By The Numbers – 1

In 1929, uniform numbers appeared on the back of baseball jerseys for the first time, thanks to the Indians and the Yankees.  By 1937, numbers finally appeared across all uniforms, both home and away, across both major leagues.  Since that time, 81 distinct numbers have been worn by members of the White Sox, while the Cubs boast 76.

Today, we continue our look at those players, picking our favorite, if not the best, player to wear each uniform number for both Chicago teams with #1.  50 different players have donned #1 while playing in Chicago, 30 for the White Sox and 20 for the Cubs.

Lance Johnson, along with Ricky Horton, was acquired by the White Sox from the Cardinals for Jose DeLeon just before spring training in 1988.  Despite earning Most Valuable Player honors in the American Association the year before, Johnson struggled mightily after being given the starting center fielder job, hitting only .185 in 33 games before being sent back to the minor leagues.  Johnson started at Triple A in 1988, before finally returning to the White Sox, and the major leagues, for good.  In 1990, Johnson hit .285 and managed 36 stolen bases, despite leading the league with 22 caught stealings, and hit his first career home run all while patrolling centerfield for the final season at Comiskey Park.

As the team moved across the street in 1991, Johnson continued his steady presence in the lineup, hitting .274 while stealing 26 bases and hitting 13 triples, leading the American League.  Johnson hit .279 in 1992, with another 12 triples, leading the league again, and 41 stolen bases while setting a new career high with 3 home runs.  1993 saw Johnson and the White Sox finally put everything together.  Johnson raised his average to .311, hitting 14 triples and stealing 35 bases while the White Sox won their first divisional title in a decade.  Unfortunately, Johnson struggled in the ALCS against the Blue Jays, hitting only .217 in the 6 game series, though knocking in 6 runs and hitting his only home run of the season.

The strike-shortened 1994 season cut down what could have been a tremendous season for Johnson.  He again hit 14 triples, but in only 106 games, becoming the first player in Major League history to lead the league for four consecutive seasons.  When baseball resumed in 1995, Johnson turned in his finest season in a White Sox uniform.  He hit .306 and set a career high with a .766 OPS.  He led the league in at bats and hits, though he saw his streak of triples crowns end despite hitting a solid 12.  He set a career high with 10 home runs, 3 more than his previous career total.  On September 23, he became the first White Sox hitter to get 6 hits in a game since Floyd Robinson in 1962.  Following the season, he became a free agent and his White Sox career came to an end.

On the north side of town, Doug Glanville wore #1 when he made his major league debut for the Cubs in 1996, posting a .241 average over 49 games.  He became a full time presence for the Cubs in 1997, primarily in left field, hitting .300 and swiping 19 bases.  He switched from #1 to #8 at the end of August when, ironically, the Cubs acquired Lance Johnson from the Mets.

By The Numbers – 3

In 1929, uniform numbers appeared on the back of baseball jerseys for the first time, thanks to the Indians and the Yankees.  By 1937, numbers finally appeared across all uniforms, both home and away, across both major leagues.  Since that time, 81 distinct numbers have been worn by members of the White Sox, while the Cubs boast 76.

Today, we continue our look at those players, picking our favorite, if not the best, player to wear each uniform number for both Chicago teams with #3.  52 different players have donned #3 while playing in Chicago, 33 for the White Sox and 19 for the Cubs, including one who had it retired for him while he was still an active player.

Harold Baines was the first overall selection in the 1977 draft after White Sox owner Bill Veeck had seen him play little league years before.  He made his major league debut less than 3 years later, on Opening Day 1980 against the Orioles at old Comiskey Park.  Baines started to break out in 1981, but the long player’s strike limited him to only 82 games.  With a full slate of games played in 1982, Baines appeared in all but one of them, with numbers good enough to garner votes for AL MVP.

