Tag Archives: cubs


Chicago’s top third basemen of the 1970s are celebrating their White Sox trade anniversaries today.

On this date in 1973, the Sox acquired Ron Santo from the Cubs. Two years later, they shipped Bill Melton to the California Angels.

Here are the details:


In the biggest swap between the Chicago franchises, the Sox acquired Santo from the Cubs for pitchers Steve Stone, Jim Kremmel and Ken Frailing and catcher Steve Swisher.

The Cubs, looking to go young, turned to the Sox to deal Santo after Santo became the first player to refuse a trade (to the California Angels) based on the 10-5 clause (10 years in the big leagues, five years with the same club).

While the Cubs didn’t get much production out of their end of the deal, this swap has to be considered a bad one for the Sox.

Santo, the heart and soul of the Cubs from 1960 to 1973, never seemed comfortable on the Southside and “was vocal in his criticisms of Dick Allen’s special privileges,” according to Rich Lindberg’s “White Sox Encyclopedia.”

Santo lasted one forgettable year with the Sox, hitting .221 with five homers and 41 RBIs while playing DH, second base and third base.


Two years later, the Sox traded Melton, their all-time home run leader, Bill Melton to the Angels in a four-player exchange.

Melton, a third baseman, went west with pitcher Steve Dunning for first baseman Jim Spencer and outfielder Morris Nettles.

Melton hit a Sox record 154 home runs between 1968 and 1975.

He set a Sox record with 33 home runs in 1970 and then tied it a year later when he became the first player in franchise history to lead the league in roundtrippers outright.

His later years with the franchise were hampered by a back injury and squabbles with broadcaster Harry Caray.

Melton’s injury in 1972 was particularly devastating.

“If Melton didn’t come up with a herniated disc in mid-season, he played just 60 games that year, I think that club would have gone onto the World Series,” White Sox GM Roland Hemond, who made both the Santo and Melton swaps, recalled years later.

Spencer was a solid contributor at the plate and a sensational contributor in the field for the Sox in 1976 and 1977.

The left-hander became the first Sox first baseman to win a Gold Glove in 1977.

On two occasions in 1977, he tied the club record with eight RBIs in a game (May 14, 1977 and July 2, 1977).

Melton played with the Angels in 1976, hitting six homers in 118 games. He played his final game on Aug. 30, 1977 for the Indians vs. the Sox in Cleveland. Melton was fanned by Ken Kravec in his last AB.

Melton, always a fan favorite, has worked as a studio analyst on Sox cable telecasts.

He was the subject of this entertaining White Sox Talk podcast https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/white-sox-talk-podcast/id1162163703?mt=2&i=1000392459385



The latest @SoxNerd Blog …

What we have learned the last few days, @soxnerd style!

*CLEANING IT UP: Prior to Yoan Moncada’s arrival, it had been a while since the White Sox had a second baseman break on through to the cleanup spot.

Moncada is the first @whitesox second sacker to hit fourth since Jim Morrison — the slugger not the singer — batted there on June 20, 1980 against Detroit at Comiskey Park. Ed Farmer took the loss that day, by the way.

Moncada made his third Sox start at cleanup in Thursday’s series opener in Boston.

Speaking of Boston …

Moncada is the first Sox second baseman to start out of the fourth hole vs. Boston since fellow former Red Sox Mike Andrews on Aug. 22, 1972 at Comiskey Park.

The last time a Sox second baseman started at cleanup in Boston prior to Moncada    on Thursday was Cass Michaels on May 5, 1950.

*A CONSTANT: This will mark the 117th consecutive season the White Sox will battle their red counterparts in Boston.

The first White Sox game in Boston was June 17, 1901 when the home team win the first game as part of a doubleheader split.

This is the 107th year in a row the White Sox are playing in Fenway Park.

Did you know the White Sox spoiled the formal dedication of Fenway Park. On May 17, 1912, among parades, pomp, circumstance and dignitaries, the White Sox prevailed 5-2 with winning pitcher Ed Walsh going 3-for-3. The White Sox used a four-run ninth to win.

