|Table of contents|
2 Players of note
3 External links
The team was founded by Charles Comiskey, a former major-league ballplayer who starred with the St. Louis Browns in the 1880s. Comiskey originally founded the team in Sioux City, Iowa, as part of a minor league called the Western League. The Cornhuskers won the league pennant in 1894, then moved to St. Paul, Minnesota. When the Western League changed its name to the American League in 1900, a year before claiming major league status, the St. Paul franchise was relocated to Chicago, to compete directly with the National League club in that city.
The club adopted the name "White Stockings", the original name of the Chicago Cubs, and acquired a number of stars from the National League, including pitcher and manager Clark Griffith, who paced the White Sox to the AL's first pennant in 1901. The White Sox would continue to be built on pitching and defense in the following years, led by pitching workhorse Ed Walsh, who routinely pitched over 400 innings each season in his prime.
The Hitless Wonders
Walsh, Doc White and Nick Altrock paced the White Sox to their 1906 pennant and their first World Series victory, a stunning upset over the Cubs who had won a record 116 regular-season games. The Sox, dubbed the "Hitless Wonders" for having the lowest team batting average in the American League that year, nevertheless took the Series, and intercity bragging rights, in six games.
"Say it Ain't So, Joe!"
The White Sox contended over the next decade, but did not bring home a pennant until 1917. Led by second baseman Eddie Collins and outfielder Shoeless Joe Jackson, the White Sox now had offense to go with the pitching of Eddie Cicotte and Red Faber. After an off-year in 1918, the club bounced back to win the pennant in 1919 and entered the World Series that year heavily-favored to defeat the Cincinnati Reds. Sadly, this was the year of the infamous Black Sox scandal, in which eight White Sox players, including Cicotte and Jackson, were barred from organized baseball for life for taking part in a plot by gamblers to "fix" the World Series. The White Sox have never entirely overcome the stigma of being the only team to take a dive in the Fall Classic.
The Go-Go Sox
It would be forty years until the White Sox found themselves in a World Series again, but again it would be a team built on pitching and defense. In an era noted for power pitching and power-hitting, the 1959 White Sox would lead the league in stolen bases and would manufacture runs through speed and cunning. American League MVP Nellie Fox led the attack. The White Sox would, however, lose the World Series to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
In the late 1980s, the franchise was very nearly relocated to Tampa Bay, but frantic lobbying of the state legislature resulted in approval (by one vote) of public funding for a new stadium. New Comiskey Park, now known as U.S. Cellular Field, opened in 1991 to rave reviews, but was soon outdone by the wave of "nostalgia" ballparks, beginning with Camden Yards. It is often criticized for its sterile appearance and nosebleed-inducing upper deck.
"Good guys wear black"
The White Sox of the 1990s adopted black uniforms, instantly jumping to the top of the league in merchandise sales. The 1990s teams also contended well, led by pitcher Jack McDowell and first baseman Frank Thomas. The team reached the American League Championship Series in 1993 and the American League Division Series in 2000. Under manager Jerry Manuel, the White Sox these days field a talented but chronically under-achieving squad.
White Sox fans are notorious for their resentment of the more popular cross-town rival Chicago Cubs. Many Sox fans appear more pleased by Cubs' failures than Sox success. Since 1997, interleague play has only intensified the ill will between the two squads' followers.
The White Sox reputation was once again tarnished in September 2002 when a pair of drunken fans ran onto the field and viciously attacked Kansas City Royals first base coach Tom Gamboa.
Players of note
Baseball Hall of Famers
Not to be forgotten