are a Major League Baseball team based in Chicago, Illinois. The White Sox play in the American League's Central Division. Since 1991, the White Sox have played in U.S. Cellular Field, which was originally called New Comiskey Park and nicknamed The Cell by local fans. The White Sox are one of two major league clubs based in Chicago, the other being the Chicago Cubs of the National League. The White Sox last won the World Series in 2005 when they played the Houston Astros and swept them in four games.
One of the American League's eight charter franchises, the Chicago team was established as a major league baseball club in 1901. The club was originally called the Chicago White Stockings, after the nickname abandoned by the Cubs, and the name was soon shortened to Chicago White Sox, believed to have been because the paper would shorten it to Sox in the headlines. At this time, the team played their home games at South Side Park. In 1910, the team moved into historic Comiskey Park, which they would inhabit for more than eight decades.
The White Sox were a strong team during their first two decades, winning the 1906 World Series with a defense-oriented team dubbed "the Hitless Wonders", and the 1917 World Series led by Eddie Cicotte, Eddie Collins, and Shoeless Joe Jackson. The 1919 World Series, however, was marred by the Black Sox Scandal, in which several prominent members of the White Sox (including Cicotte and Jackson) were accused of conspiring with gamblers to purposefully lose games. Baseball's new commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis took decisive action, banning the tainted players from Major League Baseball for life. Decades of mediocrity followed for the White Sox until the 1950s, when perennially competitive teams were blocked from the playoffs by the dynastic New York Yankees, with the exception of the 1959 pennant winners led by Early Wynn, Nellie Fox, Luis Aparicio, and manager Al Lopez. Another pennant winner did not come until their championship season of 2005, when the White Sox won their first World Championship in 88 years, breaking their epochal drought only a year after the Boston Red Sox had broken their slightly shorter but more celebrated "curse."
The Chicago White Sox are most prominently nicknamed "the South Siders", based on their particular district within Chicago. Other nicknames include "the Pale Hose", "the ChiSox", a combination of "Chicago" and "Sox" (as opposed to the BoSox), mostly just used by the national media, "the Go-Go Sox", a reference to 1959 AL champions, who got that nickname; "the Good Guys", a reference to the team's one-time motto "Good guys wear black", coined by Ken "Hawk" Harrelson; and "the Black Sox," referring specifically to the scandal-tainted 1919 team. Most fans and Chicago media refer to the team as simply "the Sox". The Spanish language media sometimes refer to the team as Medias Blancas for "White Socks."
For records of every White Sox season, see List of Chicago White Sox seasons.
1894–1900: Western League
The team began as the minor league Sioux City Cornhuskers and played in the Western League. The WL reorganized itself in November 1893, with Ban Johnson as President. Johnson, a Cincinnati-based reporter, had been recommended by his friend Charles Comiskey, former major league star with the St. Louis Browns in the 1880s, who was then managing the Cincinnati Reds. After the 1894 season, when Comiskey's contract with the Reds was up, he decided to take his chances at ownership. He bought the Sioux City team and transferred it to Saint Paul, Minnesota, where it enjoyed some success over the next five seasons.
In 1900, the Western League changed its name to the American League. It was still officially a minor league, subject to the governing National Agreement and an underling of the National League. The NL actually gave permission to the AL to put a team in Chicago, provided he not use the city name in the team's branding. Comiskey moved his St. Paul club to the Near South Side and renamed it the White Stockings, grabbing a nickname that had once been used by the Chicago Cubs. The White Stockings won the 1900 American League pennant led by player-manager Dick Padden, the final WL/AL championship season as a minor league. After the season, the AL declined to renew its membership in the National Agreement and declared itself a major league.
1901–14: Early years
After acquiring a number of stars from the older league, including pitcher and manager Clark Griffith, the White Stockings also captured the AL's first major-league pennant the next year, in 1901. Headline editors at the Chicago Tribune sports department immediately began shortening the name to "White Sox," and the team officially adopted the shorter name in 1904. The name change to the White Sox was brought on after scorekeeper Christoph Hynes wrote White Sox at the top of a scorecard rather than White Stockings, this scorecard was then seen by the press. The White Sox would continue to be built on pitching and defense in the following years, led by pitching workhorse Ed Walsh, who routinely pitched over 400 innings each season in his prime..
1903–16: The Hitless Wonders
Ed Walsh was a dominant starter for the White Sox from 1904-1916 and holds the lowest career ERA in Major League history.
Walsh, Doc White and Nick Altrock paced the White Sox to their 1906 pennant and faced the crosstown rival Cubs in the 1906 World Series. The Cubs had won a then-record 116 regular-season games and were an overwhelming favorite to defeat the White Sox, especially since the White Sox had the lowest team batting average in the American League that year. However, in a stunning upset, the White Sox took the Series, and intracity bragging rights, in six games. To this day, the 1906 White Sox are known as "the Hitless Wonders."
The White Sox spent the next decade alternating between solid and mediocre seasons. During this time, however, they acquired a solid core of players such as catcher Ray Schalk, shortstop / third baseman Buck Weaver, and pitchers Eddie Cicotte, Red Faber and Reb Russell.
In 1915, Pants Rowland became the manager and the White Sox added outfielder Shoeless Joe Jackson, second baseman Eddie Collins and outfielder Happy Felsch to the line-up. The White Sox finished in 3rd place with a record of 93–61. In 1916, the White Sox acquired pitcher Lefty Williams and finished 2nd at 89–65.
The 1917 World Champions
1917 Chicago White Sox season
In 1917, the White Sox put the final pieces of the puzzle together with the addition of first baseman Chick Gandil and shortstop Swede Risberg. Weaver was moved over to third base.
The White Sox roared through the American League in 1917 with a record of 100-54—still a franchise record for wins and winning percentage—and won the pennant by 9 games over the Boston Red Sox. Their offense, led by Collins (.289, 91 runs), Felsch (.308, 102 RBI) and Jackson (.301, 91 runs), was 1st in runs scored. The White Sox pitching staff, led by Eddie Cicotte (28–12 1.53 ERA), Williams (17–8 2.97 ERA), Red Faber (16–13 1.92 ERA) and Reb Russell (15–5 1.95 ERA), ranked 1st with a 2.16 ERA.
The White Sox faced the 98–56 New York Giants in the World Series. The White Sox won Game 1 of the Series in Chicago 2–1 behind a complete game by Cicotte. Felsch hit a home run in the 4th inning that provided the winning margin. The White Sox beat the Giants in Game 2 by a score of 7–2 behind another complete game effort by Faber to take a 2–0 lead in the series.
Back in New York for Game 3, Cicotte again threw a complete game, but the White Sox could not muster a single run against Giants starter Rube Bensen and lost 2–0. In Game 4 the White Sox were shut out again 5–0 by Ferdie Schupp. Faber threw another complete game, but the Series was going back to Chicago even at 2–2.
Reb Russell started Game 5 in Chicago, but only faced 3 batters before giving way to Cicotte. Going into the bottom of the 7th inning, Chicago was down 5–2, but they rallied to score 3 in the 7th and 3 in the 8th to win 8–5. Red Faber pitched the final 2 innings for the win. In Game 6 the White Sox took an early 3–0 lead and on the strength of another complete game victory from Faber (his third of the Series) won 4–2 and clinched the World Championship. Eddie Collins was the hitting hero, batting .409 over the 6 game series while Cicotte and Faber combined to pitch 50 out of a total 52 World Series innings to lead the staff.
1918–20: "The Eight Men Out"
The 1919 Chicago White Sox
See also: Black Sox Scandal
After an off-year in the war-shortened season of 1918, the club bounced back to win the pennant in 1919 and entered the World Series heavily favored to defeat the Cincinnati Reds in a best-of-9.
