Tag Archives: Chicago White Sox

Before The Trade Deadline Philadelphia Athletics Acquire 6 New Players -1951

Philadelphia Athletics Trade For 6 Players – 1951

Phila, PA – Obtained in trades with the Cleveland Indians and the Chicago White Sox in the last two weeks, these husky ballplayers are shown in the uniform of the Philadelphia Athletics for the first time as they turned out for the game against the New York Yankees on Saturday. From left they are: Allie Clark, from the Indians; Gus Zernial from the White Sox; catcher Ray Murray from the Indians; outfielder Dave Philley from the White Sox, and infielder Lou Klein and pitcher Sam Zoldak from the Indians. May 14, 1951 Photo: International News Photos-  Sonnee Gottlieb

With the major league trade deadline now August 1, teams have to decide if they are in contention or not. With expanded playoffs it makes it a lot harder for a general manager to stay the course or improve the team while possibly mortgaging the future by trading away potential assets.

The Philadelphia Athletics in 1951 did improve in the standings Continue reading

Eddie Robinson The Oldest Living Baseball Player Is 100-Years-Old Today

Eddie Robinson, Four Time All-Star & The Oldest Living Major League Baseball Player Is 100 Today

Minnie Minoso and Eddie Robinson examine Ted Williams bat

(Eddie Robinson 1920-2021, see update at end of story)

Eddie Robinson, a big six foot two lefty first baseman who played for seven teams in a 13 year major league career, turns 100 December 15, 2020.

Born in Paris, TX, Eddie Robinson is among the few players still alive who played alongside and saw firsthand many of the great players of the twentieth century.

Robinson was in the big leagues from 1942 – 1957, missing three prime seasons to serve in the military during World War II. His career numbers are 172 home runs, 723 RBI’s and a .268 batting average.

The Indians

Playing in the World Series could bring a player a financial bonanza, sometimes nearly as much as a regular season salary, When Robinson was traded after the season from the 1948 World Champion Cleveland Indians to the perennially terrible Washington Senators, he was surprisingly relieved and happy. Continue reading

George Kell & Yogi Berra Two Ballplayers Who Were Impossible To Strike Out

The Most George Kell Ever Struck Out In A Season Was 37 Times, Yogi Berra 38

George Kell Is Out At Home Plate Yogi berra Applies the tag 1955 Both players rarely struck out.

Calling While He’s Out

Chicago: Umpire Ed Hurley (left) calls White Sox George Kell (second from right) out at home on Kell’s try at scoring from first base on Walt Dropo’s first inning double against the Yankees July 20th in Chicago. Yogi Berra (right) makes the putout. In foreground is Sox player Jim Rivera.  Chicago won 8-6. Credit: United Press Telephoto 7/20/55

Yogi Berra and George Kell were both described by sportswriters as “short and chunky.” Proving that appearance doesn’t reflect talent, both players were inducted into baseball’s Hall of Fame, Berra in 1972 and Kell in 1983.

The Hall of Fame is not the only thing the two players had in common.

While today’s players don’t seem to give a second thought to striking out five times in a game, Berra and Kell rarely heard the words “strike three,” from an umpire. Continue reading

After Ed Walsh Won 40 Games In A Season, White Sox Owner Charles Comiskey Cut His Salary

In 1908 Ed Walsh, Won An Astounding 40 Games & Requested A Salary Raise To $7,500 For 1909

White Sox Owner Charles Comiskey Instead Offered To Reduce Walsh’s Salary

Walsh Then Held Out…And Lost

Ed Walsh atOld Timers Ceremony Chicago IL Feb 3 1944

The Battle That Never Ends

Mordecai (Three Finger) Brown (left), Chicago Cubs pitcher just after the turn of the century; Urban (Red) Faber (center), former Chicago White Sox Spitballer, and Ed Walsh big moose of White Sox hurling fame before World War I, discuss curve versus spitball at Diamond Jubilee dinner of The Old Time Players’ Association at Chicago, IL, Feb. 3. – Associated Press Photo 2/4/1944

For six seasons Ed Walsh was one of the best pitchers in baseball. Today his name is rarely mentioned among the early pitching greats such as Cy Young, Walter Johnson, Christy Mathewson and Pete Alexander.

Walsh’s greatness was recognized by his peers however and he was the guest of honor at the 1944 Old Time Players’ Association Dinner. As can be seen in the above press photo Walsh was glad to see old teammates and former rivals.

ed walsh white sox pitching

Ed Walsh photo Charles Conlon

From 1907 -1912, Walsh won a total of 178 games. In 1908, Walsh pitched 464 innings in 66 games, winning 40 while posting a minuscule 1.42 ERA. As the White Sox battled for the pennant down to the last week of the season, Walsh pitched in an incredible seven of the last nine games of the season.

