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 →

Crosstown Batting Leaders Revisited

cws-chiThe first round of the 2019 Crosstown Cup kicks off today at Wrigley Field, with the Cubs looking to take home the cup for the third straight year and the fourth time overall since its introduction in 2010.  Let’s take a look at the offensive leaders for the 71 (out of 118) crosstown games I have attended since the start of interleague play in 1997:

Home Runs

Name Total
Paul Konerko 15
Carlos Lee 9
Aramis Ramirez 8
Sammy Sosa 8
Jermaine Dye 7

Hits

Name Total
Paul Konerko 50
Carlos Lee 41
Sammy Sosa 29
Derrek Lee 28
Magglio Ordonez 26

Runs

Name Total
Paul Konerko 26
Magglio Ordonez 19
Continue reading →

#44 – Sandy Alomar

Name: Sandy Alomar Jr.

Rank: 44

Position: C

Years With White Sox: 2001-2002, 2003-2004, 2006

Sandy Alomar Jr., son of former White Sox second baseman Sandy Alomar, signed with the team as a free agent on December 18, 2000.  Alomar, brought in to replace the departed Charles Johnson, split time behind the plate with Mark Johnson as the White Sox looked to defend their Central Division title from the year before.  Alomar appeared in 70 games, hitting .245 with a team low .634 OPS.

Johnson saw more playing time in 2002, as Alomar moved into more of a backup/mentor role.  Appearing in 51 games, Alomar improved his average to .287 and his OPS jumped to .794.  As the trade deadline approached and the White Sox destined to finish in the middle of the pack, Alomar was traded to the Rockies for a middling prospect who never developed.  Following the season, however, he re-signed with the White Sox as a free agent.

With Johnson traded in the offseason, rookie Miguel Olivo became the starting catcher in 2003, with Alomar back in the backup/mentor role.  Appearing in 75 games and garnering 194 at bats, Alomar hit .268 with an OPS of .689.

Alomar returned in 2004 and was one of 4 catchers to appear in at least 45 games for the White Sox.  He got 146 at bats and hit .240 with an OPS of .606.  Following the season, he left as a free agent.

Near the trade deadline in 2006, as the White Sox looked to bolster their roster to defend their World Series championship, Alomar was re-acquired for a third time, via trade from the Dodgers for a middling prospect.  Alomar appeared in 19 games for the White Sox, hitting .217 in 46 at bats, as the team fell short of the playoffs despite posting 90 wins.  Following the season, Alomar became a free agent, leaving the team for good.

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

Continue reading →

#80 – Miguel Olivo

olivoName: Miguel Olivo

Rank: 80

Position: C

Years With White Sox: 2002-2004

Miguel Olivo was acquired by the White Sox as the player to be named later in the deal that sent Chad Bradford to the A’s in December of 2000.  He made his major league debut on September 15, 2002, hitting a home run in his first at bat against Andy Pettite in the Yankees 8-4 victory.  He appeared in 5 additional games that month, finishing with a .211 average.

Olivo broke camp with the White Sox in 2003, splitting time behind the plate with Sandy Alomar Jr.  He upped his average to .237 with 6 home runs but only 27 RBIs.  Things were starting to look up in 2004, as Olivo raised his average to .270 and an OPS of .812 in 46 games, before the June 27th trade that sent him, along with Mike Morse and Jeremy Reed, to the Mariners for Ben Davis and Freddy Garcia.

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

Continue reading →

#111 – Josh Paul

jpaul

Name: Josh Paul

Rank: 111

Position: C

Years With White Sox: 1999-2003

Evanston native Josh Paul was the second round draft pick of the White Sox in 1996.  He earned a September call-up in 1999, making his major league debut on September 7 in the White Sox 14-1 loss to the Angels.

Paul broke camp in 2000 with the White Sox, starting the season as their back-up catcher.  When Paul struggled to hit in May, he was sent back down to the minor leagues.  He returned to the White Sox in September and did well enough to earn a spot on the post-season roster.  He appeared in one game in the White Sox loss to the Mariners in the ALDS.

In 2001, Paul again started the year as the backup catcher.  He again ended up splitting the year between Chicago and Charlotte, finishing the year with a .266 average and a career high 3 home runs and 18 RBIs.  Paul began 2002 back in Charlotte, but eventually found his way back to Chicago, hitting .240 in 33 games.

Paul saw some success in 2003, though in very limited playing time, but got caught up in a numbers game behind veteran Sandy Alomar Jr. and rookie Miguel Olivo.  On June 25, he was released, ending his White Sox career.

Paul’s greatest contribution to the White Sox came in 2005, when he was a member of the Angels.  He was behind the plate in the 9th inning of game 2 of the ALCS when A.J. Pierzynski struck out and “stole” first base after Paul rolled the ball back to the mound.  Home plate umpire Doug Eddings ruled that the pitch hit the ground and, since he wasn’t tagged out, Pierzynski was entitled to first base.  A pinch runner, a stolen base, and a double later, the White Sox tied up the series at one game a piece and went on to win their next 7, leading to their first World Series title since 1917.

