Throwback Thursday – Batting Leaders Of The 2000s

Our Throwback Thursday feature continues, as we point the wayback machine back to the turn of the 21st century and put our focus on the offensive leaders of the decade of the 2000s.  As a reminder, I’ve identified 518 games that I attended during this time period, when I would have been ages 25 through 34.

Home Runs

Name Total
Paul Konerko 57
Jermaine Dye 39
Aramis Ramirez 38
Derrek Lee 38
Jim Thome 35
Sammy Sosa 35

Hits

Name Total
Derrek Lee 234
Aramis Ramirez 215
Paul Konerko 211
Jermaine Dye 168
A.J. Pierzynski 154

Runs

Name Total
Derrek Lee 131
Paul Konerko 129
Aramis Ramirez 110
Jermaine Dye 103
Sammy Sosa 90

RBI

Name Total
Aramis Ramirez 143
Paul Konerko 141
Derrek Lee Continue reading →

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 →

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.

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 Batting Leaders – Through 2021

Earlier this week, we took our annual look at the all-time leaders in pitching stats for the 1007 games I’ve attended (and identified) between 1984 and 2021.  With spring training games finally starting after the resolution of the long lockout, it’s time to move over to the other side of the ball and take a look at the offensive stat leaders for those games, starting with our first category:

Home Runs

Name Total
Paul Konerko 93
Jose Abreu 45
Sammy Sosa 42
Aramis Ramirez 41
Derrek Lee 40
Jermaine Dye 40

Hits

Name Total
Paul Konerko 366
Alexei Ramirez 300
Derrek Lee 255
Jose Abreu 242
A.J. Pierzynski 239

Runs

Name Total
Paul Konerko 200
Derrek Lee 140
Alexei Ramirez 134
Aramis Ramirez 120
Jose Abreu 116

RBI

Name Total
Paul Konerko 235
Aramis Ramirez 158
Jose Abreu 144
Alexei Ramirez 140
Derrek Lee 134

Doubles Continue reading →

Against The Royals All Time Leaders – Through 2021

royalsIn 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 Kansas City Royals.

The Royals began life in 1969, joining the American League following the abandonment of the Kansas City market by the A’s following the 1967 season.  I’ve seen them play 61 times, first in 1985 at old Comiskey Park where Willie Wilson took a throw to second base off the noggin, and most recently last May, where I saw them in a 4 game series at Guaranteed Rate Field.

Home Runs

Name Total
Paul Konerko 8
Jose Abreu 6
Carlos Quentin 6

Hits

Name Total
Paul Konerko 30
Jose Abreu 29
Alexei Ramirez 28

Runs

Name Total
Paul Konerko 18
Tim Anderson 13
Jose Abreu 12
Alexei Ramirez 12

RBI

Name Total
Paul Konerko 19
Carlos Quentin 17
Jose Abreu 15

Doubles

Name Total
Paul Konerko 5
Tim Anderson 5
Adam Eaton 4
Leury Garcia 4
Melky Cabrera 4

Triples 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 Rays All Time Leaders – Through 2021

414_tampa_bay-rays-miscellaneous-2012In 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 Tampa Bay Rays.

The Rays began life in 1998 as the Devil Rays, dropping the Devil portion of their name in 2008.  I’ve seen them play 25 times, 5 as the Devil Rays and 20 as the Rays, including the 2008 ALDS, where they defeated the White Sox.

Home Runs

Name Total
Paul Konerko 4
Jermaine Dye 4
Tim Anderson 2
Jose Abreu 2

Hits

Name Total
Paul Konerko 19
A.J. Pierzynski 13
Alexei Ramirez 13

Runs

Name Total
Paul Konerko 11
Jermaine Dye 7
Alex Rios 6

RBI

Name Total
Paul Konerko 9
Jermaine Dye 8
Tim Anderson 6
Jose Abreu 6

Doubles

Name Total
Tim Anderson 3
A.J. Pierzynski 3
Alex Rios 3
Gordon Beckham 3

Triples Continue reading →