By The Numbers – 51

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 #51.  44 different players have donned #51 while playing in Chicago, 20 for the White Sox and 24 for the Cubs.

Juan Cruz, wearing #51, made his big league debut for the Cubs on August 21, 2001, against the Brewers.  He went 3–1 with a 3.22 ERA in his first 8 starts, and recorded his first two major league hits on October 2.  Cruz went 3–11 with a 3.98 ERA in 45 games in 2002, picking up his first career save.  He got off to a good start in 2003, striking out 6 consecutive Mets on Opening Day, becoming only the second Cubs reliever to achieve the feat.  Things went a bit downhill from there, finishing the year 2–7 with a 6.05 ERA while making 6 starts, despite being sent back down to Iowa in June.  He threw one scoreless inning during the NLDS against the Braves.  That would end up being his final Cub appearance, as he was traded to those same Braves the following March.

Dane Dunning was acquired by the White Sox as part of the return for Adam Eaton in 2016.  He made his major league debut in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, going 2-0 in 7 starts with a 3.97 ERA.  He started Game 3 of the Wild Card series against the A’s, getting pulled after 2/3rds of an inning as the White Sox were eliminated.  That was his final White Sox appearance, as he was traded to the Rangers in exchange for Lance Lynn this past December.

Fun In Wisconsin

For May, we turn our gaze to the north and the great state of Wisconsin.  We start with two pictures from our miniature golfing stop during the road trip to Minneapolis in 2014, the first with Danny and Michael posing with a giant Bucky Badger and the second with Danny sticking his head in a plaster rhinoceros.  The final picture comes from 2019’s trip to Miller Park to see the Cubs battler the Brewers.

All Time Team Records

In a shocking development, the 2021 baseball season got underway last night without issue or delay.  With hopefully a full 162 game schedule on the docket, 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.  Thanks to some eBaying of pocket schedules from the 80s, I was able to identify one additional game that I attended in 1988, a California Angels victory at Comiskey Park against the White Sox.

The Cubs look to contend in a weak NL Central with one final year of having the core of their World Series Championship team under contract, while the White Sox hope their offseason additions put them over the top and make them true World Series contenders.  The 2021 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 13 2 0.867
Florida Marlins 15 8 0.652
Colorado Rockies 10 6 0.625
Boston Red Sox 18 13 0.581
Toronto Blue Jays 15 11 0.577
New York Yankees 15 11 0.577
Los Angeles Angels 19 14 0.576
Cleveland Indians 28 24 0.538
Chicago Cubs 219 197 0.526
Philadelphia Phillies 10 9 0.526
Houston Astros 22 20 0.524
Chicago White Sox 306 287 0.516
Continue reading →

By The Numbers – 72

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 #72.  A grand total of 3 players have donned the number while playing in Chicago, 1 of whom is enshrined in Cooperstown.

When Carlton Fisk joined the White Sox in 1981, #27, which he wore with the Red Sox, was taken, so he switched the numerals around and became the first player in White Sox history to don #72.  12 years later, Fisk left the White Sox as the all time major league leader in games caught, home runs as a catcher, home runs after the age of 40, and most seasons as a catcher.  He was also the career home run leader for the White Sox.  #72 was retired in his honor on September 14, 1997 and he was elected to the Hall of Fame as part of the class of 2000.

Robert Machado gave up his #29 when the Cubs acquired Fred McGriff at the trade deadline in 2001, becoming the first Cub to don #72.  He wore the number for the rest of his Cub career, which lasted until June 9, 2002, when he was traded to the Brewers.

Everything Old Is New Again Again

As expected, the White Sox announced this morning that they will be moving their radio home back to ESPN 1000, which previously broadcast their games from 1999 – 2005.  The new agreement includes all regular season and postseason games, as well as select spring training contests, starting (hopefully) with the Cactus League opener against the Brewers optimistically planned for February 27, 2021.

The agreement also includes White Sox Weekly, a weekly wrap up show, plus pregame and postgame shows.  Strangely missing from the announcement was any word on the status of Andy Masur or Darrin Jackson, leaving open whether the duo would be retained.

RIP Tom Terrific

Former White Sox pitcher and Hall of Famer Tom Seaver passed away Monday at the age of 75.  Seaver won 311 games, had a 2.86 earned-run average and struck out 3,640 batters over a 20-year career that began in 1967.  The 12-time All-Star led the National League in wins three times, ERA three times and strikeouts five times.  He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1992, earning 98.8 percent of the vote, the highest voting percentage ever received at the time.

Seaver joined the White Sox at the end of his career, acquired in the free agent compensation draft in 1984.  He quickly made his mark on the south side, earning two wins in the same day by pitching the final inning of a suspended, 25 inning contest from the day before and then starting the regularly scheduled game against the Brewers.  On August 4, 1985, Seaver threw a complete game to earn his 300th career victory against the Yankees in New York.

