Minnie Miñoso

Orestes "Minnie" Miñoso (born Saturnino Orestes Armas Miñoso Arrieta, /mɪˈnoʊsoʊ/; Spanish pronunciation: [miˈɲoso], November 29, 1925 – March 1, 2015), nicknamed "The Cuban Comet" and "Mr. White Sox", was a Cuban Negro league and Major League Baseball (MLB) player. He began his baseball career in 1946 and became an All-Star third baseman with the New York Cubans and was signed by the Cleveland Indians after the 1948 season as baseball's color line slowly fell. Miñoso went on to become an All-Star left fielder with the Indians and Chicago White Sox. The first Black Cuban in the major leagues and the first black player in White Sox history, as a 1951 rookie he was the one of the first Latin Americans to play in an MLB All-Star Game.

Miñoso was an American League (AL) All-Star for seven seasons[a] and a Gold Glove winner for three seasons when he was in his 30s.[1] He batted over .300 for eight seasons. He was the AL leader in triples and stolen bases three times each and in hits, doubles, and total bases once each. Willie Mays (179 steals) and Miñoso (167 steals) have been widely credited with leading the resurgence of speed as an offensive weapon in the 1950s. Miñoso was particularly adept at reaching base, leading the AL in times hit by pitch a record ten times, and holding the league mark for career times hit by pitch from 1959 to 1985. Miñoso, as a defensive standout, led the AL left fielders in assists six times and in putouts and double plays four times each.

Miñoso was one of the most popular and dynamic players in White Sox franchise history. He helped the "Go-Go" White Sox become one of the premier teams of the 1950s and 1960s. A rare power threat on a team known for speed and defense, Miñoso also held the White Sox record for career home runs from 1956 to 1974.

Miñoso left the major leagues following the 1964 season, but went on playing and managing in Mexico through 1973. He rejoined the White Sox as a coach, and made brief but highly publicized player appearances in 1976 and 1980. He became the third player to get a hit after the age of 50 and the second player to appear in the major leagues in five decades. Miñoso's White Sox uniform number 9 was retired in 1983, and a statue of him was unveiled at U.S. Cellular Field in 2004. Miñoso was elected to the Cuban Baseball Hall of Fame in Exile in 1983, and to the Mexican Professional Baseball Hall of Fame in 1996.

In 2014, Miñoso appeared for the second time as a candidate on the National Baseball Hall of Fame's Golden Era Committee election ballot[2] for possible Hall of Fame consideration in 2015. He and the other candidates including former White Sox teammate Billy Pierce, and two other former players from Cuba, Tony Oliva and Luis Tiant, all missed induction in 2015.[3]

Minnie Miñoso
Minnie Miñoso 1953 Bowman
Miñoso in 1953
Left fielder
Born: November 29, 1925
Perico, Cuba
Died: March 1, 2015 (aged 89)
Chicago, Illinois
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
April 19, 1949, for the Cleveland Indians
Last MLB appearance
October 5, 1980, for the Chicago White Sox
MLB statistics
Batting average.298
Home runs186
Runs batted in1,023
Teams
Negro leagues

Major League Baseball

Career highlights and awards
Member of the Mexican Baseball Hall of Fame
Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Baseball Hall of Fame Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg
Induction1996

Early life

Miñoso was born in Perico, Cuba near Havana, the son of Carlos Arrieta and Cecilia Armas. His date of birth is often cited as being November 29, 1923; however, his Republic of Cuba 1951 driver's license and his first Topps baseball card(s) 1952/195 list his date of birth as November 29, 1925.[4] The Miñoso baseball card which was handed out by his family to visitors who stopped by to pay their respects for Miñoso at a remembrance held for him at a Chicago church before his funeral has printed on it "1924-2015".[5]

His father worked in the fields of the sugarcane plantation on which the family lived. His mother had four other children from a previous marriage who had the surname "Miñoso" from her first husband. Her son Orestes became referred to as a "Miñoso" too,[6] and eventually this name became his last name for life; he changed his name legally to Orestes Miñoso when he became a US citizen. Miñoso grew up playing baseball with two of his brothers and in fact managed his own team while working on his father's plantation, finding players and the necessary equipment himself.[7] In 1941, he moved to Havana to live with his sister and play baseball there.

