A recent item from my bottomless files of White Sox almanacs really drove home how much two things that I love and have “made me” to some extent have changed over the years.
The date was Sept. 20, 1928 and baseball and newspapers ruled the world.
You could argue that baseball — an industry that has employed me for 34 years — is still king but newspapers — an industry that employed me for 29 years — have long been dethroned.
They made beautiful music together through the years.
I’m sure there are many of us who had (or have) newspaper clippings on our favorite baseball teams and players taped to our bedroom walls.
Heck, I “posted” so often, my parents bought me a bulletin board for my bedroom to hold my many clips.
This item from 1928 featured a White Sox win over the Yankees — NO THAT’S NOT ONE OF THE TWO THINGS ADDRESSED HERE — at Comiskey Park.
The performance of the Sox starting pitcher that day demonstrates how much the game has “evolved.”
Future Hall of Famer Red Faber pitched 12 innings and was rewarded with a victory in the White Sox 4-3 win over the team that won the World Series the previous year as “Murder’s Row.”
There is no way anything close to this would be allowed in today’s game.
The last Sox pitcher I can recall going past the ninth inning was Alex Fernandez on the final day of the 1995 season.
“Kid K” went 10 and gave up one run but could not get the win as the Sox prevailed for Roberto Hernandez when Robin Ventura’s walkoff single in the 11th plated Mike Cameron to victoriously send the Sox into the winter.
Maybe the most amazing thing about Faber’s outing was how commonplace it was for the day. It was as frequent — I would guess — as a seven-plus inning start in today’s game.
This effort was one of 32 outings of at least 10 innings in Faber’s career.
Fellow Hall of Famer Ted Lyons had 35 of those performances including a Sox-record 21-inning output in a 6-5 LOSS to Detroit on May 24, 1929 at Comiskey Park.
Faber kept the Yankees of Ruth and Gehrig in check before 26,000 on a Thursday afternoon.
The “Sultan of Swat” and the “Iron Horse” were a combined 1-for-8 with a strikeout as the Sox help whittle the Yankees first-place lead to one game.
Maybe it was the fact that the powerhouse Yanks were fading which set the tone for the account of the game which appeared in the next day’s New York Times.
The first sentence (or lede as members of the Fourth Estate call it) shows how much the writing style in baseball game stories has changed since then.
Old morose, wistful Richard Vidmer really spun some poetry in getting into his article:
“The Yanks went down with the setting sun. As the golden globe sank behind the towers of the Windy City here today the champions of the world sank to defeat at the hands of the White Sox.”
Dickie Vidmer went all Dickie Dunn on us and really captured the spirit of the thing, didn’t he?
As a former sports writer and sports editor for 30 years and a voracious newspaper reader for 45 years, I can say with certainty I have never seen anything closely resembling that in a daily newspaper.
It may be tough for me to even approach anything like that nowadays because it is 40 some characters over Twitter’s limit!
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.
One of the best things about spring training games is that teams face teams and players they may not see much in the regular season.
This was especially true in the pre-interleague era and when the White Sox were in the Grapefruit League in Florida.
Back in the day, the Sox would see National League legends Mays, Aaron, Gibson, Clemente, Koufax and Rose while training in Florida.
One of the more memorable “crossover” meetings occurred 32 years ago today.
On March 13, 1985, a New York Met great of the past met a Met great of the present in the White Sox 6-0 Grapefruit League victory at Payne Park in Sarasota, Fla.
The White Sox Tom Seaver, making his second start of the spring, was sharp. “Tom Terrific,” who came to the Sox from the Mets before the 1984 season, hurled five shutout frames and gave up just a single to Len Dykstra.
“I’ve only seen him on television,” Gooden said of Seaver in press reports of the day. “I’ve never spoken to him. I wouldn’t mind meeting him. I am sure there are some tips he could give me.”
Gooden, the reigning National League Rookie of the Year, fashioned three goose-eggs in his spring training debut.
The hard-throwing Gooden gave up just singles to Harold Baines and Carlton Fisk.
“He has good mechanics and it looks like he has a terrific arm,” Seaver said of Gooden.
