On Thursday the White Sox confirmed that the team will wear 1983 throwback uniforms at every Sunday home game this coming season to honor of the 30th anniversary of the team that captured the American League West title. The uniforms will be another feature of the new Family Sundays promotion being introduced in 2013 that will also include reduced ticket and parking prices and special autograph sessions with current and former players along the entrance ramps.
The red, navy and white uniforms with SOX written across the front in block lettering and unique placement of uniform numbers on the left thigh were already popular and widely-sold among fans. The version the White Sox will wear on Sundays also will include the same style of patch on the left sleeve that was worn in 1983, which commemorated the 50th iteration of the MLB All Star-Game, played in Old Comiskey Park that season.
The announcement of the Sunday uniform plans comes two days before the 1983 Winning Ugly squad is to be honored at a panel session at SoxFest this Saturday, where Tony La Russa, Tom Paciorek, Roland Hemond, Greg Luzinsky and Harold Baines are expected to attend.
In many ways the plan is a sequel of last seasons honoring of the 1972 team, which also featured throwback uniforms every Sunday. Just as last year, Sunday games will feature retro races with runners dressed in costumes of former White Sox stars. Large, costume versions of Carlton Fisk, Harold Baines and Ron Kittle (seen at right) will race each other during the 7th inning stretch of every Sunday game at U.S. Cellular Field.
On a conference call, White Sox Vice President of Marketing Brooks Boyer said that the promotion was intended not just to trigger memories of the 1983 season but would also serve to introduce a new generation of fans to the team.
The White Sox made some adjustments to their 40-man roster ahead of Monday's deadline to protect players from the Rule 5 Draft.
Rules stipulate that a player who signed when he was 18 or younger and has played five seasons of professional baseball is eligible to be selected in the Rule 5 Draft if he is not on his team's 40-man roster. Because of that, the White Sox — like the rest of the teams in the league — made some moves Monday to protect certain players.
The White Sox announced Monday afternoon that they purchased the contracts of infielder Casey Gillaspie from Triple-A Charlotte, outfielder Eloy Jimenez from Double-A Birmingham, outfielder Luis Alexander Basabe and pitcher Ian Clarkin from Class-A Winston-Salem and outfielder Micker Adolfo from Class-A Kannapolis.
Simultaneously, pitchers Chris Beck and Tyler Danish were outrighted to Charlotte.
The most notable name on the list is of course Jimenez, the highly ranked outfielder acquired from the Cubs in July's trade that sent Jose Quintana to the North Side. Jimenez was a no-brainer to be protected after he slugged 19 homers and hit 22 doubles with 65 RBIs in his 89 games in the minors last season, splitting time between Birmingham and Winston-Salem in the White Sox system and Class-A Myrtle Beach in the Cubs' system. Jimenez is ranked as the White Sox No. 1 prospect by MLB.com.
Gillaspie was acquired in the trade that sent Dan Jennings to the Tampa Bay Rays. The brother of former White Sox infielder Conor Gillaspie, he hit 15 homers and 20 doubles in 125 games all at the Triple-A level. Gillaspie is ranked as the White Sox No. 11 prospect by MLB.com.
Basabe, the White Sox No. 17 prospect, was in last offseason's Chris Sale trade and hit .221 with five homers and 12 doubles at Winston-Salem. Adolfo, the White Sox No. 14 prospect, was signed as a free agent in 2013 and hit .264 with 16 homers and 28 doubles at Kannapolis. Clarkin, the White Sox No. 22 prospect, was acquired in the seven-player trade with the Yankees in July and posted a 2.60 ERA and 63 strikeouts in 86.2 innings of work at the Class-A level.
The 27-year-old Beck posted a very high 6.40 ERA in 64.2 innings out of the White Sox bullpen last season. Danish made just one appearance with the big league club last season, getting his first major league win in the second game of a doubleheader against the Detroit Tigers.
Only three more months till the White Sox are back in action.
The South Siders announced their spring training schedule Monday, with Cactus League play commencing Feb. 23 out in Arizona.
The White Sox have the unenviable task of opening the exhibition schedule against the defending National League champions, the Los Angeles Dodgers playing hosts to the Pale Hose in Glendale. The White Sox will be the visitors, though they share the Camelback Ranch facility with the Dodgers, so they'll still be in their home ballpark. Their first official home game comes two days later, in a Feb. 25 matchup against the Cincinnati Reds.
The White Sox will face off against the Cubs in three "Cactus Crosstown" games on Feb. 27 and March 10 in Mesa and on March 16 in Glendale.
And in a cool wrap to the preseason, the White Sox will square off against their own Triple-A affiliate March 26 in Charlotte. The game against the Knights should be a fun watch considering all the future White Sox expected to make their way to the big leagues over the next couple seasons. The Knights' roster could be loaded with highly ranked prospects depending on how things shake out.
Here's the full schedule: