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 →

All Time Pitching Leaders – Through 2020

After a shortened season, thanks to the corona virus, that let in no fans and a failed negotiation to push back the start of the 2021 season, White Sox pitchers and catchers hold their first spring workout today with the hopes that things will be different this year.  I guess that means it is time for our annual look at the pitching leaders in the now 949 games I’ve attended, and identified, between 1984 and 2020.  No difference from last year, since I didn’t attend any games last year and only added a 1988 tilt between the White Sox and the then California Angels.  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 →

An Empty Class

All eyes turned towards the small hamlet of Cooperstown, New York last Tuesday, as the votes were tallied and, for the first time since 2013, the 2021 Hall of Fame class was found to have no members.  Curt Schilling led all vote getters with 71.1% of the vote, 3.9% shy of the 75% required for induction.

Three others tallied greater than 50% of the vote, led by Barry Bonds, who saw a slight increase up to 61.8%.  Roger Clemens was right behind him at 61.6% and, with only one more go around each, it seems unlikely that either will make it via the BBWAA.  Scott Rolen saw a big jump, rising to 52.9% and looks like he’s on track to eventually make it.

Omar Vizquel, who was on the upswing and looked to be on a good trajectory, dropped back down under 50% after allegations of spousal abuse popped up last year.

Mark Buehrle scored the highest amongst the newcomers, with 11%.  Torii Hunter and Tim Hudson are the other two newcomers who live to fight another day, surpassing the 5% cutoff.  Of the local contingent, former White Sox outfielder Andruw Jones jumped up to 33.9% while Manny Ramirez finished with the same 28.2% as last year.  Cub outcast Sammy Sosa garnered 17.0%, while his former teammates Aramis Ramirez and LaTroy Hawkins pulled in 1% and 0.5% respectively.  Former White Sox outfielder Nick Swisher got no votes, which seems about right.

Schilling, in an effort to prove that he is the garbage human being that he shows to the world on social media, released a letter after the vote was announced asking to no longer be considered for the Hall.  “I’ll defer to the veterans committee and men whose opinions actually matter and who are in a position to actually judge a player,” he wrote, denigrating the BBWAA and the entire election process.  Personally, I hope they leave him on the ballot and that nobody votes for him.

While there is no class of 2021, there will still be an election ceremony this summer, as the class of 2020, Derek Jeter, Larry Walker, Ted Simmons, and Marvin Miller, get their day in the sun, corona virus willing, on Sunday, July 25.

2021 Hall Of Fame Ballot – The Newcomers


baseballhof

The BBWAA recently released their ballot for the Hall of Fame class of 2021, with the results of the vote due to be revealed on January 26th.  Assuming the corona virus is under control by then, induction would take place July 25th.  With Derek Jeter and Larry Walker getting elected in last year’s voting, the new ballot contains 14 holdovers along with 11 newcomers, which may potentially 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.

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

Mark Buehrle

While he is one of only three pitchers, along with Cy Young and Sandy Koufax, to have a no-hitter, a perfect game, and win a World Series title with the same organization, I don’t see any way he will make it.  Hopefully he will get enough votes to remain on the ballot for another year.

A.J. Burnett

I don’t see him getting much in the way of support.

Michael Cuddyer

I wonder what it feels like to be placed on the ballot knowing that you won’t earn even a single vote.

Dan Haren

I can see him getting a vote or two, but not enough to stick around.

LaTroy Hawkins

I mean, he had a nice career and all, but no.

Tim Hudson

My initial reaction was no, but he was the first one to make me look up his numbers.  His predictive numbers are actually very similar to Buehrle’s, so I’m going to have to say no here as well.  It’ll be interesting to see how their vote totals match up considering how close their predictive scores are.

Torii Hunter

Probably the most interesting case out of the newcomers.  I can see him sticking around for the entire 10 year run, but I don’t see him getting in.

Aramis Ramirez

While a local favorite, I don’t see him getting a lot of support.

Nick Swisher

F this dude and anyone who votes for him.

Shane Victorino

No.

Barry Zito

The start of his career looked promising, but those later Giant years were brutal.

Playoff Pitching Leaders

Well, the White Sox have been pushed off the post-season stage and, thanks to yesterday’s rainout, the Cubs still need to take 2 from the Marlins to avoid the same fate.  It’s time to take our updated look at the pitching leaders from the now 30 post-season games I’ve attended since the White Sox won the AL Central in 2000.

