White Sox

White Sox: Gordon Beckham aims to keep earning playing time

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White Sox: Gordon Beckham aims to keep earning playing time

For the first time in his seven-year major league career, Gordon Beckham got to play shortstop U.S. Cellular Field.

Beckham, who was drafted eighth overall as a shortstop out of Georgia in 2008, started in place of Alexei Ramirez for the White Sox series finale against Houston on Wednesday night. The 28-year-old started at shortstop last month and previously filled in there as an in-game replacement this April and in 2013, though all those games came on the road.

Beckham said it’s “kinda cool” he’s finally come full circle on playing shortstop with the team that drafted him.

“I definitely feel like it’s my most natural position,” he said. “Not being there for years, when I went over there and took ground balls it felt normal. I feels comfortable doing that yeah, I’m excited to play.”

[MORE WHITE SOX: White Sox hope Melky Cabrera can build off Tuesday's baby step]

Beckham made two starts and one substitute appearance at shortstop with the Angels last year after he was dealt to Southern California in an August waiver-wire trade. Manager Robin Ventura thinks that month-and-a-half sabbatical to Anaheim helped Beckham upon his return to Chicago, where he’s earned playing time beyond his expected utility role through the first third of the season.

He’s tailed off a bit recently at the plate — entering Wednesday, he was hitless in his previous four games, an 0-for-13 stretch — but has played good defense with enough consistency to keep him in the lineup. Beckham earned his 26th start in game No. 57 for the White Sox, far more than fellow utility man Emilio Bonifacio, who started his 12th game for the White Sox on Wednesday.

“I don’t think he’s trying to be the focal point of anything,” Ventura said. “He’s just trying to be a good baseball player. He’s not worrying about where he was drafted, any of the expectations or hype or stuff that goes with it. There is a bit of a ease that he has now that he didn’t have the best couple of year.”

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Coming off the bench and sporadically starting has nonetheless been an adjustment for Beckham, who started 722 games for the White Sox from 2009 through 2014. But he knew what he was getting into when he signed on to return to the White Sox in January and said it’s been so far, so good.

“It’s met and exceeded (my expectations),” Beckham said. “I knew I was going to have to work to get back in there as much as I am now. I earned that, so I’ve just got to go out and keep earning it.”

White Sox Talk Podcast: Memories of Old Comiskey Park

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AP

White Sox Talk Podcast: Memories of Old Comiskey Park

For many White Sox fans, Comiskey Park was their introduction to White Sox baseball when they were young. Chuck Garfien, Ryan McGuffey, and Chris Kamka share their memories of the old ballpark. Among them: Chuck talks about seeing Al Cowens charge Ed Farmer on the mound in 1980 creating a bench clearing brawl, Ryan tells the story about catching a Mike Greenwell foul ball, Chuck talks about being there for the 1983 All-Star Game, they discuss the final game ever played there and read favorite memories sent in by White Sox fans.

You can listen to the whole thing right here, or in the embedded player below.

8:26 - Chuck talks about seeing Al Cowens charge Ed Farmer on the mound in 1980 creating a bench clearing brawl.

10:11 - Ryan tells the story about catching a Mike Greenwell foul ball.

12:49 - Chuck talks about being there for the 1983 All-Star Game

15:11 - The guys talk about the final game ever played there.

16:44 - The guys read favorite memories sent in by White Sox fans.

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'White Sox to the Letter'

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AP

'White Sox to the Letter'

Inspired by Ogden Nash’s 1949 poem “A Lineup for Yesterday”

 

A is for A.J.

Once punched in the face

If strike three ain’t caught

He’ll steal first base

 

B is for Baines

Who’s known to speak gently

When asked if he’ll homer

He said, “Evidently!”

 

C for Comiskey

The old baseball yard

When it was torn down

I took it quite hard

 

D is for Donkey

I mean Adam Dunn

He’d strike out or walk

Or hit a home run

 

E is for Eloy

He isn’t here yet

Though an All-Star career

Is still a good bet

 

F is for Fisk

The incomparable Pudge

From his perch behind home

Not an inch he would budge

 

G is for Gold

G is for Glove

Aparicio is

Who I’m thinking of

 

H is for Hawk

Unforgettable voice

Stretch! Dadgummit!

And don’t stop now boys!

 

I for Iguchi

Second base man

Won World Series

Returned to Japan

 

J is for Jackson

The legend still grows

A home run or touchdown

Only Bo knows

 

K is for Kopech

Speed, he has plenty

He’ll pile up strikeouts

In two thousand twenty

 

L is for Luke

Old Aches and Pains

Hit .388

That record remains

 

M is for Mark

As in Mister Buehrle

When he takes the mound

The game will end early

 

N is for no-no

Wilson Alvarez, Humber

Two by Mark Buehrle

Too many to number

 

O for Orestes

Miñoso’s real name

Not in the Hall

And that’s a real shame

 

P is for Paulie

He gave it his all

At the championship rally

Gave Jerry the ball

 

Q for Quintana

Kept coming up short

Only because

Of no run support

 

R is for Richie

But please call him Dick

A dangerous man

When he’s swinging the stick

 

S is for shoes

Which were not worn by Joe

In 1919

Please say it ain’t so

 

T is for Thomas

Amazing career

He went to the Hall

And brewed Big Hurt Beer

 

U for Uribe

He played everywhere

When the ball left his bat

Hands waved in the air

 

V is for Veeck

He knew how to sell

Fireworks, promotions

And Eddie Gaedel

 

W is for William

Or Bill; He was Beltin’

So hot was the corner

Third baseman was Melton

 

X is for Fox

At least the last letter

Among second basemen

Nobody was better

 

Y is for Yolmer

He has sneaky power

The master of giving

A Gatorade shower

 

Z is for Zisk

And others I missed

Unable to fit

In my White Sox list