Obviously there are not too many third base champions in White Sox history. Joe Crede is one of those few. But he wasn't just the third baseman for that great championship team, he was much much more.
Here is a brief tribute to Joe Crede for the 2005 championship season.
His offensive statistics are deceiving. Around a .250 average during the regular season. But man was he clutch, earning him the nickname Clutch Crede. In the late innings in close games you could always depend on Joe. If men were on base, he wouldn't leave them there. The one playoff game I went to during the 2005 season was ALCS game 2. People forget how important of a game that was. If we had lost that game, momentum would have been on the Angels side going back to L.A. And that White Sox bad luck as usual mentality would have spread like a virus. But thanks to one of the best pitching performances I have seen by Mark Buerhle and a historic heads up play by A.J. (and a stolen base by Pablo Ozuna), Joe was given the opportunity to win the game for us. He stood at the plate with his usual smug facial expression and his lower jaw moving up and down with the piece of gum in his mouth. Next thing you know the ball has hit off the left field fence, and the Cell goes crazy. I remember for the next 20 minutes people were chanting Let's Go White Sox nonstop. Going down the ramps and into the parking lot was the same thing. All because Crede came through as usual.
That was what Crede was all about-- coming through for the team. He was for sure an underrated player but his stats never accurately displayed his ability. He came through for the pitchers game in and game out with his spectacular defense. He came through at the plate when it counted. As I like to say it is not how much you hit but when you hit.
It is too bad that injuries have plagued Joe. If that didn't happen and he stuck around with the White Sox, he may have had his number retired. That probably will not be the case, but White Sox fans should for ever remember him. Not the best Joe we have ever had, but a great one indeed.
The last request I have for Joe Crede is to please not go to the Minnesota Twins!
Thanks Joe Crede