White Sox

LIVE: Royals pounding Sox, Stewart

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LIVE: Royals pounding Sox, Stewart

Saturday, Sept. 17, 2011Posted: 12:00 p.m.

Associated Press

Thanks in part to rookie Eric Hosmer, the Kansas City Royals are winding down another sub-.500 season on a positive note.

The Royals seek their first seven-game winning streak in three years Saturday night against the visiting Chicago White Sox, who will try to avoid a season high-tying seventh straight loss.

Hosmer helped Kansas City (66-86) extend its run Friday by doubling in the winning run in the ninth inning, lifting the Royals to a 7-6 victory.

"I got beat up pretty good," said Hosmer, who finished with three hits and is batting .346 (9 for 26) over the last six games. "You're just so happy when you get a walk-off win. You can't even feel it. You just look for the bruises later."

Though he didn't debut until May 6, Hosmer leads all AL rookies with 139 hits and trails only Atlanta's Freddie Freeman (154) for the major league lead. Hosmer's total is the most by a Royals rookie since Angel Berroa had 163 en route to winning the AL rookie of the year award in 2003.

Kansas City, 8-5 against Chicago this year, hasn't won seven in a row since Sept. 13-18, 2008.

"Hopefully we can keep this streak up and go into the off season looking good," said Alex Gordon, who scored the winning run.

Regardless of their late-season surge, the Royals will finish below .500 for the seventh straight year.

Brent Morel hit his sixth homer in 14 games this month for the White Sox (73-77), who last dropped seven in a row April 13-20.

"It's tough," Morel said of the skid. "We haven't been playing good."

Morel, who hit two homers in his first 99 games, is batting .167 (8 for 28) against Kansas City.

Chicago will try to end its losing streak as it faces Royals rookie Everett Teaford, who's coming off his first major league win. Teaford (1-0, 2.73 ERA) surrendered three hits and struck out five over five scoreless innings in Sunday's 2-1 victory over Seattle.

"To have my 100th (professional) start, my first big-league start and my first win of my career, and my dad here. ... You can't write a better story than that," Teaford said.

The left-hander will be making his first start in Kansas City after going 0-0 with a 4.58 ERA and one save in 15 appearances at Kauffman Stadium.

In two games against the White Sox, Teaford has yielded two hits in 1 1-3 innings.

Fellow rookie Zach Stewart (2-4, 4.63) gets the start for Chicago and will be looking to avenge a loss in his first meeting with Kansas City.

The right-hander allowed two runs and seven hits over 6 1-3 innings in a 5-1 defeat to the Royals on Aug. 12. Since then, Stewart has gone 1-2 with a 5.59 ERA in six games, including four starts.

Coming off a one-hitter Sept. 5 at Minnesota, Stewart gave up three runs and seven hits in five innings of Sunday's 7-3 loss to Cleveland.

White Sox pitchers Hamilton & Burr get a shoutout from Lin-Manuel Miranda

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USA TODAY

White Sox pitchers Hamilton & Burr get a shoutout from Lin-Manuel Miranda

Lin-Manuel Miranda has landed in Chicago and he made sure to give some his favorite teams, places and people in the city a shout out on Twitter.

Roughly five minutes passed before the playwright and actor of Hamilton fame quickly remembered to give a quick greeting to the White Sox and two specific members of the team.

Lin-Manuel Miranda, who plays Alexander Hamilton in "Hamilton: An American Musical" made sure to give a specific shout out to White Sox relief pitchers Ryan Burr and Ian Hamilton. The musical Hamilton of course discusses the infamous duel between Vice President Aaron Burr and former Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton.

White Sox pitchers Burr and Hamilton have been inextricably linked due to their last names, ever since  they first became teammates with the White Sox Class-A team in Winston-Salem, N.C., in 2017. And they took their bond one step further in 2019, recreating the Burr-Hamilton duel in front of the entire Whie Sox team

Miranda is currently in Chicago for the opening and ribbon cutting of "Hamilton: The Exhibition". The exhibit will open on Friday, April 26.

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Remember That Guy: Charlie O’Brien

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USA TODAY

Remember That Guy: Charlie O’Brien

Back in the day, Major League catchers used to wear a backwards helmet with a separate mask strapped to it.

The beginning of the end of those masks was September 13, 1996 in Toronto, when Charlie O’Brien introduced the hockey goalie-style catcher’s mask.

Remember that guy?

Charlie O’Brien was born May 1, 1960 in Tulsa, OK.  He was originally drafted in 1978 out of Bishop Kelley (Tulsa) High School by the Rangers in the 14th round, then again out of Wichita State in the 21st round in 1981 by the Mariners (that same year his college teammate Joe Carter was taken in the 1st round by the Cubs). Finally, O’Brien signed after being selected by the A’s in the 5th round in 1982, following a dynamic .359/.399/.659 season with 25 HR and 116 RBI in 87 games.  

O’Brien worked his way through the minors, reaching Triple-A Tacoma in 1984 and earning a 16-game trial with the Oakland A’s in June 1985. He caught the final inning of a 10-1 loss on June 2 in his MLB debut in Baltimore, and eventually collected his first MLB hit – a double off the Tigers’ Frank Tanana – on August 22, his first career start. With a couple of young catchers in Mickey Tettleton & Terry Steinbach blocking his path to the Majors, O’Brien was shipped from Oakland to Milwaukee in March 1986. He played well over the next two years in El Paso and Denver in the Brewers system, and he received another 10-game stint in the Majors in May 1987. O’Brien started 1988 back in Denver, but in June he was called up to the big club for good.

He served as backup catcher from Milwaukee to Queens (he was traded to the Mets in August 1990) to Atlanta (where he won a World Series in 1995) and Toronto, developing a reputation as a solid catcher. For his career, he threw out 37% of attempted base stealers, which is comfortably above the league average of 31%. He caught 13 pitchers who won Cy Young awards at some point, including a string of four in a row – Greg Maddux (1994-95), Pat Hentgen (1996) and Roger Clemens (1997).

Then there was that day in 1996 where he revolutionized catching, introducing the modern style of catcher’s mask. He got the idea for the mask while watching hockey, likely thinking about all the foul tips he took off the mask, wondering how to find a safer alternative. He worked with a few manufacturers and Major League Baseball to make the dream a reality.

In December 1997, O’Brien arrived in Chicago as a free agent signing by the White Sox. He collected three hits in the 1998 season opener, becoming the first White Sox catcher with three hits on opening day since Brian Downing in 1977. He only appeared in 57 games with the White Sox before a July 30 trade to the Angels, but he was with the Sox long enough to provide an important Chicago historical footnote. On June 6, 1998, O’Brien became the first White Sox player to hit a regular season home run at Wrigley Field. It came in the 6th inning off Kevin Tapani, and the two-run blast scored Magglio Ordoñez and gave the White Sox a 5-4 lead which they couldn’t hang onto, as they went on to lose 7-6.

In total, O’Brien played 800 games spread out over 15 seasons for eight teams. He hit .221 with 56 home runs in his career (and an additional homer in the 1995 NLCS), but his calling card was his solid defense, as well as being an innovator. His final MLB game was June 21, 2000 for the Expos in Montreal.

After his playing career, O’Brien (who wore No. 22 for most of his career) went on to own the Catch 22 Ranch in Northeastern Oklahoma, where he raises cattle and deer. Charlie and his ranch has been featured on the Pursuit Channel’s TV show “Deer Thugs.” An avid outdoorsman and hunter, he went on to form a company Charlie O’ Products, which sells hunting products. He also wrote a book The Cy Young Catcher along with co-author Doug Wedge, which chronicles his days in the Major Leagues.