Throwback Thursday – Pitching Leaders Of The 2000s

Our Throwback Thursday feature concludes, as we take one final trip in the wayback machine, going back to the 2000s, finally putting our focus on the defensive leaders of that decade.  As a reminder, I’ve identified 518 games that I attended during this time period, when I would have been ages 25 through 34.

Wins

Name Total
Mark Buehrle 26
Carlos Zambrano 20
Matt Clement 13
Mark Prior 12
Javier Vazquez 11
Gavin Floyd 11

Losses

Name Total
Mark Buehrle 15
Carlos Zambrano 14
Jon Garland 13
Matt Clement 12
Kerry Wood 12
Greg Maddux 12

ERA (> 10 IP)

Name Total
Luther Hackman 0.00
Jered Weaver 0.46
Jason Schmidt 0.56
Jorge De La Rosa 0.79
Elmer Dessens 0.82

ERA (> 25 IP)

Name Total
D.J. Carrasco 2.25
Matt Thornton 2.30
Dontrelle Willis 2.38
Carlos Marmol 2.49
Randy Wells 2.65

Strikeouts

Name Total
Carlos Zambrano 281
Mark Buehrle 251
Kerry Wood 217
Continue reading →

By The Numbers – 10

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 #10.  65 different players have donned #16 while playing in Chicago, 26 for the White Sox and 22 for the Cubs, who retired the number in 2003.

Alexei Ramirez signed with the White Sox on December 21, 2007 after defecting from Cuba.  He made his major league debut the following March 31, wearing #10 while going 0-4 against the Indians while playing center field.  When Juan Uribe went down with an injury in May, Ramirez settled in at second base.  On September 19, Ramirez hit his 3rd grand slam of the year, tying the major league rookie record.  10 days later, he grabbed the record for himself, hitting his 4th slam against Gary Glover to push the White Sox to an 8-2 victory and the tiebreaking game 163.  He finished the regular season with .290 average and a career high 21 home runs.  During the ALDS, he hit .250 in the 4 game series against the Rays, with 2 RBI.  Once the season came to an end, Ramirez placed second in Rookie of the Year voting, behind Evan Longoria.

With Orlando Cabrera gone, Ramirez shifted over to shortstop for the 2009 season.  On July 23, he fielded the final out in Mark Buehrle’s perfect game.  He ended the year with a .277 average, 15 home runs, and 68 RBI.  2010 saw Ramirez earn his first Silver Slugger award, thanks to 18 home runs, 70 RBI, and a .282 average.  In 2011, his average dropped somewhat, but he remained consistent, hitting .269 with 15 home runs and 70 RBI.  Ramirez saw his power numbers slip in 2012, dropping to 9 home runs, but the rest of his game remained consistent with a .265 average and 73 RBIs, though he did set a new career high with 20 stolen bases.  His power fell off even further in 2013, finishing with only 6 home runs and 48 RBI, but he logged his highest average, .284, since his rookie year.  He also set a new career high with 30 stolen bases.

2014 may have been the finest season of his career.  On May 5, he notched his 1000th career hit, off Justin Grimm and the Cubs.  In July, he earned his first All Star selection and, after the season, his second Silver Slugger award.  He finished with a .273 average, 15 home runs, and 74 RBIs.  Ramirez struggled for much of the first half in 2015.  He rebounded in the second half, but still finished the year with the lowest batting average, .249, and OPS, .642, of his career.  Following the season, the White Sox declined his option for 2016, making him a free agent.

Ron Santo spent 14 of his 15 big league seasons with the Cubs, switching to #10 during his rookie season of 1960.  He earned 9 All Star game appearances and 5 Gold Gloves and followed his playing career with a long broadcasting stint with the team.   The Cubs retired number 10 in his honor in 2003 and he was posthumously elected to the Hall of Fame in 2012.

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.