1983 was a banner year on the south side, as the White Sox captured their first ever division title.  Baines was a key contributor, hitting .280 with 20 home runs and 99 RBIs.  During the ALCS against the Orioles, Baines struggled, like most of his teammates, getting only 2 hits in the 4-game series.  At season’s end, he picked up 49 votes to finish 10th in MVP voting.

Baines continued to excel in 1984, though the rest of the team did not.  On May 8, he ended the longest game in major league history (8 hours and 6 minutes over 25 innings on successive evenings) with a walk-off home run against Chuck Porter of the Brewers.  He finished the year with a .304 average, a career high 29 home runs, and 94 RBIs, while leading the league in slugging at .541.  He once again garnered MVP consideration, finishing the vote tied for 13th place.  1985 was another strong season for Baines.  He earned his first All Star selection, singling off former teammate LaMarr Hoyt in his only at bat at the Metrodome.  He finished the year hitting .309 with 22 home runs and a career high 113 RBIs.  He earned 49 votes in placing 9th in MVP voting.

Baines saw his body start to betray him for the first time in 1986.  He appeared in his second straight All Star game, going hitless in his one at bat.  A late August knee injury caused him to miss time, and a late September collision with Neal Heaton in a loss to the Twins reinjured the knee, leading to arthroscopic surgery following the season.  He finished the season hitting .296, just missing his 3rd consecutive .300 season, with 21 home runs and 88 RBIs.  He returned for opening day in 1987, getting two hits and knocking in the winning runs on the hard artificial turf of Royals Stadium, but was unable to walk the following day.  A second arthroscopic surgery caused him to miss 23 games before he returned, moving from right field to designated hitter.  He still was named to his 3rd straight All Star team, going hitless in the 2-0 loss by the AL.  Come year end, he had hit .293 with 20 home runs and 93 RBIs.

1988 was a down year for Baines, though he managed to appear in 158 games.  His average dropped to .277, his lowest total since 1982, while hitting only 13 home runs, his lowest total since 1981.  He made only 9 appearances in the outfield while becoming accustomed to being a full-time designated hitter.  He bounced back in 1989.  He was named the starting DH in the All Star game, going 1-3 with an RBI in the AL’s victory at Angel Stadium.  On July 29, he was traded to the Rangers, along with Fred Manrique, for Wilson Alvarez, Scott Fletcher, and Sammy Sosa.  “It’s an unpopular decision as far as the fans are concerned, but sometimes unpopular means exactly that-unpopular,” GM Larry Himes said at the time.  “It doesn`t mean that it isn`t a good decision.  This is a decision we made as far as direction of the Chicago White Sox for today and for our future.”  Baines was hitting .321 with 13 home runs and 56 RBIs at the time of the trade.  Less than a month later, as the Rangers visited Chicago for the first time on August 20, the White Sox retired Baines’ #3, a somewhat awkward attempt to placate the enraged fanbase.

Baines returned to the White Sox as a free agent in 1996.  Appearing in 143 games, Baines hit .311 with 22 home runs and 95 RBIs.  He returned in 1997 and was putting together another fine season, putting up a .305 average with 12 home runs and 52 RBIs in 93 games when, on July 29 again, he was traded to the Orioles for a player to be named later.

Three years later, once again on July 29, the White Sox re-acquired Baines, along with Charles Johnson, from the Orioles for Miguel Felix, Juan Figueroa, Jason Lakman, and Brook Fordyce.  Appearing in 24 games down the stretch, Baines hit .213 with a single home run and 9 RBIs as the White Sox took the Central Division crown.  Baines went 1-4 in the ALDS as the White Sox were swept by the Mariners.  He returned to the White Sox in 2001 at the age of 42, getting extra playing time once Frank Thomas went down with an injury.  In 32 games, he hit .131, failing to homer and driving in only 6.

On July 20, 2008, the White Sox unveiled a bronze statue of Baines at U.S. Cellular Field prior to their game against the Royals.  On December 9, 2018, Baines was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame Class of 2019 via the Today’s Game Era ballot.

