When the White Sox acquired Adam Dunn and then re-signed Paul Konerko, Kenny Williams put together what could possibly be one of the finest dynamic duos in team history. The two combined for 77 home runs and 214 RBI's during the 2010 season. If Konerko doesn't experience much of a regression and Dunn continues his run of 38-40 homers and 92-106 RBI's that he's been on since 2004, they could come close to threatening the lofty numbers of previous Sox duos.
While nobody will confuse the Sox duos with the all time greats of Mays/McCovey, Maris/Mantle or Ruth/Gehrig, the Sox have had some great performances by teammates- especially in recent seasons. Lets take a look at some of the most formidable combinations of White Sox teammates after the jump.
2006- Jim Thome and Jermaine Dye- The defending World Champions of 2006 had the most powerful tandem in team history as Thome (42) and Dye (44) pounded out 86 home runs. It was the only time that White Sox teammates have cracked the 80 homer mark. They also combined for 229 RBI's. The "B" team that season of Konerko and Joe Crede pounded out 65 homers and 207 RBI's as the Sox featured an absolutely fearsome offense. Unfortunately, the pitching couldn't hold up its end of the bargain and the club missed the playoffs.
2004- Paul Konerko and Carlos Lee- In a season where the teams two most feared hitters, Magglio Ordonez and Frank Thomas went down with season ending injuries, Konerko and Lee picked up the slack. The two combined for 72 homers and 216 RBI's. The fans were left wondering on what could have been if Thomas and Ordonez remained healthy.
2003- Frank Thomas and Carlos Lee- The Big Hurt's final season on the list was a big one as the pair hit 73 homers and knocked in 218 runs. Magglio Ordonez had another fine season with 29 and 99 while hitting .317. Unfortunately, the Twins edged the Sox in the Central.
2000- Frank Thomas and Magglio Ordonez- Maggs and the Big Hurt combined for 75 homers and 269 RBI (the most as a duo in team history). The A.L. Central Champion White Sox featured a well rounded offense where the starters at every position had at least 10 home runs (Charles Johnson only played in 44 games but hit 10 dingers in a Sox uniform to go with 21 for the Orioles prior to being acquired). Strangely enough, the only other time that the Sox had a double digit home run hitter at every position was in 1965- Moose Skowron and John Romano were the team leaders with 18.
1998- Albert Belle and Frank Thomas- Belle did most of the damage as he set team records in home runs (49) and RBI (149). Thomas (29 and 109) had a down year. If he would have come close to some of his better seasons, this duo would have easily been the best. Unfortunately, none of the main 5 starters for the Sox had an ERA lower than 5.06. The Sox managed to finish 80-82 even though I could find a few little leaguers who could have gave more support from the mound.
1996- Frank Thomas and Robin Ventura- The duo aptly given the nickname "Batman and Robin" combined for 74 homers and 239 RBI. Ventura's 34 homers were his single season high. This was the first time that a pair of teammates combined for more than 70 home runs.
1994- Frank Thomas and Julio Franco- In only 113 games due to the strike, Thomas and Franco combined for 58 homers and 199 RBI's. They were easily on their way to the top of the list, but just like the rest of the season, it was all for nothing.
1985- Carlton Fisk and Harold Baines- The last super duo in Old Comiskey Park history combined for 59 homers and 220 RBI's. Both men would go on to have their number retired.
1983- Ron Kittle and Greg Luzinski- Kitty (35) and the Bull (32) powered the Sox to the AL West title as they combined for an Old Comiskey record of 67 homers as teammates. Most of the rockets the duo hit ended up in the upper deck or on the roof as the Sox won the division by 20 games.
1977- Richie Zisk and Oscar Gamble- The rent-a-players combined for 61 homers and 184 RBI's in their only season as teammates. The '77 Sox were a powerful team and challenged deep into the season. Unfortunately the pitching couldn't quite get it done as they won 90 games- good for only 3rd in the West.
1961- Al Smith and Roy Sievers- This duo combined for 55 homers and 185 RBI's. Jim Landis also hit 22 home runs that season, which was the first time 3 members of the Sox hit at least 20 home runs.
1960- Minnie Minoso and Roy Sievers- Minoso was reacquired after the World Series appearance, and the fan favorite responded with one of his finest seasons- hitting 20 homers and knocking in 105. Roy Sievers, who was acquired for future star Earl Battey, had a powerful 2 year run on the South Side as he hit 55 homers. Battey went on to become a 4 time all star, 3 time gold glove winner and finished in the top 10 in MVP voting 3 times. Sadly, the defending American League Champs couldn't repeat in 1960- and the playoffs weren't seen again in Chicago until 1983.
1950- Gus Zernial and Eddie Robinson- They were the first duo to each hit 20 home runs in a season. Robinson started the year on the Washington Senators and was hitting .233 with 1 homer and 13 RBI when they traded him to the Sox on May 31st. He went on to hit 20 homers in 119 games for the Sox while batting .314. He then hit 29 homers in '51 and 22 in '52 before jumping around to 6 more teams and ending his career in 1957. In Zernial's first and only full season on the Sox he bombed 29 homers and knocked in 93 runs. He played in 4 games for the Sox in 1951 before he was sent to the Philadelphia A's in a 3 way deal that brought the White Sox Minnie Minoso. Zernial went on to lead the league in '51 with 33 homers. In 1953 he hit 42 homers and hit 30 for the 1955 A's- their first year in Kansas City.
1936- Zeke Bonura and Luke Appling- This duo didn't put up the home run numbers, as they only hit a combined 18 in 1936, but they drove in an amazing 266 runs- only 3 behind Thomas and Ordonez in 2000 for the most ever by a White Sox tandem.
1934- Zeke Bonura and Al Simmons- They were the first major home run hitting duo as they combined for 45 homers and 214 RBI's. In his rookie season, Bonura hit a then team record 27 homers with 110 RBI's and was featured on one of the first ever Wheaties boxes. Simmons was in his 2nd season on the South Side after a 9 year run for the Philadelphia A's where he hit 34 or more homers 3 times. Simmons drove in 100 runs from his rookie year in 1924 through the 1934 season. The Hall of Famer was a career .334 hitter, while knocking in 1,827 runs- good for 19th all time.
1920- Shoeless Joe Jackson and Happy Felsch- Shoeless Joe (12) and Happy (14) were the first players to hit double digit homers for the Sox. They also combined to knock in 236 runs in their final season. Both players were banned from baseball for their involvement in the Black Sox scandal along with 6 others, which set the organization back decades. Felsch continued winning after he passed though as Charlie Sheen portrayed him in Eight Men Out. Shoeless Joe has the 3rd highest batting average of all time and there is still doubt whether or not he actually participated in the scandal. Nevertheless, he still remains on the banned list and is ineligible for the Hall of Fame.
1901- Sam Mertes and Fred Hartman- In the first Major League season in White Sox history, the main men were Mertes and Hartmen. They combined for 8 homers and 187 RBI's for the American League Champions. The World Series didn't begin for another 2 years. 110 years of White Sox baseball... we have come a long way.
When the smoke clears where do you think Dunn and Konerko will end up? Personally I think 70 homers and 210 RBI's sounds like a very reasonable number.