Category Archives: sports

@SOXNERD BLOG JUNE 12: SOX DRAFT DITTIES

@SoxNerd Blog for June 12 …

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.

*STUMPER ANSWER: Bruce Tanner son of Chuck Tanner

@SOXNERD BLOG JUNE 1: THERE GOES THE HAWK

@SoxNerd Blog for June 1: 

*HAWK TALK: Here are a few nuggets, @SoxNerd style, on Ken “Hawk” Harrelson, who announced Wednesday that 2018 will be his last season as the White Sox television announcer:

–EXTENDED FLIGHT: At 32 years (33 when it ends), Hawk is the longest-serving TV announcer in White Sox history.

He assumed that title in his 21st season of  2003 when he surpassed Hall of Famer Jack Brickhouse, who worked from 1948 to 1967.

Hawk will fall just short of Hall of Famer Bob Elson’s overall club record for broadcasting service. “The Commander” was behind the Sox mike — primarily on radio — for 35 years.

–HEY PARDS: During his career in the Sox TV booth, Hawk’s regular partners have been Don Drysdale, Tom Paciorek, Darrin Jackson and Steve Stone.

*SOX STUMPER: This is the trivia question flashed on Sox scoreboard for the team’s last home game on this date in 2014: Who is the only pitcher to appear in the postseason for both the White Sox and the Padres?

Answer below.

–PRE-HAWK: The year before Hawk landed at Comiskey Park, 1981, the Sox TV broadcasters were Harry Caray, Jimmy Piersall and Lou Brock.

–INTERIM HAWK: After serving as Sox GM in 1986, Hawk headed to New York to call Yankees games.

During his time away (1987-1989), Drysdale, Frank Messer, John Rooney, Gary Thorne and Jim Durham sat on Hawk’s perch in the Sox TV booth.

–GM HAWK: The Sox were 72-90 and finished fifth in the A.L. West in his only season as Sox GM in 1986. … In June, Hawk fired Tony LaRussa and hired Jim Fregosi as manager. … His front office acquired Bobby Bonilla from Pittsburgh in the Rule 5 Draft and then Hawk traded Bonilla to Pittsburgh for Jose DeLeon during the season. … Hawk’s best trade may have been prying Ivan Calderon away from Seattle for Scott Bradley … Hawk’s top draft pick in 1986 was Northwestern pitcher Grady Hall, who never played in the bigs. The two of Hawk’s picks who did play for the Sox were left-handed reliever Scott Radinsky and catcher Matt Merullo. … The Hawk regime signed Craig Grebeck out of a free agent tryout camp.

*SOX ALMANAC: On this date in 1937, Bill Dietrich, who was referenced by his nickname “Bullfrog” in the iconic 1983 movie “A Christmas Story,” tossed the first no-hitter by a White Sox pitcher in two seasons.

The righty whitewashed the St. Louis Browns 8-0 before an estimated crowd of 1,500 at Comiskey Park.

Dietrich walked two and struck out five in the 10th “no-no” in club history.

The Sox offense made things easy on Dietrich by scoring three times in the first.

–HAWK’S DEBUT: Harrelson’s debut as a player, which came against the Sox, has a neat link to another Sox broadcaster Ed Farmer.

Here’s an earlier Nerd blog on the subject https://soxnerd.wordpress.com/2017/04/15/the-hawk-and-ed-debut-coincidence/


–CHOOSING THE WRONG COLOR SOX: According to press reports of the day (like the United Press International piece above), the Hawk came close to joining the White Sox in 1967.

After being cut by Charlie Finley and the Kansas City A’s, Hawk chose red over white Sox in August of 1967.

The above syndicated story indicated the Hawk chose the Red Sox over the White Sox and their better short-term offer because they offered a contract for 1968.

The offensively-challenged but pitching rich White Sox probably would have won the ’67 pennant with the Hawk in their flock.

*STUMPER ANSWER: Scott Linebrink

@SOXNERD MAY 25 BLOG: HEAVY ON HISTORY

@SoxNerd Blog for May 25 …

*HISTORY LESSON: With the White Sox idle today and maintaining their perfect mark on days when they don’t play, what better time to look at the club’s history on this date.

Here is the “Reader’s Digest” version of notable Sox moments that happened on this date with full details below.

–1907: Sox raised their championship banner

–1912: Sox won in 17 innings

–1919: Sox used a triple play to beat Walter Johnson 

–1924: A steal of home helped the Sox prevail 

–1954: Sherm Lollar starred for the Sox at and behind the plate

–1979: Ross Baumgarten flirted with history for the Sox

–1992: Craig Grebeck was tough on the Cubs

–1996: Frank Thomas and Harold Baines reached milestones 

–2007: Luis Terrero!

–2008: CQ did it all for the Sox 

–2012: Jose Quintana and Long John Quinn became forever linked in Sox (Nerd) history.

