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His glory was brief, but what Philip Humber had in the majors started with the White Sox on this day, 13 years ago.
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Today in White Sox History: January 18

Philip Humber’s brief brilliance is set into motion, on the South Side

Brett Ballantini started at South Side Sox in 2018 after 20 years of writing on basketball, baseball and hockey, including time on the Blackhawks and White Sox beats. Follow him on Twitter @BrettBallantini and email your site feedback to brettballantini@yahoo.com

1952

Chuck Comiskey, namesake and grandson of White Sox founder Charles Comiskey, resigned from the club after his mother, White Sox owner (and Charles’ daughter-in-law) Grace Comiskey, denied his request for a raise.

Thus began an almost decade-long family drama, played out mostly in public. Some bullet-point highlights:

  • Chuck returned to the club relatively soon after resigning, eventually in 1956 becoming co-general manager of the White Sox with John Rigney
  • Rigney was married to Chuck’s sister, Dorothy Comiskey, and if co-general managing a major league team doesn’t sound difficult enough, imagine how hard it is when ...
  • ... Chuck’s mother Grace passed away in December 1956 and left controlling interest in the White Sox (which Chuck long considered his birthright) to his sister (54%), leaving him with 46%
  • Beginning in 1957, Chuck took his sister to court, presumably to at least have his mother’s shares evenly shared between he and Dorothy — court proceedings that played out in nasty fashion and led to Chuck being derided as the entitled “Crown Prince” of the White Sox.
  • Despite all of the rancor, Dorothy still preferred to sell her shares to Chuck — but Chuck (believing Dorothy would never sell outside of the Comiskey family) gave Dorothy a lowball offer for her shares
  • Enter Bill Veeck (who Chuck had a friendly rivalry with, as Veeck’s Cleveland club and the White Sox were fierce competitors in the 1950s), who submitted a bid for the team that Dorothy reluctantly considered
  • Chuck’s later offer for the White Sox, backed by a group including eventual A’s owner Charlie Finley, was higher than Veeck’s — but Veeck had spent $100 for a 60-day window to raise additional funds to match the offer
  • With Veeck taking over the team in early 1959, Chuck retained his 46% ownership in the club (still the biggest individual stockholder) but lost his GM job
  • When a downturn in Veeck’s health forced him to sell the White Sox in 1961, Chuck sold his shares to an investment group including William Bartholomay and entertainer Danny Thomas, with an eye toward being reinstalled as the de facto owner of the White Sox upon the sale, but Veeck — not particularly fond of the Crown Prince or seduced by the Comiskey name — sold instead to Art Allyn, putting the Comiskeys out of White Sox business for the first time in 62 years

2011

For the second time over the offseason, Philip Humber was placed on waivers. Unlike the A’s picking Humber up from Kansas City the previous December, the White Sox snagging him from Oakland was a massive win for the South Siders.

Humber, a No. 3 overall choice in the 2004 draft by the Mets, had failed to gain any traction in the majors since, with scattered MLB appearances from 2006-on.

Under the tutelage of pitching coach Don Cooper and given actual opportunity (in part due to the Jake Peavy injury), Humber was brilliant in 2011: 9-9 with a 3.75 ERA and 3.58 FIP, 3.4 WAR in just 28 games (26 starts). That’s near All-Star level performance.

The 2012 season got off to a similar start, with a strong first start and the 21st perfect game in MLB history in his second. However, it was a different story from there, as Humber finished with a 6.44 ERA.

Humber was placed on waivers again after the season, and went 0-8 for Houston in his final year in the majors, 2013.


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