Tag Archives: Mark Buehrle

@SOXNERD RELIC OF THE DAY: A PERFECT COVER BOY

A White Sox appearance on the cover of Sports Illustrated is so rare of course I keep them all.

This one, featuring Mark Buehrle’s July 24, 2009 perfect game vs. Tampa Bay at U.S. Cellular Field was issued 11 days after the gem.

You would think this event would be a “no-brainer” for the cover considering the drama and Dewayne Wise’s catch but the Sox had a hard time making SI’s front when they won the 2005 World Series.

When I saw this cover my first reaction was, “Perfect!”

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COUNTDOWN TO WHITE SOX OPENING DAY: 81 DAYS

81 days to Opening Day, White Sox fans!

Win No. 81 of Mark Buehrle’s career was an eventful one and … ONE THAT THE @SOXNERD FAMILY WITNESSED.

On Aug. 1, 2005 the left-hander got the win but saw an impressive streak come to an end.

On an unbearably hot and humid day in Baltimore, Buehrle and the first-place Sox beat the Orioles 6-3 before 47,823 at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

Buehrle’s streak of going at least six innings was halted at 49 when he was inexplicably tossed without warning by plate ump Brian Gorman with two outs in the sixth.

The streak was the longest since Steve Carlton went 69 straight for the Phillies from 1979 to 1982.

Buehrle got the gate for the first time in his career after he plunked B.J. Surhoff with Sammy Sosa (THE TYING RUN) on first base.

The HBP was the latest in a series of plunkings in the four-game set.

Hawk Harrelson was not pleased.

“Oh, come on. What are you doing?” Hawk said on the telecast as reported in the next day’s Tribune. “You’ve got to be kidding me. What are you doing Brian Gorman? Are you nuts?

“Are you nuts? You have got to be. . . . “That is total BS.

“They drill [Tadahito] Iguchi last night … [A.J.] Pierzynski gets drilled . . . aw, I’ll tell you. That is absolutely BS from a veteran umpire.

“I’ll tell you. Some of these umpires have no clue, absolutely no clue. And evidently, he’s one of them. . . .

“The only guy who doesn’t know what’s going on is the guy behind the plate.

“That is so bad. For a veteran umpire . . . that’s so much BS, it’s unbelievable.

“(Buehrle’s 49-game streak of pitching through six innings) was ended by an inept call possibly by an inept umpire.”

By the way, Joe West was the third base ump that day. He would deliver Buehrle his second ejection five years later over a balk call in Cleveland.

Other highlights from that game …

*Prior to the game, the Orioles learned Rafael Palmeiro was suspended for steroids.

*Buehrle improved to 12-4.

*The win completed a four-game sweep, the Sox first in Baltimore in 1954.

A PERFECT LOOK BACK

In my prior life, I was Sports Editor of the Kenosha News.

I spent the better part of my 29.75 years there trying to keep my Sox world and my newspaper world separate.

Every now and again, always for the betterment of the paper, the worlds intersected.

Mark Buehrle’s perfect game, which is celebrating its ninth birthday today, was one of those times.

Here is the column I wrote for the Kenosha News on No. 56’s perfecto:

A few

perfect

thoughts

I was fortunate enough to attend Mark Buehrle’s perfect game in the White Sox 5-0 win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday afternoon at U.S. Cellular Field.

With the exception of Game 2 of the 2005 World Series at the same venue, the “perfecto” was the most amazing, compelling, thrilling, grueling, scintillating, tense sporting event I have ever witnessed.

Here are some observations:

*There’s always a Kenosha connection: Buehrle victimized the Rays, who employ Kenosha native Dick Bosman as their minor league pitching coordinator.

While Bosman was not on hand Thursday, Scott Kazmir, one of his former “students,” was the losing pitcher. Bosman was Kazmir’s pitching coach at Double-A Montgomery in 2004.

The Rays couldn’t have been any classier Thursday. After the game, the team respectfully watched the Sox celebration from the top of their dugout with a few of the Rays politely acknowledging Buehrle.

“Yes, I’m proud to be part of this organization,” Bosman wrote to me in an e-mail. “Good people from top to bottom.”

*Other connections: Former Kenosha Kroaker and Rays reliever Joe Nelson watched the game from the bullpen.   … Current Rays’ pitching coach Jim Hickey pitched against the Kenosha Twins for the Appleton Foxes in 1984.   Don Cooper, Buehrle’s pitching coach, spent some time at Simmons Field as pitching coach for the White Sox South Bend affiliate in 1988.

*Memories: Bosman has a no-hitter himself.

On July 19, 1974, 35 years and one week ago today, the fiery right-hander no-hit Oakland for host Cleveland.

“Of course, every time there is a no-hitter, the memories come flooding back,” Bosman said.