David Ross donned #3 when he joined the Cubs in 2015 on a two-year deal.  Ross announced his plans to retire following the 2016 season, after playing 15 seasons in the major leagues.  During Game 7 of the World Series, Ross hit a home run in his final at-bat, making him the oldest player to homer in World Series history.

By The Numbers – 8

In 1929, uniform numbers appeared on the back of baseball jerseys for the first time, thanks to the Indians and the Yankees.  By 1937, numbers finally appeared across all uniforms, both home and away, across both major leagues.  Since that time, 81 distinct numbers have been worn by members of the White Sox, while the Cubs boast 76.

Today, we continue our look at those players, picking our favorite, if not the best, player to wear each uniform number for both Chicago teams with #8.  82 different players have donned #8 while playing in Chicago, 40 for the White Sox and 42 for the Cubs.

Vincent Edward “Bo” Jackson joined the White Sox as a free agent on April 3, 1991 after being released by the Royals following a catastrophic hip injury suffered in January during the NFL playoffs as a member of the Raiders.  “In making the business decision,” owner Jerry Reinsdorf said at the time, “I assume he will not play this year. If he does, it will be a big bonus.”  Jackson did spend most of 1991 on the disabled list, rehabbing the injury, but did eventually manage to make his way back to the field.  He appeared in 23 games, hitting only .225 with 3 home runs.

Diagnosed with avascular necrosis of the hip joint and having lost all of the cartilage supporting his hip, Jackson decided to undergo a hip replacement surgery, keeping him on the shelf for the entire 1992 season.  While rehabbing, Jackson promised his mother he would return to the major leagues and hit a home run for her.  Unfortunately, Jackson’s mother died before he could return, but, in his first at bat of the 1993 season, and his first with an artificial hip, he hit a home run to right field against the Yankees at Comiskey Park.  On September 27, Jackson belted a three-run home run off of the Mariners to help the White Sox clinch their first AL West Division title in a decade.  Jackson ended up appearing in 85 games for the White Sox, hitting .232 and hitting 16 home runs while driving in 45.  He appeared in 3 of the 6 ALCS games against the Blue Jays, going hitless in 10 at bats.  Following the season, he became a free agent, ending his White Sox playing career.  In 2014, he returned to the organization as an ambassador, a role he continues to play today.

A free agent following the 1986 season, Andre Dawson was looking for a new home with natural grass that would be easier on his injured knees.  With MLB owners colluding against the players by agreeing not to sign free agents, Dawson found himself without takers.  When the Cubs opened their spring training camp that spring, Dawson and his agent, Dick Moss, arrived with a signed blank contract in an attempt to get a job.  GM Dallas Green derided the stunt as a “dog and pony show,” but, after reviewing the contract, Green and Moss reached an agreement on a lowball salary of $500,000, the second-lowest salary amongst the team’s starters.  The Cubs easily got their money’s worth, as Dawson became the Cubs’ starting right fielder, and hit a major league leading 49 home runs and was named NL MVP, despite the Cubs finishing in last place.

Dawson played five more seasons with the Cubs and was one of the franchise’s most popular players during that time.  His worst individual season came in 1989, when the Cubs won the NL East title.  During the NLCS, Dawson slumped terribly, hitting .105 as the Giants beat the Cubs 4 games to 1.  Dawson’s .507 career slugging percentage with the Cubs is fourth highest in team history.

By The Numbers – 11

In 1929, uniform numbers appeared on the back of baseball jerseys for the first time, thanks to the Indians and the Yankees.  By 1937, numbers finally appeared across all uniforms, both home and away, across both major leagues.  Since that time, 81 distinct numbers have been worn by members of the White Sox, while the Cubs boast 76.

Today, we continue our look at those players, picking our favorite, if not the best, player to wear each uniform number for both Chicago teams with #11.  59 different players have donned #11 while playing in Chicago, 18 for the White Sox, who retired the number in 1984, and 41 for the Cubs.

