How crazy was the White Sox 2017 season?

For starters, Tim Anderson (@TimAnderson7) was the only @WhiteSox player who started in the same position on the final day of the season as he did on Opening Day.

In between those Anderson starts, the Sox continued to overhaul their roster and the farm system.

No matter the record or the state of the franchise, there are always nuggets.

Here’s a look back, in particular order, at 2017, @SoxNerd style!

*2017 marked just the fifth time the Sox posted a winning record against the eventual World Series champions. The Sox went 4-2 against the Astros in 2017. … Other winning records vs. future champs: 3-1 vs. 2014 Giants; 3-0 vs. 2006 Cardinals; 8-4 vs. 2000 Yankees and 8-5 vs. 1991

*Avisail Garcia’s 455-foot blast off Tampa’s Jake Odorizzi on June 8 at Tropicana Field was the Sox longest homer of the season

*The combined .279 average by catchers Geovany Soto, Kevan Smith, Omar Narvaez and Rob Brantly was tied for the fifth-best in Sox history

*Matt Davidson had the Sox top exit velocity on a home run of 2017 at 113.2mph on his 433-foot dinger on July 24 at Wrigley Field

*The last time the Sox had a higher ERA than the 4.78 they had in 2017, they won the World Series the next year (4.91 in 2004)

*2017 was the first season the White Sox did not have a complete game (previous low: 3 in 2014)

*Jose Abreu’s 43 doubles were the most by a Sox player since Magglio Ordonez’s 46 in 2003

*Todd Frazier led the Sox with 48 walks, lowest total to lead the team since Lamar Johnson’s 43 in 1978

*Miguel Gonzalez was the first righty to lead the Sox in wins (tied with Derek Holland at seven) since Gavin Floyd (13) in 2008

*Derek Holland’s 135 innings were the lowest total ever to lead the Sox (next Melido Perez 183.1 in rebuilding 1989)

*Jose Quintana’s 109 strikeouts were the lowest total to lead the Sox in a full season since Billy Pierce’s 95 in 1949

*David Robertson’s 14 saves were the lowest total to lead the Sox since Tom Gordon’s 12 in 2003

*Anderson’s 94 percent stolen base success rate was the highest by any Sox player with at least 16 stolen base attempts (15-of-16)

*Smith set a Sox rookie record for catchers with a .283 average in 2017

*Jose Abreu’s 43 doubles were the second-best total by a first baseman in club history behind Frank Thomas’ (aka @TheBigHurt_35) 46 in 1992

*Yoan Moncada joins Alexei Ramirez, Tadahito Iguchi, Jim Morrison, Jayson Nix and Rich McKinney as the only Sox rookie second basemen with at least eight homers in a season

*Anderson is the youngest shortstop (age 24) in Sox history with a double digit homer season (17 in 2017)

*Abreu posted the 19th .300/30HR/100RBI campaign in Sox history and 13 of those seasons have been posted by players who appeared some at first base

*Yolmer Sanchez’s eight triples were the most by a Sox switch-hitter since Ray Durham had 10 in 2001

*Since 1950, only Thomas had a higher Sox average than the .330 Avisail Garcia (aka @avisailgarcia) posted in 2017

*Abreu finished with the fourth-best total base output (343) in Sox history

*Garica’s .330 average is tied for the 29th-best output in franchise history

*Garcia’s .330 average is the highest by a Sox player since Thomas’ .337 in 1997

*The last Sox first baseman to amass more than the six triples Abreu had in 2017 was Carlos May with seven in 1971

*The only Sox player shorter than the 5-foot-8 Leury Garcia to record a multi-homer game was the 5-7 Mike Kreevich on June 10, 1938. Garcia hit two homers on May 12 vs. the Padres.

*The last Sox player shorter than the 5-8 Garcia to hit more than the nine homers Garcia hit in 2017 was the 5-7 Don Buford, who went deep 10 times in 1965

*Anderson became the fourth Sox draftee to lead the club in stolen bases along with May, John Cangelosi and Ray Durham

*Abreu became the first player to lead the Sox in RBI in four straight seasons since Thomas did it from 1991 to 1997

*The seven wins Holland and Gonzalez each posted to lead the Sox were the lowest total ever to lead the club

*Abreu paced American League first basemen with 102 RBI

*Narvaez tied for sixth among American League catchers with 38 walks

*A. Garcia led the American League with a .349 average in night games

*This is the third straight year a Sox player led American League outfielders in assits (A. Garcia in 2015 and 17 and Adam Eaton in 2016)

*A. Garcia led the big leagues with a .424 average against lefties



That’s me, pre-@SoxNerd, preparing for Game 1 of the 2005 World Series. THE TIME STAMP PROVES IT!

