Chicago White Sox
This is the most complete record book ever written about the Chicago White Sox because it is the only one which includes every record of every player in White Sox history.
Typical record books eliminate old records when new ones are established, but this book never eliminates a record, instead adding new ones to existing chronology lists. In this way no player or a record will ever be forgotten and the history and evolution of White Sox records will forever be preserved.
This book is unique because it places every season and career record in batting, pitching, and fielding, in chronological order from the first year of the team’s franchise (1901) to the present.
The book introduces four never-before-seen features in any record book. The first new feature is the chronology lists. These lists show the first record holder of each category and each and every succeeding record holder until the the present day.
When records are placed in chronological order, they are easy to count. Now for the first time, we may learn exactly how many records each player has established during their career. Once records are counted, they are placed on a newly developed “Record Holders List” which appears at the end of each chapter.
The third new feature is the individual player’s “Record Profile.” The team’s greatest players are profiled at the end of each chapter. This profile includes every record created, how long it lasted before broken, and the names of the succeeding players who have broken the records. Nothing could be more complete than to see every record a player has established on one page. Did you know that Luke Appling has 31 club records?
The final new feature of this book is the individual player’s “Claim to Fame Profile.” This is an extension of the “Record Profile,” but also includes every feat accomplished by a player that has made him famous. Did you know that Luke Appling has 70 claims to fame? This book lists every one of them.
To better understand the chronology lists, the following example will be used for the club’s season home run record.
This is the complete history of the team’s home run record. It began in 1901 with Sam Mertes hitting five home runs to become the first “Record Setter.” His record lasted two years before broken by Danny Green in 1903. Green’s mark stood for 10 years before broken by Ping Bodie in 1913, and Happy Felsch became the first to hit home runs in double figures to establish a new record in 1920.
Ten years would go by before the next “Record Breaker” would surface. This was Carl Reynolds, who blasted 22 home runs in 1930. Since then the record has been broken by Zeke Bonura, Joe Kuhel, Eddie Robinson, Bill Melton (twice), Richie Allen, Carlton Fisk, Frank Thomas, and Albert Belle. Belle represents the present record holder.
This is the most complete method of record keeping. Everyone’s record remains in place for eternity, no records are ever eliminated, and the evolution of each record category is presented in this format. Now no player or their record will ever be forgotten.
The White Sox fans have seen winners who couldn’t hit and hitters who couldn’t win, their team with short pants and opponents with long hits, scoreboards that exploded and phenoms who were duds, bright victories and baseball’s blackest scandal, 40 years mostly wandering in the wilderness of the AL second division, and some of the most glorious moments in American baseball history. They have often been frustrated but seldom bored.
The White Sox story began in St. Paul, Minnesota, where Charles Comiskey, a former first baseman and the son of a prominent Chicago politician, managed the Saints, one of the teams in Ban Johnson’s successful but minor Western League. In 1900 Johnson and Comiskey, working in tandem, switched the Saints to Chicago’s South Side as the first move in upgrading their circuit, which they renamed the American League.
Comiskey’s nameless Chicago team won the 1900 AL pennant with a cast of former major leaguers and sandlot platers. In 1901, Johnson broke away from the National Agreement and declared the AL a major league, in open warfare with the established NL. The White Sox were quick to capitalize, signing such blue-chip players as Clark Griffith, Billy Sullivan, Sam Mertes, and Jimmy Callahan. They coasted to the 1901 title, their first ML pennant, and firmly established themselves in their tiny ballpark on 39th and Princeton Avenues. Comiskey added insult to injury by borrowing the former name of his crosstown rivals, “White Stockings” (shortened to Sox) in 1902.
The 1906 “Hitless Wonders,” short on hitting but very long on pitching and defense, earned the Sox’s second AL pennant, then stunned the supposedly unbeatable Cubs of Tinker, Evers, and Chance by downing them in the first (and last) all-Chicago World Series. The next few years were highlighted by the pitching of “Big Ed” Walsh (40 wins in 1908) and the opening of Comiskey Park in 1910.
For all his demonstrated baseball smarts, Comiskey parted with dollars as readily as he parted with blood, but the challenge of a Chicago Federal League franchise together with the presence of the Cubs forced him to revamp his ballclub in 1915. He acquired established stars Joe Jackson, Eddie Cicotte, and Eddie Collins to blend with rising youngsters like Buck Weaver, Red Faber, Lefty Williams, and Ray Schalk. By 1917, he had the best team in baseball, and one of the lowest paid. His Sox won the world championship in 1917, slumped a year, then roared back stronger than ever in 1919. Surprisingly, they were upset by the Reds in the World Series that year, but they were well on their way to another pennant when the truth about their WS loss exploded. Eight players had conspired with gamblers to throw the Series. The eight “Black Sox”–Jackson, Cicotte, Williams, Happy Felsch, Swede Risberg, Chick Gandil, Fred McMullin, and Buck Weaver, were acquitted in court on technicalities, but new baseball Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis banished them from organized baseball for life. Comiskey died in 1931, romantics insisted, from a broken heart.
Stripped of their fallen stars, the Sox struggled for years despite occasional highlights from pitcher Ted Lyons, shortstop Luke Appling, and a few others. In 1936-37, under J. Louis Comiskey (Charles’ son), the team made serious pennant runs. But J. Louis’s death in 1939, some catastrophic injuries (ace pitcher Monty Stratton lost his leg in a hunting accident), and WWII all combined to plunge the Sox to the bottom of the AL.
During the 1950s, a grab-bag aggregation built by frantic trader Frank Lane suddenly jelled into the “Go-Go Sox,” an exciting contender fueled by Minnie Minoso, Nellie Fox, pitching, and aggressive base running. In 1959, shortly after Bill Veeck purchased controlling interest from the Comiskey family, the team won its first pennant in 40 years. Veeck’s imaginative promotions, exploding scoreboard, and innovations (including players in short pants) helped take fans’ minds of the Sox slump in the 1960s.
The pennant drought continues, although there have been many outstanding players in White Sox stripes: Rickie Zisk, Dick Allen, Wilbur Wood, Carlton Fisk, Harold Baines, and Frank Thomas to name only a few.