Baseball playing career

Cuba and Negro leagues

Miñoso played professional baseball as a third baseman in Cuba and in the Negro leagues. He signed a contract with the team from the borough of Marianao in 1945 for $150 per month,[6] and moved into the Negro leagues with the New York Cubans the next season and doubled his monthly salary.[8] Batting leadoff for the Cubans, he hit .309 in 1946, and followed up with a .294 average in 1947 as they won the Negro World Series over the Cleveland Buckeyes. He was the starting third baseman for the East in the 1947 All-Star Game, and again in 1948.[6]

Miñoso remained with the Cubans until signing with the Cleveland Indians organization during the 1948 season and starting his minor league career with the Dayton Indians of the Central League, batting .525 in 11 games.[9]

Cleveland Indians

On April 19, 1949, Miñoso made his major league debut with the Cleveland Indians, becoming the first Black Cuban in the major leagues; he drew a walk as a pinch hitter in the seventh inning of a 5–1 road loss to the St. Louis Browns. He got his first hit in his next game on May 4, a single off Alex Kellner in the sixth inning of a 4–3 win over the Philadelphia Athletics. The next day, he hit his first home run, off Jack Kramer in the second inning of a 7–3 win over the Boston Red Sox. Miñoso had little further chance to make an impression, however; the Indians were signing black players more aggressively than any other team in the American League, but coming off their victory in the 1948 World Series, they were the strongest team in baseball. They had little opportunity to get Miñoso into the lineup as a rookie, as they played Ken Keltner at third base, and he had only 16 at bats through May 13 before being sent to the minor leagues.[6] Miñoso was sent to the San Diego Padres of the Pacific Coast League for the rest of the 1949 season and all of 1950, batting .297 the first year and following up with a .339 average and 115 runs batted in (RBIs).[10]

Miñoso rejoined the Indians to start the 1951 season, but the team still could not find a spot for him in the lineup, as the Indians had Al Rosen at third base and Larry Doby, Dale Mitchell and Bob Kennedy in the outfield. He consequently had only 14 at bats in eight April games.[6]

Move to the Chicago White Sox

On April 30, 1951, the Indians sent Miñoso to the White Sox in a three-team trade involving the Athletics, getting relief pitcher Lou Brissie from the Athletics in exchange.[11] On May 1, Miñoso became the first black player on the White Sox, hitting a 415-foot (126 m) home run in Comiskey Park on the first pitch of his first at bat against the New York Yankees. He was an instant star, maintaining a batting average over .350 through most of the first half of the season, and finished the season hitting .324 – second in the AL behind the .344 mark of the Athletics' Ferris Fain. Miñoso was named for the first time to the AL All-Star roster (reserve player)[12] becoming – along with White Sox teammate Chico Carrasquel and Washington Senators pitcher Connie Marrero – one of the first Latin Americans ever named to an All-Star team. That year, he scored 112 runs (one short of Dom DiMaggio's league leading total) in 138 games played, topping the league with 14 triples and 31 stolen bases as well as 16 times being hit by pitches,[13] and became known as "Mr. White Sox". Following the 1951 season, he finished second in the AL's Rookie of the Year voting behind the Yankees' Gil McDougald,[14][15] drawing a protest by the White Sox due to Miñoso having better statistics in nearly every category. Miñoso also finished fourth in the year's Most Valuable Player voting.[14] Miñoso was regarded as such an outstanding all-around player that Yankees outfielder Mickey Mantle acquired the nickname "The Commerce Comet" because he reminded observers of "The Cuban Comet".