However, just before the Series, it became known that some big money was being bet on the Reds, fueling talk that the Series was fixed. The White Sox lost to the Reds in eight games.
Rumors of a fix continued unabated through the 1920 campaign, even as the White Sox roared through the season and appeared on their way to a third pennant in four years. The team's pitching was particularly strong that year; the 1920 White Sox pitching staff was the first in the majors to feature four 20-game winners. In September 1920, an investigation into a fixed Cubs game eventually turned in the direction of the 1919 Series. During the investigation, Cicotte and Jackson confessed. Comiskey, who himself had turned a blind eye to the rumors previously, was compelled to suspend the remaining seven players (Gandil, eventually perceived as the ringleader, the one "connected" to the gamblers, had retired after the 1919 season) before their last season series against the St. Louis Browns. The suspensions ground the team to a halt; they lost two out of three games to the Browns and finished second, two games behind the Cleveland Indians. However, the evidence of their involvement (signed confessions) disappeared from the Cook County courthouse, and lacking that tangible evidence, a criminal trial (whose scope was limited to the question of defrauding the public) ended in acquittals of all the players. Regardless, with the public's trust of the game of baseball at stake, newly-installed Commissioner of Baseball Kenesaw Mountain Landis banned all the accused from baseball for life.
1922–50: The lean years
From 1901 to 1920, the White Sox won five out of a possible 19 pennants. However, they were severely crippled by the loss of seven of their best players in their prime. With a depleted roster, the White Sox dropped into seventh place in 1921 and would not contend again until 1936. During that stretch, only the 1925 and 1926 teams even managed to top .500. During this period, the White Sox featured stars such as third baseman Willie Kamm, shortstop Luke Appling, outfielder Leo Najo and pitcher Ted Lyons. However, an outstanding team was never developed around them, or a deep pitching staff. Ironically, the White Sox almost landed Babe Ruth; they offered to trade Jackson to the Red Sox for Ruth after owner Harry Frazee put his troublemaking star on the market. The White Sox offered Jackson and $60,000; however, the New York Yankees offered an all-cash deal of $100,000. Between the dumping of star players by the Philadelphia Athletics and the Red Sox, and the decimation of the White Sox, a "power vacuum" was created in the American League, into which the Yankees would soon move.
The White Sox finally became competitive again under popular manager Jimmy Dykes, who led them from 1934 to 1946 – still the longest managerial tenure in team history. However, the White Sox did not completely recover from their malaise until the team was rebuilt in the 1950s under managers Paul Richards, Marty Marion, and Al Lopez.
1950–67: "Go-Go Sox" and the Bridesmaid Years
1950–67: "Go-Go Sox" and the Bridesmaid Years
Following Charles Comiskey's death in 1931, the team continued to be operated by his family – first by his son Louis, then by Louis' widow Grace, and finally by their daughter Dorothy Rigney. Not until 1959 did the team pass out of the family (thanks in part to a feud between Dorothy and her brother Chuck) to a new ownership group, led by Bill Veeck, who had previously run both the Cleveland Indians and the St. Louis Browns; it has been rumored that Veeck also tried to buy the Philadelphia Phillies during World War II, with the stated intention of stocking the team with players from the Negro Leagues, but was rejected.
Due to Veeck's arrival in 1959, Comiskey Park instantly became a ballpark filled with a series of promotional stunts which helped draw record crowds, the most obvious being the exploding fireworks Veeck installed in the scoreboard to celebrate home runs and victories. Unlike Charles Comiskey, Veeck was considered a player-friendly owner, and players enjoyed playing for him.
During the 1950s, the team had begun to restore its respectability utilizing an offensive philosophy emphasizing speed and a spectacular style of defense. Perennial All-Star Minnie Miñoso, a former Negro Leaguer who became the White Sox' first black player in 1951, personified both aspects, leading the league in stolen bases while hitting over .300 and providing terrific play in left field. The additions of rookie shortstop Luis Aparicio in 1956 and manager Al Lopez in 1957 continued the strengthening of the team, joining longtime team standouts such as Nellie Fox at second base, pitchers Billy Pierce and Virgil Trucks, and catcher Sherm Lollar.
In 1959, the team won its first pennant in 40 years, thanks to the efforts of several eventual Hall of Famers – Lopez, Aparicio, Fox (the league MVP), and pitcher Early Wynn, who won the Cy Young Award at a time when only one award was presented for both leagues. The White Sox would also acquire slugger Ted Kluszewski, a local area native, from the Pittsburgh Pirates for the final pennant push. Kluszewski gave the team a much-needed slugger for the stretch run, and he hit nearly .300 for the White Sox in the final month. Lopez had also managed the Cleveland Indians to the World Series in 1954, making him the only manager to interrupt the New York Yankees pennant run between 1949 and 1964.
After the pennant-clinching victory, Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley, a life-long White Sox fan, ordered his fire chief to set off the city's air raid sirens. Many Chicagoans became fearful and confused since 1959 was the height of the Cold War; however, they relaxed somewhat upon realizing it was part of the White Sox' celebration. The White Sox won Game 1 of the World Series 11–0 on the strength of Kluszewski's two home runs, their last postseason home win until 2005. The Los Angeles Dodgers, however, won three of the next four games and captured their first World Series championship since moving to the west coast in 1958. 92,706 fans witnessed Game 5 of the World Series at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, the most ever to attend a World Series game, or for that matter any non-exhibition major league baseball game. The White Sox won that game 1–0 over the Dodgers' 23-year-old pitcher Sandy Koufax, but the Dodgers clinched the series by beating the White Sox 9–3 two days later at Comiskey Park.
Although the White Sox had winning records every season from 1951 through 1967, the Yankees dynasty of the era often left the White Sox frustrated in second place; they were league runner-up 5 times between 1957 and 1965. Health problems forced Veeck to sell the team to brothers Arthur and John Allyn in 1961, and while the team continued to play well, many of the ballpark thrills seemed to be missing. The White Sox had several outstanding pitching staffs in the 1960s, with pitchers who had the best ERA in four different seasons -- Frank Baumann, 2.67 (1960), Gary Peters, 2.33 (1963), and again with 1.98 (1966) and finally Joe Horlen, 2.06 (1967).
The 1964 season was especially frustrating, as the team won 98 games, four more than 1959, including their last nine in a row – yet finished one game behind the pennant-winning Yankees, who had a late-season eleven-game win streak that opened up just enough room to stave off the White Sox's final charge. The White Sox were also involved in one of the closest pennant races in history in 1967. After leading the American League for most of the season, on the final weekend, the White Sox, Red Sox, Minnesota Twins and Detroit Tigers all had a shot at the pennant. However, the Red Sox would assert themselves in the final weekend, beating the Twins to take the pennant by a single game. The White Sox finished in 4th at 89–73, three games behind.
1968–75: Going somewhere?
In 1968, Bud Selig, a former minority owner of the Milwaukee Braves who had been unable to stop the relocation of his team three years earlier, contracted with the Allyn brothers to host nine home games (one against each of the other American League clubs) at Milwaukee County Stadium as part of an attempt to attract an expansion franchise to Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
The experiment was staggeringly successful - those nine games drew 264,297 fans. In Chicago that season, the White Sox drew 539,478 fans to their remaining 58 home dates (72 games, 14 doubleheaders). In just a handful of games, the Milwaukee crowds accounted for nearly one-third of the total attendance at White Sox games.