Rudy Law was acquired by the White Sox from the Dodgers at the end of spring training in 1982 for Cecil Espy and Bert Geiger.  Wearing #11, Law split center field duties with veteran Ron Leflore, appearing in 91 games in the middle of the outfield.  He hit .318 with a .361 OBP, stealing 36 bases along the way.  Law took over as the everyday center fielder in 1983, helping the White Sox claim their first division title.  His 77 stolen bases remain a team record, and he finished the year with a .283 average.  During the ALCS against the Orioles, he led the White Sox with a .389 average.  His season was good enough to earn him 2 votes for MVP, tied for 21st place.  Law was forced to change his number during the 1984 season when Luis Aparicio was elected to the Hall of Fame and the White Sox retired the number in his honor.

Another #11 made their way to Chicago via the Dodgers when the Cubs acquired third baseman Ron Cey following the 1982 season.  Cey provided veteran leadership for the Cubs over four seasons and, in 1984, helped lead the Cubs to a division title, hitting 25 homers and driving in 97 runs, both team highs.

By The Numbers – 12

In 1929, uniform numbers appeared on the back of baseball jerseys for the first time, thanks to the Indians and the Yankees.  By 1937, numbers finally appeared across all uniforms, both home and away, across both major leagues.  Since that time, 81 distinct numbers have been worn by members of the White Sox, while the Cubs boast 76.

Today, we continue our look at those players, picking our favorite, if not the best, player to wear each uniform number for both Chicago teams with #12.  91 different players have donned #12 while playing in Chicago, 44 for the White Sox and 47 for the Cubs.

A.J. Pierzynski signed with the White Sox on January 6, 2005 and rewarded the organization with eight seasons of stability behind the plate that included one All-Star selection, two playoff appearances, and, of course, the 2005 World Series championship.  Over those 8 seasons, Pierzynski was involved in many key moments while wearing #12 that endeared him to the White Sox faithful, including:

  • The walk-off home run, and resulting bat flip (pictured above), against the Dodgers in 2005 while wearing 1959 throwbacks
  • The two home runs in a thrashing of the Red Sox in game one of the 2005 ALDS, the first White Sox home postseason victory since 1959
  • The controversial dropped third strike that led to a White Sox victory in game two of the 2005 ALCS against the Angels
  • The 2006 brawl against the Cubs where Michael Barrett sucker-punched him after Pierzynski enthusiastically scored a run against the crosstown rivals
  • Hanging on to the throw from Ken Griffey Jr. to preserve the shutout in the 2008 tie-breaker game that pushed the White Sox into the playoffs over the Twins
  • Being behind the plate for Mark Buehrle’s no-hitter in 2007 and Philip Humber’s perfect game in 2012

On the north side of town, a dynamic shortstop, the first player chosen in the 1982 draft, wore #12 when he made his major league debut in 1985.  Shawon Dunston quickly became a fan favorite.  In 1989, he entered the national consciousness thanks to the Shawon-O-Meter, a fan made sign that tracked Dunston’s batting average during each game.  The sign was seen in the Wrigley Field bleachers for a number of years and even made its way to San Francisco’s Candlestick Park for the 1989 NLCS.  Following the 1995 season, he left as a free agent before resigning with the team for the 1997 campaign.  He was traded to the Pirates at the end of August, ending his Cubs career for good.

By The Numbers – 13

In 1929, uniform numbers appeared on the back of baseball jerseys for the first time, thanks to the Indians and the Yankees.  By 1937, numbers finally appeared across all uniforms, both home and away, across both major leagues.  Since that time, 81 distinct numbers have been worn by members of the White Sox, while the Cubs boast 76.

Today, we continue our look at those players, picking our favorite, if not the best, player to wear each uniform number for both Chicago teams with #13.  25 different players have donned #13 while playing in Chicago, 13 for the White Sox and 12 for the Cubs.