Both hurlers would go on to have historic seasons.
Seaver won 15 games and notched his 300th win while Gooden was 24-4 and won the N.L. Cy Young Award.
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.
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.
Who’s next? With former White Sox left fielder Tim Raines safely in the Baseball Hall of Fame after getting 86 percent of the vote Wednesday, why not look ahead?
Among the White Sox alumni appearing for the first time on the 2018 Hall of Fame ballot are Jim Thome, Omar Vizquel, Scott Podsednik, Carlos Lee, Orlando Hudson and Andruw Jones.
Thome and his never-questioned 612 home runs and Vizquel and his 11 Gold Gloves and matched-only-by-Ozzie-Smith defensive prowess at shortstop are locks.
Jones is a longshot and Hudson won’t get the necessary 5 percent of the vote to stay on the ballot.
As for Podsednik and Lee, no chance for Cooperstown but FIRST BALLOT WHITE SOX HALL OF FAMERS, BABY!
FYI: Paul Konerko’s first year on the ballot is 2020 while Buehrle will most likely debut the following year.
Catching on: Ivan Rodriguez, who earned induction into the Hall on Wednesday with 76 percent of the vote, made his big- league debut against the White Sox at what was then known as New Comiskey Park.
On June 20, 1991 (after getting married earlier in the day in Tulsa, OK), the 19-year-old Rodriguez went 1-for-4 with an RBI single off Melido Perez and threw out Joey Cora and Warren Newson trying to steal in Texas’ win.
I worked this game and I could tell ASAP Rodriguez was unique. I had this same feeling when I saw Frank Thomas make his Major League debut in 1990.
Ballot report: Manny Ramirez, who hit the last of his 555 home runs for the 2010 Sox, received 23.8 percent of the vote in his first year on the ballot. … Sammy Sosa, who played for the Sox from 1989 to 1991, got 8,6 percent of the vote in his fifth year of eligibility. … Sox alumni Maggio Ordonez (0.7), Orlando Cabrera (0) and Mike Cameron (0) were dropped from the ballot because they did not get at least five percent of the vote. All were on the ballot for the first time.
Star gazing: Raines’ election brings the number of the Hall of Famers who played in the 1983 All-Star Game at Comiskey Park to 14.
Hall of Famers joining Raines in that game were George Brett, Mike Schmidt, Carl Yastrzemski, Johnny Bench, Ozzie Smith, Eddie Murray, Cal Ripken Jr., Rod Carew, Andre Dawson, Gary Carter, Dave Winfield, Robin Yount, Jim Rice and Rickey Henderson.
Memories: “Hall of Famer” will never be the first thing I think of when I hear Jeff Bagwell’s name.
Bagwell joined Raines and Rodriguez in earning induction into the Hall on Wednesday.
Nope, most enduring memory of Bagwell will always be Bobby Jenks blowing him away with two on and the Sox holding a one-run lead to end the eighth in Game 1 of the World Series.
A look at Tim Raines, whose Hall of Fame fate will be announced at 5 p.m. today, @SoxNerd style:
*On the verge: Raines is on the brink of becoming the 30th player to wear a White Sox uniform to make the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Raines played for the White Sox from 1991 to 1995.
Should Raines make it, this will mark the second consecutive year (Ken Griffey Jr., 2016) a player with Sox ties is voted into the Hall.
In addition, should Raines gain induction, it will mark the second time in three years (Griffey Jr., Frank Thomas, 2014) a player with Sox connections will be voted into the Hall.
Counting managers, coaches and general managers, Raines will be the 39th man affiliated with the Sox to go into the Hall should he get the necessary 75 percent today.
If Raines goes in, he will be the 14th man with Sox ties voted in by the Baseball Writers Association of America. The other Sox inductees have gone in via the Veterans/Old-Timers Committee or via a run-off election.
*Goin’ deep: The only Hall of Famers who hit more homers with the Sox than Raines’ 50 are Frank Thomas (447) and Carlton Fisk (214).*Rankings: Should Raines make the it, among Sox players in the Hall he will rank 12th in games played with the club (648), ninth in at bats (2,461), runs (440), hits (697) and on-base percentage (.344), 10th in doubles (98), eighth in triples (28), 11th in RBIs (277), sixth in steals (143) and eighth in walks (359).
