen Fanzone at second for the no-no.

*Traffic!  Pat Burrell’s blast that the wall-climbing Wise gloved in the ninth inning wasn’t the only long drive Thursday.

It took me 3 hours and 9 minutes to get home after the game. The game only took 2:03.

No matter … it was worth it!

WHITE SOX BREW-TOWN RUNDOWN

With the Brewers set for a now rare trip to the Southside this weekend, here’s a look at the Sox and Milwaukee … @SoxNerd style:

*THEY ARE BACK: This is the first meeting between the White Sox and Brewers in Chicago since 2012.

The franchises, separated by 93 miles, met annually in the Windy City between 1970 and 1997 when the Brewers were both in the American League.

The teams met once-a-year as part of the Central vs. Central interleague setup between 1998 and 2001 but have only played three times (2009, 2012 and 2015) since then.

*CHICAGO LAST: The Sox downed the Brewers 1-0 on June 24, 2012 in the last meeting between the teams in Chicago.

Before 26,000+ at then-named U.S. Cellular Field, Eduardo Escobar’s one-out single in the 10th enabled the Sox to walk-off with a three-game series win and their first 1-0 victory over the Brewers since May 13, 1992 and their first in Chicago since June 10, 1998.

Among those on hand were Sox starting pitcher Jose Quintana’s (no decision) dad, who was in from Columbia to watch his son pitch for the first time.

This was also the day the Sox acquired Kevin Youkilis from Boston.

*LAST TIME: The last meeting between the former American League rivals was a 4-2 Sox win at Miller Park on May 13, 2015 which gave the visitors the victory in the three-game set.

Avisail Garcia, on the DL now, hit a three-run homer in the first to give the Sox the lead for good.

More on that game: The only player who appeared in that game that should play this weekend is Milwaukee’s Ryan Braun . … Adam Laroche homered for the Sox. … NealCotts, a member of the Sox 2005 World Series team, pitched the ninth for Milwaukee.

NUMBERS: The Sox lead the series 203-176. … The Sox have captured the last five series and 12 of the last 15 games between the clubs.

*MR. BASEBALL: Hall of Fame broadcaster Bob Uecker will be making a rare road trip in his role calling Brewers games on the radio.

In recent years, Uecker, who has been behind the Milwaukee microphone since 1971, has made fewer and fewer road trips after various health issues.

On a recent broadcast, Uecker revealed he was making the trip to Guaranteed Rate Field, in part, to congratulate retiring Sox announcer Hawk Harrelson.

*NO TY: While Uecker will be in action this weekend, former Sox utilityman Tyler Saladino won’t be.

The Brewers placed Saladino on the 10-day disabled list with a left ankle sprain Wednesday after suffering the injury Tuesday night on a force play.

Since the Brewers purchased him from the Sox on April 19, Saladino hit .324 with three home runs (all vs. Arizona) and eight RBI in 16 games for Milwaukee. Saladino hit .250 in eight games for the Sox this season.

*CLEAN SHAVEN: Follower La Vie en Bleu 108, a suburban Milwaukee resident, got a kick out of Saladino’s hot start and new look.

At last look, though, Saladino had his stache.

*THE FIRST: The Sox played their first road game ever in Milwaukee.

On May 3, 1901, the Sox trampled the Milwaukee Brewers, who moved to St. Louis and became the Browns in 1902, 11-3.

The game was played at the Lloyd Street Grounds, which is long gone. The above picture is where the left field grandstand was, I believe.

*HANK AND THE SOX: The legendary Hank Aaron made his only appearance against the Sox for the Brewers in 1975 and 1976.

Here are some Nerd nuggets on the Brewers Hank and the Sox:

–Aaron went 1-for-4 in his first career appearance against the White Sox in the White Sox 4-2 win at Milwaukee on May 26, 1975.

–Aaron went 1-for-4 with an RBI in his final appearance against the White Sox on Aug. 27, 1976. Hank singled home Robin Yount with an eighth-inning single off Ken Kravec in his final at bat vs. the Sox in Milwaukee. The Sox won, 5-2.

