After looking at Dan Helpingstine's book South Side Hitmen: the Story of the 1977 Chicago White Sox, I started thinking about what makes a team from one year more memorable that other years. Because I was 17 and living in Chicago in 1977 I can remember that year well. While it was exciting, I remember it as being the year of the "rent a player". Bill Veeck had no intention of signing Oscar Gamble or Richie Zisk long term. That team, while being very entertaining, still only won 90 games and finished in third, 12 games out. On the other side of town the '69 Cubs are always fondly remembered and they only won 92 games while finishing 8 games out. Neither race was even close at the end.
Even though we lived on the north side (until I was 11) my mom was a White Sox fan. When I look back at attendance figures on Baseballreference.com I can see that the White Sox were way more popular than the Cubs in the 1960s. So I wonder, why are the the White Sox teams of 1963, 64, and 65 not remembered as fondly? They won 94, 98 and 95 games during those years. That was the most wins for any team during those three years but with no playoffs or (dreadful IMO) wild card, they were home for the post season. Still, they seem much more worthy of being remembered fondly than do the '77 White Sox or '69 Cubs. Why doesn't everyone know the names of Joel Horlen, Gary Peters, Pete Ward, Don Bufford, etc.? They did something really worth remembering, winning almost 300 games in three years.
Although I was too young to remember these teams I have become a little familiar with them due to Strat -O-Matic. If there are any baseball writers out there, this may be a worthy book topic. If anyone has any other teams that they think are worth remembering please comment.