baseball-glove

A Brief History of the Chicago White Sox

While the Chicago White Sox often get relegated to being the Chicago Cubs’ Southside neighbors, this mighty baseball franchise has its own rich history filled with winning seasons, legendary players, and an infamous team scandal.

The Early Years

Founded by Charlie Comiskey, the club initially played in St. Paul, Minnesota under the name of the St. Paul Saints. When Comiskey moved the team to Chicago to play in the American League in 1901, he renamed the team the White Stockings, which was then shortened to White Sox over the years.

The White Sox were part of the eight charter members of the American League, making them one of the oldest franchises in American professional sports today. They began playing at South Side Park in Chicago before moving to Comiskey Park in 1910, which would be their home for the next 80 years.

In the first season of American League’s existence, the White Sox won the championship and would go on to win six more during their long career. They won their first World Series championship in 1906, beating none other than the crosstown Chicago Cubs 4-2. A second World Series title was added in 1917 when the White Sox beat the New York Giants in a series of six games.

The White Sox are one of the oldest professional teams to play the game of baseball.
The White Sox are one of the oldest professional teams to play the game of baseball.

The Black Sox Scandal

The most shocking moment in the franchise history came two years later with the Black Sox Scandal. At the time, Comiskey was extremely disliked by his players. There was scrutiny that he grossly underpaid them, even though the 1919 White Sox had the largest payroll in the league. However, the players still believed that they were getting cheated of payments, leading to the throwing of the 1919 World Series. The Cincinnati Reds won the first two games and went on to win the series 5-3. The game was determined ‘fixed’, and after the scandal had broken out, eight White Sox players (including the famous Joe Jackson and Eddie Cicotte) were given a life-long ban from the sport of baseball.

The team member departures devastated the once-talented team, and the notorious “Curse of the Black Sox” lingered as the franchise experienced an 88-year World Series title drought after the event.

The Break Through

After many years of falling short, the White Sox finally broke through in 2005 with a power-hitting lineup that included Paul Konerko and Mark Buehrle. The team went on to win 99 games that season and beat the Los Angeles Angels in five games to win the American League pennant. The White Sox then swept the Houston Astros to win the 2005 World Series, ending its 88-year Series drought. They had their 9,000th win in 2015, beating the Detroit Tigers 3-2.

baseball-player

The Top 5 Players In The History of The Chicago Cubs

After an endless wait of 108 years, Chicago Cubs fans are finally celebrating the end of their World Series Championship drought. Since they are the current reigning World Champions of baseball, it’s the perfect time to honor some of the best players that have played for the Chicago Cubs throughout the years. Here’s a look at 5 of the best players that have played a significant role in the Cubs’ history.

Ron Santo, Third Baseman (1960-1973)

One of the best third basemen of all time, Ron Santo made 9 National League All-Star teams during his 14 seasons as a Chicago Cub. Santo led the National League in walks, triples, and on-base percentage throughout his career, and routinely hit over .300 with 30 or more home runs. Overall, Santo hit 342 home runs and drove in 1,331 runs, solidifying himself as a true baseball legend.

Santo was also a standout defensive player, winning the first 5 straight Gold Glove Awards in 1964. He also led the National League in total chances, games, assists, and putouts multiple times throughout his career. When he retired from baseball in 1974, Santo had the record for most double plays by a third baseman.

Ferguson Jenkins, Pitcher (1966-1973)

Ferguson ‘Fergie’ Jenkins played the majority of his baseball career for the Chicago Cubs and made three of their All-Star teams. Jenkins won the 1971 National League Cy-Young Award, making him the first Cubs pitcher (as well as the first Canadian pitcher) to win the achievement.

Before retiring in 1983, Jenkins recorded his 3,000th strikeout for the Cubs, being the only pitcher at the time who held the amount with a low number of walks. Jenkins also had 6 straight seasons of winning 20 baseball games and led the National League in wins and complete games during his career with the Chicago Cubs.

Some of the best players on the Chicago Cubs team were inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Some of the best players on the Chicago Cubs were inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Ryne Sandberg, Second Baseman (1982-1994, 1996-1997)

Known as the best second baseman of his time, Ryne Sandberg made 10 consecutive All-Star teams and won 9 straight Gold Gloves. He won the 1984 National League Most Valuable Player Award after hitting .314 with 200 hits, 114 runs, 19 home runs, and 84 RBIs.

Sandberg was also inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2005, and his jersey number of 23 was put into retirement by the Chicago Cubs. With a career fielding percentage of .989, Sandburg holds an impressive major league record.

Billy Williams, Left Fielder (1959-1974)

Billy Williams made 6 National League All-Star teams for the Chicago Cubs and won the 1961 National League Rookie of the Year. Williams also won the National League batting title in 1972, hitting .333 that year.

Williams hit over 400 home runs in his baseball career, including multiple seasons of over 30 home runs. He was also inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1987, having regularly hit over .300 with 100 runs batted in every season.

Ernie Banks, Shortstop and First Baseman (1953-1971)

“Let’s play two!” was the popular catchphrase that Ernie Banks used on the baseball field, wishing that he could play a doubleheader every day. Well-liked for his attitude and love for the game, Banks earned the nicknames ‘Mr. Sunshine’ and ‘Mr. Cub. Banks’ among both fans and players alike.

Banks holds a number of Cubs records, including a number of games played, at-bats, extra-base hits, and total bases. He also won a Gold Glove Award and made 14 National League All-Star teams. During the years of 1958 and 1959, Banks won 2 National League Most Valuable Player awards and led the National League in home runs as well.