White Sox

The All-Chicago team, 1970-1979

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The All-Chicago team, 1970-1979

By Tony Andracki and JJ Stankevitz
CSNChicago.com
This spring, we at Cubs Talk and White Sox Talk have decided to unify Chicago's two baseball teams into one in an effort to pick out the best players to grace each side of the city over the last 50 years. Each Wednesday during spring training, we'll roll out a different All-Chicago team, beginning today with the best Cubs and White Sox players from 1970-1979. If you didn't catch our first three installments, check out our 1980-1989, 1990-1999 and 2000-2011 teams.

Tony: There were quite a few Cubs guys from this era that many youngsters would even know. Guys like Steve Stone, Randy Hundley, Don Kessinger, Glenn Beckert. And then, of course, the Hall of Famers Ron Santo, Billy Williams and Fergie Jenkins. Stone didnt win his Cy Young until later in his career with the Orioles, but the Stone Pony pitched for both Chicago teams in the decade and has been a TV personality for each team at some point since. It was a close battle between him and Milt Pappas, but the novelty of having a guy like Stony Pony on the list was just too good to pass up.

JJ: There wasn't a whole lot separating Stone from the rest of the fifth starter pack here. Leaving Pappas off was tough, but at least we're not Bruce Froemming.

Tony: In a lot of ways, this was a simple list to compile. Williams, Santo, Melton and Allen were locks. May, Kingman and Madlock were great players and JJ and I both agreed they needed to be on the team, it was just a matter of where. Kingman earned the final bench spot thanks to his stellar 1979 season in which he led the league with 48 homers and a .613 slugging percentage while knocking in 115 and scoring 97. It was arguably the best single season power performance in Chicago in the decade, so we couldnt leave him off the list.

JJ: Well, Dick Allen might have something to say about that. His 1972 was the second best single season ever by a White Sox player, although in terms of pure power, yeah, Kingman probably has him beat. Allen only had a 1.023 OPS and 37 home runs that year.

Tony: Pitching was also pretty easy as two guys from each team earned the nod. The only question was for the fifth starter spot.

JJ: My god, look at that bullpen. That Terry Forster had to be bumped off the closer line is a real testament to its strength. I don't think we've had a better one in these all-city teams, and that's with the 2000s unit of Bobby Jenks, Carlos Marmol and Matt Thornton.

Tony: I cant say I didnt try for Hundley to be the All-70s catcher, but his numbers were just not very good in the decade and while Downing wasnt head and shoulders better, his .351 OBP was the tipping point.

JJ: It was a valiant effort, but Hundley only spent four years with the Cubs in the decade and owns a .296 OBP in his career on the North Side. And he doesn't get bonus points for his son being part of the deal that netted the Cubs Mark Grudzielanek and Eric Karros.

To the roster:

C: Brian Downing
1B: Dick Allen
2B: Bill Madlock
SS: Don Kessinger
3B: Ron Santo
LF: Billy Williams
CF: Chet Lemon
RF: Rick Monday
DH: Bill Melton

Utility: Carlos May
Utility: Dave Kingman

SP: Wilbur Wood
SP: Fergie Jenkins
SP: Rick Reuschel
SP: Jim Kaat
SP: Steve Stone

CL: Bruce Sutter
RHP: Goose Gossage
LHP: Terry Forster

Check back next week for the all-city team of the 1960s! Chuck and Kap will be back next week to offer up their thoughts on the roster, too.

Who's the next White Sox Hall of Famer?

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USA TODAY

Who's the next White Sox Hall of Famer?

Harold Baines is in the Hall. Last Sunday’s announcement totally took me (and a lot of others) by surprise.

I was ecstatic to see the news. Baines was one of my favorite players growing up. I loved that iconic leg kick. When they traded him to the Rangers in 1989, nine-year-old me was devastated.

Now that Harold’s in, who should be the next White Sox Hall of Famer? Here are six candidates:

Minnie Miñoso

If you haven’t already, read this:

I’ll summarize (though you really should read it). Miñoso had power, speed and on-base ability. His career may have been delayed due to the color line. If one feels his MLB career isn’t enough, his Negro League career and his role as a pioneer for black Latino ballplayers are plenty to make up the difference.

Dick Allen

Dick Allen hit 351 career home runs. His slashline of .292/.378/.534 is very impressive, even more so when placed in the context of his era. The 1960s was a tough period for hitters. That being said, 1,749 games and 1,848 career hits don’t jump off the page. According to WAR, he’s borderline (61.3 Fangraphs, 58.7 Baseball-Reference). But when you dig a little deeper…

Weighted Runs Created Plus (wRC+) measures offensive production comparing to league average and adjusting for ballpark. 100 is league average, any point above or below represents one percent above or below league average. Dick Allen had a career wRC+ of 155, meaning he was 55% better than league average for his career. That’s incredibly good. How good?

