By The Numbers – 55

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 #55.  30 players have donned #55 while playing in Chicago, 13 for the White Sox and 14 for the Cubs.

So maybe this is recency bias kicking in a bit, since he threw a no-hitter last month, but Carlos Rodon gets my nod as the top #55 in Chicago baseball history.  Selected with the #3 pick in the first round of the 2014 draft, Rodon made his debut in 2015 and never quite became that top of the rotation force that you would expect given his pedigree.  Then, the injuries started.  Making only 49 appearances over 4 seasons, Rodon appeared to hit his low point in 2020, when, just back off the IL, manager Rick Renteria brought him out of the bullpen for 2 high leverage situations: a last week of the season game against the Indians while battling for the division title and again in the last Wild Card game against the A’s as the White Sox fought to advance to the next round.  Neither appearance went well and after the season, Rodon was non-tendered.  However, he was brought back on a smaller deal and, on a cold Wednesday night in April, he was perfect for 8 1/3 innings, before hitting a batter and then finishing up the no-hitter.  Maybe, after 6 seasons, he’s finally ready to break through as the ace he was drafted to be?

On the north side, when one thinks of Double Nickels on the back of the uniform, one thinks of Shawn Estes.  Signed as a free agent prior to the 2003 season, Estes went 8-11 with a 5.73 ERA as the Cubs surprised pretty much everyone in winning the Central Division title.  He did not appear in the post-season and left as a free agent after the season.

By The Numbers – 56

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 #56.  19 different players have donned #56 while playing in Chicago, and, spoiler alert, it has been retired on one side of town.

Mark Buehrle joined the White Sox organization in 1998, drafted in the 38th round.  Despite his lowly draft status, he rose quickly through the system, first coming up during the 2000 season, working out of the bullpen for the eventual division champions.  He moved into the rotation the following season, and stayed there for the next 11 seasons.  During that time, there were numerous memorable appearances, many of which I was privileged to see in person.

  • The 2007 no-hitter against the Rangers
  • The 2009 perfect game against the Rays
  • Winning Game 2 of the 2005 ALCS against the Angels, thanks to AJ’s heads-up baserunning, and starting the streak of 4 straight complete games
  • The 1 hour 36 minute game against the Mariners in 2005
  • The no look, through his legs flip to Paul Konerko on Opening Day 2010 against the Indians
  • And, of course, his performance in the 2005 World Series, starting Game 2, getting a no decision, and coming in to pitch the 14th inning and earning the save in Game 3

In White Sox annals, Buehrle is currently fifth all-time in strikeouts, sixth in games started, and eighth in wins and innings pitched.  Number 56 was retired in his honor in 2017.

Slim pickings for #56 on the north side of town, but centerfielder Brian McRae, who spent parts of 3 seasons with the Cubs, gets the nod.  McRae was acquired from the Royals in April of 1995, following the early season lockout that continued from the strike the year before.  He was sent to the Mets, along with Mel Rojas and Turk Wendell, in August of 1997.

By The Numbers – 57

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 #57.  30 players have donned #57 while playing in Chicago, 17 for the White Sox and 13 for the Cubs.

Acquired by the Cubs, along with Matt Clement, in the deal that sent Dontrelle Willis, among others, to the Marlins in March of 2002, Antonio Alfonseca became the closer for a miserable 2002 Cubs team, which just so happened to be my first as a season ticket holder.  The 12-fingered Alfonseca went 2-5 with a 4.00 ERA and 19 saves in his first go-around with the team.  In 2003, he lost the closer role and was not particularly effective, going 3-1 with a 5.83 ERA.  He was suspended for 5 games in September after bumping an umpire with his generous stomach.  He was perfect in the post-season, appearing in 4 games total giving up no runs in 3 1/3 innings against the Braves and the Marlins.  He became a free agent following that 2003 season.

#57 has been a mainstay of the back end of the White Sox bullpen for many years, shared amongst such luminaries as Jace Fry, Zach Putnam, Tony Pena, and Boone Logan.

By The Numbers – 58

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 #58.  25 players have donned #58 while playing in Chicago, 20 for the White Sox and 5 for the Cubs.

Catcher Geovany Soto donned #58 during three cups of coffee with the Cubs, in 2005 – 2007.  Earning increased playing time each year, he garnered a single at bat in 05, 25 in 06, and 54 in 07.  He finally broke through in 2008, changing his number to #18 while earning Rookie of the Year honors.  He remained the main backstop for the team until the 2012 season, when he was traded to the Rangers in August.

On the south side of town, Bobby Thigpen wore #58 during his first go-around with the team, going 2-0 with a 1.77 ERA in 20 games for the 1986 White Sox.  He switched to #37 the following year, which he wore for the remainder of his White Sox career, which ended with a 1993 trade to the Phillies.

Fitbit VII – Week 12

An overall disappointing week, despite managing to get out of the house once or twice for some baseball.  The week started off decently on Sunday, as a trip to Guaranteed Rate Field followed by Michael’s birthday celebration left me with 5200 steps.  Monday was the high point of the week, as I combined a trip to CVS for vaccine shot #2 with another game to surpass my daily goal of 7500 steps.  Tuesday, I was feeling the after-effects of either the shot or the late night cold game, so I dropped back down to 4200 steps.  I was feeling better on Wednesday, but meetings limited me to just 2700 steps.  An off day on Thursday for a day game for the White Sox against the Indians left me with 5500 steps.  Friday fell back down a bit, with only 3900 steps.  Saturday was a waste, finishing with a mere 2200 steps.

