April All Time Leaders – Through 2020

With a full year of baseball on tap after last year’s troubles due to a combination of the corona virus and needless labor squabbles, I thought it would be interesting to look at the all time leaders in both offensive and defensive categories for each month in games that I have attended.

The traditional beginning of the baseball season, opening day has played a part in my attending 155 games during the month.  I’ve managed to see a game on every day of the month, with 9 games on the 5th, 7th. and 12th and a single game on both the 1st and the 3rd.

Home Runs

Name Total
Paul Konerko 18
Adam Dunn 12
Jim Thome 8

Hits

Name Total
Paul Konerko 67
Aramis Ramirez 45
Derrek Lee 44

Runs

Name Total
Paul Konerko 36
Derrek Lee 36
Aramis Ramirez 31

RBI

Name Total
Paul Konerko 42
Aramis Ramirez 33
Adam Dunn 30

Doubles

Name Total
Paul Konerko 14
Aramis Ramirez 12
Derrek Lee 10

Triples Continue reading →

Homer History

The White Sox have been on a historic home run streak over the past few days.  Sunday, versus the Cardinals, they notched the 10th occurrence in MLB history of 4 consecutive home runs when Yoan Moncada, Yasmani Grandal, Jose Abreu, and Eloy Jimenez went deep back to back to back to back in the 5th inning.  The first three home runs also became the first time a team had 3 Cuban-born players go back to back to back.

This was the second time the White Sox have accomplished this rare feat, joining the Nationals as the only franchise to do it more than once.  Jim Thome, Paul Konerko, Alexei Ramírez, and Juan Uribe did the same on August 14, 2008 against the Royals.

The White Sox followed up on that with a little more history on Monday night.  Last week, in Detroit, Tim Anderson and Eloy Jimenez led off the game against starter Matthew Boyd with back to back home runs.  Boyd was back on the bump against the White Sox Monday night in Chicago, and again served up two home run balls to start the game, to Anderson again and Yoan Moncada.  This made the White Sox the first team to ever lead off a game with back to back home runs against the same pitcher twice.  They also halved the previous record of time between games with back to back home runs to start a game, down to 5.  The Dodgers held the previous record, at 10 games.

Hall Of Fame Batting Leaders


 

In normal times, today would have been the day former Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter was joined by Expos and Rockies legend Larry Walker, Cardinal and Brewer backstop Ted Simmons, and union boss Marvin Miller in taking their place in Cooperstown.  However, thanks to the corona virus, the Hall of Fame Class of 2020 will need to wait until next year for induction.  But, with two new hitters who would have been joining the list of Hall of Famers I’ve seen play live, let’s check back in anyway with the new leaders on the offensive side of the ball amongst Hall of Famers for all of the games I’ve attended between 1984 and 2020.

Home Runs

Name Total
Jim Thome 35
Frank Thomas 15
Vladimir Guerrero 6
Ivan Rodriguez 4
Chipper Jones 3
Harold Baines 3
Carlton Fisk 3

Hits

Name Total
Jim Thome 110
Frank Thomas 54
Ken Griffey Jr 32
Continue reading →

Angels All Time Leaders – Through 2019

laangelsWith baseball shut down because of the corona virus, I thought it would be an interesting time to look at the all time leaders in both offensive and defensive categories for all 30 teams. We continue today with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

The Angels began life in 1961, joining the American League along with the second incarnation of the Washington Senators.  They’ve changed their location designation multiple times, starting in Los Angeles, changing to California in 1966, moving to Anaheim in 1997 and, awkwardly incorporating both Los Angeles and Anaheim starting in 2005, and finally returning to just Los Angeles in 2016.  I’ve seen them play 36 times, including games 1 and 2 of the 2005 ALCS against the White Sox and Jim Thome’s 500th career home run in 2008.

