Once upon a time, the Chicago White Sox had a team Hall of Fame — until they decided to put it in mothballs, in favor of an extended gift shop. Now the Sox have a two-story team store, and they have yet to bring the team Hall of Fame back.
We’re tired of waiting, so we’ve established a virtual one here at South Side Sox.
Voting is similar to our regular Hall of Fame vote: You are able to choose a maximum of 10 guys from this year’s ballot of 30 nominees. A player will need 75% of the vote to gain enshrinement. If a player receives zero votes (as happened to three players last year), they will be booted off of the ballot for five years.
The rules here are pretty simple. Click on the ballot link below, enter your South Side Sox username, and fill out the ballot. Don’t vote more than once, because if you do, we reserve the right to publicly shame you, discount your votes entirely, or merely count only your first ballot submitted. And if you don’t think anyone should be voted in, seriously, why are you reading this?
As an added bonus, we have decided to add some fun categories to the ballot, so you will also be voting to add to the White Sox Hall of Fame in the following categories:
- 2005 Moment
- Defensive Play
- Meteoric Player
- South Side Sox Member
Last year, with our inaugural White Sox Hall vote, we enshrined five players: Frank Thomas, Minnie Miñoso, Luis Aparicio, Nellie Fox and Luke Appling. Players need 75% of votes to gain induction, so near-misses included Mark Buehrle (66.7%), Joe Jackson (63.3%), and Paul Konerko (61.4%).
(Yeah, a team known for its pitching prowess had ... zero ... pitchers inducted. Hm.)
Those close calls join this year’s 30-player ballot, including six new additions.
We also enshrined 2005 (Season), Bill Veeck (Contributor), Exploding Scoreboard (Gimmick), Disco Demolition (Promotion), 1991 (Uniform), Ozzie Guillén (Manager), and 2005 World Series Sweep (Moment).
A reminder that the dear departed KenWo wrote the intro and all of the player bios for our inaugural ballot, so this story carries a dual byline. The bios Ken wrote that are reprinted for this ballot carry a “— KW” designation, and I’d like to give him a high five for his fun intro, and another year of appreciation for his hard work a year ago.
You have until January 23 to fill out your ballot, as we will announce our 2019 White Sox Hall of Fame results on January 24.
To begin, here are the 30 candidates on the 2019 South Side Sox White Sox Hall of Fame Ballot. Sitaspell, take yer shoes off, and ponder.
aWAR averages Baseball-Reference (bWAR), FanGraphs (fWAR) and Baseball Prospectus (WARP) WAR measures, when available. Each WAR listed is for White Sox play only.
Right Fielder/Designated Hitter
(1980-89, 1996-97, 2000-01)
Last year’s SSS vote: 46%
Core Stats: .288/.346/.463, 1,773 hits, 221 HR, 981 RBI, 118 OPS+
The White Sox made Baines the No. 1 overall pick in the 1977 draft, and he didn’t disappoint, along with Ken Griffey Jr., Alex Rodriguez and Chipper Jones becoming one of the most successful No. 1 picks of all time. Baines knocked in the winning run to clinch the AL West in 1983, ended the longest game in major league history with a walk-off homer in the 25th inning in 1984, and was a constant force in the Sox lineup throughout the lean years of the late 1980s. After being traded to Texas for Sammy Sosa and Wilson Alvarez, Harold had his No. 3 retired when the Rangers returned to Chicago in 1989. Harold would come back to the White Sox in 1996. After being dealt in the White Flag trades of 1997, Baines was again brought back in 2000. He is among the Top 10 all-time in nearly every White Sox offensive category, including runs (eighth), hits (sixth), doubles (fifth), homers (third) and RBI (fourth). His statue sits on the right field concourse. And last month, Baines was named to the Baseball Hall of Fame, where he will be enshrined this summer. — KW
Last year’s SSS vote: 66.7%
Core Stats: 161-119, 3.83 ERA/4.11 FIP, 1.28 WHIP, 120 ERA+
Buehrle provided many great moments on the South Side. He no-hit the Rangers in 2007 and threw a perfect game against the Tampa Bay Rays in 2009. Buehrle was a three-time Gold Glove winner and a four-time All-Star with the White Sox. He started the run of four straight complete games that sent the White Sox to the World Series in 2005, with a Game 2 gem. He started Game 2 of the World Series and pitched seven strong innings, and then came right back to earn a save in Game 3. He got his No. 56 retired in 2017. — KW
Last year’s SSS vote: 12.2%
Core Stats: 156-101, 183 CG, 28 SHO, 21 SV, 2.25 ERA/2.48 FIP, 1.11 WHIP, 133 ERA+
Perhaps most famous for being one of the Eight Men Out, Cicotte had a fantastic nine-year run with the Pale Hose. He came to the White Sox early in the 1912 season, after pitching for the Detroit Tigers and Boston Red Sox early in his career. He went 18-11 with a 1.58 ERA in his first full season on the South Side. Cicotte really dialed it up for the World Series-winning 1917 White Sox, when he led the league with 28 wins, a 1.53 ERA and 346 2⁄3 innings. After a down 1918 (along with the rest of the White Sox), Cicotte went 29-7 with a 1.82 ERA in 306 2⁄3 innings for the 1919 White Sox. In that postseason, he went 1-2 in his three starts, with two complete games and an ERA of 2.91. The knuckleballer went 21-10 in 1920, before admitting to his role in the fix and being banned for life. — KW
Last year’s SSS vote: 41.8%
Core Stats: .331/.426/.424, 31 HR, 803 RBI, 2,007 hits, 368 SB, 133 OPS+
In perhaps the best $50,000 ever spent by the White Sox, Collins was purchased from the Philadelphia A’s before the 1915 season. Upon his arrival, the Pale Hose became serious contenders, going from 70-84 in 1914 to 93-61 in 1915. Collins hit .332 in 1915. He had a “down” 1917, when he hit .289/.389/.363 in the regular season, but starred in the World Series with a .409 average. Collins was highly educated and earned more than anyone on the team, so he wasn’t a well-liked figure in the clubhouse. When the White Sox threw the World Series in 1919, Collins was not part of the action, even though he only hit .226 in the Fall Classic. That was .150 points below Shoeless Joe Jackson and .098 below Buck Weaver, two of the most controversial Black Sox. The White Sox would have one more good season, in 1920, and Collins led the charge, hitting .372. After the White Sox roster was gutted after the Black Sox purge, they never finished higher than fifth in the rest of Collins’ White Sox tenure; the second-sacker, though, never hit less than .324 in his final six seasons on the South Side. He is ranked in the Top 10 in most White Sox career offensive categories, including first in stolen bases. — KW
