By The Numbers – 8

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 #8.  82 different players have donned #8 while playing in Chicago, 40 for the White Sox and 42 for the Cubs.

Vincent Edward “Bo” Jackson joined the White Sox as a free agent on April 3, 1991 after being released by the Royals following a catastrophic hip injury suffered in January during the NFL playoffs as a member of the Raiders.  “In making the business decision,” owner Jerry Reinsdorf said at the time, “I assume he will not play this year. If he does, it will be a big bonus.”  Jackson did spend most of 1991 on the disabled list, rehabbing the injury, but did eventually manage to make his way back to the field.  He appeared in 23 games, hitting only .225 with 3 home runs.

Diagnosed with avascular necrosis of the hip joint and having lost all of the cartilage supporting his hip, Jackson decided to undergo a hip replacement surgery, keeping him on the shelf for the entire 1992 season.  While rehabbing, Jackson promised his mother he would return to the major leagues and hit a home run for her.  Unfortunately, Jackson’s mother died before he could return, but, in his first at bat of the 1993 season, and his first with an artificial hip, he hit a home run to right field against the Yankees at Comiskey Park.  On September 27, Jackson belted a three-run home run off of the Mariners to help the White Sox clinch their first AL West Division title in a decade.  Jackson ended up appearing in 85 games for the White Sox, hitting .232 and hitting 16 home runs while driving in 45.  He appeared in 3 of the 6 ALCS games against the Blue Jays, going hitless in 10 at bats.  Following the season, he became a free agent, ending his White Sox playing career.  In 2014, he returned to the organization as an ambassador, a role he continues to play today.

A free agent following the 1986 season, Andre Dawson was looking for a new home with natural grass that would be easier on his injured knees.  With MLB owners colluding against the players by agreeing not to sign free agents, Dawson found himself without takers.  When the Cubs opened their spring training camp that spring, Dawson and his agent, Dick Moss, arrived with a signed blank contract in an attempt to get a job.  GM Dallas Green derided the stunt as a “dog and pony show,” but, after reviewing the contract, Green and Moss reached an agreement on a lowball salary of $500,000, the second-lowest salary amongst the team’s starters.  The Cubs easily got their money’s worth, as Dawson became the Cubs’ starting right fielder, and hit a major league leading 49 home runs and was named NL MVP, despite the Cubs finishing in last place.

Dawson played five more seasons with the Cubs and was one of the franchise’s most popular players during that time.  His worst individual season came in 1989, when the Cubs won the NL East title.  During the NLCS, Dawson slumped terribly, hitting .105 as the Giants beat the Cubs 4 games to 1.  Dawson’s .507 career slugging percentage with the Cubs is fourth highest in team history.

Throwback Thursday – Team Records Of The 2000s

It’s time for another trip in the wayback machine, as this week we move our focus to the start of the 21st century and see what my view of the baseball world looked like in the 2000s.  This was my first decade as a season ticket holder, starting in 2002 for the Cubs and 2005 for the White Sox.

I attended 518 contests during the 2000s, starting with my first trip to Cincinnati in April of 2000 and finishing with Daniel Hudson’s first major league victory in September of 2009.  I attended games at 13 stadiums from coast to coast and saw my first post-season action, with an ALDS in 2000, an NLCS in 2003, and a World Series game in 2005.

2021 Team Records
Team Name Won Loss Winning Pctg
Arizona Diamondbacks 11 1 0.917
Philadelphia Phillies 10 4 0.714
Toronto Blue Jays 6 3 0.667
Florida Marlins 12 7 0.632
Tampa Bay Rays 3 2 0.600
Texas Rangers 8 6 0.571
Los Angeles Dodgers 8 6 0.571
Chicago White Sox 130 107 0.549
Chicago Cubs 172 147 0.539
Baltimore Orioles 9 8 0.529
Cleveland Indians 10 9 0.526
Los Angeles Angels 10 9 0.526
Boston Red Sox 9 9 0.500
Colorado Rockies 6 6 0.500
Seattle Mariners 5 5 0.500
Anaheim Angels 1 1 0.500
Houston Astros Continue reading →

Throwback Thursday – Team Records Of The 1990s

Last week, we took a trip in the wayback machine to see all of the games that I attended during the 1980s.  This week, we turn our attention to the 1990s to see what my view of the baseball world looked like.

I’ve been able to identify 32 games I attended during the 90s, starting with a late April outing during the final season at Comiskey Park in 1990 through a September 2000 game at Wrigley Field, including my first visits to stadiums outside of Chicago starting with a July 1993 visit to County Stadium in Milwaukee.  All told, I saw games at eight different ballparks throughout the decade.

1990s Team Records
Team Name Won Loss Winning Pctg
Houston Astros 1 0 1.000
California Angels 1 0 1.000
Cincinnati Reds 1 0 1.000
Arizona Diamondbacks 1 0 1.000
Florida Marlins 1 0 1.000
New York Yankees 1 0 1.000
San Francisco Giants 1 0 1.000
Detroit Tigers 3 1 0.750
Oakland Athletics 2 1 0.667
Chicago White Sox 12 10 0.545
Chicago Cubs 6 5 0.545
Kansas City Royals Continue reading →

Throwback Thursday – Team Records Of The 1980s

With the 2022 season well underway, I thought it would be interesting to take a trip in the wayback machine and see what my view of the baseball world looked like in the long-ago period known as the 1980’s.

