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Mitch Ransdell/South Side Sox

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South Side Sox Player of the Week (June 23-29): Luis Robert Jr.

In his healthiest season yet, La Pantera becomes the talk of the town

“How ’bout that Louie Roberts, huh? Guy can hit the ball,” said the gravelly voice.

I had just clambered onto a creaky diner stool at the White Palace Grill.

“He can indeed,” I replied and glanced around. It was always eerie eating here before dawn — as if you had just walked into Edward Hopper’s painting Nighthawks. I peeled off my Sox jacket and hung it on the back of my stool.

“I dunno about stats or nothing, but man that guy can hit,” the voice went on. I realized the voice was rumbling out from the kitchen window. “I can’t watch any of the games, except at the Legion Hall — they got cable there. But it’s nice seeing something come out of this whole ... ” I watched the chef’s disembodied hand gesture wildly through the kitchen window. “ ... whole Jerry mess.”

We spent the next half-hour talking about everything from the price of eggs to Nancy Faust, but he kept bringing the subject back to Luis Robert Jr. As a fellow Sox fan, it’s obvious why.

La Pantera is one of the few White Sox promises that have actually paid out. With José Abreu gone, Tim Anderson down in the dumps, and Lucas Giolito about to graze in greener pastures, Robert’s barrage of home runs (second in the league behind baseball polymath Shohei Ohtani) has been the highlight of the season.

Without a doubt, Robert deserves All-Star recognition for his efforts this season, and has been rewarded with them, as the Pale Hose’s lone rep to the game in Seattle. Right now, his name is rolling off the tongue of every casual Chicago White Sox fan. Well, “rolling off” might be generous: My new chef friend still insisted on calling him “Lou-ee Rah-berts.”

All I could do was smile, lay a $20 bill on the counter, and walk out into the hazy dawn. It was game day.

2023 South Side Sox Players of the Week

Oscar Colás (February 25-March 2)
Andrew Vaughn (March 3-8)
Carlos Pérez (March 9-16)
Oscar Colás (March 17-22)
Cactus League MVP: Oscar Colás
Dylan Cease (March 30-April 5)
Luis Robert Jr. (April 6-12)
Lucas Giolito (April 13-20)
Jake Burger (April 21-27)
Lucas Giolito (April 28- May 4)
Hanser Alberto (May 5-11)
Luis Robert Jr. (May 12-18)
Michael Kopech (May 19-25)
Liam Hendriks (May 26-31)
Andrew Benintendi (June 1-8)
Lucas Giolito (June 9-14)
Zach Remillard (June 15-22)
Luis Robert Jr. (June 23-29)

Top 10 MVP Standings

Lucas Giolito (60.6)
Luis Robert Jr. (47.4)
Dylan Cease (28.8)
Zach Remillard (33.9)
Seby Zavala (27.6)
Gavin Sheets (24.9)
Michael Kopech (23.0)
Romy González (22.4)
Oscar Colás (17.1)
Andrew Benintendi (15.4)

Top 10 Cold Cat Standings

Tim Anderson (-63.6)
Yasmani Grandal (-23.6)
Joe Kelly (-23.3)
Aaron Bummer (-22.5)
Yoán Moncada (-20.3)
Keynan Middleton (-18.1)
Reynaldo López (17.0)
Kendall Graveman (-15.9)
Alex Colomé (-11.8)
Everyone, Seriously, Everyone (-10.5)

We’ve got a race on our hands for MVP, as Lucas Giolito and Luis Robert Jr. are fighting it out. Meanwhile, Tim Anderson is running away with the Cold Cats honors.

Writer Standings

Just four writers better than .500. What a season.

If you’re interested in seeing more of Mitch’s work, or if you’d like to purchase original drawings or prints, contact him via Twitter (@soxsketcher), Instagram (@southsidesharpie), or by e-mail at Thanks for supporting local artists!

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