*NO. 634: Rookie Nicky Delmonico became the 634th player to homer for the White Sox with his first career homer on Thursday.

And this from Nerd pal @ckamka …

*MORE NICKY: On Tuesday, Delmonico became the first Sox player to make his big league debut batting fifth since @TheBigHurt_35 aka Frank Thomas did it on Aug. 2, 1990 in Milwaukee.

Here’s the list of recent Sox 5-hole @mlb debuts flashed on the Guaranteed Rate Field scoreboard that night.

*CLEANUP KEVAN: Moncada wasn’t the only Sox player hitting in rare air in the fourth hole recently.

On Wednesday, Kevan Smith was the first Sox catcher to cleanup since A.J. Pierzynski on Sept. 27, 2011 and the first right-handed hitter to do it since Carlton Fisk on Oct. 1, 1991.

Digging deeper, Smith was the first Sox rookie catcher to start at cleanup since Matt Merullo on July 2, 1991. In addition, Smith was the first right-handed hitting rookie catcher to start out of the fourth spot since John Romano on Sept. 12, 1959.

*BACK-TO-BACK CHAMPS: The recently-completed sets vs. the @cubs and @Indians marked the first time the Sox had played the defending league champs in consecutive series at home.

This was the second time and second year in a row the Sox played the reigning World Series teams in back-to-back series. In 2016, the Sox played at Kansas City May 27-29 before heading to New York to play the Mets May 30-June 1 in the MATT ALBERS SERIES.

Other seasons in which the Sox played both of the previous years World Series teams were 2003 (Giants and Angels), 2004 (Marlins and Yankees), 2008 (Rockies and Red Sox) and 2011 (Cardinals and Rangers).

*A HIT BY A PITCHER: Here’s what I excavated in the wake of pitcher Carlos Rodon’s two-run double on July 25 at Wrigley Field:

–Rodon’s two RBI were one more than Sox pitchers amassed between 2013 and July 24, 2017


–Rodon’s double was the first by a Sox pitcher since reliever Matt Albers‘ rocked the Big Apple on June 1, 2016

–Rodon’s two-bagger was the first by a Sox pitcher since Mark Buehrle on June 29, 2011

–Rodon’s double was the first by a Sox pitcher IN CHICAGO since fellow starter Stan Bahnsen victimized Texas’ Dan Stanhouse in the second game of a doubleheader on Aug. 4, 1972 at Comiskey Park.

–Prior to Rodon, the last Sox pitcher to log an RBI in the second inning was Philip Humber on June 16, 2012 at Dodger Stadium

*SIR PAUL: Sir Paul McCartney played three songs on July 25-26 at the the Hollywood Casino and Amphitheater and Casino that he and The Beatles played during their Aug. 20, 1965 day-night doubleheader at Comiskey Park: I Wanna Be Your Man, Can’t Buy Me Love and A Hard Day’s Night.

*NOTE: The Baseball Reference website and Play Index rocks!


The latest @SoxNerd Blog …

A few random nuggets on the White Sox-Cubs series, @SoxNerd style … 

*Anthony Swarzak earned his first career save in the White Sox 3-1 win over the Cubs at Wrigley Field on Monday.

The only other pitcher to do that was Jesus Pena in the Sox 4-2 win in 12 at Wrigley Field on July 7, 2000.

Much like Swarzak, Pena, a lefty, K’d the last batter he faced (Brant Brown).

Unlike Swarzak, who recorded four outs and got a called K (Willson Contreras) to end it, Pena faced one man and got him swinging.

That was the only save of Pena’s career.


*Prior to Swarzak, the last Sox pitcher other than David Robertson to save a game vs. the Cubs was Matt Lindstrom on May 5, 2014 at Wrigley Field.

*The Sox lead the all-time series with the Cubs, 58-51.

