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Today in White Sox History: November 6

A “Sad” man hangs up the cleats

Sam Jones announced his retirement after a record-tying 22 straight years in the American League, which ended with the White Sox.


After a 22-year career logging a 229-217 record with a 3.84 ERA and 39.7 WAR (180th all-time among pitchers), “Sad” Sam Jones retired. The former Cleveland, Red Sox, Yankees, Browns and Senators player had ended his run with four seasons on the South Side.

Jones was a curveball specialist, and while never a consistent superstar in the game had some outstanding seasons, finishing fifth in the American League in WAR in 1921 (7.2) and seventh in 1928 (6.2); even in his age-40 season in Chicago, Jones put up an outstanding 3.8 WAR over 25 starts.

Jones played on four pennant winners and took home three titles, and compiled an 0-2 record with a 2.05 ERA in World Series play. He got his nickname not from melancholy, but from staring down runners at first base to prevent steal attempts.

Jones was the oldest player in the majors when he retired at 43. His 22 consecutive years playing in a single league remains a record, tying him with Herb Pennock, Early Wynn, Red Ruffing and Steve Carlton.

Jones was also a writer and photographer, and an avid basketball player who would have likely chosen to go pro on the hardwood had the NBA existed in the 1910s.