*SOX STUMPER: Here is the trivia question displayed on the Sox scoreboard during the team’s last home game on this date in 2016 (it was Weather Day, mind you): Which of the following players never appeared in a game for the White Sox? A. Tim Raines; B. Josh Fogg; C. JT Snow; D. Dave Frost

*FULL DISCLOSURE: Here is a look, in detail, at some memorable moments on this date in Sox history:

–On this date in 1907,  the White Sox celebrated the raising of their 1906 World Championship banner with a 3-1 win over New York at South Side Park.
The banner raising was delayed because the original flagpole broke during a ceremony earlier in the homestand.

According to reports of the day, the ceremony was a surprise and was not greeted with the fanfare that accompanied the event where the flagstaff broke some days earlier.

The “immense banner of purple and gold” was raised by the groundskeeper and the fans loved it.

–On this date in 1912,  Ping Bodie’s single scored Harry Lord with the winning run as the White Sox edged Detroit 5-4 in 17 innings.

Frank Lange tossed 10 innings of scoreless relief for the win in what was the longest game at Comiskey Park and the fourth-longest game in club history at the time.

–On this date in 1919, the White Sox got a triple play in the top of the eighth and two runs in the bottom of the eighth to beat Washington and Walter Johnson 6-5 at Comiskey Park.

With the bases loaded in the eighth, center fielder Hap Felsch gloved a deep fly to start the triple play. Felsch got the ball in and eventually third baseman Buck Weaver and Eddie Collins recorded outs to finish off the sixth triple play in franchise history.

–On this date in 1924, Harry Hooper stole home with the go-ahead run in the eighth on the back end of a double steal in the White Sox 10-9 win at Washington.

Ray Schalk caught his 1,500th game but had to leave early after taking a foul tip off the finger.

–On this date in 1954, Sherm Lollar drove in the go-ahead run in the fifth as the White Sox stopped the Indians’ 11-game win streak with a 4-2 victory before 43,059 at Comiskey Park.

The game also featured the last stolen base Lollar would allow all year. From this date until the end of the season, Lollar would throw out the next 18 runners who try to steal.

–On this date in 1979, Ross Baumgarten carried a no-hitter into the seventh in the White Sox 6-1 win at California.

The left-hander went eight innings and yielded an unearned run before giving way to Randy Scarbery, who worked the ninth.

–On this date in 1992, Craig Grebeck went 2-for-2 with two RBI and Dan Pasqua homered in the White Sox 5-0 exhibition win over the Cubs at Wrigley Field.

Larry Thomas started the game and tossed six shutout for the victory while collecting two hits as the Sox upped their record to 7-0-1 since their series with the Northsiders resumed in 1985.

–On this date in 1996, Frank Thomas’ 100th home run at New Comiskey Park and Harold Baines’ 1,300th career RBI helped the White Sox hold off the Brewers 9-7 before 20,585 on the Southside.

–On this date in 2007,  Joe Crede’s sacrifice fly scored Tadahito Iguchi with the winning run in the White Sox 5-4 win over Tampa Bay before 34,538 at U.S. Cellular Field.

Luis Terrero launched a 425-foot homer (which would be the longest at the park in 2007) in the fourth.

The win put the Sox a season-best four games over .500 for the last time. Over the next month, the Sox hit the skids, winning only five of their next 27 games.

–On this date in 2008, Carlos Quentin capped his two-homer game with a walkoff shot leading off the ninth in the White Sox 3-2 win over the Angels before 36,195 at U.S. Cellular Field. Quentin’s two-run homer gave the Sox the lead in the third.

–On this date in 2012, Jose Quintana earned his first big league win in his first big league start in the White Sox 9-3 victory over Cleveland before 21,371 at U.S. Cellular Field.

Quintana became the first Colombian to win a game for the Sox and the first pitcher with a ‘Q’ last name to win a game for the Sox since Jack Quinn won at Philadelphia on Aug. 24, 1918.

*STUMPER ANSWER: JT Snow

@SOXNERD BLOG MAY 17: IN THE WAKE OF THE PRESENT, A LOOK AT THE PAST

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Jon Garland and Jermaine Dye teamed up for Sox wins on this date in 2006 and 2007 (Photo: tradingcardbb.com)

@SoxNerd Blog for May 17 …

*SOX ALMANAC OVERLOAD: After last night’s debacle maybe it’s best to look at the past instead of the present.

In the wake of Tuesday night’s tough loss at Anaheim, here are some feel-good Sox moments that took place on this date to take your mind off things:

SORRY FENWAY FANS
1912: The White Sox spoiled the party by defeating the Red Sox 5-2 on the day Boston’s Fenway Park was formally dedicated.

The White Sox’s four-run ninth sent the overflow crowd home unhappy.

Boston Mayor John “Honey Fitz” Fitzgerald, the grandfather of President John F. Kennedy, threw out the first pitch.