In 1969, the league expanded from 10 teams to 12, and the White Sox schedule in Milwaukee was likewise expanded to include 11 home games (again, one against every opponent). Although those games were attended by slightly fewer fans (198,211 fans, for an average of 18,019) they represented a greater percentage of the total White Sox attendance than the previous year - over one-third of the fans who went to White Sox games did so at Milwaukee County Stadium. In the remaining 59 home dates in Chicago (70 games, 11 doubleheaders), the White Sox drew 391,335 for an average of 6,632 per date.
Selig was denied an expansion franchise at the 1968 owners' meetings, and turned his efforts toward purchasing and relocating an existing club. His search began close to home, with the White Sox themselves. According to Selig, he had a handshake agreement with Arthur Allyn in early 1969 to purchase a majority stake in the Pale Hose and move them north to the Cream City. The American League, however, blocked the sale, unwilling to give up its presence in a major city. Allyn instead sold his shares to his brother John, who agreed to stay in Chicago. Selig would go on to buy the Seattle Pilots and move them to Milwaukee instead.
The White Sox had a brief resurgence in 1972, with slugger Dick Allen winning the MVP award; but injuries, especially to popular third baseman Bill Melton, took their toll and the team finished 5½ games behind Oakland, the eventual world champion.
Several lawsuits against Major League Baseball from Seattle over the move of the Pilots to Milwaukee, Wisconsin almost resulted in the White Sox being moved to the Emerald City in 1975. An elaborate scheme for a franchise shuffle soon came to light. The White Sox were to be moved to Seattle, then the Oakland Athletics were to take the White Sox's place in Comiskey Park. Oakland owner Charlie Finley was from nearby La Porte, Indiana. His A's had not drawn well during their Championship years in Oakland, California, and he wanted to bring them to Chicago. However, the shuffle collapsed when owner John Allyn sold the team to the physically-rehabilitated Bill Veeck. In 1977, the Seattle Mariners were created, thus restoring the major leagues' presence in the Pacific Northwest.
1976–81: The Return of Veeck and the South Side Hitmen
On December 10, 1975, Bill Veeck regained ownership of the team, and he vowed to make the White Sox an exciting team again. Besides his customary promotions, Veeck introduced retro uniforms and shorts. But the 1976 team was one of the worst White Sox teams ever fielded, winning only 64 games (.398), drawing fewer than 915,000 fans, and the team was ridiculed for wearing uniforms which featured shorts. The shorts were only worn once - during the first game of a doubleheader against the Kansas City Royals at Comiskey Park on August 8, 1976.Veeck's strategy to make the team competitive quickly, dubbed "rent-a-player" by sports writers, involved acquiring star players in the final year of their contracts. The theory was that the players would strive to put up huge numbers in hopes of getting a big contract at the end of the season, and carry the club with them. The first of these acquisitions was made prior to the 1977 season and the last prior to the 1978 season. While this approach had the virtue of not having been tried, it was unsustainable. The Sox had to give up several young prospects in exchange for veteran players who invariably signed with other clubs after their single season in Chicago. For instance, in acquiring Richie Zisk from the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Sox gave up pitchers Rich Gossage and Terry Forster, both of whom went on to have lengthy and productive professional careers. Gossage was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2008. There was also a singular focus on power hitters in these acquisitions while pitching and defense were ignored. The Sox scored a lot of runs, but they also lost many high-scoring games during this period. Rent-a-player did enjoy a degree of success, however. In 1977 it quickly infused an excitement that had been missing for years. For that one season it transformed the Sox from a boring, losing club into a pennant contender.
The 1977 season was a memorable one for the South Siders, led by off-season acquisitions Oscar Gamble (.297 AVG, 31 HR, 83 RBI), Richie Zisk (.290 AVG, 30 HR, 101 RBI) and American League Comeback Player of the Year Eric Soderholm (.280 AVG, 25 HR, 67 RBI). The team, known by the press and fans as the "South Side Hitmen" hit a since-broken team record 192 home runs and were in first place in the American League West as late as August enroute to a third place finish (90-72). They also drew a team-record 1,657,135 fans to Comiskey (since broken as well). Manager Bob Lemon was named AL Manager of the Year by UPI for his efforts.
After the 1977 season Gamble and Zisk signed with other teams - Gamble with the San Diego Padres and Zisk with the Texas Rangers. Veeck's attempt to replace them with Bobby Bonds and Ron Blomberg fizzled as the 1978 team lost 90 games. Bonds appeared in only 26 games for the Sox before being dealt to the Texas Rangers, and Blomberg's major league career ended with the season's final game. Blomberg, who batted .293 over his career, hit only .231 with five home runs and 22 RBI in 61 games for the Sox in 1978 (he played only one game in 1977 for the New York Yankees). Two tough years followed: 87 losses in 1979 (including the infamous July 12 forfeit on Disco Demolition Night; see Steve Dahl) and 90 losses in 1980.
During this period the Sox acquired several players who were once stars but were past their primes. One was Don Kessinger, a shortstop who had his best years with the crosstown Cubs. Kessinger served as a player-manager in 1979. Another was outfielder Ralph Garr, who had his best seasons with the Atlanta Braves. A once-notable pitcher was John "Blue Moon" Odom, a former Oakland Athletics star. On July 28, 1976 Odom combined with Francisco Barrios on a no-hitter against Oakland, which proved to be Odom's last major league victory. The Sox also brought in Clay Carroll, a right-handed starting pitcher who was a key member of the Cincinnati Reds championship teams in the mid-1970s.
Since the Sox didn't have the revenue of the wealthier clubs, Veeck looked for any edge he could find. The club held open tryouts during spring training in 1978. They looked at pretty much anyone who showed up. Each player's name was sewn on his uniform, ostensibly to prove that the tryouts were legitimate and not just a stunt. This approach was the subject of an article in Sports Illustrated. The spring training tryout became a White Sox tradition that continues to this day.
Harold Baines, who hit 21 home runs with the White Sox, in 2001
Veeck began building a farm system that produced several noteworthy players including Harold Baines and Britt Burns. But Veeck could not compete in the free agent market or afford what he called "the high price of mediocrity." By 1980, the White Sox were looking for new ownership. Veeck favored Ohio real estate tycoon Edward J. DeBartolo Sr., who tried to buy several teams and move them to New Orleans. DeBartolo pleaded to be allowed to buy the White Sox and he promised to keep the team in Chicago. Baseball commissioner Bowie Kuhn blocked the deal, because he thought DeBartolo would be bad for baseball.
Instead, Veeck sold the team to an ownership group headed by Jerry Reinsdorf and Eddie Einhorn. The new owners moved quickly to show that they were committed to winning by signing All-Star catcher Carlton Fisk from the Red Sox as well as power-hitting outfielder Greg Luzinski from the defending champion Phillies during the 1980–81 offseason. They also retained the club's young, relatively unknown manager Tony La Russa.
Perhaps to placate the fans, the owners launched a uniform design contest. The fans were given the opportunity to vote on the finalists. The winning design featured red, white, and blue with large bars.
1982–89: "Winning Ugly"
1983 Chicago White Sox season
In 1983, the White Sox enjoyed their best success in a generation. After a mediocre first half, the White Sox decided that they needed speed at the top of the lineup. The Sox traded second baseman Tony Bernazard to the Mariners for Julio Cruz. With Cruz's speed, they went 60–25 to close out the season, clinching the AL West title, which earned Manager Tony La Russa his first Manager of the Year award.
