Category Archives: Minnie Minoso

THE SOX AND FRIDAY THE 13TH

Wearing No. 13, Ozzie Guillen once homered for the White Sox on Friday the 13th.

A belated happy Friday the 13th to you, White Sox fans!

Or was it?

Here are some nuggets on the White Sox and the most superstitious day on the calendar (Warning: some of these may not be suitable for those with triskaidekaphobia):

*The @WhiteSox are 46-38-2 on Friday the 13th. … The Sox have lost their last three on the date but prior to that they had won five in a row and eight of their last nine on Friday the 13th

*The Sox have been at or above .500 on the date since July 13, 1973 when Eddie Leon’s RBI single capped a three-run ninth in a 3-2 win over Baltimore at Comiskey Park. That improved the Sox to 22-22-2 on Friday the 13th.

*The Sox last game on Friday the 13th was in 2016 and that game proved to be a huge jinx.

On that day in New York, Chris Sale improved to 8-0 with a complete game as the Sox whipped the Yankees 7-1.

The win, which also included a homer from Jimmy Rollins, improved to the Sox to 24-12 and enabled them to keep their five-game lead in the Central.

That, though, was the high point of the season.

From Saturday the 14th of May until the end of that season, the Sox went 54-72 and plummeted into fourth place in the Central.

*The Sox greatest win on Friday’ the 13th was one of the greatest games in their history.

On Aug. 13, 1954, Jack Harshman WENT THE DISTANCE in the Sox 1-0 win over Detroit in 16 INNINGS. Harshman fanned 12 and gave up nine hits and seven walks and got the win when Minnie Minoso’s triple drove in Nellie Fox with one out in the 16th.

*The Sox first Friday the 13th game was a 5-3 loss to Milwaukee in September of the franchise’s inaugural year of 1901.

*The Sox first win on Friday the 13th was a 9-0 win over Boston in June of 1902

*The Sox Friday the 13th ties were in April of 1928 (1-1 with Cleveland) and in June of 1958 (5-5 with Baltimore)

*Fittingly, 13 are the most runs the Sox have scored in a Friday the 13th game.

In September of 2002, Magglio Ordonez was 3-for-3 with three runs and three RBI in the Sox 13-2 win over the Yankees at Yankee Stadium.

That really was a freaky Friday because Rocky Biddle got the win over Mike Mussina.

*The Sox played their inaugural interleague game on a Friday the 13th.

On June 13, 1997, Wilson Alvarez went the distance as the Sox won 3-1 at Cincinnati.

*Ozzie Guillen, wearing No. 13, homered on Friday the 13th in June of 1986 in an 11-10 loss at Seattle. … Ozzie was 6-for-24 with that homer on Friday the 13th.

*In the only game between the Chicago teams on a Friday the 13th, the Sox beat the Cubs at Wrigley Field in July of 2001. Paul Konerko and Jose Valentin homered as the Sox won for the fourth time in their last five Friday the 13th tilts.

*I can not tell a lie: George Washington hit a homer for the Sox in their Friday the 13th loss to Philadelphia in September of 1935.

*Joe De Sa hit the second pinch-hit grand slam on a Friday the 13th. In September of 1985, De Sa victimized the Mariners in Seattle in the a 6-1 win.

*The White Sox last complete game shutout on Friday the 13th was in September of 1991 in Anaheim. Outdueling Jim Abbott, Jack McDowell used a Bo Jackson RBI in fashioning a four-hitter in a 1-0 win.

*White Sox infielder Hal Chase experienced a bit of bad luck on Friday the 13th in March of 1914.

Chase, a veteran, did not play in the Sox 4-0 exhibition win over the host San Francisco Seals because he left his uniform at the hotel in Oakland.

That nugget came from the Tribune.

*This isn’t the last you have heard from me on this subject.

I’ll be back on Friday, April 13th when the Sox play at Minnesota.

That is … if I’m lucky!

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@SOXNERD BLOG: DAY OFF? NO WORRIES! HERE’S YOUR SOX FIX!

The Tribune made the Sox win over the Angels and Nolan Ryan the top story on Aug. 9. More at http://archives.chicagotribune.com/1974/08/08/page/55/article/allen-hit-keys-sox-comeback

Here’s a look at some noteworthy @WhiteSox events that happened on this date to feed your Sox fix … 
My favorite game from this day …

*1974, KAAT, ALLEN DERAIL RYAN EXPRESS: Lefty Jim Kaat bested Nolan Ryan, who carried a no-hitter into the ninth, in the White Sox 2-1 win over California before 11,636 at Comiskey Park.

Kaat’s only mistake was a second-inning home run ball to Frank Robinson.

The Sox made Kaat a winner in the ninth when Ken Henderson drove in Dick Allen with the tying run and Bill Sharp brought home B.B. Richard with the game-winner.

Allen ruined Ryan’s no-hitter with a one-out single in the ninth.

Kaat gave up six hits with three strikeouts in improving to 13-8. Kaat, who was 4-0 against California, was 21-13 in 1974.

Ryan struck out 13 in falling to 14-12. 

More from this date …

*1910, NO. 1 SHUTOUT: Future Hall of Famer Ed Walsh fired a two-hitter in logging the first shutout at the Comiskey Park in the White Sox 4-0 win over Washington. The Sox tallied single runs in the second, third, sixth and eighth inning in improving to 38-58.

*1915, ODD POSITIONING: With Hall of Fame pitcher Walter Johnson in right field and Hall of Fame outfielder Sam Rice on the mound for the Senators, the White Sox prevailed 6-2 in Washington. The victory halted the Sox six-game losing streak.

*1916, PITCHER STEALS HOME! Pitcher Reb Russell swiped home and got the victory in the third inning of the first-place White Sox 7-1 win over Boston. Chicagoan Jack Ness fell a double shy of the cycle as the Sox banged out 13 hits.