The Heroes Of Opening Day

This week I attended my 21st consecutive (except for the pandemic year of 2020 that had no fans) Opening Day at Comiskey Park II/US Cellular Field/Guaranteed Rate Field, and my 38th overall.  From my first, at old Comiskey Park in 1985, to my first as a Cubs season ticket holder at Wrigley Field in 2002, to road trips to Shea Stadium, in 2003, and Great American Ballpark, in 2004 and 2006, Opening Day remains a spring holiday proclaiming the theoretical beginning of summer.  This seemed like a good time to see who the best performers were on both sides of the ball from those 38 contests.

Home Runs

Name Total
Corey Patterson 3
Paul Konerko 3
Alejandro de Aza 2
Ray Durham 2
Jose Valentin 2
Joe Crede 2
Jim Thome 2

Hits

Name Total
Paul Konerko 15
Jermaine Dye 9
Aramis Ramirez 8
Victor Martinez 8
Mark Grudzielanek 8

Runs

Name Total
Paul Konerko 7
Derrek Lee 7
Alex Gonzalez 6
Joe Crede 6

RBI

Name Total
Paul Konerko 10
Corey Patterson 8
Moises Alou 8

Doubles

Name Total
Michael Barrett 4
Paul Konerko 3
Moises Alou 3
Jose Valentin 3
Victor Marinez 3
Alex Rios 3
Jose Abreu 3
Miguel Olivo 3
Jeromy Burnitz 3
Carlos Lee 3

Triples Continue reading →

Against The Cubs All Time Leaders – Through 2021

chc_logoIn the past, we’ve looked at the all time leaders in both offensive and defensive categories for all 30 teams. This offseason, we will take our first ever look at those leaders against all 30 clubs.  We continue today with the Chicago Cubs.

I’ve seen the Cubs play 430 times at 9 different stadiums in 7 different cities, including 21 post-season appearances from the 2003 run through the 2018 Wild Card loss to the Rockies.

Home Runs

Name Total
Carlos Lee 15
Paul Konerko 15
Adam Dunn 11

Hits

Name Total
Carlos Lee 59
Paul Konerko 50
Jose Abreu 32

Runs

Name Total
Carlos Lee 59
Paul Konerko 50
Jose Abreu 32

RBI

Name Total
Carlos Lee 39
Paul Konerko 33
Adam Dunn 25

Doubles

Name Total
Carlos Lee 12
Paul Konerko 9
Prince Fielder 9

Triples Continue reading →

Against The Indians All Time Leaders – Through 2021

In the past, we’ve looked at the all time leaders in both offensive and defensive categories for all 30 teams. This offseason, we will take our first ever look at those leaders against all 30 clubs.  We continue today with the former Cleveland Indians.

The Indians, then known as the Bluebirds, were one of the charter members of the American League in 1901.  After a few name changes, they settled on the Indians name in 1915 before finally deciding to change again, becoming the Guardians starting this upcoming season.  I’ve seen them play 58 times, including games 4 and 5 of the 2016 World Series at Wrigley Field and 2 games against the White Sox in their home stadium in September of 2019.

Home Runs

Name Total
Paul Konerko 12
Jim Thome 4
Adam Eaton 3
Alex Rios 3
Alexei Ramirez 3
Seby Zavala 3
Jose Abreu 3

Hits

Name Total
Paul Konerko 38
A.J. Pierzynski 27
Alexei Ramirez 26

Runs

Name Total
Paul Konerko 23
Alejandro de Aza 13
Gordon Beckham 13

RBI

Name Total
Paul Konerko 28
Alexei Ramirez 13
Alex Rios 10
Jim Thome 10

Doubles

Name Total
Paul Konerko 7
A.J. Pierzynski 6
Tim Anderson 4
Alejandro de Aza 4
Gordon Beckham 4

Triples Continue reading →

All Time Pitching Leaders – Through 2021

With the lockout finally over, today is the mandatory reporting date for spring training as teams across Florida and Arizona finally hold their first spring workouts as they prepare for a postponed 2022 season.  I guess that means it is time for our annual look at the pitching leaders in the now 1007 games I’ve attended, and identified, between 1984 and 2021.  A big difference from last year, as I passed the 1000 game plateau in late August thanks to a crosstown matchup between the Cubs and the White Sox.  So, without further ado, let’s get things started with our first category, the always popular:

