Legendary White Sox pitcher Billy Pierce has passed away at the age of 88 after a long battle with gall bladder cancer, the team announced on Friday afternoon.
“Generations of White Sox fans lost one of their heroes today,” White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf said. “It was an absolute privilege to consider Billy a friend. He epitomized class, not just as a ballplayer on those great Go-Go White Sox teams of the 1950s, but as a gentleman and as a human being who devoted so much of his life to helping others.”
Pierce played in 18 MLB seasons with the Detroit Tigers (1945-48), White Sox (1949-61) and San Francisco Giants (1962-64). He had a career record of 211-169 with a 3.27 ERA, 1,999 strikeouts, 32 saves, 193 complete games and 38 shutouts. Pierce had his No. 19 retired by the White Sox in 1987 and a statue was unveiled in his honor at U.S. Cellular Field in 2005.
“Billy was such a kind-hearted and thoughtful man,” White Sox vice president of community relations Christine O'Reilly said. “The tireless work, effort and love he put into Chicago Baseball Cancer Charities – raising millions over the past five decades – shows you how much compassion Billy had for others and for his adopted home of Chicago.”
Pierce is survived by his wife of 65 years, Gloria, son Bill Jr., daughter Patty and son Bob, five grandchildren and one great grandchild.
It might be a long shot for the White Sox to sign free agent Manny Machado, but here on the White Sox Talk Podcast, we like dark horses. Chuck Garfien, Ryan McGuffey and Vinnie Duber discuss what it would take to bring Machado to the South Side. Plus, is he "the" guy the White Sox are targeting this offseason? Will the Rockies listen to trade offers for Nolan Arenado a year before he reaches free agency? Plus, Chuck talks about a cost-controlled, All-Star on a rebuilding team that could be an answer at third base.
Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below:
Mark Buehrle. Jon Garland. Freddy García. José Contreras.
The 2005 White Sox had four consecutive complete games to finish off the 2005 ALCS — Contreras took his turn in Game 5 against the Angels 13 years ago Tuesday. How special was that run of starting pitching to finish that series? Consider the following six statements:
— No team has had more than two complete games in a single postseason, let alone a postseason series, since.
— There has been a grand total of four complete games in 188 postseason games (through Monday) since the beginning of 2016.
— Those 2005 White Sox remain the only team with four complete games in a single LCS (which went to a best-of-seven format in 1985).
— They are the only team since the 1968 Tigers (in the World Series) with at least four complete games in any postseason series.
— They are the only team since the 1956 Yankees (in the World Series) with at least four consecutive complete games in a series. (The Yankees had five in a row: Games 3 through 7.)
— They are the only team since the 1928 Yankees (in the World Series) with at least four consecutive complete-game wins in a series (Games 1 through 4).
Take a moment to look back and appreciate what Don Cooper’s troops were able to accomplish in that series. The way the game is played nowadays, we will never see it again.