Doug Rader, then manager of the Texas Rangers, derisively accused the team of "winning ugly" for their style of play, which reflected a tendency to win games through scrappy play rather than strong hitting or pitching. Rader also thought that if the White Sox played in the Eastern Division, they would finish 5th behind powerhouses such as Baltimore, New York, and Milwaukee. Chicago media and White Sox fans picked up on the phrase, and turned "Winning Ugly" into the team slogan. While they had a great run in the regular season, they were not able to carry that over into the postseason as they lost to a powerful Baltimore Orioles team 3 games to 1 in the AL Championship Series. LaMarr Hoyt led the White Sox to a 2–1 victory in Game 1, but the Orioles clinched the series with a 3-0 ten-inning victory in Game 4. White Sox pitcher Burns pitched a "gutsy" game, throwing 9⅓ shutout innings before a home run by Tito Landrum broke up the game and the hearts of the South Side faithful.
The club slid back into mediocrity for the rest of the 1980s, contending only in 1985. Before the 1985 season began, the White Sox traded pitcher LaMarr Hoyt to the San Diego Padres in exchange for flashy shortstop Ozzie Guillén. Guillen would win the AL Rookie Of The Year award. In 1986, broadcaster-turned-general manager Ken "Hawk" Harrelson fired La Russa after a poor start. The club wouldn't contend again until 1990, the final year in Old Comiskey Park.
1990s: "Good Guys Wear Black"
1990 Chicago White Sox season
That season, most of their young talent blossomed. Closer Bobby Thigpen established a then record of 57 saves. In addition to that, first baseman Frank Thomas, pitchers Alex Fernandez and Jack McDowell, and third baseman Robin Ventura would make their presences felt on the South Side. The White Sox of 1990 won 94 games, but finished 9 games behind the powerful Oakland Athletics.
On July 11, as part of the celebration of Comiskey Park, the White Sox played a Turn Back the Clock game against the Milwaukee Brewers; the Brewers won 12–9 in 13 innings after posting a 6-run rally in the 8th inning to tie the game. The White Sox wore their 1917 home uniforms. This was the first Turn Back the Clock game in the major leagues and started what has become a popular promotion. New Comiskey park opened in 1991, and was completed at a cost of $167 million.
1993 Chicago White Sox season
The team reached the ALCS in 1993. The White Sox were led by Thomas, Ventura, multi-sport star Bo Jackson, Cy Young Award winner McDowell and All-Star closer Roberto Hernández and won the last AL West before realignment with a 94–68 record. However, the White Sox were a big disappointment in the ALCS, losing to the defending World Champion Toronto Blue Jays in six games. The Jays would go on to win the World Series again in 1993.
1994 Chicago White Sox season
The White Sox led the new American League Central at the time of the 1994 players' strike.
2000: The Kids Can Play
2000: The Kids Can Play
2000 Chicago White Sox season
Under Manager Jerry Manuel, the White Sox fielded a talented but chronically under-achieving team. In 2000, however, the White Sox had one of their best teams since the 1983 club. This team, whose slogan was "The Kids Can Play," won 95 games en route to an AL Central division title. The team scored runs at a blistering pace, which enabled them to overcome the effects of a mediocre pitching staff, led by Mike Sirotka and James Baldwin. Frank Thomas nearly won his third MVP award with his offensive output; he was helped by good offensive years from Magglio Ordóñez, Paul Konerko, Carlos Lee and José Valentín.
As in 1983 and 1993, the 2000 team could not carry its success over into the postseason, getting swept by the wild-card Seattle Mariners in the Division Series. Despite new club records for hits (1,615), runs scored (978), RBI (926), home runs (216), and doubles (325), the White Sox hit only .185 in the ALDS and failed to score a run after the third inning in any of the three games.
In 2003, Comiskey Park was re-named after cell phone company U.S. Cellular bought the naming rights at $68 million over 20 years.
2005: "Win Or Die Trying"
2005 Chicago White Sox season
The changes made an immediate impact on the team. In 2005, the White Sox posted the best record in the major leagues for much of the year, before a late season slump saw the St. Louis Cardinals overtake them (100 wins vs. 99 wins). Though a serious challenge for their dominance of the division was mounted late in the year by the Cleveland Indians (the Tribe actually reduced what was once a 15 game lead for the White Sox down to 1½ games at one point), Chicago scored a 4–2 victory over the Detroit Tigers on September 29 to win their first AL Central Division title since 2000. Finishing at 99–63 (.611) tied their 1983 record, and won the division by six games. The last time they had a higher percentage than that was 1920 , when they finished second in the league thanks to the late-season "Black Sox" suspensions. The combination of the league's best record with the American League victory in the All-Star Game gave the White Sox the home field advantage throughout the 2005 postseason (perhaps unnecessary as the White Sox won every post-season road game they played in 2005).
Among the other changes that occurred in 2005 (and still seen in 2006) was the creation of a new marketing campaign, referring to the team's new style of play. 2005 saw a much-reduced reliance on power hitting (even though the team still hit over 200 home runs on the season), and a move toward speed and defense. This culminated in what locally became known as "Ozzieball" or "Grinderball". As part of the marketing campaign, the White Sox began inventing "Grinder Rules", a list of fictitious "rules" created as a part of an advertising campaign, and a way of reminding fans about the changes to the team, and the success it was bringing. The first Grinder Rule became the team's motto for the 2005 season: "Win or die trying!"
The rules themselves are an "incomplete" list, as the numbers are somewhat random. They are collected from print, billboard, television, and radio advertisements, as well as advertising at U.S. Cellular Field, where the White Sox play their home games.
In the first round of the 2005 playoffs, the White Sox took on the wild-card winning Red Sox, the defending World Series champions. However, the White Sox overpowered the Red Sox, defeating the Red Sox in a three-game sweep. They won the first two games (scoring a 14–2 victory in the first game – their first postseason win at home since 1959 – and 5–4 in the second) of the series at home before going to Fenway Park and claiming a 5–3 victory. The first game of the series featured Scott Podsednik hitting his first home run of the season in the 14-2 win.
The ALDS also set the tone for what would be an unusually suspenseful post-season; while their first game was considered a blow-out, the remaining games saw the White Sox making the most of rare opportunities and hanging on to narrow leads. In the first inning of game 1, the White Sox put up 5 runs, and never looked back. A late inning three-run home run by Scott Podsednik - his first home run of the season, was the icing on the cake in the game 1 blowout. In Game 2, the White Sox were actually down 4–2 when Red Sox second baseman Tony Graffanino, formerly playing for the White Sox, let Juan Uribe's potential inning-ending, double-play grounder go through his legs; one out later, Tadahito Iguchi hit a three-run homer to left that clinched the game for the White Sox. In Game 3, Orlando Hernández entered the game with the bases loaded and nobody out with the White Sox ahead by only one run in the bottom of the sixth inning. Based on their regular season performance, it was later calculated that the Red Sox's probability of winning at that point was .662, even though they were trailing by one run. Instead, the first two batters, Jason Varitek and Tony Graffanino, both popped out, and Johnny Damon struck out swinging on a breaking ball. Hernandez went on to retire six of the next seven batters, and the White Sox's rookie reliever Bobby Jenks closed out the game.
The White Sox then moved on to face the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the ALCS. The Angels won Game 1, 3–2, The White Sox only post-season loss.
In Game 2 on October 12, the teams were involved in one of the most controversial endings in baseball playoff history. With the score tied 1-1 with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, A. J. Pierzynski apparently struck out to end the inning. At first Pierzynski headed back to the dugout but ran to first base upon realizing that umpire Doug Eddings had ruled that Angels catcher Josh Paul (a former White Sox player) did not field the ball cleanly, meaning he would have to either tag the batter or throw to the first baseman to record the out (see uncaught third strike). Despite vehement protests from various members of the Angels, including manager Mike Scioscia, Pierzynski was awarded first base. Pinch-runner Pablo Ozuna replaced Pierzynski and stole second base. Third baseman Joe Crede then delivered a double on the third pitch to give the White Sox a 2–1 win. Overshadowed by that play was the 1-run, 5-hit complete game pitched by Mark Buehrle. Buehrle's excellent effort allowed the White Sox to capture their first-ever home victory in ALCS history.
