By The Numbers – 65

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 #65.  8 players have donned #65 while playing in Chicago, 7 for the White Sox and 1 for the Cubs.

Kelly Wunsch donned #65 for his entire White Sox career, starting on Opening Day against the Rangers for the eventual 2000 AL Central champions.  Finishing 5th in AL Rookie of the Year voting, Wunsch appeared in all 3 games of the ALDS against the Mariners, giving up 2 hits and 1 unearned run in one inning pitched.  Injuries marred the rest of his White Sox tenure, with rotator cuff surgery in 2001, continued shoulder soreness in 2002, and a back injury in 2003.  After starting the 2004 season on the disabled list, he ended up spending most of the season in Triple A, appearing in only 3 games for the White Sox, and he became a free agent at year’s end.

Casey Sadler is the only #65 in Cubs history, appearing in 10 games early in the 2020 season with a 5.79 before being claimed by the Mariners off of waivers.

All Time Batting Leaders – Through 2020

Last week, we took our annual look at the all time leaders in pitching stats for the 949 games I’ve attended (and identified) between 1984 and 2020. With the full White Sox roster reporting to camp yesterday despite the ongoing pandemic and full workouts beginning today, 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
Sammy Sosa 42
Aramis Ramirez 41
Derrek Lee 40
Jermaine Dye 40

Hits

Name Total
Paul Konerko 366
Alexei Ramirez 300
Derrek Lee 255
AJ Pierzynski 239
Aramis Ramirez 234

Runs

Name Total
Paul Konerko 200
Derrek Lee 140
Alexei Ramirez 134
Aramis Ramirez 120
A.J. Pierzynski 106

RBI

Name Total
Paul Konerko 235
Aramis Ramirez 158
Alexei Ramirez 140
Derrek Lee 134
Jermaine Dye 108

Doubles Continue reading →

iTunes Top 200 Artists: #140-148

It’s been 4 years since we last counted down the Top 200 artists in my iTunes library.  Since my iTunes stats are still intact, across multiple PCs, iPods, iPads, and iPhones, I figured it was time to take another look at the artists that have entertained me the most based on number of plays from late 2007 through January 1, 2021.

We are a quarter of the way through the countdown and continue today with our next batch of 10 artists, the remaining 3 tied for 148th place, the single artist in 147th, the 4 tied for 143rd, and the first 2 holding down the 140th spot.  For the first time, we have no newcomers making their debut this week.

#148: The Dandy Warhols
iTunes stats: 57 plays
Previous ranking: #105

A big 43 spot drop, thanks to only 14 new listens, for the band responsible for the original Veronica Mars theme song.

#148: Lisa Loeb
iTunes stats: 57 plays
Previous ranking: #185

The first artist to ever hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 without a recording contract, Loeb adds a track and 32 new listens to power her 37 slot jump.

#148: The Doors
iTunes stats: 57 plays
Previous ranking: #164

A 29 play increase for the 3 tracks in my collection from the seminal LA rock group fronted by Jim Morrison.

#147: Alice Cooper
iTunes stats: 58 plays
Previous ranking: #167

The so-called Godfather of Shock Rock rises 20 spots on the chart thanks to 31 additional plays spread across 3 different tracks.

#143: Katy Perry
iTunes stats: 59 plays
Previous ranking: #108

Despite adding 2 new tracks to my collection, although 2 tracks which never made it to my phone, the pop singer suffers a 35 spot drop after adding a mere 17 new listens spread across 3 songs.

#143: Cher
Continue reading →

By The Numbers – 66

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 #66.  11 players have donned #66 while playing in Chicago, 9 for the White Sox and 2 for the Cubs.

Gerry Staley spent parts of 6 seasons with the White Sox, from 1956 until a June 1961 trade sent him to the A’s.  Over that time, he wore 4 different numbers, one of which was #66. His best season was 1959, as he led the league with 67 appearances and 15 saves, earning a single MVP vote as the White Sox won the pennant and went to the World Series for the first time in 40 years.

Rafael Dolis wore #66 in his one appearance for the 2011 Cubs, throwing 1 1/3 scoreless innings.  He switched to #48 for 2012 and 2013, then disappeared from the major leagues before popping back up in 2020 with the Blue Jays.

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 →

By The Numbers – 67

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 #67.  9 players have donned #67 while playing in Chicago, 8 for the White Sox and 1 for the Cubs.

Jim Kern joined the White Sox in a August 1982 trade with the Reds, becoming the first player in Chicago baseball history to wear #67.  He did not pitch particularly well for the South Siders down the stretch, putting up a 5.14 ERA in 13 games.  He was expected back in the bullpen in 1983, but he blew out his elbow in the second game of the season and missed the rest of the year.  When he was released towards the end of spring training in 1984, he accused the team of “destroying my arm and then shucking me off like last year’s shotgun shells.”  GM Roland Hemond claimed it was strictly a business decision, as the team saved nearly $300,000 by releasing Kern.

Tsuyoshi Wada, who appeared in 13 games and went 4-4 for the 2014 Cubs, is the only Cub to ever don #67.  He switched to #18 the following year, appeared in only 8 games, and never played in the big leagues again.

By The Numbers – 68

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 #68.  5 players have donned #71 while playing in Chicago, 6 for the White Sox and 1 for the Cubs.

Jorge Soler was originally signed by the Cubs as an amateur free agent in 2012.  Part of the so-called Core Four, the prospects meant to finally lead the Cubs to post-season glory, Soler made his major league debut on August 27, 2014, going 2 for 4 with a home run and 2 RBIs against the Reds.  He became the primary right fielder in 2015, starting 95 games and putting up a .723 OPS as the Cubs made a surprising run to the NLCS before falling to the Mets.  With Jason Heyward on board in 2016, Soler saw most of his playing time in left field, filling in for the injured Kyle Schwarber.  While he struggled during the regular season, he made the most of his World Series opportunity, hitting .400 against the Indians in his 2 appearances.  After achieving that initial goal of a World Series title, Soler was sent to the Royals for closer Wade Davis.

The pickings are slim on the south side of town for players wearing #68.  Dylan Covey wore it the most, going 6-29 over his 3 seasons with the White Sox after being acquired as a Rule 5 draft choice out of the A’s organization.  He was thankfully let go following the 2019 season.

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.

By The Numbers – 70

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 #70.  3 players have donned #70 while playing in Chicago, all of whom suited up for the White Sox.

Aaron Bummer was selected by the White Sox in the 19th round of the 2014 draft.  He made his major league debut on July 27, 2017, pitching an inning of relief against the crosstown Cubs.  He wore #70 for his entire first year, before switching to his more familiar #39 in 2018.

 

2020: The Year In Travel

In normal times, this is where I would take a look back at all of the different trips I took this past year and look ahead to what, if any. travel plans I already have for 2021.  Unfortunately, 2020 was far from normal times.  So let’s see, in early April, Michael and I went to Boston to see Angelina and the White Sox battle the Red Sox.  Oh wait, that was cancelled due to the corona virus.  Well, in May, I went to California to see the White Sox do battle against the Giants in San Francisco and then the Padres in San Diego.  Oh yeah, that was cancelled too.

As it turned out, I only ended up making one trip during the hell year that was 2020.  Labor Day weekend, I headed up to Holland, Michigan for a week of relaxation.  Other than a couple of trips to the lakes (both Macatawa and Michigan) and a day spent in Saugatuck, I didn’t see much of the sites, as the rona was still very much a concern.

So that was it.  With vaccines starting to become available, there is hope that 2021 will be different, but, at least at the start, we are still pretty much locked down.