While we debate the meaning of the annual series between the White Sox and Cubs, there was no doubt that this year's edition was going to pack a punch, as both teams lost their signature trail-blazers and chief ambassadors over the winter.
In January, the North Side lost "Mr. Cub," as Ernie Banks died at the age of 83. In March, "Mr. White Sox," Minnie Minoso, passed away at 89. Both players were the first black players for their franchises. One's in the Hall of Fame, and the other should be. Both were Hall of Fame people. These losses hurt.
There was some discussion over how to pay tribute during the series this summer, and the White Sox and Cubs found a wonderful way to do so. From the Sox press release:
The Chicago White Sox will honor late legend Minnie Minoso with the team’s players wearing throwback jerseys on Sunday, July 12 and when the teams meet again on Friday, August 14 at U.S. Cellular Field. The commemorative jerseys are part of this year’s Crosstown Cup series against the Chicago Cubs, whose players also will wear jerseys from the same era honoring the late Ernie Banks.
The White Sox will wear the 1959 road jerseys when they visit the Cubs on July 12, followed by the 1959 home jerseys on August 14 at U.S. Cellular Field. When the Sox play at home against the Cubs on August 14, every player on the White Sox will wear Minoso’s No. 9. The Cubs will do the same, wearing Banks’ No. 14 at Wrigley Field on Sunday, July 12.
There's only one small quibble -- Minoso wasn't on the 1959 White Sox. He was traded to Cleveland after the 1957 season, and brought back after the World Series year. Hopefully "1959" is just shorthand for the uniform style, with red accents on the Sox logo.
The Cubs will wear 1958 jerseys at Wrigley Field to commemorate Banks' MVP season, and another 1950s road jersey at U.S. Cellular Field.