Buoyed by their win, the White Sox traveled to Anaheim, California, where starters Jon Garland, Freddy García, and José Contreras (who had dropped Game 1 to the Angels in Chicago) pitched three more complete game victories consecutively over the Angels, giving the White Sox their first American League pennant since 1959. White Sox slugger Paul Konerko was named the ALCS MVP, on the strength of his two home runs, 7 RBI, and .286 average.
Especially in light of the evolution of the game, the White Sox four straight complete games was considered an unbelievable achievement. In fact, since José Contreras pitched 8⅓ innings in game 1, the White Sox bullpen saw a total of ⅔ of an inning pitched (by Neal Cotts) in the entire series. The last time four consecutive complete games had been pitched in a championship series was in the 1956 World Series between the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Yankees, and the 1928 Yankees were the last team to win four consecutive complete games in a championship series. In fact, the last time any major league pitching staff had hurled four straight complete game victories was near the end of the 1983 regular season, when the Texas Rangers accomplished the feat.
2005 World Series
The White Sox now advanced to the World Series, where they would take on the National League champion Houston Astros. The White Sox' appearance in the World Series was bittersweet for longtime franchise star Frank Thomas. One of the most popular and productive players in the franchise's long history, Thomas would finally be going to a World Series in his 16th major league season. However, due to injury, Thomas would be unable to participate except as an observer, and his contributions to the White Sox in 2005 were limited.
Champions Plaza, U.S. Cellular Field - Chicago, Illinois
Chicago skyline during the World Series supporting the White Sox
Game 1 saw Astros' ace Roger Clemens leave the game with a hamstring injury, and Chicago took advantage of its opponents' weakness, winning 5–3. Joe Crede especially made an impressive showing with his stellar defensive plays at third base.
Game 2 of the Series, as in the ALCS, saw the White Sox again involved in a controversial play. With the White Sox down 4-2 in the seventh with two outs and two runners on base, the home plate umpire ruled that Jermaine Dye had been hit by a pitch, while the Astros argued (and TV replays confirmed) that the ball had actually hit the bat. Dye was given a free pass to first, and the next batter, Paul Konerko, launched a home run into left field to give Chicago a 6–4 lead. Houston tied the game on a two-run single with two outs in the top of the ninth, but in the bottom of the ninth, Scott Podsednik hit a walk-off solo home run off Brad Lidge to give the White Sox a thrilling 7–6 victory and a 2–0 lead in the Series. Podsednik was the first player in major league history to hit a home run in the World Series after not having hit any during the regular season. (He did, however, have a home run in Game 1 of the ALDS against Boston, making the World Series home run his second of the playoffs.)
The World Series then shifted to Houston for Game 3, in which Astros' starter and NLCS MVP Roy Oswalt cruised with a 4–0 lead until the wheels totally came off for him with a five-run fifth by the White Sox. The Astros managed to tie the game in the eighth, but repeatedly blew scoring opportunities in the next few innings. Finally, in the top of the 14th, former (and current) Astro Geoff Blum hit a tie-breaking home run; the White Sox took a commanding 3–0 Series lead with a 7–5 victory in the longest World Series game in history (in terms of time; tied for most innings). Ozzie Guillén sent Mark Buehrle in to get the last out in the bottom of the 14th to get the save after he had started Game 2, and later remarked that he was set to send Pablo Ozuna (a position player) in to pitch if the Astros somehow extended the game.
Game 4 was a pitcher's duel between Freddy García and Brandon Backe. The game was scoreless until Jermaine Dye singled to center off of Brad Lidge, driving in Willie Harris for what turned out to be the winning run. This was the second game of the series in which Lidge had given up the game winning run (Podesednik's home run in Game 2). Game 4 also saw a spectacular defensive play by Juan Uribe, as the Chicago shortstop fell two rows into the stands in order to retire Chris Burke for the second out in the bottom of the ninth. Uribe also earned the assist in the final out of the Series on the next play, as he narrowly threw Orlando Palmeiro out at first to give the White Sox their first World Series crown since 1917. Dye was named the World Series MVP in the four-game sweep.
The White Sox' World Series Trophy on display at U.S. Cellular Field during the 2006 season
Only the 1927 Yankees and the 1984 Detroit Tigers were able to achieve such a feat. Their 11–1 postseason record was tied with 1999 Yankees as the best single post season mark. (Only Cincinnati Reds in 1976 had a better winning percentage by going 7–0.) Also, their 8 game winning streak (the four wins over the Angels and the sweep against the Astros) is tied with the Boston Red Sox (who won 8 games in a row en route to their 2004 World Series championship) for the longest postseason winning streak in Major League History. The White Sox also became the only team to win all three post-season victories on the road. Amazingly, despite their 105 year history, this was only the franchise's third World Series championship, (following victories in 1917 and 1906). It also marked their first pennant since the advent of divisional play in 1969 (the White Sox won the inaugural American League pennant in 1901, but this was 2 years prior to the first modern World Series).
2006 Chicago White Sox season
After leading the wild card race for much of the season, the White Sox faltered, losing 15 of 24 at the beginning of September to eliminate them from playoff contention, ending their chances of becoming the first repeat winner of the World Series since the New York Yankees in 1999 and 2000. They nonetheless finished with a 90–72 record, the season's best record by a non-playoff team.
Despite missing the playoffs, the team enjoyed numerous successes during the year. Following the Fourth of July weekend, the White Sox won both crosstown interleague series against the rival Cubs, taking the first two games of each series at U.S. Cellular Field and Wrigley Field. The White Sox finished interleague play with a record of 14–4, including a 7–2 mark in National League parks.
This was the first year a White Sox manager had led the AL All-Star squad since 1994, when Gene Lamont led the team. In addition to manager Ozzie Guillén, the White Sox had six representatives at the 77th All-Star Game at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, the most among any club: starting pitcher Mark Buehrle, closer Bobby Jenks, catcher A. J. Pierzynski, first basemen Paul Konerko and Jim Thome, and right fielder Jermaine Dye. José Contreras was originally selected to pitch in the All-Star Game, but was replaced by Francisco Liriano. Guillen removed Contreras from the roster after a 117-pitch performance in a 19-inning game against Boston on the last day before the All-Star Break. As a result of Contreras not pitching during the break, he would set an unusual modern-day mark in Major League Baseball by starting two consecutive games.
Pierzynski was the last White Sox to be named to the team after winning the year's Final Vote, in which the fans select the 32nd and final player on both the AL and NL squads. Pierzynski is the second White Sox to be selected, following Scott Podsednik's nomination in 2005. Dye competed in the 2006 CENTURY 21 Home Run Derby; he managed to hit 7 home runs in the first round, but David Ortiz and Ryan Howard both surpassed that total to knock Dye out of the competition. Dye was only the fourth White Sox to compete in the Derby, joining Carlton Fisk (1985), Konerko (2002), and Frank Thomas (1994, 1995).
The White Sox drew 2,957,414 fans for an average of 36,511, third in the AL. There were a total of 52 sellouts, breaking the previous team record of 18. The White Sox also drew 75 crowds in excess of 30,000, another franchise record. The White Sox had just one game with a crowd below 25,000: April 18 against the Kansas City Royals. On August 9 against the New York Yankees, the White Sox surpassed 2 million fans for the eighth time in franchise history and for the second consecutive year (1983, 1984, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, and 2005). Also, on August 30 versus the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, the team surpassed 2.5 million fans for the first time since 1993, and for only the fourth time in franchise history: 1991, 1992, and 1993. It is their 25th consecutive one million-plus attendance season and 46th overall.