Home Runs

Name Total
Vladimir Guerrero 5
Chone Figgins 3
Garret Anderson 3
Juan Rivera 3

Hits

Name Total
Maicer Izturis 21
Howie Kendrick 18
Vladimir Guerrero 16

Runs

Name Total
Vladimir Guerrero 10
Maicer Izturis 8
Chone Figgins 8

RBI

Name Total
Garret Anderson 9
Howie Kendrick 9
Shohei Ohtani 9

Doubles

Name Total
Torii Hunter 5
Maicer Izturis 4
Casey Kotchman 4

Triples Continue reading →

Ballpark Tour: White Sox

Opening day was supposed to be less than a week away, so it is time to wrap up our tour of all of the baseball stadiums I’ve been to over the years with the one I’ve been to the most: the homes of the Chicago White Sox.  Between the two stadiums that have been located at the corners of 35th and Shields, I’ve seen at least 542 games, all but one of which have involved the White Sox.  So, without further ado, let’s take a deeper look at my history with Comiskey Park and Guaranteed Rate Field.

Stadium Name: Comiskey Park

Years in Service: 1910 – 1990

Visits: 12 (that I’m aware of)

Comiskey Park, the so-called Baseball Palace of the World, was the home of the White Sox from 1910 through the 1990 season.  Built on a former city dump at the corner of 35th Street and Shields Avenue, the stadium opened on July 1, 1910, as the White Sox lost to the St. Louis Browns 2-0.  The final game for the old ballyard occurred on September 30, 1990, a 2-1 victory over the Mariners.

Comiskey Park was the host for 4 World Series, including 3 in a row from 1917-1919.  The White Sox won the World Series in 1917 against the New York Giants.  The Cubs, looking for a larger seating capacity, moved their home games in the 1918 series against the Red Sox to Comiskey Park.  The 1919 World Series, of course, was the Black Sox scandal, where the White Sox threw the series against the Reds.  The White Sox returned to the World Series 40 years later in 1959, but fell to the Dodgers.  The final post-season games to be played in Comiskey Park were games 3 and 4 of the 1983 ALCS, which the White Sox lost to the Baltimore Orioles.

Comiskey Park was also the host to 3 All-Star games.  The first All-Star game, in 1933, was held in conjunction with Century of Progress Exposition being held on Chicago’s lakefront.  The event returned to Chicago’s south side in 1950 and the final All-Star game at Comiskey Park was in 1983, the 50th anniversary of the first game.  Comiskey Park was also the frequent home of the Negro League East-West All-Star Game from 1933 to 1960.

Looking back, I’ve been able to piece together evidence of 12 games that I attended at Comiskey Park, either from pictures, stadium giveaways, or specific memories.  I know there are more, but I have not been able to pinpoint exact games as of yet.  The most memorable game I can remember would be the final night game, on September 29, 1990, where, after the game, the lights were symbolically turned off for the final time.

Stadium Name: Comiskey Park II/US Cellular Field/Guaranteed Rate Field

Years in Service: 1991 – Present

Visits: 530

On the evening of June 30, 1988, with the clock literally stopped, the Illinois legislature passed a bill that provided the financing for a new stadium for the White Sox, stopping them from moving to St. Petersburg, Florida.  2 and a half years later, on April 18, 1991, Comiskey Park II opened, the first new major facility built in Chicago since the erection of the Chicago Stadium in 1929.  Sadly, the White Sox were embarrassed by the Tigers, losing 16-0 in the opening of their new park.

Unfortunately for the White Sox, the new Comiskey Park was the last stadium to be built prior to the wave of retro ballparks that started with the opening of Camden Yards the following year.  Because of this, there have been numerous renovations to the park, starting in 2001 with the addition of nearly 2000 seats and the relocation of the bullpens.  More extensive renovations began in 2003 in preparation for that season’s All Star Game and using the money generated from selling the naming rights to US Cellular, and continued through 2007, when the replacement of the blue seats with green seats was completed.  Less extensive renovations have occurred since, replacing the different video boards and creating premium seating areas.

The post-season came to the new Comiskey Park for the first time in 1993, as the White Sox battled the Blue Jays in the ALCS.  The stadium hosted its first World Series games in 2005, the first to be played in the city of Chicago since 1959, as the White Sox went on to sweep the Houston Astros and win their first World Series since 1917.