“I didn’t think, I never dreamed/That I would be around to see it all come true” –1985, Paul McCartney

12 years ago today, I worked (and attended) a World Series game for the first time as the White Sox returned to the Fall Classic for the first time in 46 seasons.

To deal with the gravity of it all, I told myself to treat it like any other game.

That plan went out the window when the message board on the WISCONSIN SIDE of I-94 said “Good luck White Sox.”

Luck was appreciated but not needed for the White Sox, their fans and the scoreboard crew of which I was (and still am) a proud member.

It was an unbelievable experience not only because of the game, the Sox, the fans but because I worked it with true professionals and people I love and love working with: Jeff, Hubble, Gene Honda, Jennifer, Kellett, Rocco Fusco, the late great Andy Lock, the Taylors, Nancy Faust, Ray Kramer, Justin Tuazon, Roman Farias, Mike Dijulio, Pam, Serge, Dan, Alton, all the Pats and everyone else.

The Sox celebrated their first World Series  tilt since the Eisenhower administration by defeating the Houston Astros 5-3 before 41,206 delirious fans at U.S. Cellular Field.

There were plenty of heroes as the Sox won their fifth consecutive postseason game and eighth in nine outings.

Starter Jose Contreras got the win with seven solid innings; Neal Cotts struck out two in the eighth with runners on second and third; Bobby Jenks earned the save with three strikeouts in 1.1 innings and Joe Crede clubbed the go-ahead homer in the fourth inning.

The biggest and most dramatic play of the game occurred when Jenks fanned pinch-hitter and future Hall of Famer Jeff Bagwell with the tying run on second to end the eighth, setting the park into the latest of many postseason frenzies.

The Sox took the lead on Jermaine Dye’s two-out home run in the first.

Houston retaliated with a Jason Lamb homer in the second but the Sox regained the lead on RBIs by AJ Pierzynski (fielder’s choice) and Juan Uribe (double) in the bottom of the frame.

Feisty Houston pulled even in the next half but the Sox finally took the lead for good on Crede’s blast in the fourth.

The Sox added a run in the eighth after Jenks’ showdown with Bagwell.

When Adam Everett fanned to end it, I knew I had experienced the greatest workday of my life … FOR ONE DAY.

More on that tomorrow!



“In the learned opinion of Minnie Minoso, who patrolled left field alongside Jimmy for three of those years, Landis was the very best at his position.” … Rich Lindberg, White Sox historian, on Jim Landis in his book ‘Total White Sox’

Jim Landis, arguably the greatest defensive outfielder in White Sox history, died Saturday at age 83, according to the club’s Twitter feed.

Landis was one of the players who put some of the ‘go’ in the franchise’s “Go Go” era.

The Californian could hit a little bit, run and play defense — all hallmarks (along with stellar pitching) which defined the Sox of the 1950s and 1960s.

The Sox used that combination to fashion 17 consecutive winning seasons and first-division finishes between 1951 and 1967. Landis was a part of that run from 1957 to 1964 and was one of the key components of the 1959 American League pennant winners.

Here’s a @SoxNerd look at Landis (with help from Lindberg, Baseball Reference and Retrosheet):

*The five-time Gold Glove winner in the outfield was voted to the franchise’s Team of the (20th) Century after hitting .250 with 83 homers and 398 RBIs for the Sox from 1957 to 1964

*By my count, Landis is the 28th member of the Sox 1959 pennant winners to pass away. Still living are Rudy Arias, Sam Esposito, Joe Hicks, Barry Latman, J.C. Martin, Ken McBride, Gary Peters, Claude Raymond, Jim Rivera, John Romano, Lou Skizas and Joe Stanka.

At age 96, Rivera, aka “Jungle Jim,” is one of the oldest living big leaguers.

*Landis is third in Sox history (behind Minnie Minoso at 1,262 and Fielder Jones at 1,158) with 1,035 games in the outfield

*According to Lindberg, Landis was signed by Sox scout “Sloppy” Thurston, who owns the only “immaculate inning” in Sox history (https://soxnerd.wordpress.com/2015/06/05/why-i-love-sloppy-thurston/), and tutored by franchise great Johnny Mostil. … Per Lindberg, Landis got $2,500 to sign in 1952 and another $5,000 if he made the bigs.

