By Glen Sparks
(This is another in my series of quizzes that each focus on a particular Major League team. Prepare to be baffled.)
One of the original American League ballclubs, the Chicago White Sox have been playing on the city’s south side since 1901. They first called South Side Park home, moved to Comiskey Park for 80 years and left for New Comiskey Park (now Cellular Park) in 1991. The Pale Hose have won six A.L. pennants and three World Series, most recently in 2000.
- Which White Sox player batted .375 in the 1919 World Series?
- Which White Sox player batted .226 in the 1919 World Series?
- Which White Sox pitcher led the league in wins twice in the 1920s and finished third in the A.L. MVP race in 1927?
- Which White Sox shortstop was known as Ol’ Aches and Pains?
- Which White Sox pitcher made seven All-Star teams from 1953 through 1961?
- Which White Sox player finished fourth in the MVP voting four times in his career, three times with the Sox?
- Which White Sox player led the 1959 pennant-winning “Go-Go” Sox in stolen bases?
- Which White Sox pitcher started both ends of a doubleheader in 1973?
- Which White Sox player caught his last game at the age of 45, two years after making his 11th All-Star team?
- Which White Sox infielder enjoyed an NCAA-record hitting streak while playing at Oklahoma State University?
- “Shoeless Joe” Jackson. The man from Pickens County, S.C., hit .356 in his great career. He broke in with the Philadelphia A’s and later played with the Cleveland Naps/Indians. He is most famous, or, most infamous, for his time with the White Sox, particularly in the 1919 World Series versus the Cincinnati Reds. Jackson was among the “eight men out,” kicked out of baseball for allegedly throwing the World Series. His role in the “Black Sox” scandal is still debated. What isn’t debated is that he led all players in batting average during the Series (minimum 10 at-bats).
- Eddie Collins. One of the great hitters in the early 20th century, Collins retired with a .333 batting average. Like Jackson, Collins spent part of his career with the A’s but was better known as a Chicago White Sox player. He was never accused of being one of the infamous Eight, but he did slump in the Series.
- Ted Lyons. Lyons is a curious case. He won 20 games three times and led the A.L. in wins twice. He also picked up MVP votes in nine different seasons and was voted into the Hall of Fame in 1955. But … he also is the only pitcher in the Hall of Fame with more career walks (1,121) than strikeouts (1,073). He also endured a 20-36 two-year slump in the prime of his career.
- Luke Appling. The infielder from High Point, N.C., played his entire 20-year career with the White Sox. He was never better than in 1936 when he batted .388 and drove in 128 runs despite hitting just six home runs. Appling finished runner-up in the MVP race to the great Lou Gehrig that season. Late in his career, his body tired, Appling frequently complained about his ailments, leading to his nickname.
- Billy Pierce. He stood just 5-feet-10 and weighed only 160 pounds. The lefty from Detroit didn’t let his small frame get in the way of big league success. Pierce broke in with his hometown Tigers and ended his career with the San Francisco Giants. Even so, 186 of his 211 victories came with the White Sox. Pierce won 20 games twice and posted a 1.97 ERA in 1955.
- Minnie Minoso. The Cuban Comet played 17 seasons in the majors, a dozen of them with the Pale Hose. He finished fourth in the MVP race one time with the Cleveland Indians (1951) and three times with the White Sox (1953, ’54 and 1960). Minoso combined power, speed and batting average. He made seven All-Star teams. The Comet, who died in March, may still get into the Hall of Fame someday.
- Luis Aparicio. The so-called Go-Go Sox really didn’t steal a ton of bases. Jim Landis swiped 20, the only player other than Asparicio to finish in double figures. Luis stole 56 and was caught just 13 times. In his career, Aparicio stole 506 bags but was even more famous for his defense, winning nine Gold Gloves.
- Wilbur Wood. Will this ever happen again? It helped that Wood threw a low-stress knuckler. The native New Englander-sometimes called “Wilbah”-started both ends of a double-dip on July 20, 1973. He lost both games. Wood threw an amazing 359.1 innings in ’73, down from 376.2 in ’72. He won 24 games each year. What a workhorse.
- Carlton Fisk. Another New England guy, Fisk began his career with the Boston Red Sox. He famously encouraged his home run ball to stay fair in Game 6 of the 1975 World Series at Fenway Park. Fisk, one of the greatest catchers in baseball history, left Boston for Chicago in 1981. He went into the Hall of Fame wearing a Red Sox cap, but–Did you know?–Fisk played more seasons and more games with the White Sox.
- Robin Ventura. The infielder from Santa Maria, Calif., hit in 58 straight games for the Cowboys in 1987. Then, he went on to enjoy a solid career in the majors, most of it with the White Sox. He hit 294 home runs in 16 seasons and won six Gold Gloves. Ventura currently manages the White Sox.