Last year’s SSS vote: 0.7%
Core Stats: .259/.333/.332, 6 HR, 377 RBI, 162 SB, 109 OPS+
Davis signed with the White Sox in 1902, after a long tenure with the New York Giants, where he was a star hitter. In 1900, he was named manager of the Giants, while he still was a force with the bat. However, the Giants record under his tenure was awful, and Davis ignored the reserve clause to sign a deal with the White Sox in the relatively new American League. In that first season, Davis hit .299/.386/.402 with 34 extra base hits and 93 RBI — in the dead-ball era. After the season, Davis signed a two-year deal to return to the Giants. This angered White Sox owner Charles Comiskey, who filed injunctions that Davis could not play for any team other than the White Sox. The National League owners instructed the Giants to give up Davis’ rights, and the shortstop only appeared in four games for New York in 1903. In 1904, he was back with the Sox, providing good offense for the era, and threw the leather as a great shortstop, en route to a 7.2 WAR season. He matched that output in 1905, and was the best hitter on the “Hitless Wonders” of 1906 who upset the Chicago Cubs in the World Series. Davis hit .308 with three doubles, leading the Sox to their first championship. After that season, age and injuries slowed Davis. His career would end following the 1909 season, when he hit .132 in 28 games. Davis was elected to the Hall of Fame 89 years later, in 1998. — KW
Last year’s SSS vote: 16.6%
Core Stats: 254-213, 273 CG, 29 SHO, 27 SV, 3.15 ERA/3.43 FIP, 1.30 WHIP, 119 ERA+
Urban “Red” Faber spent his entire 20-year career with the White Sox. He won 20-plus games four times. He threw the spitball, which he learned in the minor leagues after he hurt his arm in a longest-throw contest in 1911. Faber went 10-9 in his rookie year, and then improved to 24-14 in 1915. In 1917, Faber went 16-13 with a 1.92 ERA for the champion White Sox. He won games two, five and six (the series clincher) in the 1917 World Series. After war duty cut his 1918 short, Faber’s 1919 season was a struggle due to illness and injury. The righthander only pitched once over the final month of the season, and didn’t appear in the 1919 World Series. His best three seasons were still to come, as from 1920-22 Faber won 69 games and led the league in ERA and complete games twice. At 34 years old, Faber fell to 14-11 in 1923, but managed to pitch for 10 more seasons, going 89-102 during that time. In 1964, Faber was elected to the Hall of Fame as a member of the White Sox. — KW
Last year’s SSS vote: 55.5%
Core Stats: .257/.329/.438, 214 HR, 762 RBI, 1,259 hits, 109 OPS+
The Commander was brought in for the 1981 season, as Jerry Reinsdorf and Eddie Einhorn wanted to make a splash as the new owners of the team. Fisk was an All-Star in his first two seasons, and then in 1983 had his best season on the South Side. Pudge led the White Sox pitching staff to a dominant second half and also had a fantastic season with the bat, hitting .289/.355/.518 with 26 dingers as the White Sox made the playoffs for the first time since 1959. In 1985, at age 37, Fisk slugged a career-high 37 homers and knocked in 107 runs. In 1990, at the age of 42, Fisk had another great season, hitting .285/.378/.451 as the White Sox rose from their late-80s ashes to win 94 games and finish second to the Oakland Athletics in the AL West. Fisk was an All-Star again in 1991, at age 43, when he hit 18 homers and knocked in 74. Fisk’s last game came on June 22, 1993, which was also Carlton Fisk Day at the ballpark. He became the leader in games caught that day, and was cut from the team a few days later. When he was released, Fisk was the team’s all-time home run leader, and currently ranks fourth, trailing only Frank Thomas, Paul Konerko and Harold Baines. He’s seventh all-time in White Sox RBI. Fisk made the Hall of Fame in 2000 as a member of the Red Sox, although he played more games with the White Sox. Fisk’s No. 72 is retired, and his statue is in center field. — KW
Last year’s SSS vote: 0.2%
Core Stats: 26-42, 75 SV, 3.36 ERA/2.84 FIP, 1.37 WHIP, 111 ERA+
Forster came up with the Sox in 1971, at the age of 19. The next season, Forster threw 100 innings, all out of the pen, and saved 29 games, with a 2.25 ERA and 104 strikeouts in a 3.2 bWAR season. He started 12 games in 1973, going 6-11 with 16 saves and a 3.23 ERA over 172 2⁄3 innings. In 1974, Forster led the league in saves with 24 and threw another 134 innings, with one start. The workload caught up to Forster in 1975, as he only managed 37 innings, but he was still effective (2.19 ERA). The Sox tried starting him again in 1976, as he made 16 starts and went 2-12 with a 4.37 ERA. With Forster’s free agency looming, White Sox owner BIll Veeck swapped Forster and Goose Gossage after the season to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Richie Zisk, fueling the 1977 South Side Hit Men. Forster would go on to pitch through 1986, but would never again reach the levels as he did in the early 70’s with the Sox. — KW
First year on the SSS White Sox Hall of Fame ballot
Core Stats: 113-113, 59 CG, 18 SHO, 3.11 ERA/3.35 FIP, 1.19 WHIP, 110 ERA+
You can call him Joe, or you can call him Joel, but you doesn’t have to call him Johnson. An All-America Second Teamer out of Oklahoma State, Horlen was signed by the White Sox in their magical year of 1959. The native Texan would hit the majors two years later, and pitch on the South Side for a decade. By 1964, he would enter the White Sox’s starting rotation for good, finishing the year second AL ERA (1.88) and whiffs (138), led in WHIP (0.935), and was the best in the majors in H/9, with 6.07. He was murder on the AL after that, regularly posting amazing ERAs. By 1967, Horlen went 19-7 and led the AL in ERA (2.06), shutouts (six) and WHIP (.953), and made the All-Star team for his first and only time. On September 10, in the heat of a furious pennant race, Horlen no-hit the Detroit Tigers at Comiskey Park. (It would be 40 years before another White Sox pitcher, Mark Buehrle, would throw a no-hitter in Chicago.) Horlen finished second in Cy Young and fourth in MVP voting in 1967. After that, as the White Sox stumbled toward the 1970s, Horlen’s performances diminished, but the ultimate insult came in 1972, when Horlen (the team’s union rep) was waived after leading a unanimous vote to strike. Horlen caught on with the Oakland A’s, and relieved for them on their way to a first World Series title — making him the only player in history to win a Pony League World Series (1952), College World Series (1959) and MLB World Series (1972) ring.