*That bonus was realized when Landis made his big league debut on April 16, 1957 in the Sox Opening Day win at Cleveland.

*Speaking of Opening Day … Only Jones, Lance Johnson, Hap Felsch and Chet Lemon started more Sox Opening Days in center field than Landis’ five 

*Landis led the American League 20 times in fielding categories during his Sox career

*Landis and Johnson wore No. 1 the longest for the Sox (eight years)

*Landis is the Sox all-time leader among outfielders with five Gold Gloves

*Landis led the 1959 American League champion White Sox with seven triples, 78 walks, 13 sacrifices and nine sacrifice flies … Landis topped the A.L. with 13 sacs and led league center fielders in games, starts, complete games, innings and putouts in 1959

*Landis finished seventh in the 1959 A.L. MVP voting with teammates Nellie Fox, Luis Aparicio and Early Wynn placing first, second and third respectively.

​*Landis hit .292 with a still-standing franchise postseason record six runs while hitting safely in five of six games for the Sox in the 1959 World Series

*Landis was 3-for-4 with three runs and an RBI in the Sox 11-0 win vs. the Dodgers in Game 1 of 1959 World Series at Comiskey Park

*Landis recorded the first postseason hit in California with a first inning single for the Sox in Game 3 of the 1959 World Series at the Los Angeles Coliseum

*Landis hit third in five games and leadoff once for the Sox in the 1959 World Series

*Landis joins Frank Isbell (1906), Eddie Collins (1917), Buck Weaver (1919), Fox (1959) and Jermaine Dye (2005) to bat third in the World Series for the Sox

*Landis joins Ed Hahn (1906), Shano Collins (1917, 1919), Nemo Leibold (1919), Aparicio (1959) and Scott Podsednik (2005) to hit leadoff for the Sox in the World Series

*Landis and Aparicio represented the Sox at both All-Star Games in 1962. That marked the first time since 1952 the Sox didn’t send a pitcher to game. … Landis was 0-for-1 with strikeout against ex-teammate Bob Shaw after taking over for Roger Maris in the seventh in the season’s first All-Star Game in Washington D.C.  Landis did not play in that season’s second All-Star Game.

*Landis is the only Sox player to homer in two 1-0 wins in a season. He turned the trick in 1962 on May 3 vs. the Yankees and on Aug. 12 at Kansas City.

*Landis became the second player in Sox history to hit two extra-inning homers in a season in 1960 (Al Smith was the first in 1959)

*More from Lindberg and Total White Sox: Landis was originally a third baseman but was switched to center field by manager Al Lopez. … Landis came into his own as a hitter when a second-half spurt raised his average by over 100 points. … Lopez benched Landis in 1964. That and other moves prompted Chicago sports writer Bill Gleason to stage his own “Jim Landis Night” where Landis fans hung the manager in effigy. YIKES!

More on Landis:







Picture: https://tinyurl.com/y892nu6y


A quick @SoxNerd look at Thursday’s win in Houston …
*Chris Volstad 4.1 innings of relief for a win were the most by a White Sox pitcher since Tony Pena beat the Angels on July 6, 2010 at U.S. Cellular Field.

Like Volstad, Pena was called upon after an injury. Pena took over for Jake Peavy, who left the game after a muscle detached from the back of his right shoulder.

*The last time a Sox pitcher went longer than Volstad’s 4.1 in relief for a win was Dan Wright, who went 4.2 innings to beat the Angels on Aug. 12, 2003.

Wright relieved Neal Cotts, who lasted just 2.1 innings in his first big-league start.

*Volstad became the 526th pitcher to log a win for White Sox. The first? RoyPatterson in the Sox inaugural game on April 24, 1901.


*FYI: The longest Sox relief outing that I could find was 12 innings by Ted Blankenship on July 3, 1922. He got a loss despite allowing just two runs.

*Surging Tim Anderson hit his 17th homer on Thursday. His homers  are the eighth-highest output by a shortstop in Sox history.

Jose Valentin set the Sox shortstop HR record with 30 in 2004.

Anderson is vying to join Valentin (who did it three times), Juan Uribe and Ron Hansen as Sox shortstops with a 20-homer season.