Wins

Name Total
Mark Buehrle 2
Jon Lester 2
Jake Arrieta 2
25 tied with 1

Losses

Name Total
Matt Clement 2
29 tied with 1

ERA (> 6 IP)

Name Total
Aroldis Chapman 0.00
Stephen Strasburg 0.00
Kyle Freeland 0.00
Johnny Cueto 1.13
Chad Billingsley 1.35

Strikeouts

Name Total
Jon Lester 25
Jake Arrieta 22
Mark Buehrle 13
Continue reading →

White Sox All Time Leaders – Through 2019

cws_logoWith baseball now officially on its way back after the corona virus, I thought it would be an interesting time to look back at the all time leaders in both offensive and defensive categories for all 30 teams. We finish things off today with the hometown Chicago White Sox.

I’ve seen the White Sox play 592 times at 13 different stadiums in 9 different cities, including every home playoff appearance in 2000, 2005, and 2008 except for Game 1 of the 2005 World Series.

Home Runs

Name Total
Paul Konerko 93
Jermaine Dye 39
Jose Abreu 36

Hits

Name Total
Paul Konerko 366
Alexei Ramirez 299
A.J. Pierzynski 231

Runs

Name Total
Paul Konerko 200
Alexei Ramirez 133
A.J. Pierzynski 104

RBI

Name Total
Paul Konerko 235
Alexei Ramirez 138
Jermaine Dye 107

Doubles

Name Total
Paul Konerko 57
Alexei Ramirez 49
A.J. Pierzynski 41

Triples Continue reading →

Blue Jays All Time Leaders – Through 2019

jaysnewWith baseball shut down because of the corona virus, I thought it would be an interesting time to look back at the all time leaders in both offensive and defensive categories for all 30 teams. We continue today with the Toronto Blue Jays.

The Blue Jays began life in 1977, joining the American League along with the Mariners. I’ve seen them play 26 times, first in 1984 and, most recently, last May 19.

Home Runs

Name Total
Edwin Encarnacion 2
Josh Donaldson 2
Danny Jansen 2
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. 2

Hits

Name Total
Vernon Wells 16
Edwin Encarnacion 11
Reed Johnson 8
Jose Bautista 8

Runs

Name Total
Vernon Wells 7
Edwin Encarnacion 5
Jose Reyes 4
Aaron Hill 4
Reed Johnson 4
Justin Smoak 4

RBI

Name Total
Jose Bautista 8
Edwin Encarnacion 8
Lyle Overbay 6

Doubles

Name Total
Vernon Wells 6
Jose Bautista 4
Lyle Overbay 3
Adam Lind 3
Justin Smoak 3

Triples Continue reading →

The Opening Day That Wasn’t

Today should have been be my 20th straight Opening Day at Comiskey Park II/US Cellular Field/Guaranteed Rate Field, and my 23rd overall for the White Sox.  The first one was in 1985, a blowout win against the Red Sox at Comiskey Park that introduced rookie shortstop Ozzie Guillen to Chicago.  Other highlights include the 2005 1-0 victory against the Indians, the raising of the championship banner on Sunday Night Baseball in 2006, and Mark Buehrle’s between-the-legs flip in 2010.

The most frequent opponent has been the Tigers, who are also the only team with a winning record on Opening Day in games I’ve attended.  The other AL Central foes have each appeared at least 3 times.

 

White Sox Home Opener Team Records
Team Name Won Loss Winning Pctg
Chicago White Sox 15 7 0.682
Detroit Tigers 4 2 0.667
Cleveland Indians 2 3 0.400
Minnesota Twins 1 2 0.333
Kansas City Royals 0 3 0.000
Boston Red Sox 0 1 0.000
Tampa Bay Rays 0 1 0.000
Texas Rangers 0 1 0.000
Baltimore Orioles 0 1 0.000
Seattle Mariners 0 1 0.000

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.

All Time Pitching Leaders – Through 2019

baseballs3White Sox pitchers and catchers hold their first spring workout today, so it is time for our annual look at the pitching leaders in the now 948 games I’ve attended, and identified, between 1984 and 2019. Very little difference from last year with no new faces, but a few categories have some movement on the leader board. 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 →