Last year’s SSS vote: 63.3%
Core Stats: .340/.407/.499, 30 HR, 433 RBI, 251 BB, 87 K, 159 OPS+
Jackson came to the White Sox from Cleveland midway through the 1915 season, in the most expensive transaction ever at the time: $65,500 in cash and players. Jackson only hit .272 in 45 games after the trade, but in 1916 her erupted for .341/.393/.495, with 40 doubles and 21 triples. In 1917, Jackson hit .301 as the Sox won the championship; Jackson hit .304 in the World Series (pay attention, this will come up again in a couple of years). With the World War I going full-force in 1918, Jackson only played in 18 games before taking a job building warships; this angered owner Charles Comiskey and Chicago sportswriters, as they found it cowardly that Jackson didn’t join the armed forces. However, with the war ending, Jackson came back to the White Sox in 1919 and had a great season. He hit .351/.422/.506, as the Sox found themselves back in the World Series again. Jackson worked out a deal with White Sox first baseman Chick Gandil to throw the Series for a reported $20,000. He only saw $5,000 of that money, and it didn’t seem to make an impact anyway, as he hit .375/.394/.563. Under the cloud of the 1919 Series, the 1920 season was Jackson’s best with the White Sox: .382/.444/.589 with 42 doubles, 20 triples, 12 homers and 121 RBI. That would be his final season in baseball, though, as he was banned for life for his part in throwing the 1919 World Series. However, the legend of Shoeless Joe Jackson lives on. — KW
First year on the SSS White Sox Hall of Fame ballot
Core Stats: 82-80, 56 CG, 21 SHO, 2.95 ERA/3.20 FIP, 1.22 WHIP, 117 ERA+
It’s uncanny how similar the White Sox careers of John and Horlen are, down to career WAR totals. In one snapshot of how underrated those 1960s White Sox teams were, John was essentially the same pitcher in Chicago in the 1960s as he was with the Dodgers in the 1970s — yet he was a mere one-time All-Star with the White Sox, a multiple All-Star, Cy Young finalist and MVP candidate in L.A. And, of course, there was one huge difference between White Sox John and Dodgers John: A reconstructed ulnar collateral ligament, the success of which attached John’s named to the now-common Tommy John surgery, and extended the southpaw’s career by 14 seasons. His astronomical career WAR makes his lack of serious consideration for Cooperstown one of the bigger injustices in Hall annals. Simply put, John was phenomenal with the White Sox, leading the majors in shutouts for both the 1966 (five) and 1967 (six) seasons. More inadvertently, John’s trade to L.A. in 1971 reaped one of the most meteoric superstars in White Sox history: Dick Allen.
Last year’s SSS vote: 1.5%
Core Stats: .269/.357/.326, 1,151 hits, 10 HR, 375 RBI, 206 SB, 112 OPS+
Jones came to the White Sox for their inaugural 1901 season. He hated the reserve clause that kept players tied to the same team, so when the American League declared itself a major league for 1901 and said it would ignore the reserve clause, Jones jumped on board. The White Sox won the American League championship that season (there was no World Series until 1903, and not one on a yearly basis until 1905). Jones wanted to go back to New York, but was not allowed to leave the South Side (selective attention to the reserve clause, eh?). Knowing that Jones would want to jump back at any time, owner Charles Comiskey made Jones his player/manager. This suited Jones, who went on to manage the White Sox to their first World Series victory, over the Chicago Cubs in 1906. Jones was a very good center fielder and above-average hitter. From 1901-08, Jones was worth between 3.1 and 4.9 bWAR every year, and was also considered one of the best managers in baseball. Jones left the White Sox after the 1908 season because his contract demands of an ownership stake in the club were not met; he turned down a blank-check offer to return. Jones would reappear six years later, at the age of 42, as a player/manager for the St. Louis Terriers of the upstart Federal League. — KW
Last year’s SSS vote: 61.4%
Core Stats: .281/.356/.491, 432 HR, 1,383 RBI, 2,292 hits, 120 OPS+
Konerko came to the White Sox from the Cincinnati Reds in 1999, in exchange for Mike Cameron. After unproductive cups of coffee with the Dodgers and Reds, Konerko would become a fixture in the White Sox lineup for more than a decade. He hit .294/.352/.511 in his first season in Chicago, and never played in fewer than 137 games until his final two seasons. Over that span, Konerko amassed some of the loftiest stats in team history, was the (unofficial) captain of the franchise’s first World Series championship in 88 years, made six All-Star appearances, and has a statue and jersey retirement. Konerko ranks in the top five in White Sox history in games, at-bats, hits, runs, doubles, home runs and RBI in. He also has a “16,000 square foot home”* in Scottsdale. — KW
* Hawkism; Ken Harrelson may or may not have been 10,000 square feet off in his estimate.
