whisoxman20051917 grew up on a farm near a small town about 30 miles southwest of Kankakee. His high school class size was 24, so for the longest time, he put into college and job applications, along with resumes, that he graduated in the top 25 — it seemed to impress schools and employers!
He was the only one in his family who grew up a Chicago White Sox fan (as a result of listening to Jimmy Piersall and Harry Caray on the radio), and never stopped being one. When the Sox opened the new park, and working relatively close, WSM would go to as many games as possible, and Big Frank seemingly hit homers every time.
You may know WSM for conceiving and executing our popular Under the Radar series, currently 16 strong and counting. He initially pitched in by previewing prospects in advance of the 2018 draft, and played a supporting role in our work on the draft, delivered in depth unprecedented at South Side Sox.
Meet the Players: Quick Hits
Hometown: Pekin, Ill.
White Sox fan since: 1977
First White Sox memory: Listening to Harry Caray and Jimmy Piersall broadcast the South Side Hit Men of ’77.
Favorite White Sox memory: Watching El Duque shut down the Red Sox in Game 3 of the 2005 ALDS — it was at that moment that I felt the White Sox were predestined to win the whole shebang!
Favorite White Sox player: Frank Thomas — the numbers he put up his first 12 years or so with the Sox were simply incredible.
Next White Sox statue: Hawk Harrelson (although if Shoeless Joe is ever allowed in the Hall, I can see a statue of him as well)
Next White Sox retired number: Jose Abreu, if he spends his entire career with the Sox, otherwise, Eloy Jiménez.
Go-to concession food at Sox Park: “Veeck as in Wreck” burger — I’m a sucker for a good burger and onion rings.
Favorite Baseball Movie, and why: “Naked Gun” — it’s not a baseball movie in the true sense of the word, but the baseball scenes are incredibly witty and funny.
South Side Sox on the field: Left field. I pattern my defense after Nicky Delmonico.
True or false: Every jumbled pile of person has a thinking part that wonders what the part that isn’t thinking isn’t thinking of. That’s a jumbled question, but I’d like to think so.
Supplemental bio round
The 2000 was rough, because even though the White Sox won the division, all nine games I attended were losses (and four Cubs games were wins); eventually I stopped going to Sox and Cubs games as a result. I remember going to a drive-thru restaurant that season; at the time I got in the car, the White Sox were ahead, something like 16-4, but by the time I got home 15 minutes later, it was about 16-13. And finally, just minutes before the Sox opened their playoff series against the Seattle Mariners, my television blew out on me. Not a good sign.
Other than 1977 and 2005, my favorite year was 1983. I really thought the White Sox were incredible that year. I think LaMarr Hoyt, Richard Dotson, and Floyd Bannister were something like 35-5 in the second half that year. That team had amazing power with Greg Luzinski, Carlton Fisk, Ron Kittle, Harold Baines, and Greg Walker, while Rudy Law and Julio Cruz provided the speed. My heart absolutely broke that season, thanks to Tito Landrum.
I played Strat-o-Matic seasons in college. I managed the White Sox in 1987, year against five other classmates who managed other teams: the Houston Astros, Minnesota Twins, St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago Cubs and Los Angeles Dodgers. The White Sox were really bad that year, but I managed them well enough to make it to the World Series against the Dodgers, but unfortunately for me, Fisk and Ron Karkovice suffered series-ending injuries in Game 1, and the Dodgers ran amok against me that entire series. My “I Don’t Have a Life” dream would be to do some sort of Strat-o-Matic tournament where I can play the top teams in baseball history against each other and see who’d come out on top.