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 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.