Last year’s SSS vote: 4.6%
Core Stats: .288/.363/.451, 73 HR, 348 RBI, 804 hits, 126 OPS+
Arguably the best center fielder in White Sox history, Lemon came to the White Sox in 1975 from the Oakland Athletics, in exchange for pitcher Stan Bahnsen. Lemon, who had played the infield (poorly) with the A’s throughout his minor league career, was quickly moved to center field by White Sox manager Chuck Tanner. In 1976, Lemon’s first full season in the bigs, the 21-year-old struggled to an OPS of .626. However, in 1977 Lemon came around. He hit .273 with 38 doubles and 19 homers for the South Side Hit Men. In 1978, Lemon would become an All-Star for the first time, and hit .300. In 1979, Lemon had his best year on the South Side, slashing .318/.391/.496 and adding a league-leading 44 doubles in a 5.8 bWAR season. Lemon’s power dropped off a little bit in 1980, but his average and OBP did not as he hit .292/.388/.442. He hit .302 in the strike-shortened 1981 season, which would be his last on the South Side. With Carlton Fisk pre-empting him as the Chisox’s top-salaried player, Lemon planned to become a free agent after 1982. Rather than lose Lemon for no return, new owners Jerry Reinsdorf and Eddie Einhorn shipped him to the Detroit Tigers for Steve Kemp. A certain future South Side Sox managing editor’s heart was broken into a million billion pieces on that day. — KW
Last year’s SSS vote: 3.4%
Core Stats: .265/.358/.402, 124 HR, 631 RBI, 1,122 hits, 106 OPS+
Sherm “The Tank” Lollar was a six-time All-Star catcher with White Sox, and backstopped the 1959 Go-Go Sox. Lollar made stops with Cleveland, the New York Yankees and St. Louis Browns before joining the White Sox, but it was with the White Sox that Lollar found a home; he would play in Chicago for the next 12 campaigns, catching the glory days of the 50’s and early 60’s. Always a good defensive catcher, Lollar really broke out with the bat in 1956, when he hit .293/.383/.438, with 11 homers and 75 RBI. In 1958, Lollar drilled 20 dingers for the Sox and followed that up with 22 for the American League champions in 1959. He finished ninth in MVP voting in both 1958 and 1959. Lollar hit only .226 in the 1959 World Series, but his one home run tied Game 4 at four in the seventh inning. The Sox would unfortunately go on to lose that game, and later the Series. Lollar’s power fell off in the ’60s, and the White Sox released him in 1963, bringing his career to an end. Lollar’s 124 home runs currently are tied for 16th in team history, behind Jose Abreu and just ahead of another star White Sox catcher, A.J. Pierzynski, who had 118. — KW
Last year’s SSS vote: 36.4%
Core Stats: 260-230, 356 CG, 27 SHO, 25 SV, 3.67 ERA/4.01 FIP, 1.35 WHIP, 118 ERA+
Lyons played his entire 21-year-career with the White Sox. In 1925, his second full season as a starter, Lyons collected 21 wins, which led the league. Two years later, he led the league with 22 wins, 30 complete games and 307 2⁄3 innings. In 1930, he won 22 games, with 29 complete games and 297 2⁄3 innings. The heavy workload began to take a toll on Lyons, as he went 35-55 with a 4.13 ERA from 1931-34. However, manager Jimmy Dykes developed a plan for Lyons, in which he would pitch only on Sunday; Lyons would go 99-73 with a 3.44 ERA in nine seasons after that. Lyons led the league in ERA in 1942 with a 2.10 mark. He went 14-6 in his 20 starts, all of them complete games — as a 41 year-old! He then took the next three years off, joining the armed forces during World War II. He came back to the Sox in 1946, where at age 45 he went 1-4 with a 2.32 ERA in five complete games. He took over in May as the manager, ending his pitching career. He finished his career 30 games better than .500, even though he played his entire career in the shadows of the Black Sox scandal. The White Sox never finished higher than third, and rarely were above fifth, in his seasons on the South Side. Even still, Lyons went on to win the most games in White Sox history. He also holds the team record for games started and innings pitched. In 1955, he was voted into the Hall of Fame as a White Sox, and in 1987 his No. 16 was retired by the team. — KW
First year on the SSS White Sox Hall of Fame ballot
Core Stats: 91-59, 49 CG, 10 SHO, 3.50 ERA/3.55 FIP, 1.25 WHIP, 117 ERA+
McDowell was the unquestioned badass of the 1990s White Sox renaissance; on a team featuring future Hall-of-Famers Carlton Fisk and Frank Thomas, no one bulldogged it better than Black Jack. He was an All-Star and Top 10 Cy Young finisher for three straight seasons (1991-93), receiving MVP votes in 1992 and 1993. He won the Cy Young in 1993. The lockout that ended the 1994 season rather tragically for White Sox fans also started the decline of McDowell’s career – although a heavy workload (his fewest innings pitched from 1991-93 was 253 2⁄3 ) likely contributed plenty, as well. McDowell was traded to the Yankees in 1995 and had one strong season in the Bronx, but is best known for flipping off the Yankee Stadium boo birds in 1996; a longtime musician (V.I.E.W, Stickfigure), McDowell’s fellow muscians/friends in The Baseball Project wrote a song (“Yankee Flipper”) in homage to his act of heroism. In retirement, McDowell has proven both an adept broadcaster and successful coach.