Acquired by the White Sox on December 6, 1984, from the Padres, Ozzie Guillen made his major league debut wearing #13 on Opening Day 1985, leading off against the Brewers and going 1-5 in the 4-2 victory at County Stadium.  Settling in as the everyday shortstop, Guillen finished the year with a .273 average, 21 doubles, and 9 triples.  Those totals were good enough to score Guillen the 1985 AL Rookie of the Year trophy.  Guillen saw a slight drop off in his sophomore season, as his average dropped to .250 and he managed 19 doubles and 4 triples.  1987 was a nice bounce back for Guillen, as he raised his average back up to .279 with a .656 OPS.  For the second straight year, he led the AL, and all of baseball, in Defensive WAR.  Guillen earned his first All Star nod in 1988 and, by season’s end, he once again led all of baseball in Defensive WAR, while seeing his average drop to .261 with 7 triples, the fifth highest total in the AL.

1989 was a tough year for Guillen.  He posted his worst offensive numbers since 1986 and, on the base paths, he fell victim to the hidden ball trick.  Twice. On June 23, against the Brewers, first baseman Greg Brock held the ball after a pickoff attempt and when Guillen took his hand off the base to stand up, Brock tagged him out.  Less than 2 months later, on August 5 against the Tigers, Dave Bergman made the same play.  He finished the year with .253 average and, despite his adventures on pick off attempts, a career high 36 stolen bases.  As the surprising White Sox challenged for the AL West title while saying goodbye to Comiskey Park, Guillen put in one of the finest seasons of his career.  He was named to his second All Star team, going 0-2, finished in 17th place in MVP voting, and earned his first, and only, Gold Glove.  He raised his average back up to .279 and knocked in a career high 58 RBIs.

Expectations were high for the White Sox as they moved across the street to the new Comiskey Park in 1991.  Guillen earned his third, and final, All Star nod, getting a sacrifice in his only plate appearance.  He ended the year with a .273 average and set a career high with 3 home runs.  Guillen’s 1992 season came to an early end when, on April 21 during a loss against the Yankees, a collision with outfielder Tim Raines ended in a severe knee injury.  Guillen recovered in 1993, though he appeared in only 134 games, his lowest total to date.  However, it was his most productive season offensively, posting a .280 batting average, and career highs with 4 home runs and a .666 OPS, as the White Sox won their first division title in a decade.  He hit .273 and scored 4 runs in a losing effort, as the White Sox were defeated in 6 games by the Blue Jays in the ALCS.  1994 looked to be the year that the White Sox finally broke through.  Guillen was up to the challenge, hitting a career high .288 with a .659 OPS.  Unfortunately, the year ended early when players went on strike on August 12 with the White Sox in first place in the newly created AL Central.

The 1995 season got off to a late start and had an abbreviated schedule due to the long work stoppage.  The success of the White Sox, and for Guillen himself, didn’t survive the long layoff.  Guillen saw his average drop to .248, his lowest over a “full” season in his career to this point.  His OPS dropped to its lowest total in a full season since 1989.  1996 saw a slight improvement for Guillen.  He appeared in 150 games, his highest total since his knee injury in 1992.  He raised his average back to .263 and tied his career high with 4 home runs.  However, 1997 was easily the worst season of Guillen’s White Sox career.  He had the lowest average of his career, coming in at .245, though he did once again tie his career high with 4 home runs.  Following the season, Guillen became a free agent and his playing career with the White Sox came to an end.

Guillen returned to the White Sox organization for the 2004 season as manager.  In 2005, he led the team to their first American League pennant since 1959 and their first World Series title in 88 years.  Ongoing personal difficulties with General Manager Kenny Williams led to his leaving with 2 games left in the 2011 season as the third winningest manager in franchise history.

