Tag Archives: sports


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!




Wearing No. 13, Ozzie Guillen once homered for the White Sox on Friday the 13th.

A belated happy Friday the 13th to you, White Sox fans!

Or was it?

Here are some nuggets on the White Sox and the most superstitious day on the calendar (Warning: some of these may not be suitable for those with triskaidekaphobia):

*The @WhiteSox are 46-38-2 on Friday the 13th. … The Sox have lost their last three on the date but prior to that they had won five in a row and eight of their last nine on Friday the 13th

*The Sox have been at or above .500 on the date since July 13, 1973 when Eddie Leon’s RBI single capped a three-run ninth in a 3-2 win over Baltimore at Comiskey Park. That improved the Sox to 22-22-2 on Friday the 13th.

*The Sox last game on Friday the 13th was in 2016 and that game proved to be a huge jinx.

On that day in New York, Chris Sale improved to 8-0 with a complete game as the Sox whipped the Yankees 7-1.

The win, which also included a homer from Jimmy Rollins, improved to the Sox to 24-12 and enabled them to keep their five-game lead in the Central.

That, though, was the high point of the season.

From Saturday the 14th of May until the end of that season, the Sox went 54-72 and plummeted into fourth place in the Central.

*The Sox greatest win on Friday’ the 13th was one of the greatest games in their history.

On Aug. 13, 1954, Jack Harshman WENT THE DISTANCE in the Sox 1-0 win over Detroit in 16 INNINGS. Harshman fanned 12 and gave up nine hits and seven walks and got the win when Minnie Minoso’s triple drove in Nellie Fox with one out in the 16th.

*The Sox first Friday the 13th game was a 5-3 loss to Milwaukee in September of the franchise’s inaugural year of 1901.

*The Sox first win on Friday the 13th was a 9-0 win over Boston in June of 1902

*The Sox Friday the 13th ties were in April of 1928 (1-1 with Cleveland) and in June of 1958 (5-5 with Baltimore)

*Fittingly, 13 are the most runs the Sox have scored in a Friday the 13th game.

In September of 2002, Magglio Ordonez was 3-for-3 with three runs and three RBI in the Sox 13-2 win over the Yankees at Yankee Stadium.

That really was a freaky Friday because Rocky Biddle got the win over Mike Mussina.

*The Sox played their inaugural interleague game on a Friday the 13th.

On June 13, 1997, Wilson Alvarez went the distance as the Sox won 3-1 at Cincinnati.

*Ozzie Guillen, wearing No. 13, homered on Friday the 13th in June of 1986 in an 11-10 loss at Seattle. … Ozzie was 6-for-24 with that homer on Friday the 13th.

*In the only game between the Chicago teams on a Friday the 13th, the Sox beat the Cubs at Wrigley Field in July of 2001. Paul Konerko and Jose Valentin homered as the Sox won for the fourth time in their last five Friday the 13th tilts.

*I can not tell a lie: George Washington hit a homer for the Sox in their Friday the 13th loss to Philadelphia in September of 1935.

*Joe De Sa hit the second pinch-hit grand slam on a Friday the 13th. In September of 1985, De Sa victimized the Mariners in Seattle in the a 6-1 win.

*The White Sox last complete game shutout on Friday the 13th was in September of 1991 in Anaheim. Outdueling Jim Abbott, Jack McDowell used a Bo Jackson RBI in fashioning a four-hitter in a 1-0 win.

*White Sox infielder Hal Chase experienced a bit of bad luck on Friday the 13th in March of 1914.

Chase, a veteran, did not play in the Sox 4-0 exhibition win over the host San Francisco Seals because he left his uniform at the hotel in Oakland.

That nugget came from the Tribune.

*This isn’t the last you have heard from me on this subject.

I’ll be back on Friday, April 13th when the Sox play at Minnesota.

That is … if I’m lucky!


“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


Yankee legend and decorated musician Bernie Williams plays the national anthem on Friday at Guaranteed Rate Field.

“Hate the Yankees, not the Yankee.”

That was my feeling when I departed Guaranteed Rate Field after Friday night’s game.

Bernie Williams: Sox killer … cool guy.

Williams, a mainstay of the Yankees dynasty of the 1990s, played the national anthem as part of Hispanic Heritage Night prior to the Sox win over the Kansas City Royals.

During the game, I thought it would be apropos to commemorate Williams’ career in some way.

I always remembered Williams as an absolute terror on the White Sox, particularly in Chicago.

A quick check of baseballreference.com confirmed it.