*The Sox won their first game as defending champs vs. the Cubs. On May 19, 2006, Mark Buehrle and the Sox, backed by a Jim Thome homer, dumped Greg Maddux and the Cubs 6-1 at Wrigley Field.

*Rick Renteria and Robin Ventura are the only Sox managers to win their debuts vs. the Cubs. … Terry Bevington, Jerry Manuel and Ozzie Guillen all dropped their first games vs. the Cubs.

*Statcast finally determined Matt Davidson’s homer went 476-feet with an exit velocity of 110 mph.

DingerTracker had … 

*Exclusive company …


*Too easy 

*Hashtag “proud grandpa … ”



Dallas Green, who died on Wednesday, made one significant trade with the White Sox during his days as general manager of the Cubs.

It was a deal Green HAD to make in order to save face.

In January of 1983, Chicago’s baseball teams, at the height of their rivalry, pulled off their biggest deal with each other.

This was more than a routine trade, though.
There was strategy, bluffing, saving face, blaring headlines, scrutiny , drama … Good stuff.

In the middle of a contentious rebuild and culture change, the blustery and boisterous Green was faced with the prospect of being embarrassed or being swindled by his crosstown rival.

Green chose the latter but some would say both happened.

On Jan. 25, 1983, the White Sox and general manager Roland Hemond acquired infielders Scott Fletcher and Pat Tabler and pitchers Dick Tidrow and Randy Martz from the Cubs for starting pitcher Steve Trout and reliever Warren Brusstar.

The biggest swap between Chicago’s Major League teams came after the Sox flirted with selecting future Hall of Famer Jenkins, who was the Cubs’ best pitcher in 1982 and one of the most popular players in franchise history, as compensation for losing free agent outfielder Steve Kemp.

The compensation for free agent loss was born out of the 1981 players strike and would net the Sox Tom Seaver a year later and got them Joel Skinner after the 1981 campaign.

Under the rules of the day, teams that lost a free agent were allowed to pick a from a pool of unprotected players as compensation.

The Cubs left Jenkins unprotected figuring teams would not waste their time on 39-year old pitcher with a big ($500,000) contract. It is for those reasons the Mets left Seaver unprotected a year later.

The Cubs got to keep Jenkins (the Sox chose pitcher Steve Mura from the Cardinals instead) but had to surrender three promising players and established setup man in exchange for the enigmatic Trout and adequate Brusstar.

When the whole matter was settled Green said he was “relieved.”

Man, did the Chicago Tribune have a field day with this one, too.

“Sox feast on hostage Cubs,” blared one headline. “Tiny Roland puts big hit on Dallas,” read another.

The deal was more sizzle than steak with none of the principles having a long term impact on their new teams.

Fletcher and Tidrow were contributors to the Sox A.L. West title team in 1983 and Trout was a member of the Cubs’ 1984 N.L. East Division title team but none of the members of this trade ever blossomed into star.


The scorecard from last baseball game at Wrigley Field: A WHITE SOX WINNER!

This is my scorecard from my last appearance at a baseball game at Wrigley Field.

The date was May 20, 2005 and the “Don’t Stop Believin’ ” White Sox handled the Cubs 5-1 on a beautiful day before a fairly split crowd of 38,988 at Clark and Addison.

The win, which came at the expense of future Hall of Famer Greg Maddux and featured homers from Joe Crede and Jermaine Dye, improved the first-place Sox to an eye-popping 30-12.

The next time I went to Wrigley Field was to see Paul McCartney perform an epic show on July 31, 2011.

I was so satisfied with both experiences that it wouldn’t bother me if I never saw another baseball game there again!





This Tweet got a lot of love after Friday’s White Sox 1-0 win over the Cubs at Wrigley Field.

Yes, interleague play has lost its luster.

Yes, 2005 has sapped the be-all end-all importance of a White Sox game vs. Cubs.

But, still, there is something special about a Sox triumph of the Cubs.