On September 29, Walsh pitched two complete games beating the Boston Red Sox in a doubleheader by scores of 5-1 and 2-0. Continue reading

Baseball Approves Of Legalized Gambling In 2019 – Isn’t It Time To Re-Examine Joe Jackson?

MLB Approves Gambling On Baseball, Maybe Its Time To Reconsider “Shoeless” Joe Jackson’s Lifetime Ban

Joe Jackson 1915

“Shoeless” Joe Jackson before game vs. Yankees at Comiskey Park August 23, 1915

“Shoeless” Joe Jackson, believed by many to have been the greatest natural hitter of all-time, was banned from baseball for life after the 1920 season by Commissioner Kennesaw Mountain Landis.

Jackson had a .356 batting average in his abbreviated 13 year career. Controversially, Jackson remains on baseball’s permanent ineligible list, meaning he can never be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. His alleged crime, as many people know, was participating in the 1919 “Black Sox” scandal.  Eight members of the Chicago White Sox including  Jackson were influenced by gamblers with promised payoffs to throw the World Series.

As the old car commercial goes “Baseball, Hot Dogs Apple Pie and Chevrolet, they go together in the good ole’ USA.” Where does gambling fit in? Apparently right beside baseball. Continue reading

Minnie Minoso Remembered

Minnie Minoso – Speed, Power and Grace

White Sox outfielder Minnie Minoso scores on a short pop fly hit by Nellie Fox. Kansas City Athletics catcher Haywood Sullivan tries to apply the tag, The White Sox won this first game of a doubleheader 5-3. (Sept 20, 1961) photo: UPI

White Sox outfielder Minnie Minoso scores on a short pop fly hit by Nellie Fox. Kansas City Athletics catcher Haywood Sullivan tries to apply the tag, The White Sox won this first game of a doubleheader 5-3. (Sept 20, 1961) photo: UPI

Months after the Chicago White Sox acquired Orestes “Minnie” Minoso in a three team trade from the Cleveland Indians in 1951, White Sox manager Paul Richards said, “Technically the deal helped everyone.

Actually we got the best of it. I wouldn’t trade Minoso for anyone in the league.”

Minnie Minoso and Castro 1958Minoso was a star in Cuba before coming over to the United States and he never forgot his Cuban roots.

Minoso was signed by Indians owner Bill Veeck after being alerted to his ability by Abe Saperstein, the Harlem Globetrotters impresario, who was always on the lookout for black baseball talent. Minoso had been with the Indians since 1949 but had only gotten into nine games in two years. By 1950 Veeck was out as Indians owner, forced to sell the team to fund his divorce. The new owners considered Minoso expendable. That decision possibly cost the Indians several pennants throughout the 1950’s.

In his rookie season in 1951 Minoso batted .326 and led the league in stolen bases with 31 and triples with 14. In his career Minoso batted over .300 in eight seasons and had one unusual statistic – he led the league in being hit by pitches ten times. Minoso ran the bases with abandon and fielded as gracefully as any player in baseball.

When he retired in 1964 Minnie Minoso’s career average was .298 and he had hit 186 home runs while driving in 1023 runs.

Bill Skowron, Minnie Minoso Nellie Fox and Mickey Mantle July 24 1957 photo: AP

Bill Skowron, Minnie Minoso Nellie Fox and Mickey Mantle July 24 1957 photo: AP

Minoso died Sunday, March 1, 2015 at a gas station in Chicago after suffering a tear in his pulmonary artery, at the age of either 90 or 92. There had always been some doubt to the Cuban star’s actual age.

Continue reading

Nellie Fox, Eddie Robinson and Phil Rizzuto

Before The Game -1951

Nellie Fox Eddie Robinson Phil Rizzuto 1951

Chicago, June 10, 1951 – Scooter Makes Them Laugh — Phil “Scooter” Rizzuto (right), diminutive New York Yankees shortstop, draws a laugh from Chicago White Sox infielders Nelson Fox (left) and Ed Robinson before game in Comiskey Park yesterday. Fox is batting at a healthy .360 clip while Robinson leads the American League in the runs batted in department with 48 and is tied with Ted Williams in homers with 11. Rizzuto drew the laugh when he told Fox not to stand on his toes in an attempt to look taller than he. (AP Wirephoto)

Jack Harshman, New York Giants…Slugger?

