Who is the Greatest of All Time? Inspired by Sunday Night Football's promo featuring Bulls legend Michael Jordan, we've put together a Mount Rushmore of the greatest players in the history of all five of Chicago's teams. These are Chicago's GOATs.
Crafting a White Sox Mount Rushmore is no easy task. With more than 100 years of history, it's tough to narrow the field down to four. In this case, the franchise leader in games played, Luke Appling, was left off the list, as were fan favorites Nellie Fox and Harold Baines. Also left off was perhaps the most dominant pitcher in franchise history: Chris Sale. Regardless, here are the four players we deem most worthy of the honors. Let's get out our chisels and get to work.
A legendary Deadball Era hurler, Walsh posted a 1.82 career ERA which remains the best in major league history. His prized pitch was his devastating spitball, which was legal at the time. He helped pitch the 1906 Hitless Wonder White Sox to a World Series title over the heavily favored Cubs. Walsh's 1908 season is the stuff of legend. He won 40 games — something nobody has done since — while logging an unfathomable 464 innings. His 269 strikeouts stood as a White Sox record until Sale topped it in 2015. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1946.
Known as the "Cuban Comet," as well as "Mr. White Sox," Miñoso in 1951 became the first black player in White Sox history and was a trailblazer for black Latinos in Major League Baseball. He was a dynamic performer, combining power, speed and plate discipline with excellent defense in the outfield. He had seven All-Star seasons, six of them with White Sox, and won three Gold Gloves, two of them with White Sox (the award was introduced in 1957, midway through his major league career). Minnie played big league baseball in five decades, including cameo appearances with the White Sox in 1976 — he had a hit at age 50 — and 1980. Miñoso's No. 9 was retired by the White Sox in 1983, and he remained a team ambassador until his death in 2015.
Thomas was the Big Hurt, one of the greatest right-handed hitters in major league history. He hit 521 career home runs, including 448 with the White Sox, a franchise record. He is the only player in White Sox history to win multiple MVP awards (in 1993 and 1994). His .419 career on-base percentage is the highest by any living right-handed hitter with at least 3,000 career plate appearances. He had nine seasons of at least 100 runs, 100 RBIs and 100 walks, topped only by Barry Bonds (10), Lou Gehrig (11) and Babe Ruth (11). The White Sox retired his No. 35 in 2010, and he was part of the Hall of Fame's Class of 2014.
From 38th-round draft pick to World Series champion, Buehrle continually defied the odds. A model of consistency, Buehrle logged 14 straight seasons of at least 200 innings (the first 11 with the White Sox). Despite rarely topping 90 miles an hour, he managed to throw two no-hitters, including a perfect game. Part of the celebrated 2005 White Sox rotation, Buehrle tossed a complete game in the ALCS, then made a start and earned a save in the World Series against the Astros. Buehrle had 214 career wins, 161 with the White Sox, and in 2017 his No. 56 was retired on the South Side.