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

Continue reading →

Crosstown Batting Leaders

cws-chiLast weekend, the 2015 Crosstown Cup wrapped up, with the White Sox taking home the cup for the second straight year and the fifth time since the cup was introduced six years ago.  Now that the dust has settled, let’s take a look at the offensive leaders for the 63 crosstown games I have attended since the start of interleague play in 1997:

Home Runs

Name Total
Paul Konerko 15
Carlos Lee 9
Aramis Ramirez 8
Sammy Sosa 8
Jermaine Dye 7

Hits

Name Total
Paul Konerko 50
Carlos Lee 41
Sammy Sosa 29
Derrek Lee 28
Magglio Ordonez 26

Runs

Name Total
Paul Konerko 26
Magglio Ordonez 19
Continue reading →

#168 – Mark Johnson

mjohnson

Name: Mark Johnson

Rank: 168

Position: C

Years With White Sox: 1998-2002

Mark Johnson joined the White Sox organization as their first round pick in the 1994 draft.  4 years later, he made his major league debut on September 14, 1998, going 0-1 as a late inning replacement in the White Sox 17-16 victory over the Tigers.  He managed to get into 6 additional games in September, struggling with an .087 average in 23 at bats.

1999 saw Johnson making the team as the backup catcher.  His average “jumped” to .227, but he had a respectable OBP of .344.  Johnson split time behind the plate in 2000, along with Brook Fordyce.  He was behind the plate on April 23, when a brawl broke out between the White Sox and the Tigers, and managed to avoid suspension.  He was relegated back to backup duty in late July, when Charles Johnson was acquired from the Orioles for the stretch run.

When Sandy Alomar signed on as a free agent for the 2001 season, Johnson saw himself shuttling between Triple A and the major leagues.  He still managed to put together his best season as a pro, setting career highs with a .249 average and 5 home runs.  He also managed to finish 4th in the American League with 10 sacrifice hits.

He was given another opportunity to start in 2002, as he set career highs in games played and in at bats.  Unfortunately, his production fell off again, with his average dropping back down to .209 and his OBP dropping below .300 for the first time in his career.  Following the season, he was packaged, along with Keith Foulke and Joe Valentine, in a deal with the A’s that brought Billy Koch and Neal Cotts to the White Sox.

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

Continue reading →

#249 – Chris Widger

Chris_Widger

Name: Chris Widger

Rank: 249

Position: C

Years With White Sox: 2005-2006

Chris Widger joined the White Sox as a minor league free agent prior to the 2005 season and managed to beat out Ben Davis for the backup catcher spot during spring training.  He appeared in 45 games for the eventual World Series champions, batting .241.  Widger made one appearance during the post season thanks to the 14 inning victory over the Astros in game 3 of the World Series.

Widger returned in 2006, but his production fell off.  He only appeared in 27 games, hitting .184.  White Sox pitchers had a 5.36 ERA with him behind the plate and he was in the midst of an 0-for-24 slump when, on July 23, he was designated for assignment after the acquisition of Sandy Alomar Jr.  12 days later, he was released and his White Sox career came to an end.

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

Continue reading →

Hall Of Fame Ballot Newcomers

24 newcomers, who played their last major league game in 2007, are on this year’s ballot for the Baseball Hall of Fame.  Balloting started yesterday and runs through December 31st, with the results announced on January 9th, 2013.  Here’s my quick read on the chances of these first timers.

Sandy Alomar Jr.

The former White Sox backstop had a very good career and will likely get enough support to stick around on the ballot, but he will not be joining his brother in the Hall.

Craig Biggio

The career Astro might have to wait a few years, but he will eventually be enshrined.

Barry Bonds

And this is where things get interesting.  Bonds was a surefire first ballot Hall of Famer when, by all accounts, he got jealous of the amount of attention being heaped on Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire.  Barry responded by ingesting enough steroids to make his head grow three sizes, and because of that he is likely to spend the next few years, if not forever, on the outside looking in.

Jeff Cirillo

Royce Clayton

Likely to become the newest members of the zero vote club.

Roger Clemens

Clemens initially retired following the 2003 season, and had he stayed retired, he would have been easily elected on the first ballot.  Unfortunately for him, he unretired, came back with the Astros, and got himself entangled in the whole steroids scandal and a lawsuit with his former trainer.  Like Bonds, he is likely to be held up as an example.

Continue reading →

Who’s Next?

2004 – 2011

Rumored for nearly 2 years, the Ozzie Guillen era for the White Sox came to an end last week, as Guillen was released from his contract and allowed to take his talents to South Beach.  Guillen wrapped up his tenure as the third winningest manager in team history, in terms of victories, and the only manager to lead the team to multiple post-season appearances.  That said. his act had started to grow stale and it became apparent that a change was needed in the clubhouse, something to shake up the underachieving bunch that has been run out for the past two years.  So, as Guillen prepares to lead the re-christened Miami Marlins into their new stadium next season, who will take his place on the end of the White Sox bench?