*1925, TED TERRIFIC: Future Hall of Famer Ted Lyons twirled a three-hitter in outdueling fellow future Hall of Famer Red Ruffing in the White Sox 2-0 win in Boston. Lyons walked four and fanned one in improving to 16-6. Willie Kamm and Earl Sheely each drove in a run as the Sox won by shutout for the second straight day.

*1931, TOUGH RED: The legendary Red Faber surrendered five singles in blanking the Browns in the White Sox 2-0 win at Comiskey Park. The future Hall of Famer also doubled and scored as part of his sixth win.

*1935, I CAN NOT TELL A LIE … SOX WIN IN OT: Outfielder George Washington’s two-run single in the 10th handed the White Sox a 2-1 win in Cleveland. Washington’s hit scored Al Simmons and Zeke Bonura and helped the Sox survive Cleveland’s rally in the 10th.

*1956, DROPO THE HERO: Veteran Walt Dropo scored the winning run in the first game and drove in the game-winner in the nightcap as the White Sox swept a doubleheader from Kansas City with a pair of walkoff victories before 5,397 at Comiskey Park. In Game 1, Dropo scored on Jim Rivera’s 10th inning triple to give the White Sox a 5-4 win. In the nightcap, Dropo drove in Sherm Lollar with a 10th inning for a 4-3 Sox win. Prior to Game 2, the White Sox Dave Philley was ejected for continuing an argument with Red Flaherty that started in the opener.

*1960, WALKOFF SWEEP: The White Sox scored a pair of walkoff wins – and Gerry Staley was the victor in both contests — in sweeping a doubleheader from Washington before 25,843 at Comiskey Park. Gene Freese’s two-run homer in the ninth powered the Sox to a 9-7 win in the opener while Minnie Minoso’s single in the ninth got the Sox a 3-2 victory in the nightcap.

*1966, MOOSE SPARKS COMEBACK: Chicagoan Moose Skowron’s homer in the ninth tied it and Wayne Causey’s two-run triple in the 10th broke gave the Sox the lead in a 9-8 win at California. The Sox had to survive an Angel usprising in the 10th as Dennis Higgins came on to get the game’s final out for his third save.

*1981, BASEBALL IS BACK: The White Sox and Cubs battled to a scoreless tie before 27,048 in an exhibition game at Comiskey Park as baseball finally returned to Chicago after the game’s first protracted work stoppage. The game was the first in Chicago since June 11. The players went on strike June 12. The Sox gave away 10,000 batting helmets and staged a Sox-Cubs old-timers game before the exhibition. The teams also played the next day, this time at Wrigley Field.

*1990, NO. 1 FOR ALEX: Rookie Alex Fernandez notched his first Major League victory in the White Sox 5-3 win at Kansas City. Fernandez scattered nine hits in six innings. Bobby Thigpen, on course for a record-setting season, tossed the final 1.1 innings for this 36th save. The White Sox erased a two-run deficit with a three-run fifth behind a two-run single by Sammy Sosa and an RBI triple by Phil Bradley.

*1993, BLACK JACK DEALING: Future Cy Young winner Jack McDowell won his sixth consecutive start in the White Sox 6-4 win over the Angels before 42,535 at Comiskey Park. The Sox improved to 60-49 and increased their lead to 4.5 games in the AL West. Ron Karkovice homered twice for his 14th and 15th dingers of the season. McDowell (18-6) got help from Roberto Hernandez, who fanned Chad Curtis with the tying runs on base in the ninth inning for his 23rd save.

*1994, SPANKY GOES DEEP: Catcher Mike LaValliere’s first homer with the White Sox, a two-run shot in the ninth, forced extra innings in the White Sox 10-5 win in 12 innings over the Angels in Anaheim. Jose DeLeon fired 4.1 innings of scoreless relief to earn the victory. Frank Thomas drove in two runs in reaching the century mark for the fourth consecutive season.

*1999,  NO. 300 FOR FRANK: Future Hall of Famer Frank Thomas’ 300th home run accounted for the White Sox only highlight in an 11-1 loss to the Athletics in Oakland. Thomas reached the milestone off Kevin Appier in the sixth inning. Thomas became the 84th player in big league history and the 16th active player to reach the 300-homer plateau. Thomas also joined Barry Bonds, Fred McGriff, Mark McGwire and Cal Ripken Jr. as the only active players with 300 home runs, 1,000 RBI and 1,000 walks.

*2001, NO. 100 FOR MAGGS: Right fielder Magglio Ordonez hit his 100th home run in a 9-3 loss at Anaheim. Ordonez’s blast, a solo shot, came in the ninth off Mark Lukasiewicz. Ordonez became the 10th player in White Sox history to reach the century mark in dingers. He reached the milestone in his 585th game with the White Sox. Only Frank Thomas hit 100 homers with the White Sox in fewer games. “Big Frank” clubbed his 100th homer in his 506th game.

*2005, FUTURE CHAMPS WIN: The future World Series champion White Sox got a two-run homer from Paul Konerko and a solo shot from Joe Crede in downing Seattle 3-1 before 35,706 at US Cellular Field. Jon Garland got his 16th win and Dustin Hermanson pitched a perfect ninth for his 28th save.

*2013, A WALKOFF TRIPLE! Outfielder Alejandro De Aza’s two-run triple in the 12th delivered the White Sox a 6-5 win over the Yankees before 25,707 at U.S. Cellular Field. The Yankees took the lead in the top of the frame when Dylan Axelrod yielded a homer to Robinson Cano. The walkoff triple was the Sox first since Lyle Mouton came through with the game-winner on May 22, 1996.

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.