Minnie Miñoso 1953
Miñoso with the White Sox in 1953

Miñoso followed up with several years of outstanding play for Chicago. He led the AL in steals in both 1952 (22)[16] and 1953 (25),[17] and topped the league with 18 triples and 304 total bases in 1954,[18] appearing in the All-Star Game all three years and starting in 1954. On April 14, 1953, Opening Day, he provided the only hit for the Sox in a 4–0 loss to the Indians' Bob Lemon,[19] and on July 4, 1954, he broke up a combined no-hitter by three Indians pitchers with two out in the ninth inning of a 2–1 loss. He led AL left fielders with three double plays in 1953,[20] and the following year led all major league left fielders with 13 assists and three double plays.[21] In the first game of a doubleheader on May 16, 1954, he drove in six runs in a 10–5 win over the Senators, and on April 23, 1955 he scored a career-high five runs in the White Sox' record-setting 29–6 road win over the Kansas City Athletics. Miñoso again finished second in the batting race in 1954 with a .320 mark, trailing the .341 average by the Indians' Bobby Ávila[18] (Ted Williams, who did not have enough plate appearances to qualify, would have finished second given the needed at bats). On May 18, 1955, Miñoso suffered a skull fracture from being hit in the head by a pitch from the Yankees' Bob Grim in the first inning of an 11–6 loss.[22] He finished the season with a .288 average, his lowest from 1953 through 1960; however, he had the longest hitting streak in the AL that year and the longest of his career, a 23-game string from August 9 to 30 during which he batted .421. In addition, his 18 assists that season were not only twice as many as any other left fielder in the major leagues, but also matched the highest mark by any AL left fielder from 1945 through 1983. He also led AL left fielders in putouts for the first time with 267.[23]

Miñoso also represented a rare power threat for the Sox; due to the dimensions of Comiskey Park, the White Sox were the only major league team who did not have a player hit 100 home runs for them prior to World War II. On September 2, 1956, he hit his 80th home run with the Sox, off Hank Aguirre, in a 4–3 win over the Indians, breaking Zeke Bonura's team record. On September 23, 1957, in a 6–5 road loss to the Athletics, he became the first player to hit 100 home runs with the White Sox, connecting in the fourth inning off Alex Kellner. Miñoso topped AL left fielders again with 282 putouts and 10 assists in 1956,[24] and with two double plays in 1957.[25] He led the league in triples again in 1956 with 11, and in doubles with 36 in 1957. In the 1957 All-Star Game, he saved a 6–5 victory for the AL with a dramatic catch for the final out, with the tying run on second base. The 1957 season marked the first in which Gold Glove Awards were awarded, and Miñoso was chosen as the first honoree in left field[26] (separate awards for both leagues were established the following year, and awards for each outfield position were discontinued for half a century after 1960 in favor of three awards for outfielders regardless of position).

Later seasons

Cleveland Indians

The White Sox traded Miñoso back to the Indians after the 1957 season in a four-player deal, with the White Sox getting pitcher Early Wynn and outfielder Al Smith in exchange for Miñoso and third baseman Fred Hatfield.[27] With Cleveland, Miñoso hit a career high 24 home runs in 1958, and again led AL left fielders with 13 assists.[28] He batted .302 in both 1958 and 1959, and on April 21, 1959 had a career-high five hits in a 14–1 road win against the Detroit Tigers, also driving in six runs for the second time in his career. He was involved in a notable incident in a road game against the Boston Red Sox on July 17 that year when Indians manager Joe Gordon was ejected after an interference call on the previous batter, but continued his argument instead of leaving the field; Miñoso refused to enter the batter's box while Gordon was still arguing, and became furious when plate umpire Frank Umont called him out on three strikes. Miñoso was then ejected after throwing his bat at Umont, but apologized profusely after the game, saying he was unaware of the rule that any pitch in that situation must be called a strike regardless of its location; he served a three-game suspension.[29] That year, he led all major league left fielders with a career-high 317 putouts, and also led the AL again with 14 assists,[28] and received his second Gold Glove Award.[26] Also in 1959, he made another All-Star appearance, starting in left field on July 7, the first of two All-Star Games held that year (MLB played two All-Star Games from 1959 through 1962).[30][30] He went 0 for 5 in the first game and didn't play in the second game on August 3.

