COUNTDOWN TO WHITE SOX OPENING DAYS: 73 DAYS!

73 days to White Sox Opening Day!

Tony Phillips in 1997 is the only player in White Sox history to wear No. 73!

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COUNTDOWN TO OPENING DAY: 74 DAYS (NO SALE!)

When my countdown to Opening Day hit 74 days last season, it was pretty apparent the Chris Sale deal wasn’t sitting well with every White Sox fan.

In anticipating 2017 White Sox Opening Day on Jan. 19, I posted:

“74 days until Opening Day, White Sox fans!

Chris Sale gave the Sox 74 thrilling and dominating between 2010 and 2016 but now it’s time to move on and … build!”

https://soxnerd.wordpress.com/2017/01/19/countdown-to-white-sox-opening-day-74-days/

With the Sale trade and commitment to the rebuild just 44 days old, the site of the former face of the franchise irked some fans.

Fair enough so I Tweeted:

“There have beenobjections to me using a photo of sale for my opening day countdown today. Understandable. I will post another one soon.”

Not wanting to rub salt in some wounds, I added a second Countdown to Opening Day for Day 74 last season:

“74 days until White Sox Opening Day!

LaMarr Hoyt won 74 games for the White Sox. 24 of those came during his Cy Young season of 1983.”

https://soxnerd.wordpress.com/2017/01/19/countdown-to-white-sox-opening-day-74-days-take-2/

What a difference a year makes!

With the rebuild thriving and drawing praise, a sequence like that seems inconsequential now!

COUNTDOWN TO WHITE SOX OPENING DAY: 74 DAYS

74 days to Opening Day, White Sox fans!

Holding spot No. 74 on the White Sox career home run are Dave Nicholson and Wayne Nordhagen at 37.

Among Nordhagen’s 37 home run was an in-the-park shot in Toronto in 1981 and a grand slam in a 10-run fifth in Cleveland in 1979.

Among Nicholson’s 37 homers was a roof shot on May 6, 1964 that traveled an estimated 573-feet (shown in the picture above) and is reportedly the longest homer ever at Comiskey Park.

I blogged about that and other roofers here …

https://soxnerd.wordpress.com/2017/02/18/notes-on-glorious-white-sox-roof-shot-homers/

COUNTDOWN TO WHITE SOX OPENING DAY: 75 DAYS

75 days until Opening Day, White Sox fans!

The first time the White Sox won 75 games was in … ’75!

That was also the last season the Sox donned the popular red pinstriped uniforms full-time.

1975 was also the last time the Sox played in “White Sox Park” and played on an artificial turf infield at home.

The “Kids Can Play” White Sox of 1999 also won 75 games.

Picture: https://goo.gl/images/kXTEUc

COUNTDOWN TO WHITE SOX OPENING DAY: 76 DAYS

76 days until Opening Day, White Sox fans!

Opening Day No. 76 for the White Sox marked the last time the great Wilbur Wood started a curtain-raiser for the club.

The knuckleballing southpaw made his fifth consecutive Opening Day assignment a memorable one.

Wood fired a six-hitter as the Sox ushered Bill Veeck’s second stint as owner with a 4-0 win over the Royals before 40,318 at Comiskey Park.

Wood fanned seven, walked two and held George Brett hitless in four at bats in tossing the last Opening Day shutout in the history of Comiskey Park.

This was also the last time a Sox pitcher twirled a complete game shutout in an Opener.

THE SOX DRAFTEES THAT GOT AWAY!

Today marks two anniversaries of two players – Charlie Lea (1977) and Damon Berryhill (1983) who were drafted but went unsigned by the White Sox who went on to contribute in the big leagues.

They aren’t the only two who were drafted by and then spurned the Sox only to have productive careers.

How would Mickey Rivers have looked patrolling center field and leading off for the 1977 Southside Hitmen White Sox? Do you think the sure-handed Duane Kuiper would have helped at second base that year?

Jimmy Key was 21-7 against the Sox. IT DIDN’T HAVE TO BE THAT WAY!

All those players were drafted by but not signed by the Sox.

I could go on …

Here is a look at some players of significance who were drafted but not signed by the Sox:

Player, pos. Drafted by the Sox

Johnny Oates, c..……2nd round, June 1966

Geoff Zahn, p……….34th round, June 1966

Mickey Rivers, cf…1st round, January 1968

Duane Kuiper, ss…1st round, January 1970

Warren Cromartie, of…………7th, June 1971

Willie McGee, of………7th round, June 1976

Hubie Brooks, ss………1st round, June 1976

Charlie Lea, p………….4th round, June 1977

Hubie Brooks, of………1st round, June 1977

Gary Gaetti, 3b……….3rd round, June 1978

Steve Buechele, ss…..1st round, June 1979

Jimmy Key, p…………10th round, June 1979

Tim Teufel, 2b…………3rd round, June 1979

Calvin Schiraldi, p….17th round, June 1980

Damon Berryhill, c………13th, January 1983

AJ Hinch, c……………………..2nd, June 1992

Mike Lowell, 3b………………48th, June 1992

Placido Polanco, if………….49th, June 1993

Eric Gagne, p………..30th round, June 1994

J.J. Putz, p……………..3rd round, June 1995

Jeff Weaver, p………..2nd round, June 1997

Tom Gorzelanny, p…………38th, June 2000

Tony Sipp, p…………33rd round, June 2002

James McCann, c….31st round, June 2008

White Sox nuggets