First year on the SSS White Sox Hall of Fame ballot
Core Stats: .301/.386/.427, 82 3B, 375 RBI, 1,054 hits, 176 SB, 113 OPS+
Mostil is on the short list of most unheralded players in White Sox history, as well as the most tragic. As well outlined by a guy who you’ll find at the very bottom of this ballot, Mostil snuck into Comiskey Park to see games as a child, grew up to become a rare White Sox superstar in the shadow of the Black Sox. He peaked around age 30, leading the league in steals in 1925 and 1926, and finishing seventh and second in the AL MVP voting in those two seasons. But 1926, and his amazing 133 OPS+ season, would be Mostil’s last effective one. It wasn’t a rapid decline in skills, but a brutal suicide attempt in 1927 that derailed Mostil’s career; he did come back, playing a full, but far less effective 1928 season. But before his 33rd birthday, Mostil’s career was over. There is a happy enough ending to Mostil’s story; after his playing career, he scouted for the White Sox and managed in the minor leagues, living to age 74.
Last year’s SSS vote: 7.8%
Core Stats: .307/.364/.525, 187 HR, 703 RBI, 1,167 hits, 127 OPS+
The lone bright spot toward the end of the 1997 season was when the 23-year-old Ordóñez joined the White Sox in August. Magglio would have a heck of a month, hitting .319 with a .918 OPS, to show that he was ready to play every day. Ordóñez would have a good rookie season in 1998, but really started to shine in ’99. Maggs would hit .301 with 30 homers and 117 knocked in, as he became the poster boy for the “kids can play” campaign. In 2000, the White Sox won the AL Central largely behind Ordóñez’s .315 average, 32 homers and 126 knocked in. Magglio’s biggest year came in 2002, when he hit .320/.381/.597 with 47 doubles, 38 homers and 135 RBIs. He had another big year in 2003, hitting .317 with 29 and 99. In 2004, Ordóñez’s season came to an end after 52 games when he suffered a serious knee injury. He would then leave for Detroit as a free agent that offseason, and the White Sox would go on to win the World Series without him in 2005. Despite a relatively short tenure in Chicago, Ordóñez is fifth in home runs, ninth in RBIs, third in slugging percentage, fifth in OPS and ninth in batting average among White Sox. His 86 extra base hits in 2002 are third-most all-time in team history, and his 78 in 2003 are fifth. And my daughter is named Maggie for a reason. — KW
Last year’s SSS vote: 42.8%
Core Stats: 186-152, 183 CG, 35 SHO, 21 SV, 1,796 K, 3.19 ERA/3.42 FIP, 1.26 WHIP, 123 ERA+
Pierce came to the White Sox by way of Detroit in November 1948. The southpaw, along with Minnie Miñoso, Nellie Fox and Luis Aparicio would be the major players in the White Sox’s golden Go-Go era. Billy was 19-30 in his first two years, but started to put it all together in 1951 with a 15-14 record and a 3.03 ERA. In ’52, Pierce went 15-12 with a 2.57 ERA, and making his first of seven All-Star Games in 1953 when he went 18-12 with a 2.72 ERA. After a bit of a step back in 1954, Billy went 15-10 with a 1.97 ERA in 1955. This started a streak of five straight All-Star appearances. Pierce won 20 games in both 1956 and 1957, and 17 in 1958. He led the league in complete games all three of those seasons, totaling 56. Billy had a down year in the White Sox pennant-winning season of 1959, going 14-15 with a 3.62 ERA. (He had some beef with manager Al Lopez and didn’t get a start in the World Series, instead pitching four scoreless innings of relief.) Pierce went 14-7 in 1960 and 10-9 in 1961 before being traded to the San Francisco Giants. Billy ranks fourth in career White Sox wins, third in starts, fourth in innings, and is the club’s all-time leader in strikeouts (1,796). He had his No. 19, retired and has a statue on the center field concourse. Pierce, like Miñoso, would be a team ambassador for many years. And also like Miñoso, Pierce passed away in 2015. — KW
Starting Pitcher / Relief Pitcher
Last year’s SSS vote: 13.4%
Core Stats: 74-50, 15 CG, 12 SV, 1,244 K, 3.00 ERA/3.06 FIP, 1.07 WHIP, 135 ERA+
Sale was drafted by the White Sox in 2010, and after throwing 10 1⁄3 minor league innings found himself in Chicago later that season. Sale pitched impressively out of the bullpen in his first two campaigns before making the jump to the rotation in 2012. Sale started a streak of All-Star appearances that year that is still continuing. He went 17-8 with a 3.05 ERA in 2012, and in 2013 went 11-14 with a 3.07 ERA on a terrible club. In 2014, Sale was 12-4 with a 2.17 ERA. In 2015, Sale led the league in strikeouts (setting a White Sox record with 274), as he went 13-11. Chris was 17-10 with a 3.34 ERA in 2016, his final season with the White Sox. Sale finished in the top six in Cy Young voting every season he pitched as a starter. The White Sox however, never made the playoffs with Sale, and they traded him to Boston in 2017. Sale is sixth in White Sox history with 1,244 strikeouts, and his combined career in Chicago and Boston places him as the all-time MLB leader in K/9 (10.9) and K/SO (5.31).
Last year’s SSS vote: 6.8%
Core Stats: .254/.340/.316, 1,345 hits, 11 HR, 593 RBI, 177 SB, 83 OPS+
Schalk made his debut at 19, in 1912. He’d go on to man the backstop on the South Side for 17 seasons. From 1913 to 1926, Schalk caught about 80% of the Sox contests. He was the catcher for the 1917 World Champions, and also the 1919 Black Sox (Schalk hit .304 in the 1919 World Series). Ed Walsh, Eddie Cicotte, Red Faber and Ted Lyons all had one thing in common: Schalk behind the plate. Schalk’s best year with the bat came in 1922, when he hit .281/.379/.371 with four home runs, 60 RBIs and 12 stolen bases. Schalk started to wind down his playing days when he took over as White Sox manager in 1927. He was fired partway through 1928, and went on to join the New York Giants coaching staff in 1929. Schalk ranks fifth in games, ninth in at-bats, 10th in hits, 13th in RBIs, eighth in walks and ninth in steals all-time for his White Sox career. Schalk was elected to the Hall of Fame as a White Sox in 1955. — KW
(For more information on Schalk, refer back to katiesphil’s terrific piece last month.)