Chicago White Sox

Miñoso was deeply disappointed over having missed playing for the White Sox during their 1959 pennant-winning season, and was thrilled to be traded back to Chicago in a seven-player deal in December, with Norm Cash being the top player sent in return.[31] White Sox owner Bill Veeck presented Miñoso with an honorary 1959 pennant championship ring[32] at the beginning of the 1960 season, saying that he had done as much as anyone in helping the White Sox reach the top of the league – partially through his influence in building a winning team, and partially because the Sox had acquired Wynn, who won the 1959 Cy Young Award, in exchange for Miñoso in the 1957 trade. Miñoso responded by driving in six runs for the third time in his career, hitting a grand slam in the fourth inning on Opening Day against Kansas City, and giving the Sox a 10–9 victory with a walk-off home run leading off the bottom of the ninth. Minoso had his last great season in 1960 – he made his last All-Star appearances (starter in both games),[33][34] led the AL with 184 hits, had 105 RBIs, batted over .300 for the eighth and final time,[35] and finished fourth in the MVP vote for the fourth time. He also had perhaps his best defensive season, leading all major league left fielders in putouts (277), assists (14) and double plays (3) and winning his third and final Gold Glove Award.[26]

St. Louis Cardinals

After the 1961 season, in which his average dropped to .280, Miñoso was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange for Joe Cunningham;[36] Miñoso had led the AL in times hit by pitch every year since his rookie season, except 1955.[37] After struggling to adjust to his new league's pitchers and strike zone, he missed two months of the 1962 season due to suffering a fractured skull and broken wrist from crashing into the outfield wall in the sixth inning of an 8–5 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers on May 11,[38] and finished the year hitting .196.

Washington Senators

His contract was sold to the Washington Senators prior to the 1963 season,[39] and after hitting .229, he was released that October.[40]

On October 12, he played in the first and only Hispanic American All-Star Game at New York's Polo Grounds.

Chicago White Sox

He signed with the White Sox before the 1964 campaign,[41] but appeared in only thirty games that year, batting .226 – almost exclusively as a pinch hitter – and hit his last home run in the second game of a doubleheader on May 6 off Ted Bowsfield in the seventh inning of an 11–4 win over the Athletics. He retired after the 1964 season.

Starting in 1965, Miñoso played for the Charros de Jalisco of the Mexican League. Playing first base, he batted .360 in his first season, leading the league with 35 doubles and 106 runs scored. He continued to play in the Mexican League for the next eight seasons. He hit .265 with 12 home runs and 83 RBIs in 1973, when he was 47 years old.[6]

Coaching and final appearances

In 1976, Miñoso was called out of retirement, becoming a first and third base coach for three seasons for the White Sox.[42] He also made three game appearances for the Sox that September in games against the California Angels, picking up one single in eight at bats (four coming as a designated hitter) – a two-out single off Sid Monge on September 12 in the second inning of a 2–1, 10-inning win, becoming – at age 50 – the fourth oldest player ever to get a base hit in the major leagues.[43][44] In 1980, Miñoso, age 54, was activated again to play for the White Sox, and was a pinch hitter in two games, again against the Angels. He became the fourth-oldest player ever to play in the majors, behind Nick Altrock, who at age 57, pinch hit in 1933, Charley O'Leary, who at age 58, pinch hit in 1934, and Satchel Paige, who at age 59, pitched three shutout innings in one game in 1965. Miñoso joined Altrock (1890s–1930s) as just the second player in major league history to play in five decades (1940s–1980s); out of the players who played in the major leagues in the 1940s, Minoso was the last one to appear in a major league game. Bill Melton broke Miñoso's White Sox record of 135 career home runs in the second game of a doubleheader on August 4, 1974, a 13–10 win over the Texas Rangers; he had tied the record in the previous day's 12–5 loss. On August 29, 1985, Don Baylor broke Minoso's AL record of being hit by pitches 189 times.[45]