*Chris Sale and Steve Carlton are the only pitchers to have spent any time with the Sox to fan 300 batters in a season.

*And this …


Here’s what your friendly neighborhood @SoxNerd has been Tweeting about lately …

*CRUSHERS: The White Sox are pretty good at breaking Tiger hearts.

The last two times the Sox have ruined a no-hitter with two outs in the ninth inning, they have victimized the Tigers.

The latest came Sunday when Tim Anderson (@TimAnderson7) ruined Matthew Boyd’s date with destiny with a double.

Boyd’s heartbreak was nothing compared to what the Sox put Milt Wilcox through 34 years ago.

On Tax Day 1983, the veteran right-hander plowed through the first 26 “Winning Ugly” Sox before Jerry Hairston, the greatest pinch-hitter in team history, delivered in that role with a single.

Here’s legendary Tigers broadcaster Ernie Harrell’s call of the ninth in that one https://youtu.be/t3ITi9ZJTQk

That marked the first time an American Leaguer lost a perfecto with one out to go since June 27, 1958 when the Sox Billy Pierce was stopped short of perfection by Washington’s Ed Fitz Gerald.

*MEMORY LANE: The last time the Sox were no-hit by the Tigers … I was there!

The date was April 7, 1984 and in my second game as a seasonal employee for the  Sox, I saw Jack Morris hold the reigning A.L. West champs hitless on a brutally cold Saturday at Comiskey Park.

I was so green then I think I asked Morris for an autograph after his impromptu press conference in the crowded Comiskey Park press box after the gem.

Here’s Harwell’s call of that one https://youtu.be/GtSur2ilVTc

*LAST TIME: Minnesota’s Francisco Liriano was the last pitcher to no-hit the Sox on May 3, 2011 at U.S. Cellular Field.

*4-BY-4: Jose Abreu has seven 4-hit games this season.

The last Sox player with that many 4-hit games was Lance Johnson in 1995.

The last Sox player with more than seven 4-hit games was Harold Baines, who had eight in 1984.

*HANDY ANDY: In addition to busting up the no-hitter Sunday, here are some other nuggets on Anderson:

–his 16 homers are the eighth-highest season total by a Sox shortstop 

–his 4-hit game Saturday was the first by a Sox player out of the eighth spot since Moises Sierra on July 31, 2014

–his 4-hit game Saturday was just the fourth by a shortstop drafted by Sox. The others: Craig Wilson Sept. 14, 1998, Harry Chappas April 20, 1980 and Bucky Dent May 21, 1976

–his 4-hit game Saturday was the first by a Sox shortstop NOT named AlexeiRamirez with 4 hits in a game since OrlandoCabrera on Aug. 26, 2008


A @SoxNerd look at the White Sox 2018 schedule, which was released on Tuesday (sans start times):

*FOR STARTERS: The bad news is that the White Sox regular season is coming to an end.

The good news is that we are in for the one of the shortest off-seasons in the 118-year history of the White Sox.

The White Sox will open 2018 on March 29 in Kansas City for the earliest opener in team annals, according to the schedule which was released on Tuesday.

When the Sox go their separate ways after the 2017 season-finale in Cleveland on Oct. 2 — which will be the Indians 37th win in a row, by the way — they will commence an off-season that will last just 176 days.

My digging shows that only the Sox 2005-06 (156 days), 1993-94 (172 days), 2000-01 (174 days) and 193-84 (175 days) off-seasons were shorter than the projected winter that awaits us.


*MORE STARTERS: 2018 will be the Sox sixth Opening Day in March (1996 at Seattle, 1998 at Texas, 2003 at Kansas City, 2008 at Cleveland and 2014 vs. Minnesota).

*MARCHING ON: All those openers were on March 31 so the Sox curtain-raiser on March 29 in Kansas City will be the first regular-season game on that date in franchise history.

*O CANADA! After playing three in KC, the Sox will head to Toronto for April 2-4 games for their earliest foray into Canada since opening the season there in 1997.

*HOME SWEET HOME! The Sox will be opening at home against the Detroit Tigers for the 25th time in history on April 5, 2018. … The Sox are 13-11 in home starters vs. Detroit (2-3 at New Comiskey Park/U.S. Cellular Field/Guaranteed Rate Field).

*APRIL 5TH: 2018 will mark just the third time the Sox will christen the home campaign of April 5.

2018 will have to produce one heckuva game to rival the previous Sox April 4 home openers.