Main article: 2007 Chicago White Sox season
During Spring Training, Toby Hall dislocated his shoulder while trying to make a diving play at first base. This presented a problem as Hall was the backup to A. J. Pierzynski, and now would be out for an indeterminate amount of time. As a result of the injury, the White Sox were forced to bring up catching prospect Gustavo Molina.
There was a competition for the fifth starter's role between newly-acquired rookies Gavin Floyd and John Danks. Danks would ultimately win the role with a good spring showing.
At the conclusion of spring training, the White Sox opened the 2007 season at home against the Cleveland Indians. José Contreras would start the opener, marking the first time since 2001 that Mark Buehrle did not pitch the season opener. Contreras would be ineffective, giving up 8 runs (7 earned) on 7 hits over 1-plus innings in an eventual 12–5 loss.
On April 15, White Sox pitching held the Cleveland Indians to two unearned runs and a hit, but the White Sox would lose 2–1, raising concerns about the usually potent offense. Scott Podsednik, the White Sox' best hitter with a .303 average, would be placed on the disabled list with an adductor pull, compounding the White Sox' offensive woes.
On April 18, Buehrle pitched a no-hitter against the Texas Rangers, 6–0. Buehrle's only blemish was a walk to Sammy Sosa in the fifth, but Buehrle would promptly pick Sosa off during the next at-bat. Buehrle secured his spot in the MLB record books when he forced Rangers catcher Gerald Laird to ground out to third baseman Joe Crede at 9:14 P.M. CDT, sending the crowd of 25,390 at U.S. Cellular Field into a frenzy. He would face the minimum of 27 batters using 106 pitches (66 strikes), with the one walk to Sosa and eight strikeouts. This was the first no-hitter by a White Sox pitcher since Wilson Alvarez did it against the Baltimore Orioles on August 11, 1991, the first no-hitter at home since Joel Horlen's no-hitter on September 10, 1967, and the first no-hitter in the American League since April 27, 2002, when then-Boston Red Sox starter Derek Lowe no-hit the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 10–0. Jermaine Dye hit a grand slam and Jim Thome added two solo homers in the history-making night.
On July 6, the White Sox announced the signing of Mark Buehrle to a contract extension worth $56 million over four years. The move came after weeks of rumors of Buehrle possibly being traded.
Overall, the White Sox season was hampered by injuries and a team-wide hitting slump. However, the season was not a complete failure with Mark Buehrle's no hitter, Jim Thome's 500th home run, and closer Bobby Jenks 41 consecutive batters retired (tying Jim Barr's all-time record and breaking the American League record.) Jenks would later fall short of the all time record when Kansas City Royal's player Joey Gathright slapped a ground ball into left field just out of the reaches of third baseman Josh Fields and shortstop Juan Uribe.
The White Sox finished the season fourth in their division with a 72–90 record, behind the Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers, and Minnesota Twins.
2008 Season: Central Champs Again And A Blackout Game
Main article: 2008 Chicago White Sox season
On July 31, the day of the trade deadline, the White Sox traded relief pitcher Nick Masset and minor leaguer 2nd Baseman Danny Richar for Ken Griffey Jr. of the Cincinnati Reds.
On August 14, Jim Thome, Paul Konerko, Alexei Ramirez, and Juan Uribe combined to hit four consecutive home runs, something that has only been done six other times in the history of Major League Baseball. On September 29, 2008, Ramirez hit his fourth grand slam of the season, setting a major-league single-season record for a rookie, off of Detroit Tigers pitcher Gary Glover in an 8–2 White Sox victory to qualify the White Sox for a one-game playoff against the Minnesota Twins for the AL Central title. This also broke the team record for most grand slams in a single season.
Chicago White Sox celebrate after winning a tiebreaker game against the Minnesota Twins on September 30th, 2008
On September 30, 2008, the White Sox won a tiebreaker 1–0 against the Minnesota Twins for the American League playoff spot after a diving catch from Brian Anderson. A game saving throw to home plate from center-fielder Ken Griffey Jr. to catcher A. J. Pierzynski on a flyout to keep Michael Cuddyer from scoring would keep the Twins scoreless through the top of the 5th inning. John Danks pitched on only three days rest and threw 103 pitches for 2 hits and no runs in eight innings. Bobby Jenks would close the game with a perfect 9th. The only run of the game came from a Jim Thome home run, the 541st of his career. This was the lowest scoring tiebreaker game in MLB history. The White Sox are also the only team in MLB history to beat three different teams on three consecutive days: the Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers, and Minnesota Twins. They lost to the Tampa Bay Rays in the ALDS, 3 games to 1.
A.J. Pierzynski, April 2009
Main article: 2009 Chicago White Sox season
During the 2009 offseason the White Sox declined a team option for Ken Griffey Jr. The White Sox also let Joe Crede become a free agent, who went on to sign with the Minnesota Twins, and signed closer Bobby Jenks to a one-year contract, avoiding arbitration. Pitcher Bartolo Colon was signed as a free agent on January 15. Javier Vazquez and Boone Logan were traded to the Atlanta Braves for prospects Tyler Flowers, Brent Lillibridge, Jon Gilmore and Santo Rodriguez.
On April 14, Scott Podsednik returned to the White Sox on a Minor League deal. He was called up to Chicago on May 1 and moved back into the leadoff spot in the lineup.
On May 21, the White Sox gave the San Diego Padres a trade proposition for Jake Peavy. According to the Padres, everything was agreed upon, but Peavy had a no-trade clause and denied this trade.
On May 30, the White Sox traded 2005 number one draft pick (fifteenth overall), pitcher Lance Broadway, to the New York Mets in exchange for catcher Ramon Castro.
On June 4, the White Sox called up 2008 number one draft pick (eighth overall), shortstop Gordon Beckham.It took Beckham only 364 days to reach the Major League, as he was drafted on June 5, 2008.
On June 9, the White Sox called up another number one draft pick (2007, 25th overall), left-handed pitcher Aaron Poreda.
On July 23, White Sox pitcher Mark Buehrle threw a perfect game against the Tampa Bay Rays. It was his second career no-hitter, both with the White Sox, and the second perfect game in team history. After the game, Buehrle was in the middle of his press conference with the media when he received a phone call from President Barack Obama to congratulate him. It was the second time in two weeks that President Obama and Buehrle had contact, with the first being at the 2009 All-Star game in St. Louis, MO.
On July 28 Mark Buehrle established a new major league baseball record, by retiring Minnesota Twin (And former teammate) Joe Crede, Buehrle retired his 42nd consecutive batter, breaking the record held by teammate Bobby Jenks, and Jim Barr, Buehrle would retire three more batters. He holds the all time record now at 45.
On July 31, the White Sox traded 2007 number one draft pick (twenty fifth overall), pitcher Aaron Poreda, Clayton Richard, Adam Russell and Dexter Carter in exchange for Jake Peavy.
On August 10, the White Sox claimed OF Alex Rios off waivers from the Toronto Blue Jays
On August 31, Jim Thome waived his no-trade clause, allowing the White Sox to trade him to the Los Angeles Dodgers, and pick up center fielder Justin Fuller. The White Sox also trade Jose Contreras to the Colorado Rockies, in exchange for Brandon Hynick, a 24 year-old right-handed starter.
On September 16, the White Sox released RHP Bartolo Colon
On November 6, the White Sox traded Josh Fields and Chris Getz to the Kansas City Royals for Mark Teahen.