The only blemish on the scorecard that day was a throwing error by Bosman in the fourth inning. At the time, Bosman was just the third pitcher to keep himself from a perfect game because of his own error. The others? The Giants’ Christy Matthewson on June 13, 1905, against the Cubs and the Senators’ Walter Johnson on July 1, 1920 vs.  Boston.

Buehrle, an excellent fielder, handled three chances Thursday. He retired Sox-killer Carl Crawford twice on comebackers and logged a putout on Carlos Pena’s grounder to first.

*More memories: Do you think White Sox bullpen coach Juan Nieves had a flashback when DeWayne Wise preserved the perfect game with a spectacular catch?

Nieves’ no-hitter of April 15, 1987, ended when Brewer teammate Robin Yount gloved Eddie Murray’s fly ball in left-center at Baltimore’s Memorial Stadium.

*Been there, done that: Kenoshan Gene Pobloski was probably wondering what all the fuss over Buehrle’s perfect game was about.

He owns 20 perfect games.

Pobloski was inducted into the Kenosha USBC BA (formerly KBA) Hall of Fame on Feb. 28.

*Mapquest: Prior to Thursday, the closest perfect game to Kenosha was also thrown by a Sox pitcher.

On April 30, 1922, Charles Robertson tossed the first perfect game in Sox history at Navin Field (later renamed Tiger Stadium) in Detroit, which is 337 miles from Kenosha. U.S. Cellular Field is 60 miles from Kenosha.

If Pittsburgh’s Harvey Haddix had a little better luck, his perfect game would have been the closest pitched to Kenosha. On May 26, 1959, Haddix threw 12 perfect innings at Milwaukee County Stadium (41.6 miles from Kenosha) against the Braves. An error in the 13th ended the perfect game and a two-run homer by Joe Adcock later in the frame hung the toughest-luck loss of all-time on Haddix.

Or

If the Cubs’ Milt Pappas had gotten a call from umpire Bruce Froemming, his perfect game would have been the closest to Kenosha. On Sept. 2, 1972, Pappas retired the first 26 batters he faced at Wrigley Field (53.8 miles from Kenosha) before he walked Marv Stahl on two close pitches that Froemming would not call strikes. Pappas got the next batter to pop out to trumpet-tooting Carmen Fanzone at second for the no-no.

*Traffic!  Pat Burrell’s blast that the wall-climbing Wise gloved in the ninth inning wasn’t the only long drive Thursday.

It took me 3 hours and 9 minutes to get home after the game. The game only took 2:03.

No matter … it was worth it!

COUNTDOWN TO WHITE SOX OPENING DAY: 56 DAYS!

56 days until Opening Day, White Sox fans!

Mark Buehrle became one of the most beloved figures in White Sox history wearing No. 56 between 2001 and 2011.

Some Buehrle/56 notes:

*Buehrle’s 56th professional appearance came on Sept. 5, 2000 when he retired the only batter he faced (Rafael Palmeiro on a fly to right) while stranding two runners to end the ninth in a 2-1 loss to Texas on Sept. 5, 2000 at Comiskey Park

*The 56th pitch of Buehrle’s career was a strike to Chad Moeller to end the second in his first start and win on July 19, 2000 at the Metrodome. Buehrle got Moeller swinging with the bases loaded thanks to errors from Ray Durham and Tony Graffanino.

*Buehrle hooked the Angels’ Tim Salmon with his 56th career strikeout on May 9, 2001 at Comiskey Park

*Buehrle’s 56th start was an absolute crusher. On July 18, 2002 at Kansas City, Buehrle was lifted in the ninth after giving up a game-tying lead off homer to Carlos Beltran. Two batters later, the Sox were 5-3 losers thanks to a two-run homer yielded by Damaso Marte.

*Buehrle’s 56th win came on May 16, 2004. On that sunny Sunday at U.S. Cellular Field, Buehrle fired six shutout frames in improving to 3-1 on the season and 56-36 lifetime in the Sox 11-0 win over Minnesota.

*The 56th batter Buehrle faced in the postseason was the Angels Darin Erstad in Game 2 of the 2005 ALCS at U.S. Cellular Field. Buehrle got his future teammate to fly to center to end the seventh in a 1-1 game. Two innings later, A.J. Pierzynski stole first base in sparking the Sox win

COUNTDOWN TO WHITE SOX OPENING DAY: 60 DAYS

60 days until Opening Day, White Sox fans!

Mark Buehrle held freshly-minted Hall of Famer Chipper Jones hitless in four at bats en route to career win No. 60 on June 13, 2004 at U.S. Cellular Field.

Buehrle ended his day by getting Jones, who was batting fourth as the DH, to hit into a double play to end the eighth in the Sox 10-3 victory.

The popular lefty gave up eight hits (including two to Julio Franco) and three earned runs with no walks and four strikeouts in improving to 7-1.

Joe Crede and Jamie Burke combined for six RBI as the Sox banged out 13 hits.