On the north side of town, Neifi Pérez donned #13 over parts of three seasons with the Cubs.  He signed a minor league deal after being released by the Giants in 2004.  After only ten games in Triple A, Pérez joined the big-league club and became a spark plug in the lineup, going 6 for 6 in his first 6 at-bats and providing a needed backup to the ailing Nomar Garciaparra.  Dusty Baker named Pérez the starting shortstop in 2005 to replace Garciaparra, mainly on the strength of his defensive skills.  For the 2006 season Pérez lost the starting job at shortstop to Ronny Cedeño.  As his batting average sagged to .254 and his on-base percentage, never high, had fallen to .266, the Cubs traded him to the Tigers.

By The Numbers – 14

In 1929, uniform numbers appeared on the back of baseball jerseys for the first time, thanks to the Indians and the Yankees.  By 1937, numbers finally appeared across all uniforms, both home and away, across both major leagues.  Since that time, 81 distinct numbers have been worn by members of the White Sox, while the Cubs boast 76.

Today, we continue our look at those players, picking our favorite, if not the best, player to wear each uniform number for both Chicago teams with #14, the only number to be retired by both teams.  47 different players have donned the number while playing in Chicago, and no more will for the rest of time.

With apologies to Ted Lyons, Bill Skowron, and Bill Melton, the winner here, and the man that #14 was retired for, is Paul Konerko.  Konerko was traded to the White Sox on November 11, 1998 for center fielder Mike Cameron.  In his second full season, he helped lead the surprising White Sox to their first Central Division title, their first post-season appearance since 1993.  After tremendous struggles in 2003, Konerko won the Comeback Player of the Year award in 2004.  He did himself better in 2005, winning the ALCS MVP, hitting a grand slam in Game 2 of the World Series, and catching the final putout at first base in Game 4, giving the White Sox their first World Series title since 1917.  After the series, Konerko inked a 5-year deal that would keep him on the south side through at least 2010.

2008 saw Konerko make his 3rd post-season appearance for the Sox, the only player in history to do so.  Konerko retired following the 2014 season, finishing his career as the White Sox all time leader in total bases and second all time in home runs, RBIs, and games played.  In addition, he was a 6-time All Star and had served as team captain since 2006.  His #14 was retired in 2015.

Nicknamed Mr. Cub, Ernie Banks, played his entire 19 year career with the Cubs, earning back-to-back MVP honors in 1958 and 1959.  When he retired following the 1971 season, he ranked 9th all-time in home runs, with 512.  He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1977 and became a team ambassador, never seen without a smile on his face.  Number 14 was retired in his honor in 1982, the first number ever retired by the Cubs.

By The Numbers – 16

In 1929, uniform numbers appeared on the back of baseball jerseys for the first time, thanks to the Indians and the Yankees.  By 1937, numbers finally appeared across all uniforms, both home and away, across both major leagues.  Since that time, 81 distinct numbers have been worn by members of the White Sox, while the Cubs boast 76.

Today, we continue our look at those players, picking our favorite, if not the best, player to wear each uniform number for both Chicago teams with #16.  65 different players have donned #16 while playing in Chicago, 24 for the White Sox, who retired the number in 1987, and 41 for the Cubs.

Aramis Ramirez switched to his familiar #16 shortly after being acquired by the Cubs from the Pirates.  Ramírez finished the 2003 season strong, appearing in 63 games down the stretch and hitting 15 home runs while helping the Cubs capture their first division title since 1989.  He managed 11 hits during the post-season, including 4 home runs and 10 RBIs and hitting the first playoff grand slam in Cubs’ history during Game 4 of the NLCS.  The following year, Ramirez became the 14th player in baseball history to hit 3 home runs in 2 different games in the same season.  While his offense remained strong, posting a .951 OPS, his defense was a bit of a liability, as he posted the lowest range factor among all third basemen.

Ramirez was elected to his first All-Star Game in 2005.  He finished the season with 31 home runs and 92 RBIs despite missing the last month of the year with a strained quadriceps femoral muscle.  While his defense continued to suffer in 2006, with his third straight season with the lowest range factor, his offense continued to carry the load.  He collected his 1000th hit in July against the Mets and ended up with 38 home runs, 119 RBIs, and an OPS of .912.  A free agent at the end of the season, he re-signed with the Cubs, scoring a 5-year, $73 million contract.