In 1990, Miñoso was scheduled to make an appearance with the minor league Miami Miracle of the Florida State League and become the only professional to play in six decades; however, MLB overruled the Miracle on the idea.[46] When the last game was played at Comiskey Park during the same season, Miñoso was invited to present the White Sox lineup card to the umpires in the pregame ceremonies at home plate. He did so while wearing the new uniform debuted by the White Sox that day, his familiar number 9 on the back. In 1993, a 67-year-old Miñoso made an appearance with the independent St. Paul Saints of the Northern League.[47] He returned to the Saints in 2003 and drew a walk, thus becoming the only player to appear professionally in seven different decades.[48] The earlier extensions to his career with the Sox were publicity stunts orchestrated respectively by one-time Sox owner Bill Veeck and his son Mike, who at the time owned partial or controlling interest in the team.[49]

Later years and death

Minnie Minoso 2010.jpeg
Miñoso in 2010

Miñoso lived in Chicago where he represented the Chicago White Sox as "Mr. White Sox". He married Sharon Rice in the 1990s and they have one son, Charles. Miñoso also has three children from a previous marriage, Orestes Jr., Cecilia, and Marilyn. His eldest son, Orestes Jr., briefly played professional baseball.[50]

He became a member of the Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame in 1994, the Mexican Professional Baseball Hall of Fame in 1996, the Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum Hall of Fame on August 11, 2002, and the Cuban Baseball Hall of Fame in 2014.

On September 19, 2004, Minnie Miñoso Day was celebrated at U.S. Cellular Field and there was a pregame unveiling of a Minnie Miñoso statue at the field.[51] Miñoso received the 2011 Jerome Holtzman Award from the Chicago Baseball Museum.[52]

Death

Miñoso was found dead in the driver's seat of a car near a gas station in Chicago at 1 am on March 1, 2015 after attending a friend's birthday party the previous day. An autopsy found that he died from a torn pulmonary artery resulting from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.[53] A funeral service was held for him at Holy Family Church in Chicago on March 7.

"For South Siders and Sox fans all across the country, including me, Minnie Miñoso is and will always be ‘Mr. White Sox,’" President Barack Obama said in a statement released by the White House.[54][55]

Hall of Fame candidacy

Miñoso became eligible for election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1970 – a year before the Hall began considering players from the Negro leagues or taking into account the accomplishments of major leaguers in the Negro leagues – and was dropped from the ballot for insufficient support. He was restored to the ballot five years after his final 1980 appearances as a player, and finally began to receive support as a candidate, remaining on the ballot for fourteen years before his eligibility expired; however, most of the writers voting by that point had little memory of him during his prime. In 2001, historian Bill James selected Miñoso as the tenth greatest left fielder of all time; based on the then-general belief that Miñoso was born in 1922 rather than 1925, James wrote, "Had he gotten the chance to play when he was 21 years old, I think he'd probably be rated among the top thirty players of all time."[56]

Author Stuart Miller makes the case for Miñoso's election based on the wins above replacement (WAR) statistic, which calculates the number of additional wins a team would get from a player's production compared to having played a replacement-level minor league player at the position. Miñoso is among the top five AL players in WAR for seven of his MLB seasons, ranking first in WAR for two of those seasons.[57] Jay Jaffe of Sports Illustrated has written that Miñoso's Hall of Fame candidacy may have been damaged by the publicity stunt game appearances in his later life. He said that the biggest question for Hall of Fame voters would be how much potential major league production was taken away from Miñoso because baseball was not integrated at the outset of his career.[58]

Golden Era candidate

Miñoso was selected to be on the Hall of Fame's Golden Era Committee election ballot in 2011 and 2014.[59] Since 2011, the Baseball Writers' Association of America's (BBWAA) Historical Overview Committee serves as the Hall's screening committee every three years to identify ten long-retired players, managers, umpires, or executives (living or deceased) from the "Golden Era" (1947–1973) for possible induction into the Hall of Fame .[60] In order to be inducted, any of ten candidates on the ballot must receive at least 12 of 16 votes cast by the 16-member Golden Era Committee at the MLB Winter Meeting in December.[61] In 2011 and 2014, Miñoso received 9 and 8 votes; in 2011, only Ron Santo with 15 votes was elected to the Hall of Fame (inducted 2012).[62][63] In 2014, none of the candidates was elected by the committee.[64]