First year on the SSS White Sox Hall of Fame ballot
Core Stats: 107-114, 123 CG, 26 SHO, 2.30 ERA/2.63 FIP, 1.18 WHIP, 121 ERA+
Kudos to “Death Valley Jim”; in his sole season receiving MVP votes, 1913, he led the AL with 21 losses! Something about a 1.90 ERA in 312 1⁄3 innings may have had something to do with it. Scott’s 2.30 career ERA still ranks 17th all-time in baseball history. So why, at 29, coming off of a World Series win in 1917 (a year where he threw to a 1.87 ERA, the best of his career), did Scott never play again? He enlisted to fight in World War I. After the war, Scott umpired in the American Association for three seasons, and was a National League umpire in 1930-31. The spitballer saw his playing career end far too early, but he enjoyed a long career working on movie sets (which started while still a player, in the offseasons of the 1910s) until he reached retirement age in 1953.
First year on the SSS White Sox Hall of Fame ballot
Core Stats: 83-92, 104 CG, 12 SHO, 9 SV, 3.37 ERA/4.03 FIP, 1.34 WHIP, 110 ERA+
Alfonse “Tommy” Thomas can stake a claim as one of the most meteoric players in White Sox history. His first four seasons on the South Side — his first four seasons in the majors — yielded an awesome 22.7 bWAR, including an enormous 8.5 bWAR (along with a league leading 36 starts and 307 2⁄3 innings) in his sophomore season of 1927. He led the AL with a .244 batting average against as a rookie in 1926, finished 15th in MVP voting in 1928, and led the AL with 24 complete games in 1929. Thomas’ pitching fortunes crashed right along with the stock market, however, as he was sold to the Washington Senators after a two-and-a-half ineffective years in the 1930s, and Thomas would accumulate just 1.0 bWAR over his six full, post-Chicago seasons. In retirement, Thomas managed the Triple-A Baltimore Orioles for the entire decade of the 1940s, then spent 24 years as a Red Sox scout.
Last year’s SSS vote: 0.5%
Core Stats: 31-35, 23 SV, 3.28 ERA/3.02 FIP, 1.20 WHIP, 137 ERA+
Thornton came to the White Sox in a trade of failed prospects with the Seattle Mariners. The Sox sent Seattle Joe Borchard, who had received the biggest signing bonus in White Sox history, in exchange for Thornton, who threw 100 mph but lacked the control or stamina to make it as a starting pitcher. The Sox put Thornton in the pen, and almost immediately he paid dividends, turning into one of the finest late-inning relievers in baseball. From 2008-10, Thornton went 16-10 with a 2.70 ERA and struck out 245 batters in 200 1⁄3 innings, with a WHIP of 1.028. The run of dominance included an All-Star berth in 2010. Thornton slowed down a little bit in his last two-and-a-half years on the South Side, but was still plenty effective. He was traded to the Red Sox in 2013. Thornton’s 512 appearances rank fourth in team history, and his 137 ERA+ bests even Chris Sale’s. — KW
Last year’s SSS vote: 15.4%
Core Stats: .274/.365/.440, 171 HR, 741 RBI, 1,244 hits, 117 OPS+
Rockin’ Robin was drafted by the White Sox in the first round in 1988 out of Oklahoma State, and by late 1989 was in the big leagues to stay. Ventura played 150 games in 1990, and it was a struggle with the bat. However, when New Comiskey Park opened in 1991, Ventura found his legs, hitting .284/.367/.442 with 23 homers and 100 RBI that year and won his first of six Gold Gloves. He made his only appearance in the All-Star game in 1992. In 1995, Ventura hit .295 with 26 homers and in 1996, hit .287 with 34 home runs and 105 RBI. After a terrifying ankle injury in spring training 1997 limited him to only 54 games, Ventura returned for one last year on the South Side in 1998, when he hit 21 homers and knocked in 91. He joined the New York Mets in free agency in 1999, bringing to end a great era of Batman (Frank Thomas) and Robin. It is rumored he went on to manage the White Sox. — KW
Last year’s SSS vote: 47.9%
Core Stats: 195-125, 249 CG, 57 SHO, 35 SV, 1,736 K, 1.81 ERA/2.02 FIP, 1.00 WHIP, 146 ERA+
Big Ed Walsh is the all-time career leader in ERA and FIP. Not for the White Sox, but in all of baseball history. He started his career with the White Sox in 1904, and in 1906 he got his first crack as a regular in the South Side rotation. Walsh did not disappoint, as he went 17-13 with a 1.88 ERA for the Hitless Wonders. Even better, he was 2-0 with a 0.60 ERA over 15 innings in the 1906 World Series against the hated Chicago Cubs, as the Sox went on to win the crosstown series. From there, things got ridiculous. Walsh went 24-18 with a 1.60 ERA over 422 1⁄3 innings (!) in 1907. In 1908, Wash became the last pitcher to win 40 games in a season, going 40-15 with a 1.42 ERA over a record (at least for people that played after 1900) 464 innings pitched. The next year was a “down” year for Big Ed, when he went 15-11 with a 1.41 ERA in “only” 230 1⁄3 innings. In 1910, Walsh had an 18-20 record even though his ERA was 1.27. Walsh went 27-18 in 1911, with a 2.22 ERA over 368 2⁄3 innings. The 1912 season was the last big year for Walsh, as he won another 27 games with a 2.15 ERA, including 32 complete games and six shutouts, over 393 innings pitched. To top it off, he led the league in saves with 10. From there, Walsh went 13-7 over the next four years as the crazy innings load finally caught up with him. By the time the White Sox were winning another championship in 1917, Walsh was closing out his career throwing 18 innings with the Boston Braves. — KW
Last year’s SSS vote: 1.2%
Core Stats: 159-123, 206 CG, 42 SHO, 2.30 ERA/2.49 FIP, 1.11 WHIP, 114 ERA+