Seaver is survived by his wife Nancy and daughters Sarah and Anne.

Hall Of Fame Batting Leaders


 

In normal times, today would have been the day former Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter was joined by Expos and Rockies legend Larry Walker, Cardinal and Brewer backstop Ted Simmons, and union boss Marvin Miller in taking their place in Cooperstown.  However, thanks to the corona virus, the Hall of Fame Class of 2020 will need to wait until next year for induction.  But, with two new hitters who would have been joining the list of Hall of Famers I’ve seen play live, let’s check back in anyway with the new leaders on the offensive side of the ball amongst Hall of Famers for all of the games I’ve attended between 1984 and 2020.

Home Runs

Name Total
Jim Thome 35
Frank Thomas 15
Vladimir Guerrero 6
Ivan Rodriguez 4
Chipper Jones 3
Harold Baines 3
Carlton Fisk 3

Hits

Name Total
Jim Thome 110
Frank Thomas 54
Ken Griffey Jr 32
Continue reading →

All Time Team Records

What was planned to be the earliest non-international start in Major League Baseball history turned into the latest, thanks to a combination of the corona virus pandemic and pointless bickering between the MLBPA and team owners.  With the 2020 baseball season finally set to get underway today, although with no fans in the stands, 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.  Thanks to some eBaying of pocket schedules from the 80s, I was able to identify one additional game that I attended in 1988, a California Angels victory at Comiskey Park against the White Sox.

The Cubs look to bounce back from last year’s September collapse that kept them out of the postseason for the first time since 2014, while the White Sox hope their offseason additions push them towards contention as their young talent starts to blossom.  With only 60 games to make their mark, the 2020 season should be an interesting one on both sides of town.

All-Time Team Records
Team Name Won Loss Winning Pctg
California Angels 2 0 1.000
Arizona Diamondbacks 13 2 0.867
Florida Marlins 15 8 0.652
Colorado Rockies 10 6 0.625
Boston Red Sox 18 13 0.581
Toronto Blue Jays 15 11 0.577
New York Yankees 15 11 0.577
Los Angeles Angels 19 14 0.576
Cleveland Indians 28 24 0.538
Chicago Cubs 219 197 0.526
Philadelphia Phillies 10 9 0.526
Houston Astros 22 20 0.524
Chicago White Sox 306 287 0.516
Continue reading →

Looking Ahead To 2021

For reasons that I don’t entirely understand, Major League Baseball released their tentative 2021 schedule late last week, 3 weeks before the 2020 season begins. The local squads should have common goals in mind for 2021: competing for a title.  Assuming, of course, that the 2020 season goes off as planned and the pandemic winds down enough for 2021 to proceed as planned.  So, for one day, at least, let’s turn our attention to next summer for both teams.

The White Sox open their season against the Angels in (Los Angeles, California, Anaheim), the first time that has happened since 1993.  Which, I guess, is a decent sign if one’s looking for omens towards a division title.  They return home a week later, facing the Royals for the home opener.

The interleague schedule pits the White Sox against the NL Central, with trips to Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, and Milwaukee and home series against the Reds, Cardinals, and the Pirates. The rivalry with their north side foes continues with a series at Wrigley at the beginning of August and a follow-up at Guaranteed Rate Field at the end of the month.

The season ends with a 5 game homestand against the Reds and Tigers.

On the north side, the Cubs open their season up at home against the Pirates, which seems to be a familiar Opening Day foe.

The interleague schedule pits the Cubs against the AL Central, with trips to Cleveland, Detroit, and Minnesota and home series against the Indians, Royals, and the Twins.

The Cubs end the year with a 12 of their final 14 games against the NL Central, with 9 of those coming against the Brewers and the Cardinals, who are likely to challenge them for the NL Central crown.

Brewers All Time Leaders – Through 2019

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

The Brewers began life in 1969, joining the American League as the Seattle Pilots.  After one year, they moved to Milwaukee and were re-christened the Brewers.  In 1998, the Brewers became the first team to switch leagues when they moved to the National League as the expansion Tampa Bay Devil Rays joined the American League.  I’ve seen them play 41 times, first in 1993 battling the White Sox at their old home of Milwaukee County Stadium and most recently last July, battling the Cubs at Miller Park.

Home Runs

Name Total
Richie Sexson 4
Prince Fielder 4
Ryan Braun 4

Hits

Name Total
Ryan Braun 29
Prince Fielder 23
J.J. Hardy 19
Corey Hart 19

Runs

Name Total
Ryan Braun 14
Prince Fielder 14
J.J. Hardy 11
Rickie Weeks 11

RBI

Name Total
Ryan Braun 23
Prince Fielder 17
Richie Sexson 13

Doubles

Name Total
Prince Fielder 9
Corey Hart 6
Ryan Braun 6

Triples Continue reading →