MLB stats, awards, and achievements

Years Games PA AB Runs Hits 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO OBP SLG BA Fld%
17 1,835 7,712 6,579 1,136 1,963 336 83 186 1,023 205 814 584 .389 .459 .298 .971
  • All-Star: 1951–1954, 1957, 1959 (2 games), 1960 (2 games)
  • Gold Glove: 1957 (Outfield), 1959 (AL-Outfield), 1960 (AL-Outfield)
  • AL leader in hits (1960)
  • AL leader in doubles (1957)
  • AL leader in triples (1951, 1954, 1956)
  • AL leader in sacrifice flies (1960, 1961)
  • AL leader in stolen bases (1951–1953)
  • AL leader in times on base and total bases (1954)
  • Chicago White Sox All-Century Team (2000)

See also

References

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  51. ^ "Minoso statue unveiled". Chicago White Sox. Retrieved March 1, 2015.
  52. ^ "Minnie Miñoso: Former White Sox star Minoso will receive Holtzman Award". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved March 1, 2015.
  53. ^ Chicago Tribune (March 1, 2015). "White Sox great Minnie Miñoso found dead in car". chicagotribune.com. Retrieved March 1, 2015.
  54. ^ Rabouin, Dion (March 1, 2015). "IBTimes.com – Minnie Miñoso: Obama Commemorates Death Of 'Mr. White Sox' In Statement". International Business Times. Retrieved March 1, 2015.
  55. ^ "Statement by the President on the Passing of Minnie Miñoso" (Press release). WhiteHouse.gov. March 1, 2015. Retrieved March 2, 2015.
  56. ^ James, Bill (2001). The Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract. New York: Free Press. p. 367. ISBN 0-684-80697-5.
  57. ^ Miller, Stuart (November 8, 2011). "Making the case for Minnie Miñoso". The New York Times. Retrieved November 28, 2014.
  58. ^ Jaffe, Jay. "The Hall of Fame chances for 2014's Golden Era nominees (Part 2)". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved November 28, 2014.
  59. ^ "Golden Era Committee Candidates Announced". Baseball Hall of Fame. Retrieved March 1, 2015.
  60. ^ Baseball Hall of Fame, Golden Era Ballot [2] Retrieved November 21, 2014
  61. ^ "Eras Committees". Baseball Hall of Fame. Retrieved March 1, 2015.
  62. ^ "Baseball Hall of Fame: Ron Santo finally gets in, but Minnie Miñoso falls short". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved March 1, 2015.
  63. ^ "Minnie Miñoso's still not in the HOF?". ESPN.com. Retrieved March 1, 2015.
  64. ^ "Veterans committee doesn't elect anyone to Hall of Fame". CBSSports.com. Retrieved March 1, 2015.
  1. ^ MLB held two All-Star Games from 1959 through 1962

External links

1951 Chicago White Sox season

The 1951 Chicago White Sox season was the team's 51st season in the major leagues, and its 52nd season overall. They finished with a record 81–73, good for fourth place in the American League, 17 games behind the first place New York Yankees.

1951 Cleveland Indians season

The 1951 Cleveland Indians season was a season in American baseball. The team finished second in the American League with a record of 93–61, 5 games behind the New York Yankees.

1952 Chicago White Sox season

The 1952 Chicago White Sox season was the team's 52nd season in the major leagues, and its 53rd season overall. They finished with a record 81–73, good enough for third place in the American League, 14 games behind the 1st place New York Yankees.

1953 Chicago White Sox season

The 1953 Chicago White Sox season was the team's 53rd season in the major leagues, and its 54th season overall. They finished with a record 89–65, good enough for third place in the American League, 11.5 games behind the first place New York Yankees.

1954 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

The 1954 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 21st playing of the midsummer classic between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and National League (NL), the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was held on July 13, 1954, at Cleveland Municipal Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio the home of the Cleveland Indians of the American League.