–Aaron went 1-for-3 with an eighth-inning single off Goose Gossage in his Comiskey Park debut as the Brewers’ designated hitter in a White Sox 1-0 loss on June 9, 1975.

–Aaron went 0-for-2 with two walks in his final appearance at Comiskey Park in a 5-3 Sox win on July 15, 1976.

–Aaron posted the last of his 96 triples against the White Sox. In the first inning of a Sox doubleheader sweep on July 20, 1975, Aaron  tripled for the final time (off Claude Osteen)

–Aaron faced 22 teams in his Hall of Fame career. The Sox were the only team Hank did NOT victimize with a homer.

–Aaron did not homer in three of the 34 parks in which he played: Comiskey Park (10 games), Yankee Stadium (five games) and Roosevelt (N.J.) Stadium (two games).

NOTEWORTHY SOX-BREWERS GAMES:

*APRIL 10, 1970: Bobby Knoop’s tiebreaking homer in the fifth helped the White Sox top the Brewers 5-4 in the inaugural game between the teams before 1,036 at Comiskey Park. Jerry Janeski pitched into the eighth in winning his big league debut with help from Wilbur Wood, who got the final five outs for the save.

*APRIL 11, 1970: The Brewers notched their first win with an 8-4 win over the White Sox at Comiskey Park.

*APRIL 18, 1970: Luis Aparicio’s two-run single in the seventh gave the White Sox the lead for good in an 8-5 win over the Brewers in the first meeting between the franchises in Milwaukee. Danny Murphy tossed three shutout innings for the save.

*APRIL 14, 1981: Carlton Fisk hit a grand slam in his Comiskey Park debut with the White Sox in a 9-3 win over Milwaukee before an Opening Day crowd of 51,560. Kevin Hickey fashioned a perfect ninth in his big league debut and Greg Luzinski drove in two in his Comiskey Park debut as the Sox rang in the Reinsdorf-Einhorn Era with a resounding win.

*AUG. 25, 1981: Dennis Lamp carried a no-hitter into the ninth in the White Sox 5-1 win over the Brewers at Milwaukee County Stadium. Robin Yount’s double leading off the ninth was Milwaukee’s only hit.

*MAY 8-9, 1984: Harold Baines’ homer in the 25th inning handed the White Sox a 7-6 win over the Brewers at Comiskey Park in the longest game in American League history. The game took two days to play and took 8 hours and 6 minutes to complete.

*APRIL 9, 1985: Making the 15th of his record 16 Opening Day starts, Tom Seaver pitched into the seventh for the win in the White Sox 4-2 triumph at Milwaukee. Ozzie Guillen went 1-for-5 in his big league debut while inaugurating his A.L. Rookie of the Year campaign.

*APRIL 7, 1986: Milwaukee’s Rob Deer hit the only Opening Day roof shot home run in Comiskey Park history in the Brewers’ 5-3 win before 42,265 at 35th and Shields.

*APRIL 20, 1987: Before a large contingent of Brewers fans, Milwaukee won its record-tying 13th consecutive game to start the season with a 5-4 triumph over the White Sox at Comiskey Park.

*APRIL 21, 1987: The White Sox halted the Brewers’ record-tying season-starting winning streak at 13 with a 7-1 triumph at Comiskey Park.

*APRIL 9, 1990: Scott Fletcher’s sac fly in the seventh was the difference in the White Sox 2-1 win over Milwaukee before 40,008 in the final Opening Day at Comiskey Park.

*JULY 11, 1990: Dressed in 1917 replica uniforms, the White Sox staged the wildly successful “Turn Back the Clock” game before 40,666 against the Brewers at Comiskey Park. The Sox lost 12-9 in a game which featured a manual scoreboard and 50 cents general admission tickets in an effort to duplicate 1917 conditions.

*AUGUST 2, 1990: Frank Thomas drove in the winning run in his big league debut in the White Sox 4-3 win in the first game of a doubleheader at Milwaukee. Alex Fernandez, the Sox first round draft pick in June, started and pitched seven strong innings but settled for a no decision. Thomas drove in the winning run with a fielder’s choice in the ninth. In the second game, Melido Perez gave up just one earned run in 7.1 innings for his 10th victory in the Sox 4-2 win. The doubleheader win was part of a five-game sweep in Milwaukee.