White, who was a dentist in the offseason, went straight from Georgetown University to the Phillies in 1901. He pitched two seasons in Philadelphia before the White Sox poached him into the American League. The Phillies offered White a big raise, but before he accepted, the American League and the National League united, and it was ruled that White would stay in Chicago. White would go on to pitch the last 11 seasons of his career for the Sox. In 1903, he won 17 games with a 2.13 ERA over 300 innings pitched. He was 16-12 with a 1.78 ERA in 1904, including a streak where he threw five shutouts in a row — a mark that would stand until Don Drysdale threw six in a row in 1968. The Doc went 17-13 with a 1.76 ERA in 1905. For the World Champions in 1906, White was 18-6, with a league-leading 1.52 ERA. In the World Series, he was 1-1 with a 1.80 ERA over 15 innings as the Sox beat the Cubs to claim their first World Series title. White won a career-high 27 games in 1907, with a 2.26 ERA over 291 innings. White continued to be solid for a couple more seasons before his workload took a toll and his effectiveness tapered off. White’s last season came in 1913, when he threw 103 innings with a 3.50 ERA. — KW
Last year’s SSS vote: 10%
Core Stats: 41-33, 99 SV, 1.92 ERA/2.51 FIP, 0.94 WHIP, 171 ERA+
Wilhelm came to the White Sox in 1963 at 40, in a heartbreaking trade that sent World Series heroes Luis Aparicio and Al Smith to the Baltimore Orioles in exchange for Ron Hansen, Dave Nicholson, Pete Ward and Wilhelm. The trade basically marked the end of the Go-Go Sox era of the ’50’s — but fueled the winningest three-season streak (1963-65) in team history. In 1963, the knuckleballer went 5-8 with a 2.64 ERA and 21 saves over 136 1⁄3 innings. This was his only White Sox season with an ERA worse than 2.00. In 1964, Wilhelm dazzled opposing hitters, to the tune of a 1.99 ERA over 131 1⁄3 innings. In 1965, it was an even better 1.81 ERA over 144 innings of work. Wilhelm never threw 100 innings again, but his ERA continued to fall. In 1966, Wilhelm posted a 1.66 ERA over 81 1⁄3 innings. He followed that up with an even more impressive 1.31 ERA over 89 innings in 1967. In 1968, Hoyt had a “down” year, as his ERA rose to 1.73 over 93 2⁄3 innings as a 45-year-old. With these great results, Wilhelm was picked by the Kansas City Royals in the 1968 expansion draft, ending most successful relief run in White Sox history. — KW
Starting Pitcher/Relief Pitcher
Last year’s SSS vote: 23.5%
Core Stats: 163-148, 113 CG, 24 SHO, 57 SV, 3.18 ERA/3.33 FIP, 1.23 WHIP, 116 ERA+
Hoyt Wilhelm had one more trick up his sleeve before he left the White Sox: He taught his dancing knuckleball to Wood, who had struggled to catch on with the Red Sox and the Pittsburgh Pirates. Wood went on to throw possibly the best lefty knuckleball ever. In his first year, Wood went 95 1⁄3 innings, with a 2.45 ERA. He followed that up in 1968 with an impressive 1.87 ERA over 159 innings, and a league-leading 88 games. In 1969, Wood went 10-11 with a 3.01 ERA over 76 games, and led the league in appearances for the third year in a row, compiling a 2.81 ERA with 21 saves over 121 2⁄3 innings. Then, manager Chuck Tanner decided to change things up and make Wood a starter. The rotund southpaw responded by throwing innings like some of the pitchers profiled from early in the century. In 1971, Wood started 42 games, winning and completing 22 of them, with a ridiculous 1.81 ERA over 334 innings. In 1972, Wood started 49 games, threw 376 2/3 innings and won 24 games, all three figures leading the league. He had a 2.51 ERA that year. He led the league in starts (48), innings (359 1/3) and wins (24) in 1973. He was 20-19 in 1974, and was an All-Star for the third time. He lost 20 games in 1975, with a 4.11 ERA over 291 1/3 innings. He pitched three more years for the White Sox, never putting up the numbers he had previously. He currently ranks in the all-time team Top 10 in wins, games, starts, saves, innings and strikeouts. — KW
We have some new categories this year. Going forward, we’re combining Best Promotion and Best Gimmick into one, and due to a relative shortage in both areas, we’ll alternate Best Manager and Contributor every other year. Best Uniforms, if not a one-and-done category, will be taking a year off. With the new Characters category, anyone who was colorful but qualifies as a more esteemed Contributor (Bill Veeck, Hawk Harrelson) I’ll for now make ineligible from the Characters vote.
1906: With the fourth-best winning percentage in team history (.616), the 93-58, World Series-winning Hitless Wonders toppled the Cubs in the only all-Chicago Fall Classic.
1917: Most wins and best winning percentage in team history (100-54, .649), and the club’s second-ever World Series win.
1959: The 94-60 (.610 winning percentage, tied for seventh-best in team history) Go-Go Sox finally broke past the Yankees juggernaut to win the pennant, but fell in six games to the Dodgers in the World Series.
1964: A relative bunch of no-names finished with 98 wins, one game behind the damn Yankees for the AL pennant. Sandwiched season of the greatest three-season run (1963-65) in team history.
1983: The 99-63 Winning Ugly White Sox were upset in the ALCS by the Orioles.
1993: The 94-68 White Sox lost in the ALCS to the Toronto Blue Jays, and lost a back-to-back shot at the playoffs because of the 1994 lockout.
Charles Comiskey: Team founder and owner of the 1906 and 1917 World Series champions.
Nancy Faust: Team organist who entertained fans for almost four decades, with credits including the “Na Na Hey Hey (Kiss Him Goodbye)” serenade and the seventh-inning stretch with Harry Caray.
Ken Harrelson: Innovative, homespun, three-decade White Sox broadcaster.
Roland Hemond: Longtime GM and architect of the Dick Allen White Sox, South Side Hit Men, and Winning Ugly clubs.