Total steps: 31,473

Daily average: 4496.1

By The Numbers – 59

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 #59.  15 players have donned #59 while playing in Chicago, 6 for the White Sox and 3 for the Cubs.

Acquired in 1984 from the Mariners for Salome Barojas, Gleaton put up good numbers in Triple A for the White Sox and was eventually called up to the big leagues, appearing in 11 games.  Gleaton again split the 1985 season between Triple A and the White Sox, with more success in Triple A.  He made it in to 31 games for the White Sox, but put up a 5.76 ERA.  He then spent all of 1986 in Triple A before leaving the White Sox organization as a free agent.

On the north side of town, Rodney Myers donned #59 from 1996 through 1999, putting up a 5-2 record with a 4.90 ERA, before being traded to the Padres for Gary Matthews Jr.

Oh No-No

Last December, after 6 years of injuries and unmet expectations, the White Sox cut ties with Carlos Rodon, their first round pick in the 2014 draft.  On February 1, they brought him back, at a reduced rate, as back of the rotation insurance.  After a strong spring, he beat our Reynaldo Lopez for the fifth starter’s spot.  Last night, in his second start of the season, he was perfect through 25 hitters against the Indians and, after a hit batsman, ended up with the 20th no hitter in White Sox history.

This should have been my first no hitter seen in person.  But, and you knew there was going to be a but, life somehow got in the way.  I had bought tickets to the entire first homestand, so that wasn’t the issue.  Monday afternoon, I got my second vaccine shot and then headed down to Guaranteed Rate Field for that night’s game.  Ironically, Rodon was scheduled to pitch Monday, but was scratched with a stomach bug.  Tuesday, I was feeling the after-effects of the shot, the night out in the cold, or both, with a fuzzy head, chills, and body aches.  I decided to skip Tuesday night’s game.  By Wednesday morning, I was feeling pretty normal, but, with a forecast game-time temperature in the 40s, I decided to play it safe and stay home once again.  A mistake that I will have to live with for the rest of my days.

By The Numbers – 60

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 #60.  23 players have donned #60 while playing in Chicago, 17 for the White Sox and 6 for the Cubs.

Dallas Keuchel is the latest member of the White Sox to don #60.  He joined the team in 2020 after signing a 3 year deal during the offseason.  He went 6-2 with a 1.99 ERA in the corona virus shortened season, helping the White Sox to the postseason for the first time since 2008.  He is expected to be a big part of the rotation this year as the team looks to make the postseason in consecutive seasons for the first time in franchise history.

Manny Corpas spent one season with the Cubs, wearing #60 during the 2012 campaign.  He was not very good, going 0-2 with an ERA over 5.00, but he’s one of the few #60s for the Cubs that I recognized.

All Time Team Records

In a shocking development, the 2021 baseball season got underway last night without issue or delay.  With hopefully a full 162 game schedule on the docket, it is time once again to look at the all-time team records for games that I have identified as having attended dating back to 1984.  Thanks to some eBaying of pocket schedules from the 80s, I was able to identify one additional game that I attended in 1988, a California Angels victory at Comiskey Park against the White Sox.

The Cubs look to contend in a weak NL Central with one final year of having the core of their World Series Championship team under contract, while the White Sox hope their offseason additions put them over the top and make them true World Series contenders.  The 2021 season should be an interesting one on both sides of town, even more interesting if we are able to see it in person.

All-Time Team Records
Team Name Won Loss Winning Pctg
California Angels 2 0 1.000
Arizona Diamondbacks 13 2 0.867
Florida Marlins 15 8 0.652
Colorado Rockies 10 6 0.625
Boston Red Sox 18 13 0.581
Toronto Blue Jays 15 11 0.577
New York Yankees 15 11 0.577
Los Angeles Angels 19 14 0.576
Cleveland Indians 28 24 0.538
Chicago Cubs 219 197 0.526
Philadelphia Phillies 10 9 0.526
Houston Astros 22 20 0.524
Chicago White Sox 306 287 0.516
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By The Numbers – 61

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 #61.  18 players have donned #61 while playing in Chicago, 12 for the White Sox and 6 for the Cubs.

Joel McKeon was the White Sox first round pick in the 1982 draft and made his debut in 1986, where he appeared in 30 games out of the bullpen and had a rather successful 2.45 ERA.  His 1987 season, however, was much less successful, with his ERA jumping to 9.43 and, the following February, McKeon was shipped off to the Padres to complete an earlier trade.  While McKeon, the first #61 in White Sox history, did little to make himself memorable on a real baseball diamond, his 1986 appearance with Buffalo, the then Triple A affiliate of the White Sox, made him a superstar of our Micro League Baseball league, where he dominated as a stalwart of the team belonging to my friend Dave.

Backup catcher Babe Phelps, the first player to don #61 for the Cubs, hit .286 in his 2 seasons with the Cubs.  And no, I don’t mean his average across those 2 seasons was .286.  I mean he finished both seasons, 1933 and 1934, with a .286 average.  He would go on to more success with the Dodgers later in the decade, earning MVP votes in 1936 and earning three straight All Star nods from 1938-1940.