In April of ’07, Ramirez launched his 200th career home run.  His continued offensive presence helped lead the Cubs back to the post-season in 2007 and 2008, winning division titles both seasons.  Unfortunately, Ramirez, like his teammates, went cold in both series as the Cubs were swept in the NLDS each season.  In 2009, Ramirez christened the season with his 250th career home run on Opening Day against Roy Oswalt.  He followed that with #300 in July of 2011 against the White Sox.  Following that season, he declined his portion of a mutual option and became a free agent.

Julio Cruz wore #16 on the southside following his June 1983 acquisition from the Mariners, when he gave the White Sox the spark they were looking for, helping the team go on a 72-31 run to finish the season and go from 6 1/2 games back to 20 games ahead.  Cruz scored the winning run on a Harold Baines sacrifice fly against, of all teams, the Mariners on September 17, clinching the first division title in White Sox history.  Cruz hit .333 during the ALCS against the Orioles, swiping 2 bases in the 4-game series.  Heading in to the 1984 season, Cruz re-signed with the White Sox with a 6-year deal, thought to be worth between $3.6 to $4.8 million.  Unfortunately, time, and injuries, were starting to take their toll.  1984 was the best year of the deal, and Cruz saw his average drop to .222 and he stole only 14 bases, a career low to date.  Following that season, Cruz changed his number from #16 to #12.

By The Numbers – 19

In 1929, uniform numbers appeared on the back of baseball jerseys for the first time, thanks to the Indians and the Yankees.  By 1937, numbers finally appeared across all uniforms, both home and away, across both major leagues.  Since that time, 81 distinct numbers have been worn by members of the White Sox, while the Cubs boast 76.

Today, we continue our look at those players, picking our favorite, if not the best, player to wear each uniform number for both Chicago teams with #19.  83 different players have donned #19 while playing in Chicago, 32 for the White Sox, one of whom had it retired in his honor, and 51 for the Cubs.

With a new ownership group in place and looking to make a quick splash, the White Sox purchased Greg Luzinski from the Phillies on March 30, 1981.  Coming off a disappointing season, the Chicago-area native, wearing his familiar #19, responded well to the change, hitting .265 with 21 home runs in the strike-shortened season.  He earned Comeback Player of the Year honors, beating out teammate Bill Almon by 5 votes, and finished 23rd in MVP voting.  Luzinski had another strong year in 1982, raising his average to .292, his highest total since 1977, while hitting 18 home runs and driving in 102 runs.

In 1983, Luzinski was a powerful cog in leading the White Sox to their first division title.  He launched the 8th, 9th, and 10th rooftop home runs in Comiskey Park history between June 26 and August 28.  While his average dropped to .255, he hit 32 home runs and drove in 95, good enough to finish 17th in MVP voting.  Like the rest of his teammates, he struggled during the ALCS against the Orioles, hitting only .133 in the 4-game series.  Unfortunately, those struggles carried over in to 1984.  His average dropped again, down to .238, and his power output fell as well, finishing the year with only 13 home runs, his lowest total since 1974, and 58 RBIs.  He did manage to hit his fourth rooftop blast on July 3 against the Tigers.  He became a free agent following the year and decided to retire.

On the north side of town, Matt Murton donned #19 when he made his major league debut for the Cubs on July 8, 2005.  He appeared in 51 games for the Cubs, hitting .321 with a .908 OPS.  That helped earn him the starting nod in left field for 2006, where he managed to post a .297 batting average with 13 home runs and 62 RBIs.  Despite his success, Murton saw his playing time diminish in 2007 after the Cubs signed Cliff Floyd, even getting sent back to Triple A in June.  He returned in late July, and finished the year with a .281 average and a .791 OPS in only 94 games.  His playing time was diminished ever further in 2008, appearing in only 19 games before being traded, 4 years to the day of his major league debut, to the A’s, as part of the haul for Rich Harden.