I attended my first game at the new Comiskey Park on April 20, 1991, the second game in the stadium’s history.  Since then, I’ve been to 529 other games at the stadium, the majority coming from 2005 on, when I became a season ticket holder.  I went to both games of the 2000 ALDS, which the White Sox lost to the Mariners, both games of the 2005 ALDS, which the White Sox won against the Red Sox, both games of the 2005 ALCS, which the White Sox split against the Angels, and game 2 of the 2005 World Series.  I attended game 163 of the 2008 season to break the tie between the White Sox and the Twins. and then the two ALDS games against the Rays, the first time I saw the White Sox actually end a post-season series, either in victory or defeat.

Notable regular season games I’ve seen at what is now known as Guaranteed Rate Field include the September 18, 2001 game against the Yankees as baseball returned following the attacks of 9/11, the April 16, 2005 game where Mark Buehrle defeated the Mariners in 1 hour and 39 minutes, the April 2, 2006 season opener against the Indians when the World Series championship banner was raised, the April 4, 2006 game where the players received their World Series rings, and the September 16, 2007 game where Jim Thome hit his 500th career home run against the Angels.  Not to mention a streak of 19 consecutive home openers.

Fortifying The Staff

After missing out on Zack Wheeler earlier in the offseason, the White Sox looked idly by as the remaining big names vanished off the free agent board: Gerrit Cole, Stephen Strasburg, Madison Bumgarner.  Last week, however, the struck on their plan B, signing Gio Gonzalez to a one year deal on Friday and coming to terms with Dallas Keuchel on a reported 3 year deal on Saturday.

Keuchel, a 31 year old left hander, sat out the first half of last season, signing after the draft (and the expiration of the draft pick compensation attached to him) and helping the Braves to the NL East title.  He won the AL Cy Young Award in 2015, and should help stabilize the White Sox rotation, both on the mound and as a mentor on the bench.

Gonzalez, 34, enters his third stint in the White Sox organization.  Originally signed as the team’s first round draft pick in 2004, he was part of the deal that brought Jim Thome from the Phillies following the 2005 season.  He was reacquired from the Phillies a year later, along with Gavin Floyd for Freddy Garcia.  He was traded again in 2008 as part of the ill-fated Nick Swisher deal with the A’s.  He will now bolster the back end of the White Sox rotation.

These moves give the White Sox plenty of pitching depth as they go into spring training, allowing Michael Kopech and Carlos Rodon to return from injury on their own timetable and keeping the likes of Dylan Covey and Ross Detwiler far from the pitching mound at Guaranteed Rate Field.

All Season Batting Leaders – Through 2019

It’s been five years since we last took a look at the offensive stat leaders per season for the all the games I’ve attended since 1984. While there hasn’t been a whole lot of movement for most of the categories in the last 5 seasons, I figured the time was right to take another look. So, without further ado, here’s the updated list. We start, as always, with everyone’s favorite offensive stat:

Home Runs

Year Name Total
2010 Paul Konerko 17
2004 Mosies Alou 15
2004 Corey Patterson 13
2004 Sammy Sosa 13
2003 Moises Alou 12
2008 Carlos Quentin 12

Hits

Year Name Total
2003 Mark Grudzielanek 67
2004 Moises Alou 57
2003 Moises Alou 57
2007 Derrek Lee 57
2006 Orlando Cabrera 56

Runs

Year Name Total
2004 Moises Alou 44
2003 Sammy Sosa 34
2010 Paul Konerko 31
2003 Moises Alou 30
2008 Jermaine Dye 30
2006 Tadahito Iguchi 30
2008 Nick Swisher 30

RBI

Year Name Total
2010 Paul Konerko 35
Continue reading →

Hall Of Fame Batting Leaders


Today, former White Sox designated hitter Harold Baines joins long time Yankees closer Mariano Rivera, Orioles and Yankees ace Mike Mussina, Mariners star Edgar Martinez, Blue Jays and Phillies ace Roy Halladay, and well-traveled closer Lee Smith in taking their place in Cooperstown.  With a single new hitter joining the list of Hall of Famers I’ve seen play live, let’s check back in with the new leaders on the offensive side of the ball amongst Hall of Famers for all of the games I’ve attended between 1984 and 2019.