Pick A Bat, Any Bat

Jack Harshman NY Giants 3 16 1950

Jack Harshman first came up to the major leagues with the New York Giants for five games in 1948 at the age of 20, with a reputation as a slugging first baseman. In 1949 he spent the entire season at the Giants top AAA farm club in Minneapolis where he clouted 40 home runs and knocked in 111 RBI’s while batting a respectable .270. The Giants had expectations that Harshman was going to be able to translate his minor league success into the majors. This March 16, 1950 photograph’s caption says:

Simply “Bats” About The Game

Phoenix, Ariz: New York Giants’ first baseman Jack Harshman, who has been slamming the ball with great style during exhibition games, might well wind up being “Rookie of the Year.” Here, Harshman selects a bat prior to displaying his “diamond” skill in a game. Credit (Acme) 3/16/50

Harshman ended up playing only nine games with the Giants in 1950. He played all season in the minors in 1951 hitting 47 home runs. He was called up again by the Giants in 1952 for three games and was sent down again to the minors for the entire 1953 season. Harshman had been in the Giants organization for six years and played a grand total of 17 games in the big leagues. His low minor league batting averages (.218, .230 etc.) was a major contributor to preventing his progress with the Giants. On September 19, 1953 Harshman was sold to the Chicago White Sox.

I’ve Got An Idea – Make Him A Pitcher

Jack Harshman 1956 ToppsThe White Sox converted Harshman to a pitcher. In his first season with Chicago in 1954, Harshman struck out 16 Red Sox in one game and pitched a 16 inning complete game 1-0 shut-out against the Tigers. In that game, it is estimated that Harshman threw 245 pitches. Thank goodness there were no modern day pitch counts! From 1954 to 1957 with the White Sox, Harshman won 48 games while losing only 34 with a 3.33 ERA.

I never saw Jack Harshman play, but I have a few of his baseball cards, and he always looks happy in them. Maybe it was because he had found success as a pitcher rather than a hitter.

Harahman went on to play for Baltimore, Boston and Cleveland before being released by the Indians in October of 1960 at the young age of 32. His career won and lost record was 69-65. His hitting, which was so hyped when he was breaking into the game, was not a factor in his career. In 521 career at bats, Harshman hit 21 home runs (not bad for a pitcher) drove in 65 runs and batted .179.

As far as the news publicity photo, maybe one bat would have been sufficient instead of nine.

UPDATE: Jack Harshman passed away August 17, 2013 at age 86.

Baseball In A Blizzard – The Detroit Tigers 1911 Snow Game

Snow Doesn’t Stop A Tiger Victory 

In the old days of baseball when there were fewer games and no playoff rounds, the baseball season started in mid-April. In part, the later start date was to try and prevent what happened to the Tigers on Saturday, April 15, 1911. The Tigers were playing their third game of the year at their home field, Bennett Park, against the Chicago White Sox on what started out as a cold and raw day.

One sportswriter said the game was played  in “conditions that were unprecedented.”

Patsy Dougherty triples for the White Sox.

Patsy Dougherty triples for the White Sox.

The snow started to fall in the top of the sixth.  The White Sox had an opportunity to break a scoreless tie when Patsy Dougherty led off the sixth inning with a solid triple. Continue reading

Ty Cobb In Chicago At Southside Park – 1907 And 1908

The “Georgia Peach” Ty Cobb, Plays In The Windy City

Ty Cobb 1907 Southside Park Chicago Daily News

I wonder if baseball fans recognize greatness early on in a player’s career? Ty Cobb started his major league career with the Detroit Tigers in 1905 and had his first breakout season in 1907 at the age of 20 when he led the American League in hits, stolen bases, RBI’s and a .350 batting average.  The photograph above is from 1907, taken at Southside Park in Chicago, home to the White Sox from 1900-1910. So did the fans in Chicago realize they were watching a player who would electrify baseball for the next twenty years?

One thing you notice by looking at Ty Cobb is that he had a unique batting stance. His legs and feet would many times be planted way ahead of home plate and his hands spread apart on the bat. It enabled him to spray balls all over the field and get to the pitch before it could do what the pitcher wanted it to. He hit .366, the highest career batting average ever by a major leaguer.

Ty Cobb 1908 Southside Park Chicago Daily News

Here Cobb plays against the White Sox in 1908 at Southside Park in front of a packed house.  Once again notice how far ahead Cobb is standing in front of the plate. One criticism of Cobb besides his nasty disposition, was that he didn’t hit a lot of home runs like Babe Ruth. Cobb bristled at that comparison, saying anyone could hit home runs, it took talent to be a spray hitter like he was.

On May 5, 1925 visiting St. Louis against the Browns, Cobb told a reporter in the dugout that “today for the first time my career I’m going to go for home runs.” The comment is apocryphal, but that day Cobb went six for six.  Home runs? He hit three.