In fact, Williams was so good in Chicago, I didn’t even bother to look up his overall stats vs. the Sox.

A decade out of his career and with all the good karma in the air that night, I thought it would be OK to glorify a visitor — even a Yankee — on the White Sox center field scoreboard.

And so, up it went:

A few innings later, Bernie visited the control room.

He was greeted with a rousing round of applause and my boss, Hall of Famer Jeff Szynal, made reference to my graphic.

“Dave, what did Bernie hit here?” … “.383 in 51 games. WE HATED YOU.”

Much laughter ensued and among those chortling was … Bernie Williams!

Undaunted, the five-time All-Star, four-time World Series champ, four-time Gold Glove winner, 1996 ALCS MVP and 1998 AL batting champ shot back:

“I’ll take that as a compliment.”

And more laughter ensued!

I busted Bernie Williams’ chops and he busted mine right back.

And this is why I now “hate the Yankees, not the Yankee.”

Bernie Williams, shown here with Jennifer McMahon of the Sox scoreboard crew, was a class act when he visited Chicago Friday.

Almost a Southsider?

According to a 1989 Chicago Tribune article, the White Sox were reportedly hot after Williams at the winter meetings.

History tells us that didn’t happen but these articles — linking John Wetteland, Williams, Pete O’Brien, Ron Darling, Hal Morris, Todd Hundley and Alejandro Pena — are fun reads.

Here’s the link to the article: http://archives.chicagotribune.com/1989/12/05/page/115/article/yanks-mets-seek-thigpen-from-sox


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.”

12 innings!

12 innings?

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. 

That’s nothing.

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!


Sunset photo http://www.stevemandich.com/uploaded_images/blogchicago5-760058.jpg


A picture of the Metrodome in its waning days. This memory must please a lot of Sox fans.

Today is the seventh anniversary of the White Sox final game in their personal house of horrors knows as … THE METRODOME.

The game was an absolute doozy and SOMEWHAT made up for the excruciating pain caused there by bloops, wedgies, bunts, bad hops and all the other weird happenings that made place an absolute garbage dump to Sox fans.

On Sept. 2, 2009, Alexei Ramirez’s go-ahead single highlighted a four-run uprising in the ninth as the White Sox exited the Twin Cities Bubble of Trouble with a 4-2 victory over the Twins.

Back-to-back homers by Gordon Beckham and Paul Konerko off Joe Nathan tied it before Ramirez plated pinch-runner Dewayne Wise with the go-ahead run.

That rally was aided by a walk, a steal and a wild pitch — among the things which had haunted the Sox there for years.

The best thing about the outburst … IT ALL STARTED WITH NONE ON AND TWO OUTS!

That epic rally was not lost on Sox fans as this exchange on my Facebook page demonstrated:

That wasn’t my last contact with the Metrodome.

When it collapsed in 2010, I ordered my daughter, in Minneapolis to visit the U, to get over there and get me a piece of the roof.

She did!

A few days later, I received a piece of the Metrodome roof for Christmas.

And I made that piece tell me about that glorious game seven years ago today!

The Metrodome wasn’t all bad! My beautiful family and I took in a few games there, like this one in 2008, and always enjoyed ourselves if not the outcome!


@SoxNerd Blog for Sept. 2 …

*REPEAT: Second verse, same as the first!

Friday’s blog celebrated the fact that the White Sox were playing their first home game on September 1 since 2005.

Well, here I go again!

2005 is also the last time the Sox played a Sept. 2 home game.

4,383 days ago, the first-place White Sox used three-run home runs from Juan Uribe and Carl Everett and a solo shot from Willie Harris in walloping Detroit 9-1 before 25,502 at U.S. Cellular Field.

Freddy Garcia went seven innings and allowed one run on two hits with one walk and seven strikeouts for his 12th win as the Sox held their 7.5-game lead atop the American League Central.

Since then, the Sox have lost at KC, won at Cleveland, lost at Cleveland, won at Minnesota (more on that one later), were idle, lost at Detroit on consecutive years, lost at New York, won at Minnesota, lost at Minnesota and won at Minnesota.

*APPRECIATE THAT: Thanks to follower @jetotura for the kind words for my Sox Note during Friday night’s game on a familiar topic!

I may be reprising that note with a tweak tonight.

*HAPPY ANNIVERSARY: My Facebook memories reminded me why I joined Twitter:

I joined Twitter to “one-up” my daughter.

It has evolved and is growing into something I truly love!

Thank you all for indulging me and THANK YOU ELLIE FOR BEING YOU! ✌️❤️⚾️