Home Runs

Name Total
Jim Thome 35
Frank Thomas 15
Vladimir Guerrero 6
Ivan Rodriguez 4
Chipper Jones 3

Hits

Name Total
Jim Thome 110
Frank Thomas 54
Ken Griffey Jr 32
Continue reading →

#13 – Aaron Rowand

Name: Aaron Rowand

Rank: 13

Position: CF

Years With White Sox: 2001-2005

Aaron Rowand joined the White Sox organization in 1998, selected in the first round of the draft.  He earned his first call up to the show on June 15, 2001 and made his major league debut the following day, pinch hitting and lining out to end an 8-2 loss to the Cardinals.  He ended the season hitting .293, fourth amongst rookies in the American League.

An off-season dirt bike accident looked to derail Rowand’s 2002 season, but he recovered enough to appear in 126 games, hitting .258 with 7 home runs and taking over as the starting center fielder following the mid-season trade of Kenny Lofton.  Rowand earned a return trip to Triple A in 2003 after hitting .133 in his first 60 games, but after a little more than a month, he returned to the big leagues, hitting .387 the rest of the way and ending the season with a .287 average.

2004 was a breakout year for Rowand.  A full time starter for the first time, Rowand appeared in 140 games, setting career highs with a .310 average and .905 OPS.  He also managed 24 home runs and 24 doubles.  He finished the year with 5.7 WAR, the seventh highest total in the American League.

The good times continued in 2005, for both Rowand and the White Sox.  In 157 games, Rowand hit .270 with 13 home runs.  Defensively, he committed only 3 errors in 394 chances, giving him the seventh highest defensive WAR in the American League.  Rowand went 4 for 10 against the Red Sox in the ALDS, driving in 2 runs and scoring 3 more in the 3 game sweep.  In the ALCS against the Angels, Rowand managed only 3 hits in the 5 game series, all doubles.  He bounced back in the World Series, going 5-17 against the Astros as the White Sox won their first title in 88 years.

Less than a month after the final out of the World Series, Rowand was traded, along with Gio Gonzalez and Daniel Haigwood, to the Phillies for Jim Thome.

Rowand’s numbers in a White Sox uniform, both for games I attended and overall, were:

Continue reading →

2019 Hall Of Fame Ballot – The Newcomers


baseballhof

The BBWAA released their ballot for the Hall of Fame class of 2019 on Monday.  The results of the vote are due to be revealed on January 22nd, with induction taking place next July.  After Chipper Jones, Jim Thome, Vladimir Guerrero, and Trevor Hoffman were elected in last year’s voting, the new ballot contains 15 holdovers along with 20 newcomers, which may continue the logjam caused by the current BBWAA rules which limit the number of votes on one ballot to 10 and the ongoing refusal by some writers to vote for players tainted by PEDs, leaving too many qualified candidates fighting for limited spots.  Once again, the BBWAA and the Hall may find themselves with a mess on their hands.

Yesterday, we looked at the returning candidates.  Today, it’s time to look at the newcomers and who may be thankful come January.

Rick Ankiel

Mad props to the man for putting together a viable major league career as an outfielder after imploding as a pitcher, but he has no shot here.

Jason Bay

I can’t imagine a world where Jason Bay earns a Hall of Fame vote.

Lance Berkman

I never really thought I was watching a Hall of Famer during the 31 games I saw Berkman perform in, but I have a feeling he will get some, but not enough, support.

Freddy Garcia
Jon Garland

These two members of the starting rotation for the 2005 World Series Champions will always hold a special place in my heart, but not in Cooperstown.

Travis Hafner

This has been a weak batch of newly eligible players so far, no?

Roy Halladay

I imagine Halladay would have garnered strong support anyway, but his untimely death last year will likely goose his numbers.

Todd Helton

Helton will get in, but he may need to wait a year or two.

Ted Lilly

I guess we’ll see if Bruce Levine gets to vote in these proceedings based on whether the former Cub gets a vote or not.

Derek Lowe

The former Red Sox hurler may get a little support, but not enough to keep him on the ballot for a second go-around.

Darren Oliver

Yeah, no.

Roy Oswalt
Continue reading →