On November 6, the White Sox declined Jermaine Dye's 2010 Contract.
On January 26, 2010, the White Sox had an opportunity to get Jim Thome back by signing a one-year deal with him, but passed, allowing him to then sign a one-year, $1.5 million contract with the Minnesota Twins. Thome had expressed interested in returning to Chicago, but White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen told Thome he wouldn't get enough at-bats to justify a return.
U.S. Cellular Field
In the late 1980s, the franchise threatened to relocate to Tampa Bay (as did the San Francisco Giants), but frantic lobbying on the part of the Illinois governor and state legislature resulted in approval (by one vote) of public funding for a new stadium. Although designed primarily as a baseball stadium (as opposed to a "multipurpose" stadium) New Comiskey Park (redubbed U.S. Cellular Field in 2003) was built in a 1960s style similar to Dodger Stadium and Kauffman Stadium. It opened in 1991 to positive reviews; many praised its wide open concourses, excellent sight lines, and natural grass (unlike other stadiums of the era such as Rogers Centre in Toronto). However, it was quickly overshadowed in the public imagination by the wave of "nostalgia" or "retro" ballparks, beginning with Oriole Park at Camden Yards. The park's inaugural season drew 2,934,154 fans - at the time, an all-time attendance record for any Chicago baseball team.
View from the upper deck of U.S. Cellular Field in 2006
Despite a number of innovations in its original construction - including a lower deck concourse that circumscribes the entire stadium, allowing a view of the game from any location - the park was often criticized for its sterile appearance and steep upper deck.
In recent years, money accrued from the sale of naming rights to U.S. Cellular has been allocated for renovations to make the park more aesthetically appealing and fan friendly. Notable renovations of early phases included: re-orientation of the bullpens parallel to the field of play (thus decreasing slightly the formerly symmetrical dimensions of the outfield); filling seats in up to and shortening the outfield wall; ballooning foul-line seat sections out toward the field of play; creating a new multi-tiered batter's eye, allowing fans to see out through one-way screens from the center-field vantage point, and complete with concession stand and bar-style seating on its 'fan deck'; renovating all concourse areas with brick, historic murals, and new concession stand ornaments to establish a more friendly feel. The stadium's steel and concrete was repainted dark gray and black. The scoreboard Jumbotron was also replaced with a new Mitsubishi Diamondvision HDTV giant screen.
More recently, the top quarter of the upper deck was removed in 2004 and a black wrought metal roof was placed over it, covering all but the first eight rows of seats. This decreased seating capacity from 47,098 to 40,615. 2005 also saw the introduction of the Scout Seats, redesignating (and re-upholstering) 200 lower deck seats behind home plate as an exclusive area, with seat-side waitstaff and a complete restaurant located underneath the concourse. The most significant structural addition besides the new roof was 2005's FUNdamentals Deck, a multi-tiered structure on the left field concourse containing batting cages, a small Tee Ball field, and several other child-themed activities intended to entertain and educate young fans. This structure was used during the 2005 playoffs by ESPN and Fox Broadcasting Company as a broadcasting platform.
Designed as a 7-phase plan, the renovations were completed before the 2007 season with the 7th and final phase. The most visible renovation in this final phase was replacing the original blue seats with green seats. The upper deck already had new green seats, put in before the beginning of the 2006 season. Beginning with the 2007 season a new luxury seating section was added in the former press box. This section has amenities similar to those of the Scout Seats section. After the 2007 season the ballpark continued renovation projects despite that the 7-phase plan was complete.
History of White Sox uniforms
See also: Major League Baseball#MLB uniforms (including image of baseball-cap logos of the 30 MLB franchises)
Over the years the White Sox have become noted for many of their uniform innovations and changes. In 1960, the White Sox became the first team in the major sports to put players' last names on jerseys.
1912-1917, 1919-1929, 1931, and 1936-1938 Chicago White Sox logo
In 1912, however, the White Sox debuted one of the most enduring and famous logos in baseball—a large "S" in a Roman-style font, with a small "O" inside the top loop of the "S" and a small "X" inside the bottom loop. This is the logo associated with the 1917 World Series championship team and the 1919 Black Sox. With a couple of brief interruptions, the dark-blue logo with the large "S" lasted through 1938 (but continued in a modified block style into the '40s). Through the 1940s, the White Sox team colors were primarily navy blue trimmed with red.
The White Sox logo in the '50s and '60s (actually beginning in the 1949 season) was the word "SOX" in an Old English font, diagonally arranged, with the "S" larger than the other two letters. From 1949 through 1963, the primary color was black (trimmed with red after 1951). The Old English "SOX" in black lettering is the logo associated with the Go-Go Sox era.
In 1964, the primary color went back to navy blue, and the road uniforms changed from gray to pale blue. In 1971, the team's primary color changed from royal blue to red, with the color of their pinstripes and caps changing to red. Curiously, the 1971-1975 uniform included red socks.
Chicago White Sox logo from 1976 to 1990
In 1976 the team's uniforms changed again. The team's primary color changed back from red to navy. The team based their uniforms on a style worn in the early days of the franchise, with white jerseys worn at home, blue on the road. The team brought back white socks for the last time in team history. The socks featured a different stripe pattern every year. The team also had the option to wear blue or white pants with either jersey. Additionally the teams "SOX" logo was changed to a modern-looking "SOX" in a bold font, with 'CHICAGO' written across the jersey. Finally, the team's logo featured a silhouette of a batter over the words "SOX".
The new uniforms also featured collars and were designed to be worn untucked — both unprecedented. Yet by far the most unusual wrinkle was the option to wear shorts, which the White Sox did for the first game of a doubleheader against the Kansas City Royals in 1976. After being ridiculed by fans and pundits, and an opponent calling the White Sox "the sweetest team we have ever played," the White Sox retired the shorts, wearing pants in the nightcap and thereafter. The Hollywood Stars of the Pacific Coast League had tried the same concept at one time, and it was also poorly received. Apart from aesthetic issues, as a practical matter shorts are not conducive to sliding, due to the likelihood of significant abrasions.
Upon taking over the team in 1980 new owners Eddie Einhorn and Jerry Reinsdorf announced a contest where fans were invited to create new uniforms for the White Sox. The winning entry was submitted by a fan where the word "SOX" was written across the front of the jersey, in the same font as a cap, inside of a large blue stripe trimmed with red. The red and blue stripes were also on the sleeves, and the road jerseys were gray to the home whites. It was in those jerseys that the White Sox won 99 games and the AL West championship in 1983, the best record in the majors.
Alternate logo, introduced in 1990
After five years those uniforms were retired and replaced with a more basic uniform which had "White Sox" written across the front in script, with "Chicago" on the front of the road jersey. The cap logo was also changed to a cursive "C", although the batter logo was retained for several years.
For a mid-season 1990 game at Comiskey Park the White Sox appeared one time in a uniform based on that of the 1917 White Sox.
The White Sox then switched their regular uniform style one more time. In September, for the final series at Old Comiskey Park, the old English "SOX" logo (a slightly simplified version of the 1949-63 logo) was restored, and the new uniform also had the black pinstripes restored. The team's primary color changed back to black—this time with silver trim. With minor modifications (i.e., occasionally wearing vests, black game jerseys) the White Sox have used this style ever since.