Wins

Name Total
Mark Buehrle 31
Gavin Floyd 24
Carlos Zambrano 21
Chris Sale 21
John Danks 19

Losses

Name Total
Mark Buehrle 17
Jose Quintana 17
John Danks 16
Carlos Zambrano 15
Gavin Floyd 15

ERA (>= 35 IP)

Name Total
David Robertson 2.17
DJ Carrasco 2.20
Nate Jones Continue reading →

Against The Tigers All Time Leaders – Through 2021

tigersIn the past, we’ve looked at the all time leaders in both offensive and defensive categories for all 30 teams. This offseason, we will take our first ever look at those leaders against all 30 clubs. We continue today with the Detroit Tigers.

The Tigers began life in 1894 as part of the Western League and became a charter franchise of the American League in 1901, making them the oldest one city, one name franchise in the American League.  I’ve seen them play 57 times, including the second game ever, and my first game, at the new Comiskey Park.

Home Runs

Name Total
Paul Konerko 4
Dayan Viciedo 3
Alexei Ramirez 3
Matt Davidson 3

Hits

Name Total
Alexei Ramirez 23
Paul Konerko 22
Jose Abreu 21

Runs

Name Total
Paul Konerko 12
Avisail Garcia 12
Alexei Ramirez 11
Yolmer Sanchez 11

RBI

Name Total
Paul Konerko 17
Yolmer Sanchez 12
Alexei Ramirez 11

Doubles

Name Total
Paul Konerko 7
Jose Abreu 6
Tim Anderson 5

Triples Continue reading →

Against The Twins All Time Leaders – Through 2021

Minnesota-TwinsIn the past, we’ve looked at the all time leaders in both offensive and defensive categories for all 30 teams.  This offseason, we will take our first ever look at those leaders against all 30 clubs.  We continue things today with the Minnesota Twins.

The Twins originated in 1901 as the Washington Senators, one of the charter members of the American League.  When Minneapolis was given an expansion team to begin play in 1961, owner Calvin Griffith requested to move the Senators to Minnesota, becoming the Twins, and to have the expansion franchise take over the Senators name in Washington.  I’ve seen them play 64 times at 3 different stadiums, including the division-title deciding game 163 in 2008 at US Cellular Field.

Home Runs

Name Total
Joe Crede 8
Alexei Ramirez 7
Paul Konerko 7

Hits

Name Total
Alexei Ramirez 40
Paul Konerko 39
Jose Abreu 29

Runs

Name Total
Alexei Ramirez 19
Paul Konerko 19
Jose Abreu 18

RBI

Name Total
Alexei Ramirez 21
Joe Crede 21
Paul Konerko 20

Doubles

Name Total
Alexei Ramirez 6
A.J. Pierzynski 6
Paul Konerko 5
Adam Eaton 5

Triples Continue reading →

Against The Red Sox All Time Leaders – Through 2021

redsoxIn the past, we’ve looked at the all time leaders in both offensive and defensive categories for all 30 teams. This offseason, we will take our first ever look at those leaders against all 30 clubs. We continue things today with the Boston Red Sox.

I’ve seen the Red Sox play 32 times at 4 different stadiums, first in the White Sox home opener in 1985, through the 2005 ALDS, and, most recently, this past September.  The game total would have been 2 higher, if the corona virus hadn’t put the kibosh on my April 2000 weekend trip to Fenway Park.

Home Runs

Name Total
Paul Konerko 5
Jermaine Dye 5
Tadahito Iguchi 3
Jim Thome 3
Carlos Quentin 3
A.J. Pierzynski 3

Hits

Name Total
Paul Konerko 18
Scott Podsednik 18
A.J. Pierzynski 13

Runs

Name Total
Paul Konerko 10
Scott Podsednik 7
A.J. Pierzynski 7
Jermaine Dye 7

RBI

Name Total
Paul Konerko 15
A.J. Pierzynski 9
Jermaine Dye 9

Doubles

Name Total
Paul Konerko 4
Jermaine Dye 4
Luis Robert 3

Triples Continue reading →