TAKE A CHANCE ON ME
1913: The White Sox celebrated “Frank Chance Day” with a 6-3 win over Chance’s Yankees before 35,000 at Comiskey Park.

Chance, a star with the Cubs in the early part of the century, was given a giant horseshore of flowers by Governor Dunne and Mayor Harrison gave him the keys to the City of Chicago.

The crowd roared when Chance took over at first base. His only at bat resulted in bounce out. Reb Russell spoiled Chance’s day with the victory on the mound for the Sox.

HE WASN’T A MCWEENY ON THIS DAY
1921: Chicagoan Buzzy McWeeny earned his first big league win in his first big league start in the White Sox 10-4 over the A’s at Comiskey Park.

McWeeny was backed by four hits from Joe Mulligan and four RBIs from Bibb Falk.

Appearing in his fifth game, McWeeny gave up 11 hits and three earned runs with three walks and four strikeouts.

NEXT STOP: THE NAVY
1942: Bound for the Navy, John Rigney capped the White Sox doubleheader sweep of Washington by going the distance in a 4-3 win in Game 2 before 16,229 at Comiskey Park.

Don Kolloway’s third double brought in the tying run and Sam West’s RBI two-bagger gave the Sox the lead for Rigney.

Ted Lyons drove in two runs and got the win in the 7-1 victory in Game 1 while Sam West logged three

RBIs. Rigney was expected to enlist in the navy soon after he was reclassified from 4F to 1A after the army had relaxed physical requirements.

ROUTING RYAN
1978: The White Sox battered Nolan Ryan for 10 hits, including two-run homers from Bill Nahorodny and Jorge Orta, in a 9-6 win over the Angels before 13,676 at Comiskey Park.

Eric Soderholm had two RBIs as Steve Stone pitched eight innings for his second win.

A ROSS WHITEWASHING
1981: New Trier East graduate Ross Baumgarten fired a four-hit shutout in the White Sox 9-0 win over Texas before 30,990 at Comiskey Park.

Baumgarten retired the first 13 batters of the game and wound up facing just two over the minimum while striking out four.

ELITE COMPANY FOR GAR
2005: Jon Garland became the first White Sox pitcher to win his first eight starts in 69 years in a 5-2 triumph of Texas before 18,333 at US Cellular Field.

The last Sox pitcher to accomplish this feat was John Whitehead in 1936.

Garland gave up two runs on five hits with two walks and four strikeouts in becoming the Majors’ first eight-game winner.

ANOTHER WIN TO DYE FOR
2006: Jermaine Dye broke a 2-2 tie with a run-scoring single in the eighth as the first-place White Sox won at Tampa Bay 5-2.

Earlier in the game, Dye had pulled the Sox to within a run with a home run and then tied the game with a sac fly in the next inning.

Jon Garland pitched seven strong innings for his third win and Bobby Jenks fanned the side in the ninth for his 12th save.

SUCCESS TO DYE FOR
2007: Jermaine Dye homered and drove in all of the White Sox runs in a 4-1 win over the Yankees before 30,488 at U.S. Cellular Field.

Jon Garland gave up one run on six hits in seven innings for his third win. He got relief help from Mike MacDougal and Bobby Jenks, who earned his 13th save.

*SOX STUMPER: Here is the trivia question I flashed on the Sox scoreboard for the team’s last home game on this date in 2011: Who victimized Texas’ Nolan Ryan with the last back-to-back home runs at Old Comiskey Park?

*SANCHEZ SMASH: Yolmer Sanchez’s 405-foot home run on Tuesday night in Anaheim was the second-longest of his career.

Sanchez’s longest home run was a 448-foot blast at Kansas City on Sept. 19, 2016.

*BITS: The Sox have lost six in a row to the Angels. The longest losing streak the Sox had to the Angels was an eight-gamer in 1995.

*STUMPER ANSWER: Craig Grebeck-Ozzie Guillen (Aug. 10, 1990)

OPENING DAY NUGGETS … @SOXNERD STYLE!

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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.

TBT, TODAY IN 1981: BULL CHARGES TO SOX

On this date in 1981, in another credibility-establishing move, the White Sox purchased the contract of Chicago-area product Greg Luzinski from the Philadelphia Phillies. 

The acquisition of the four-time All-Star, coupled with the pickup of Carlton Fisk, Jim Essian, Bill Almon and Dennis Lamp, showed that the new ownership group headed by Jerry Reinsdorf and Eddie Einhorn was willing to spend money and make a splash. 

Luzinski, a graduate of Notre Dame High School in Niles, Ill., was an ideal designated hitter and he took to the role. 

“The Bull” hit 21 homers in the strike-shortened season of 1981, drove in 101 runs in 1982 and hit 32 homers with 95 RBIs for the A.L. West champs in 1983. 

Sadly, Luzinski, like the rest of the Sox hitters, did not have a good playoff series against Baltimore (2-for-15) or a good season in 1984 (.238, 13 homers), which was the last of his 15-year career