Sunday Links Explore Career White Sox Hall Of Famers

We here at Sunday Links were inspired by KenWo's recent argument for Alan Trammell to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, part of which is in respect to his service to one team, and only one team, over his entire career. The list of White Sox Hall of Fame inductees based on that criteria is limited to Luke Appling, Red Faber and Ted Lyons.  Player names linked here will take you to their respective Baseball Reference pages.

Luke Appling, as most readers probably know, was the light-hitting, poor-defending shortstop for the White Sox from 1930 to 1950. After a couple middling seasons, Appling became a great hitter, surpassing a .300 average in 15 of 17 seasons from 1933 until his retirement. During his 1936 campaign he hit .388, a record among shortstops that still stands. He could also get on base, to put it lightly, with a career BB/K ratio of 2.47.  Known as "Old Aches and Pains," it was said that he played his best when he felt the worst. If that was indeed the case, he probably wasn't feeling so great before homering off pitching legend Warren Spahn at the age of 75, during the 1982 old-timers game (footage at the 10:40 mark). Here are some decent quotes from and about Appling, and the excellent Sports Illustrated write-up of the old-timers' game home run. He stayed in baseball through the years, only retiring from his position as a minor league hitting coach two days before his death at the age of 83.  Appling was inducted into the Hall in 1964, along with another career White Sox, Red Faber.

Red Faber was the last legal spitballer in the American League, having been grandfathered in when the pitch was banned in 1920. Faber won 23 games for the Pale Hose in 1920, part of a rotation that featured four 20-game winners, the others being Lefty Williams (22), Eddie Cicotte (21) and Dickey Kerr (21). Though his stats steadily declined, and could be considered less-than-impressive to saber-inclined types today, he was a veritable White Sox work horse. Faber logged more than 4,000 innings over 20 seasons, including a major league-leading 352 in 1922. Despite being known as a spitballer, Hall of Fame White Sox catcher Ray Schalk commented, "Red wouldn't throw more than four or five spitters in some games. In fact, his best pitch was his fastball. He'd just keep the batters guessing." Chicagoan through and through, Faber is buried at Acacia Park Cemetery on Irving Park Road. An oddly fascinating fan site, complete with promotion of his biography and some fantastic photographs, here.  Also, check out this truncated biography of him, courtesy of the historical society that holds his museum.

Ted Lyons also threw more than 4,000 innings for the Sox over 20 years, though, unlike Faber, didn't work out of the bullpen later in his career. Lyons won 260 games in that span, six more than Faber, an impressive feat considering the losing state of the Sox in the late ‘20s and early ‘30s. Both Lyons and Faber excelled at denying home runs to opposing hitters, aided by the expanse that was Comiskey Park. In 1926 Lyons threw a one-walk no-hitter, a game lasting a meager 67 minutes. Later nicknamed "Sunday Teddy," Lyons pitched only on the Sabbath starting in 1939, and his outings improved markedly. Like many other players, Lyons had his career interrupted by World War II, joining the Marine Corps at the age of 42. Upon returning from the Pacific, he started five games for the Sox before taking over as manager, where he remained for the better part of three seasons. Lyons was admitted to the Hall of Fame in 1955.

Short list, no?  Ed Walsh and the aforementioned Ray Schalk would be listed here if it weren't for the 18 innings Walsh threw for the Boston Braves in 1917, or the two plate appearances made by Schalk in five games for the New York Giants in 1929.  Sorry, fellas. Rules are rules.  Jocko Conlan spent his both of his two player years on the South Side, but was inducted as an umpire.  That surely doesn't count towards this list, but his is an interesting story nonetheless (apologies for the use of Wikipedia there).  The guy could tell some tales, that's for sure.  Jackie Robinson's response is here.

Enjoy the new year, and here's to hoping Raines and Baines give us fans something to be proud of come Wednesday.  

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