Spring training history
The White Sox have held spring training in Excelsior Springs, Missouri (1901–1902); Mobile (1903); Marlin Springs, Texas (1904); New Orleans, Louisiana (1905–1906); Mexico City (1907); Los Angeles (1908); San Francisco (1909–1910); Mineral Wells, Texas (1911, 1916–1919); Waco, Texas (1912, 1920); Paso Robles, California (1913–1915); Waxahachie, Texas (1921); Seguin, Texas (1922–1923); Winter Haven, Florida. (1924); Shreveport, Louisiana (1925–1928); Dallas, Texas (1929); San Antonio, Texas (1930–1932); Pasadena, California (1933–1942, 1946–1950); French Lick, Indiana (1943–1944); Terre Haute, Indiana (1945); Palm Springs, California (1951); El Centro, California (1952–1953); Tampa (1954–1959); and Sarasota (1960–1997). (1998–2007) the White Sox and Arizona Diamondbacks shared Tucson Electric Park in Tucson, Arizona for Spring Training in the Cactus League.
On November 19, 2007, the cities of Glendale, Arizona and Phoenix, Arizona broke ground on the Cactus League’s newest Spring Training facility. Camelback Ranch, the $76 million two-team facility will be the new home of both the White Sox and the Los Angeles Dodgers for their Spring Training programs. Aside from state-of-the-art baseball facilities at the 10,000-seat stadium the location includes residential, restaurant and retail development, a 4-star hotel and 18-hole golf course. Other amenities include 118,000 sq ft (11,000 m2) of Major and minor league clubhouses for the two teams, four Major League practice fields and eight minor league practice fields, two practice infields and parking to accommodate 5,000 vehicles.
Rivalries and fan base
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Fielder Jones of the White Sox hits the ball against Cubs at West Side Grounds, 1905
White Sox – Cubs rivalry
The Chicago Cubs are the crosstown rivals of the White Sox, a rivalry that some made fun of prior to the White Sox's 2005 title because both of them had extremely long championship droughts. The nature of the rivalry is unique; with the exception of the 1906 World Series, in which the White Sox upset the favored Cubs, the teams never met in an official game until 1997, when interleague play was introduced. In the intervening time, the two teams sometimes met for exhibition games. An example of this volatile rivalry is the game played between the White Sox and the Chicago Cubs at U.S. Cellular Field on May 20, 2006. White Sox catcher A. J. Pierzynski was running home on a sacrifice fly by center fielder Brian Anderson and smashed into Cubs catcher Michael Barrett, who was blocking home plate. Pierzynski lost his helmet in the collision, and slapped the plate as he rose. Barrett stopped him and, after exchanging a few words, punched Pierzynski in the face, causing a melee to ensue. Brian Anderson and Cubs first baseman John Mabry got involved in a separate confrontation, although it was later determined that Mabry was attempting to be a peacemaker. After ten minutes of conferring following the fight, the umpires ejected Pierzynski, Barrett, Anderson, and Mabry. As Pierzynski entered his dugout, he pumped his arms, causing the soldout crowd at U.S. Cellular Field to erupt in cheers. When play resumed, White Sox second baseman Tadahito Iguchi blasted a grand slam to put the White Sox up 5-0 on their way to a 7-0 win over their crosstown rivals. While there are other major league cities and metropolitan areas in which two teams co-exist, all of the others feature at least one team which began playing there in 1961 or later, whereas the White Sox and Cubs have been competing for their city's fans since 1901.
The teams have competed fairly equally for local fans for much of their co-existence. Through 2005, the Cubs have drawn greater attendance 60 times, and the White Sox 45 times, but the difference is primarily a recent effect, as the White Sox have only outdrawn the Cubs twice since 1984 (1991–92, the first two years after the current ballpark opened). The Cubs' attendance advantage in the last two decades can partly be attributed to the fact that their games began being broadcast nationally on WGN in 1978, creating a national following for the team and establishing Wrigley Field as a tourist destination, while the White Sox only returned to WGN in 1990 after a 22-year absence. (The Tribune Company, parent company of WGN, purchased the Cubs in 1981. Additionally, far fewer White Sox games were initially shown on WGN after their return to the station.)
The White Sox enjoy healthy divisional rivalries. The Detroit Tigers are led by former White Sox player Magglio Ordóñez. The Minnesota Twins are high profile rivals as well, with fans of both teams showing up to US Cellular Field in healthy numbers. Chicago's biggest and longest division rivals though, are the Cleveland Indians who always enjoy a large away contingent at U.S. Cellular Field. The rivalry first started upon the creation of the AL Central in 1994. On July 15, 1994 an umpire confiscated Albert Belle's bat, presuming that it was corked. They put it in the umpire's room at Comiskey Park. However, Indians pitcher Jason Grimsley climbed through the ceiling from the visitor's clubhouse and stole the bat. The theft was discovered and Belle was suspended; Grimsley later owed up to the theft. Belle further inflamed matters by spurning the Indians and signing a large free agent contract with the White Sox in 1997.
A historical regional rival was the St. Louis Browns. Through the 1953 season, the 2 teams were located pretty close to each other (including the 1901 season when the Browns were the Milwaukee Brewers), and could have been seen as the American League equivalent of the Cardinals–Cubs rivalry, being that Chicago and St. Louis have for years been connected by the same highway (U.S. Route 66 and now Interstate 55).
The current Milwaukee Brewers franchise was also a primary White Sox rival, due the to proximity of the two cities, and with the teams competing in the same division for the 1970 and 1971 seasons, and then again from 1994-1997. The rivalry died down however, when the Brewers moved to the National League in 1998.
See also: List of Major League Baseball mascots and Mascot Hall of Fame
From 1981 until 1988, the White Sox employed a twosome, called Ribbie and Roobarb, as their team mascots. In the early 1990s the White Sox had a cartoon mascot named, 'Waldo The White Sox Wolf' that advertised the ‘Silver and Black Pack’, the team kid's club at the time. The team's current mascot is called SouthPaw.
Founded: 1893, as the Sioux City, Iowa franchise in the minor Western League. Moved to Saint Paul, Minnesota in 1895, then to Chicago in 1900 when that league was renamed the American League, and which became a major league in 1901.
Formerly known as: Sioux City Cornhuskers, 1894. St. Paul Saints, 1895-1899. "White Sox".
Home ballpark: U.S. Cellular Field, Chicago. (This park, originally known as "New Comiskey Park", was opened in 1991; the original Comiskey Park was in use from mid-1910 to 1990. The original home field in Chicago was South Side Park. The previous home field in St. Paul was Lexington Park).
Uniform colors: Black, Silver, and White
Logo design: The letters "SOX", interlocked in Old English Script font
Current Team motto: There Are Traditions and There Are White Sox Traditions.
2005 World Series Championship Season Motto: Grinder Rule No. 1, "Win or Die Trying"
Fight Song: "Let's Go, Go-Go White Sox" by Captain Stubby and the Buccaneers
All-time regular season record (through 2009): 8540 wins - 8339 losses - 101 ties - 3 no-decisions
Local Television: Comcast SportsNet Chicago, WGN, WCIU
Local Radio: WSCR 670AM "The Score"
Television Announcers: Ken Harrelson, Steve Stone
Radio Announcers: Ed Farmer, Darrin Jackson
Rivals: Detroit Tigers, Chicago Cubs, Minnesota Twins, Cleveland Indians
Spring Training Facility: Camelback Ranch, Glendale, Arizona
See also: List of Major League Baseball retired numbers
The White Sox have retired nine numbers. Luis Aparicio's #11 has been un-retired at his request for the 2010 season for 11 time Gold Glove winner shortstop Omar Vizquel (because #13 is currently used by manager Ozzie Guillén; Vizquel, like Aparicio and Guillen, play(ed) shortstop and all share a common Venezuelan heritage). Also, Harold Baines had his #3 retired in 1989; it has since been 'unretired' 3 times in each of his subsequent returns, including his current capacity as 1st base coach.