Career wRC+

(minimum 5,000 career plate appearances)

Boldface = Hall of Famer

1. Babe Ruth, 197

2. Ted Williams, 188

3. Lou Gehrig, 173

Rogers Hornsby, 173

5. Barry Bonds, 173

6. Mickey Mantle, 170

7. Ty Cobb, 165

Joe Jackson, 165

9. Stan Musial, 158

Jimmie Foxx, 158

11. Mark McGwire, 157

Johnny Mize, 157

Tris Speaker, 157

14. Mel Ott, 156

Dan Brouthers, 156

16. Joey Votto, 155

Dick Allen, 155

18. Willie Mays, 154

Frank Thomas, 154

Hank Greenberg, 154

There are 1,007 players with at least 5,000 career plate appearances. Allen is tied for SIXTEENTH. Dick Allen isn’t just on a list of good players. He’s listed among top tier all-time greats.

Billy Pierce

Pierce was arguably the best American League pitcher of the 1950s, and perhaps the third best in the Majors (behind Robin Roberts and Warren Spahn). He posted a career ERA of 3.27 (119 ERA+ 19 percent above league average) in over 3,000 innings and was one strikeout short of 2,000. He had 211 career wins and was the only pitcher during the 1950s to post a qualified ERA under 2 (1.97 in 1955).

Billy Pierce WAR Career 1950s 1950s MLB rank 1950s AL rank
Fangraphs WAR 52.5 43.6 3rd 1st
Baseball-Ref WAR 53.2 43.7 3rd 1st

Mark Buehrle

Buehrle compiled 60.3 pitching WAR according to Baseball-Reference.com. That’s the fifth most by a pitcher currently not in the Hall of Fame, behind Tommy John (62.5), CC Sabathia (62.2), Clayton Kershaw (62.1) and Andy Pettitte (60.7). He was remarkably durable; one of only eight pitchers in MLB history with at least 14 consecutive seasons of 200+ innings. The other seven are in the Hall of Fame.

He had 214 career wins; only three active pitchers have at least 200 (Bartolo Colón 247, CC Sabathia 246 and Justin Verlander 204). Buehrle tossed a pair of no-hitters (one perfect) and was a key member of the 2005 World Series championship rotation. He was a five-time All-Star and a four-time Gold Glove winner. His career ERA+ of 117 (adjusted for league and ballpark; 17 percent above league average) is better than Steve Carlton (115), Fergie Jenkins (115), Phil Niekro (115), Jim Bunning (115), Robin Roberts (113), Nolan Ryan (112), Don Sutton (108), Early Wynn (107) and Catfish Hunter (104).

Joe Jackson

Among players with 2,500 career plate appearances with the White Sox, the Shoeless One is the career leader in batting average (.340). He’s also the Indians career leader in batting average (.375). His career average of .356 ranks third all-time behind Ty Cobb and Rogers Hornsby. He had a career on-base percentage of .423 (17th all-time).

Babe Ruth made the home run popular at the dawn of the Roaring 20s. Joe Jackson posted career highs of 12 home runs and 121 RBI in 1920, and then his career came to an end. He was banned for life because of his role in the 1919 Black Sox scandal. Could he have embraced the home run craze? Could he have had a run of 30 or 40-home run seasons for the White Sox had he remained in the game? Unfortunately we’ll never know. Shoeless Joe Jackson wasn’t a mythical figure from a popular movie. He was a legitimate all-time great.

Paul Konerko

Konerko is the next White Sox star to reach the BBWAA ballot, set to make his debut in 2020. He was the heart of the 2005 offense that went on to win the World Series, taking home ALCS MVP honors. Konerko is second in franchise history with 432 home runs and 1,383 RBI, behind only Frank Thomas in both categories. Overall, Konerko had 439 HR (only 43 players in MLB history have more) and 1,412 RBI (75th all-time) with a respectable .279/.354/.486 career slashline. He had seven 30-HR seasons and six 100-RBI campaigns; a six-time All-Star. The White Sox erected a statue in Konerko’s honor in 2014 and his No. 14 was retired by the White Sox the following year.

 

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SportsTalk Live Podcast: It's on the Internet so it must be true- Bryce Harper links himself to the White Sox

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: It's on the Internet so it must be true- Bryce Harper links himself to the White Sox

Hub Arkush, Chris Emma and Jim Litke join David Kaplan on the panel.

0:00- Bryce Harper comments on Nicky Delmonico's Instagram post. So that means he's coming to the White Sox, right? How much would signing Harper change the franchise? And what would happen to the Sox if they don't get him?

8:45- All quiet on the Northside after the Winter Meetings. Do the Cubs really have no big moves up their sleeve or is Theo bluffing?

10:45- It's Packers Week and Matt Nagy isn't living in the past. Can the Bears exorcise their Green Bay demons or will Aaron Rodgers win yet another game at Soldier Field?

19:00- Chris Simms joins Kap to talk Bears and Packers. If the Bears and Rams meet again in the playoffs, can the Bears defense repeat their command performance? And Chris gives his reason why Mitch Trubisky will be a Super Bowl winning QB.

Listen to the full episode at this link or in the embedded player below:

Sports Talk Live Podcast

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