In 1974, Nolan Ryan bested Wilbur Wood before 30,041 on Opening Day at Comiskey Park. Ryan got the win in the Angels’ 8-2 victory.

Ryan, coming of his record-setting 383-strikeout campaign of 1973, fanned just four and walked 10.

The Angels broke the game open with a five-run eighth off Terry Forster.The Opener’s sideshows may have been more interesting than the game.

In the stands, there was a strolling stripper, many streakers and a bevy of fights.

“Did all that really happen?” Sox manager Chuck Tanner asked afterwards. “I didn’t see any of it. … What causes people to act like that?”

In 2010 home (and season) opener, the Sox and Mark Buehrle dumped the Indians 6-0 thanks to one of the most spectacular web gems in baseball history.

Here’s a link to the kick-chase-and-between-the-legs-glovehand-flip ground out that defined Buehrle’s career as a defender:

*THE RIVALS: The Cubs trip to the south side Sept. 21-23 will be their latest in the interleague era.

Those will be the latest Chicago showdown games on 35th Street since Oct. 6, 1942 when the Sox closed out the City Series with a 4-1 win at Comiskey Park.

The Sox visit to Wrigley Field May 11-13 is their second-earliest in the interleague era and the earliest since a two-game sweep May 5-6, 2014.

*HELLO, HOUSTON: The Houston Astros will make their first April appearance at New Comiskey Park/U.S. Cellular Field/Guaranteed Rate Field from April 20-23.

Houston’s last April trip to Chicago was in 2008 (April 4-6) when it took two of three from the Cubs at Wrigley Field.

*FREE PASS: You can watch one White Sox game for free next season.

If you want to head to Oakland.

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of their first game at the facility, the A’s won’t charge admission to the April 17 game against the Sox at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.

The A’s are promoting that as one of the first of its kind in major league history.

Note: I will update this occasionally with more nuggets and other gems!


The latest blog from the @SoxNerd

*DREAM THEME: I know they have nothing to do with the actual game but I LOVE White Sox theme nights.

Those “specials” give a lot of gifted people the opportunity to show off their talents.

In addition to the above graphic, which was part of Friday’s Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day, here are some other theme highlights:

Grateful Dead Night … 

Star Wars Night … 

Christmas in July …

Theme nights also give me the opportunity to tie most anything to the White Sox …

Rock and Roll Night …

Beatles Night … 

Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day … 

Halfway to Mardi Gras Night … 

Christmas in July Night …

And, of course, Grandparents Day …

*VOLSTAD! Kris Volstad’s finished off the White Sox win on Sunday in his first appearance at U.S. Cellular Field/Guaranteed Rate Field in seven years.

The big right-hander was the starting and losing pitcher for the Marlins in the Sox 4-1 win on May 22, 2010.

The Sox big blow was a three-run homer by Alex Rios in the sixth inning. Those were the only runs Volstad gave up in six innings.

*THANK YOU! Comcast stat guru Chris Kamka (@ckamka) had a great weekend breaking down the Sox Saturday home run barrage and Jose Abreu’s cycle.

I made great use of it on the scoreboard.

*SPEAKING OF THANKS: I received this direct message from follower Bryce Wanemacher (@bwane14) on two recent Sox hurlers:

“Here’s a stat that I just discovered. In 2015, our rotation consisted of Chris Sale and Jeff Samardzija in the 1 and 2 slots. 2 years later, they returned to Chicago to face their former team for the first time.

“5/30/17: Chris Sale’s line: 5.0 IP, 10 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 9 SO, 1 HR (9.00 ERA & 2.40 WHIP)

“9/9/17: Jeff Samardzija’s line: 5.2 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 1 BB, 6 SO, 4 HR (9.53 ERA & 1.59 WHIP)

“Combined: 10.2 IP, 18 H, 12 R, 11 ER, 3 BB, 15 SO, 5 HR (9.28 ERA & 1.97 WHIP)”

Thanks, Bryan!

I can’t wait for the Sox to face Tyler Clippard this week in Houston!

*HE’S NO. 48! On Sept. 4, Rymer Liriano became the first Sox player to homer wearing No. 48 since Nelson Santovenia went deep in his first at bat with the club on July 11, 1992. … Liriano became the first Sox 48 to homer at home since Ralph Garr — “The Roadrunner” — touched ’em all on July 14, 1979 off Detroit’s Milt Wilcox at Comiskey Park.