White Sox

Potential first-ballot guy and Blackout Game hero Jim Thome headlines group of former White Sox on this year's Hall of Fame ballot


Potential first-ballot guy and Blackout Game hero Jim Thome headlines group of former White Sox on this year's Hall of Fame ballot

White Sox fans have seen a couple of their team's all-time greats go into the Hall of Fame in recent years, with Frank Thomas inducted in 2014 and Tim Raines inducted earlier this year.

Seven former White Sox are on this year's Hall of Fame ballot, even if only a couple of them made a big impact on the South Side.

Jim Thome is on the ballot for the first time. While more famously a member of those great Cleveland Indians teams of the 1990s, Thome spent four seasons in a White Sox uniform, playing in 529 games and belting 134 of his 612 career home runs with the South Siders.

A Peoria native currently working as a member of the organization, Thome was a beloved part of four White Sox teams, including the last one to reach the postseason in 2008. He smacked a solo homer to drive in the lone run in the legendary Blackout Game, a 1-0 win over the Minnesota Twins that gave the White Sox the American League Central crown in the 163rd game of the 2008 regular season.

Thome ranks second in White Sox history in slugging percentage and OPS, trailing only Thomas in both categories. He's No. 7 on the franchise leaderboard in on-base percentage and No. 13 on the home run list.

Given that he ranks eighth on baseball's all-time home run list, Thome could very well be a first-ballot Hall of Famer.

Also on this year's ballot is Carlos Lee, a power-hitting outfielder who spent the first six seasons of his major league career with the White Sox. El Caballo hit 152 homers and drove in 552 runs in 880 games with the White Sox, finishing 18th in AL MVP voting in 2003 after he slashed .291/.331/.499 with 31 homers. His numbers were even better in 2004, his final season with the White Sox.

Lee ranks ninth on the team's all-time home run list and 11th on the franchise leaderboard in slugging percentage.

Lee did an awful lot of damage in six seasons with the Houston Astros, as well, and earned three All-Star nods in his post-Sox career.

Five others to play for the White Sox are on this year's ballot. Sammy Sosa, more noteworthy for what he did with the Cubs, spent parts of three seasons on the South Side. Omar Vizquel, another Indians great like Thome, played for the White Sox in 2010 and 2011. Andruw Jones, better known for his defensive highlights with the Atlanta Braves, played 107 games with the White Sox in 2010. Orlando Hudson played in 51 games for the White Sox in 2012. And Manny Ramirez, the legendary Indians and Red Sox slugger, played 24 games with the White Sox in 2010.

In order to qualify for election into the Hall of Fame, a player must appear on 75 of ballots submitted by voters.

Eighteen White Sox questions for 2018: Will Tim Anderson prove himself the shortstop of the future?


Eighteen White Sox questions for 2018: Will Tim Anderson prove himself the shortstop of the future?

White Sox fans might have their eyes on the future, but the 2018 season has plenty of intrigue all its own. As Opening Day nears, let's take a look at the 18 most pressing questions for the 2018 edition of the South Side baseball team.

Tim Anderson has the full support of the White Sox and seems like a new man after a trying 2017 campaign.

But there are still plenty of questions surrounding him heading into 2018, putting him in the company of a lot of his teammates who are also embarking on "prove it" seasons on the South Side.

Is Anderson the shortstop of the future? For now, the obvious answer is yes, as the White Sox have seemingly placed their chips on the 24-year-old, who is signed through the 2022 season. Anderson will get every opportunity to show that he's the everyday answer up the middle for years to come.

But with highly touted prospects penciled in at seemingly every other position on the field, can Anderson keep up and meet the high expectations as the wave of talent reaches the big league level?

It's easy to forget that Anderson hasn't been a big leaguer very long. He's yet to play in 250 major league games. But his first full season — and more specifically the numbers he produced during it — have left some fans to wonder if an upgrade will eventually be needed at shortstop.

Anderson committed 28 errors in the field, the most in the majors by a pretty wide margin, and he slashed just .257/.276/.402, walking only 13 times compared to 162 strikeouts. His .679 OPS ranked 135th out of 144 qualified major league hitters.

That's not to say there weren't positive signs. Anderson made just six errors over the season's final two and a half months. And at the plate, he had a strong finish, slashing .323/.338/.474 with three homers, nine doubles, 13 RBIs and 23 runs scored in his last 32 games.

But in 2018, Anderson will have to prove which version is the real him: the one from the season's first few months or the one from the last couple?

Obviously the off-the-field circumstances that made their way onto the field had a lot to do with things. Anderson admitted that the emotional effects of the death of his best friend impacted his play. And that, of course, is understandable. He's seemed much different in interviews this offseason and during spring training. He said during SoxFest that "to get away from baseball was definitely the best thing to happen" and it allowed him to get to "a better place."

What kind of impact that will have remains to be seen. Anderson doesn't have to worry about one of these young guys coming for his job, as there isn't a highly ranked shortstop in the White Sox loaded farm system. But fans have been coveting Baltimore Orioles star Manny Machado for years, and he's moved to shortstop for the 2018 season. He's set to be one of the headlining members of next winter's monster free-agent class.

So just like so many of his teammates — Matt Davidson, Nicky Delmonico, Carson Fulmer, Yolmer Sanchez and even Avisail Garcia — Anderson will have to spend the 2018 campaign (he'll get a little longer than that and longer than any of those guys, you would figure) to prove that he is a member, and in his case a starring member, of the White Sox promising future.

Sox minor leaguer's emotions on display while dedicating spring training hit to sister who died in Vegas shooting

Sox minor leaguer's emotions on display while dedicating spring training hit to sister who died in Vegas shooting

The White Sox are tragically connected to last fall's mass shooting in Las Vegas.

Christiana Duarte, sister of White Sox minor league player Mikey Duarte, was one of 58 people killed at a concert in Las Vegas.

Duarte, who is in big league camp with the White Sox this spring, hit a double in Wednesday's 4-3 loss against the Padres. After the game, Duarte became emotional, dedicating his hit to Christiana.

"That was for my sister," Duarte said.

Duarte did not attend the concert due to a head injury he suffered in rookie ball. He said he is blessed to play baseball despite his injury and losing Christiana.

"She’s in heaven, watching over me and my mom and dad. I’m just very blessed by God to play this game after a head injury and after losing her.

"Knowing that my sister is with me more now than she was back then is helping me get through the days playing baseball."

Check out the video above to see Duarte's hit and postgame comments.