By The Numbers – 22

In 1929, uniform numbers appeared on the back of baseball jerseys for the first time, thanks to the Indians and the Yankees.  By 1937, numbers finally appeared across all uniforms, both home and away, across both major leagues.  Since that time, 81 distinct numbers have been worn by members of the White Sox, while the Cubs boast 76.

Today, we continue our look at those players, picking our favorite, if not the best, player to wear each uniform number for both Chicago teams with #22.  76 different players have donned #22 while playing in Chicago, 26 for the White Sox and 50 for the Cubs.

Acquired from the Dodgers, along with Ivan DeJesus, in exchange for Rick Monday and Mike Garman, Bill Buckner joined the Cubs, wearing #22, in 1977.  A staph infection in his ankle the previous year caused the Cubs to move the former outfielder to first base, a position he would man for the rest of his career.  Appearing in 122 games, he hit .284 with 11 home runs and 27 doubles.  He improved in 1978, raising his average to .323 and placed 17th in MVP voting.  1979 was another steady year for Buckner.  On May 17th, in the infamous slugfest where the Cubs lost 23-22 to the Phillies, he went 4–for–7 with a grand slam and a career-high seven RBIs.  He finished the year hitting .284 with 14 home runs and 34 doubles, but was also described as “nuts” when manager Herman Franks resigned late in the season.

In 1980, Buckner won a batting title, hitting .324 while striking out only 18 times, earning him a 14th place finish in MVP voting.  In the strike-shortened 1981 season, he was the lone Cub representative for the All Star game and batted .311 while tying Cecil Cooper for the major league lead with 35 doubles.  1982 saw Buckner hit over .300 for the fourth time as a Cub while racking up career highs in hits, with 201, RBIs, with 105, and assists at first base, setting a major league record with 159.

In 1983, Buckner again led the NL with 38 doubles, but saw his batting average drop to .280, his lowest finish as a Cub.  With the acquisition of Gary Matthews in 1984 pushing Leon Durham to first base, Buckner found himself the odd man out.  Appearing mostly as a pinch hitter, Buckner hit a paltry .209 through the end of May, when he was traded to the Red Sox, ending his Cub tenure.

Scott Podsednik was acquired by the White Sox from the Brewers for Carlos Lee on December 13, 2004.  Wearing #22, he moved in to the leadoff spot and, after putting up a .294 average with 44 steals in the first half, he earned his first All Star game nod.  While injuries slowed him in the second half, he was back to full strength when the regular season came to an end and the White Sox embarked on their first post-season appearance in 5 years.  After going the entire regular season without a home run, Podsednik went deep against the Red Sox in Game 1 of the ALDS, helping the White Sox to a 14-2 victory on their way to a 3 game sweep of the defending champions.  Podsednik continued his steady play during the ALCS, hitting .294 with a triple and 3 stolen bases in the 5 game series.  The shining moment of his career came in Game 2 of the World Series, thanks to a walkoff home run against Brad Lidge in the 9th inning, giving the White Sox a 2-0 lead on their way to a sweep and their first world championship in 88 years.  For his efforts, Podsednik finished in 12th place for MVP voting.

As the White Sox looked to repeat in 2006, Podsednik found it difficult to duplicate his efforts from the year before.  His average was down 29 points, to .261, and his stolen base total was off by 19.  Injuries limited Podsednik to 62 games in 2007.  His offensive production continued to be lacking and, after the White Sox fell completely out of contention for the first time in years, the team decided to change their approach and gave Podsednik his release.  He returned to the White Sox organization in 2009, signing a minor league deal.  Injuries to Brian Anderson, Dewayne Wise, and Carlos Quentin gave him plenty of opportunity with the big league club, and he responded by hitting .304, his highest total since 2003.  Following the season, he became a free agent.