*Both ways! Should Raines make the Hall, he will become just the Sox sixth switch-hitter to enter Cooperstown.
He would join Roberto Alomar (2010), “Gorgeous” George Davis (1998), Red Faber (1964), Ted Lyons (1955) and Early Wynn (1972) as Sox switch-hitters in Cooperstown.
*Merry Christmas Eve! Raines was acquired from the Montreal Expos for outfielder Ivan Calderon and reliever Barry Jones on Dec. 24, 1990 in one of the few transactions ever executed by the club on Christmas Eve.
While Raines was considered one of the most dangerous players in the game, the price the Sox paid to get him was steep.
Calderon was coming off his most complete offensive season and Jones was arguably the best setup man in the game.
In helping the White Sox to a surprising 94 wins and a second-place finish in 1990, Calderon hit .273 with 14 home runs, 74 RBIs, 32 steals and a team-record tying 44 doubles. Jones went 11-4 with a 2.31 ERA as the lead-in to Bobby Thigpen, who logged a big-league record (since broken) 57 saves.
*Rock: Raines was known as “Rock” Raines in his early days with the White Sox.
After a slow start with the Sox, the “Rock” reference was quietly de-emphaisized.
*Speaking of the slow start …: Raines began his White Sox career by hitting .106 in his first 11 games.
He rebounded by hitting .281 the rest of the season.
*Historic start: Raines was the White Sox first regular season and postseason batter at New Comiskey Park/U.S. Cellular Field/Guaranteed Rate Field.
On April 18, 1991, Raines was called out on strikes by longtime Sox killer Frank Tanana leading off the Sox first in the inaugural game at New Comiskey Park.
In Game 1 of the 1993 American League Championship Series, Raines grounded out against the Blue Jays’ Juan Guzman to leadoff the first in the postseason curtain-raiser at New Comiskey Park.
*The old place: Raines made one appearance at the original Comiskey Park.
As the National League’s starting left fielder, Raines was 0-for-3 batting second between leadoff man Steve Sax and Expos teammate Andre Dawson in the senior circuit’s 13-3 loss in the 50th anniversary All-Star Game before 43,801 at Comiskey Park.
*It takes a thief: Raines led the White Sox in steals in 1991 (51) and 1992 (45). … Raines was successful on 83 percent (143-of-173) of his stolen base attempts with the Sox. … He is third all-time with a success-rate of 84.7 percent overall. … Raines stole a Sox-record 40 consecutive bases from July 23, 1993 to Sept. 1, 1995. That was the A.L. record (and still the second-highest) until Ichiro broke it in 2006 and 2007.
*ALCS excellence: Raines was the Sox best player in the 1993 ALCS.
Raines hit .444 (12-for-27) with five runs, three doubles, one RBI, two walks, a .443 on-base percentage and a .556 slugging percentage in the six-game setback to Toronto.
His .444 average was a record for a six-game ALCS and still a Sox postseason record.
The only other player in Sox history to accrue 12 hits in a postseason series? “Shoeless” Joe Jackson in the best-of-nine 1919 World Series that went eight games.
*This and that: Raines collected his 2,000th hit in a Sox uniform. He reached the milestone on Aug. 12, 1993 against Kansas City with a game-starting homer. … Speaking of game-starting homers: Raines set a Sox record with five game-starting homers in 1993. He is tied with Adam Eaton (9) behind Ray Durham’s 20 in that category. … Raines was the second player in team annals to homer from both sides of the plate in a game. He accomplished the feat on Aug. 31, 1993 at Yankee Stadium in the same game Frank Thomas tied the club season record with his 37th homer. … DON’T STOP BELIEVIN’: Raines was the first base coach for the 2005 World Series champion White Sox.
*He gone: Raines’ Sox career ended when he was dealt to the Yankees (where he won a World Series title in 1996) for a player to be named later (Blaise Kozeniewski) on Dec. 28, 1995.