Minnie Miñoso: The Latin Jackie Robinson, Miñoso paved the way for a future generations of players when he came out of Cuba to begin a seven-decade run as an All-Star and baseball ambassador.
Jerry Reinsdorf: White Sox owner for almost four decades, helming the organization for the triumphant 2005 World Series win.
Dog Day: If not a White Sox invention, a promotion they first brought to prominence, with “Bark at the Park” a ubiquitous part of the ballpark experience today.
Elvis Night: August tradition at the new ballpark, inspired in part it seems by the Honeymoon in Vegas Flying Elvises.
Na Na Hey Hey (Kiss Him Goodbye): Nancy Faust’s chiding interpretation of the Steam single that became a rallying cry for the 1977 South Side Hit Men.
Outfield Shower: From center field at Comiskey Park to the left field concourse today.
Seventh-Inning Stretch: Nancy Faust and Harry Caray singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame”.
Turn Back the Clock: The White Sox started the retro uni trend in 1990, sporting 1917 duds and having lineups introduced through a megaphone as part of the goodbye to Comiskey Park.
Oct. 14, 1906: Hitless Wonders upset Cubs to win the World Series
July 18, 1948: Pat Seery becomes the third player in modern MLB history to hit four homers in a game, the fourth winning the game 12-11 over the Philadelphia A’s in the 11th inning
Sept. 22, 1959: Mayor Daley sets off the air raid sirens as the White Sox clinch the pennant
May 9, 1984: Harold Baines hits a home run against the Milwaukee Brewers in the 25th inning, ending the longest game in major league history
Sept. 30, 2008: Jim Thome’s Blackout Game home run in game 163
July 23, 2009: Dewayne Wise’s incredible catch in the ninth preserves Mark Buehrle’s perfect game
11-1: Postseason record, tied for best all-time since the playoffs moved to three rounds.
Mark Buehrle, José Contreras, Freddy Garcia, Jon Garland: Four straight complete games vs. the Angels in the ALCS.
Orlando Hernandez: Comes on in relief and escapes a bases-loaded jam in the sixth inning of the ALDS Game 3 vs. Boston.
Paul Konerko: Grand slam in the seventh inning of World Series Game 1.
A.J. Pierzynski: Steals first base in Game 2 of the ALCS.
Scott Podsednik: Game-ending World Series homer vs. Houston to win Game 2 of the World Series.
Mark Buerhle’s between-the-legs assist on April 5, 2010:
Ivan Calderon climbs the wall in Tiger Stadium on July 27, 1987 to rob Alan Trammell:
Ken Griffey Jr. throwing out the lead run at home, with a ballsy tag by A.J. Pierzynski, in the 2008 Blackout Game:
Tadahito Iguchi’s upside-down assist on April 15, 2006:
Juan Uribe’s breakneck dive into the stands to bring the White Sox within one out of the 2005 World Series title:
DeWayne Wise preserving Buerhle’s perfect game on July 23, 2009:
Dick Allen: His first of three White Sox seasons (1972) was insane, as Allen had 8.6 bWAR and won the AL MVP with 96% of the first-place vote. Among his league-leading categories was homers (39), RBIs (113), OPS (1.023) and OPS+ (199). Oh, and incidentally, Allen’s prowess drove the White Sox up in the standings and at the turnstiles, and thus he’s been credited as having saved the White Sox from poachers like Milwaukee or Seattle. His White Sox bWAR represents 26.1% of his career total.
Albert Belle: Two seasons on the South Side, and after a solid debut in 1997 (great counting stats but just 1.5 bWAR), launched into the stratosphere in 1998 (7.1 bWAR, .328/.399/.655, 49 homers, 152 RBIs). His White Sox bWAR represents 21.4% of his career total.
Terry Forster: Forster exploded on the scene at age 20 and stitched together three of the best relief seasons in White Sox history, peaking with 4.6 bWAR as a reliever, in 1971. His White Sox bWAR represents 65.4% of his career total.
Ron Hansen: An unheralded core of the best three-season stretch in White Sox history (1963-65), Hansen peaked at 7.7 bWAR in 1964 and finished in the top 17 of MVP voting in both 1964 and 1965. His White Sox bWAR represents 75.1% of his career total.
Esteban Loaiza: One full season on the South Side (2003), good for 7.2 bWAR, a start in the All-Star Game at Sox Park, runner-up for the Cy Young, 24th in MVP voting. His White Sox bWAR represents 35.2% of his career total.
Tommy Thomas: Even Chris Sale didn’t have as productive a first four White Sox seasons as Thomas, who peaked at 8.5 bWAR in 1927 and led the AL in at least one category in the opening quartet of his career. His White Sox bWAR represents 85.9% of his career total.
Harry Caray: His addled work across town is so frozen in the minds of many fans, it’s easy to forget what a good broadcaster Harry was on the South Side. “Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” the home run net, broadcasting from the bleachers, and pointed criticisms were his White Sox hallmarks.
Ozzie Guillén: Again, as a player and later manager, Ozzie was the mouth that roared. Guillén’s “Ozzieisms” are far more entertaining than dear departed Hawk Harrelson’s ever were.
Steve Lyons: “Psycho” was quick with a smile and some antics, including his spontaneous pants-drop at first base in 1990.
Tom Paciorek: Both as a White Sox player and broadcaster, Wimpy brought a real sense of fun to the game. In a game that’s ever-serious, how cool is it to have a guy still around the team (for sub work on broadcasts) who’s having so much fun?
Scott Radinsky: A punk-rock relief pitcher? You betcha. Both Radinsky and Jack McDowell brought serious music chops to the White Sox clubhouse of the early 1990s, but Radinsky took it all one step farther.
Yolmer Sánchez: Gatorade bather who lives by the mantra, “have a good time all the time.”
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What needs to be said? The longest-tenured editor, and best writer the site has ever had. He’s somewhere else now.
You made it!
Deadline for ballots is January 23, and results of our second South Side Sox White Sox Hall of Fame vote will be published on January 24, just as the doors are ready to fly open at SoxFest!