*JULY 14, 1991: Jack McDowell gave up a leadoff homer to Paul Molitor and did not yield a hit the rest of the way in the White Sox 15-1 win at Milwaukee County Stadium. Warren Newson hit a three-run homer in helping McDowell earn his 11th win.

*MAY 4, 1992: Alex Fernandez twirled the White Sox first one-hitter in New Comiskey Park history in the White Sox 7-0 win over Milwaukee. A second-inning double to Dante Bichette was all that kept Fernandez from a no-no.

*MAY 26, 1996: Frank Thomas, Harold Baines and Robin Ventura hit consecutive home runs in the White Sox 12-1 win over Milwaukee before 21,151 at Comiskey Park. The outburst marked just the fifth time in team history the Sox hit back-to-back-to-back homers.

*SEPT. 15, 1997: The Milwaukee Brewers defeated the White Sox 11-10 at County Stadium in the final American League game between the teams. The Brewers shifted to the National League next season.

*JUNE 26, 1998: The Milwaukee Brewers topped the White Sox 2-1 in the first interleague game between the franchises before 17,298 at Comiskey Park.

*JULY 19, 1999: Thanks to back-to-back homers from Ray Durham and Chris Singleton in the 12th, the White Sox topped the Brewers 10-8 for their final win at Milwaukee County Stadium.

*JULY 20, 1999: The Brewers topped the White Sox 5-4 in the final game between the clubs at Milwaukee County Stadium.

*MARCH 30, 2001: The White Sox lost to the Brewers 5-4 in an exhibition game in the inaugural event at Milwaukee’s Miller Park. The White Sox Sandy Alomar Jr. hit the first unofficial homer in the Brewers’ new home.

*JULY 15, 2001: Sandy Alomar Jr.’s homer in the fifth was the difference as the White Sox topped the Brewers 3-2 in the first game at Miller Park between the franchises.

*JUNE 14, 2009: Mark Buehrle hit the only homer of his career in the White Sox 5-4 win in an interleague game at Milwaukee. Buehrle’s blast off Braden Looper leading off the third was the first by a Sox pitcher since Jon Garland in 2006. Buehrle went six innings but received no decision.

COUNTDOWN TO WHITE SOX OPENING DAY: 56 DAYS!

56 days until Opening Day, White Sox fans!

Mark Buehrle became one of the most beloved figures in White Sox history wearing No. 56 between 2001 and 2011.

Some Buehrle/56 notes:

*Buehrle’s 56th professional appearance came on Sept. 5, 2000 when he retired the only batter he faced (Rafael Palmeiro on a fly to right) while stranding two runners to end the ninth in a 2-1 loss to Texas on Sept. 5, 2000 at Comiskey Park

*The 56th pitch of Buehrle’s career was a strike to Chad Moeller to end the second in his first start and win on July 19, 2000 at the Metrodome. Buehrle got Moeller swinging with the bases loaded thanks to errors from Ray Durham and Tony Graffanino.

*Buehrle hooked the Angels’ Tim Salmon with his 56th career strikeout on May 9, 2001 at Comiskey Park

*Buehrle’s 56th start was an absolute crusher. On July 18, 2002 at Kansas City, Buehrle was lifted in the ninth after giving up a game-tying lead off homer to Carlos Beltran. Two batters later, the Sox were 5-3 losers thanks to a two-run homer yielded by Damaso Marte.

*Buehrle’s 56th win came on May 16, 2004. On that sunny Sunday at U.S. Cellular Field, Buehrle fired six shutout frames in improving to 3-1 on the season and 56-36 lifetime in the Sox 11-0 win over Minnesota.

*The 56th batter Buehrle faced in the postseason was the Angels Darin Erstad in Game 2 of the 2005 ALCS at U.S. Cellular Field. Buehrle got his future teammate to fly to center to end the seventh in a 1-1 game. Two innings later, A.J. Pierzynski stole first base in sparking the Sox win