FanPost

Old School Take on Winning Ugly


Saw this post on a game thread a few days back and thought I would put in my two cents worth.

Wish I knew an old-timer who gets the "winning ugly" thing from an ’83 standpoint.  by winningugly on Jul 16, 2010 4:45 AM PDT via mobile

 

First let me give you my ChiSox fandom pedigree.  I grew up on the NW side and graduated from Maine East High School.  My entire family and most of my friends were Cub fans.  It only took until I was 10 in '71 to see the light and start following a real baseball team.  I was that kid/teenager with the little transister radio under my pillow listening to Harry and Jimmy tell it like it was.  My earliest memory going to Old Comisky was a Sunday Bat-day Double Header.  I so wanted to be Bill Melton followed closely by Wilbur Wood.  My favorite team of all time was the original South Side Hitmen of '77.   Gamble and Fisk brought excitement to Old Comisky.   I made my way back to Chicago for grad school (92-94) during the next playoff run and celebrated the '05 World Series Champs from the Middle East.

Unfortunately, I left for college out west in '79 so was not in town to truly enjoy the '83 team.  I followed them the best I could through the media at the time.  I doubt I would have done very well at school if SSS or anything like it had existed back then.  The team played mediocre the first half but dominated the second half.  The pitching staff carried the team with Hoyt, Dotson, and Bannister all eating innings and opposing batters for lunch and dinner.  The strong pitching meant the team was in a lot of close games and often won them with a sac fly here or a bloop there.  During their hot streak, the Sox took 3 of 4 from Texas and the Texas coach (Doug Rader) was not particularly impressed with the White Sox.  He said they would probably be the third or fourth best team in the East (maybe a bit of truth to that) and that the White Sox were winning ugly.  The local media and fans picked it up and it stuck as the team mantra. 

The team had its share of good hitters too.  Rookie Kittle and veteran Paciorek had career years.  Kittle and Luzinski hit plenty of those majestic, towering shots into the upper deck at Comisky before either the balls or the players were juiced.  A young Harold Baines and rookie Greg Walker put up strong numbers as well.  Carlton Fisk handled the staff masterfully.  Rudy Law could have been a perfect lead-off hitter if he was a bit more patient with the bat.  He ended the year with 77 stolen bases and 95 runs.  The team lead the league with 800 runs scored and ran away with the division.  They locked up the division in early September and won by a whopping 20 games.

My most vivid memories are from the playoffs since I actually got to listen to them on national radio.  Hoyt had won 14 straight in the second half and started the series off with a complete game win 2-1.  The Sox bats remained silent for the rest of the series.  They could not buy a clutch hit plating only 4 in the 4 game series.  Game 4 was most excruciating.  I was on a date with my fiance at the time.  We had a picnic with her sister and brother-in-law.  I rudely stayed in the car listening to the game as both pitchers put up zeros through 9 innings.  The winning ugly Sox had 10 hits in 10 innings and could not manufacture a run.  Britt Burns pitched 9 shut-out innings but gave up a home run to Tito Landrum in the 10th.  If not for Sox shortstop Jerry "Dumb"zinski's bonehead baserunning blunder, Burns' gem would likely be regarded as one of the great Sox highlights and Tito Landrum's name would not bring nightmares to Old School Sox fans.  Old schoolers know Lamar Hoyt would have won game 5 and Sox fans would not have had to wait another 20+ years to win the World Series.  Needless to say, I was depressed and my fiance's twin was not overly impressed.  I eventually got over it and she still married me.  At least I can say, "Honey, you should have seen it coming" when I spend way too much time at odd hours on the computer laughing and cursing with my new SSS friends.

SouthSideSox is a community driven site. As such, users are able to express their thoughts and opinions in a FanPost, such as this one, which represents the views of this particular fan, but not necessarily the entire community or SouthSideSox editors.

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