I’ve been able to identify 14 games I attended during the 80’s, starting with Luis Aparicio’s number retirement in 1984 through a September 1988 game at Wrigley Field, which turned out to be the second official night game.  There are more games that I remember something about attending, voting for the new White Sox uniform designs in 1981, Carlton Fisk bat day some point in the early 80s, getting a Cubs calendar in 1986,  and winning tickets from WGN radio for a game, but I haven’t been able to track down specifics about them as of yet.

1980s Team Records
Team Name Won Loss Winning Pctg
Toronto Blue Jays 1 0 1.000
San Diego Padres 1 0 1.000
Cleveland Indians 1 0 1.000
California Angels 1 0 1.000
Texas Rangers 1 1 0.500
Seattle Mariners 1 1 0.500
New York Mets 1 1 0.500
Baltimore Orioles 1 1 0.500
Chicago White Sox 5 6 0.455
Chicago Cubs 1 2 0.333
Kansas City Royals 0 1 0.000
Boston Red Sox 0 1 0.000

All Time Team Records

After a long lockout and an abbreviated spring training, the 2022 baseball season finally gets underway today, so, to celebrate, 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.  Last year, I tied 2004 for my 5th highest game total of all time and managed to see 25 out of the 30 teams, so there should be some nice changes.  Thanks to a name change, the all-time record of the Cleveland Indians become static moving forward, forever stuck at 4 games over .500.

The White Sox look to once again lead an improving AL Central and move past the ALDS in the post-season, while the Cubs are neither contending nor rebuilding.  The 2022 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 14 2 0.875
Florida Marlins 15 8 0.652
Colorado Rockies 10 6 0.625
New York Yankees 17 11 0.607
Boston Red Sox 19 13 0.594
Los Angeles Angels 20 14 0.588
Toronto Blue Jays 15 11 0.577
Philadelphia Phillies 11 9 0.550
Washington Nationals 7 6 0.538
Cleveland Indians 31 27 0.534
Chicago White Sox 335 307 0.522
Chicago Cubs 224 206 0.521
Houston Astros 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 →

A Disastrous Outcome

For the first time since 1995, a work stoppage will wipe the scheduled Opening Day off the schedule for Major League Baseball.  Weeks after saying that missed regular season games would be “a disastrous outcome.” Commissioner Rob Manfred, with a telling smile on his face, announced he was cancelling the first two series of the regular season after the MLBPA (rightfully) turned down the so-called final offer from the owners yesterday afternoon.  With talks breaking down, the earliest the two sides will get back together is tomorrow.

Locally, both teams would lose two series against Central division foes.  The White Sox would miss out on the opening series against the Twins at Guaranteed Rate Field and a trip to Kansas City to face the Royals.  The Cubs would avoid opening the season at Great American Ballpark against the Reds and their home opening series versus the Cardinals at Wrigley Field.  Of course, there has been no mention yet of refunds for fans who bought tickets to those cancelled games.

Who knows what will happen at this point.  The owners won’t see any real financial pressure to start the season until late April, when they will have to start returning money to their television partners for missed games.  As we saw in 2020, when the pandemic shut down the sport for months on end, there are plenty of owners who would prefer to play the fewest number of games they can get away with and still make all of their money.  Of course, they could just lift the lockout and continue negotiating while the season played out, but that is only something mature adults might do.

2021 Final Standings

The 2021 season, at least the portion which would see me attending games, has come to an end after the White Sox lost to the Astros in the ALDS 3-1.  After a year without in-person baseball thanks to the corona virus, I ended up attending the most games I’ve seen since 2009 and my 5th highest total of all time.  I also managed to travel to four different stadiums, bringing my total up to 27.  All told, I managed to see 25 of the 30 teams a year after seeing none.

2021 Team Records
Team Name Won Loss Winning Pctg
Tampa Bay Rays 3 0 1.000
New York Yankees 2 0 1.000
Arizona Diamondbacks 1 0 1.000
Washington Nationals 1 0 1.000
Philadelphia Phillies 1 0 1.000
Los Angeles Angels 1 0 1.000
San Francisco Giants 1 0 1.000
Boston Red Sox 1 0 1.000
Seattle Mariners 2 1 0.667
Chicago White Sox 29 20 0.592
Cleveland Indians 3 3 0.500
Kansas City Royals Continue reading →

2 To Go

After jumping out to an early 3-0 lead, the White Sox saw their defense and their bats go cold as they dropped their game against the Tigers 4-3.  Thankfully, though, the Royals swept a double header in Cleveland, winning by scores of 7-2 and 4-2, which lowers the magic number to 2.  The White Sox can clinch the division tomorrow with a victory combined with a Cleveland loss, but weather may get in the way of both of those games.

Whittling It Down To 4

After a disappointing loss last night, the White Sox rebounded this afternoon, defeating the Rangers 7-2 to take the series and lower their magic number to 4.  Cleveland, on the other hand, brought it to the Yankees, chasing Gerrit Cole early en route to an 11-1 victory over the Yankees, which, to be honest, I’m ok with.

The White Sox head to Detroit to start a 3 game series against the Tigers tomorrow night, while Cleveland battles the Royals in a double header, meaning it is possible for the White Sox to clinch as early as Tuesday.