1956 Chicago White Sox season

The 1956 Chicago White Sox season was the team's 56th season in the major leagues, and its 57th season overall. They finished with a record 85–69, good enough for third place in the American League, 12 games behind the first place New York Yankees.

1957 Chicago White Sox season

The 1957 Chicago White Sox season was the team's 57th season in the major leagues, and its 58th season overall. They finished with a record 90–64, good enough for second place in the American League, 8 games behind the first-place New York Yankees.

1960 Chicago White Sox season

The 1960 Chicago White Sox season was the team's 60th season in the major leagues, and its 61st season overall. They finished with a record 87–67, good enough for third place in the American League, 10 games behind the first-place New York Yankees.

1963 Washington Senators season

The 1963 Washington Senators season involved the Senators finishing 10th in the American League with a record of 56 wins and 106 losses.

1964 Chicago White Sox season

The 1964 Chicago White Sox season was the team's 64th season in the major leagues, and its 65th season overall. They finished with a record of 98–64, good enough for second place in the American League, just one game behind the first-place New York Yankees.

1976 Chicago White Sox season

The 1976 Chicago White Sox season was the team's 76th season in Major League Baseball, and its 77th season overall. They finished at 64–97 (.398), the worst record in the twelve-team American League. They were 25½ games behind the Kansas City Royals, champions of the American League West.

1980 Chicago White Sox season

The 1980 Chicago White Sox season was the team's 80th season in Major League Baseball, and its 81st season overall. They finished with a record of 70-90, good enough for 5th place in the American League West, 26 games behind the first-place Kansas City Royals.

In 1979 and 1980, Bill Veeck made overtures to Denver interests. An agreement was reached to sell to Edward J. DeBartolo, Sr., who pledged to keep the club in Chicago. His offer was turned down by the owners. Veeck was forced to sell to a different investment group.

Jake Striker

Wilbur Scott "Jake" Striker (October 23, 1933 – March 7, 2013) was a left-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball who played in 1959 and 1960 with the Cleveland Indians and Chicago White Sox.

Originally signed by the Indians in 1952, this 6'2", 200 pound athlete made a promising start to his career. In his debut on September 25, 1959, at the age of 25, Striker tossed 6⅔ innings of solid baseball, allowing only two earned runs for a 2.70 earned run average and the win. He went 0 for 1 with a walk at the plate in what would be the only game in which he would appear in 1959.

The only player from Heidelberg College to reach the major leagues, Striker was traded on December 6, 1959 with Dick Brown, Don Ferrarese and Minnie Miñoso to the White Sox for Johnny Romano, Bubba Phillips and Norm Cash. That basically sealed the fate for his fairly promising career. He only appeared in two games with the White Sox, both relief appearances. In 3+ innings of work, he posted a 4.91 ERA, striking out one and walking one. His major league career ended on April 24, 1960. Overall, he went 1 and 0 with a 3.48 ERA in 3 games in his career. He walked five, struck out six and gave up one home run (to Casey Wise) in about 10 innings of work. Overall, he wore three uniform numbers in his short two-year career. He wore 23 with the Indians, and 20 and 31 with the White Sox.

Joe Cunningham (baseball)

Joseph Robert Cunningham, Jr. (born August 27, 1931) is an American former Major League Baseball (MLB) first baseman and outfielder who played for the St. Louis Cardinals (1954; 1956–61), Chicago White Sox (1962–64), and Washington Senators (1964–66). He batted .291 with 980 hits over 1,141 career games and was a two-time MLB All-Star in a 12-year career. The native of Saddle River Township (renamed Saddle Brook) New Jersey, threw and batted left-handed, and was listed as 6 feet (1.8 m) tall and 180 pounds (82 kg).

In his first four MLB games, in 1954, Cunningham became the first Cardinals player to hit at least two home runs. On April 6, 2016, Jeremy Hazelbaker matched him for this feat.The best season for Cunningham was in 1959, when he led the National League in on-base percentage at .453 and batted .345 to finish second to Hank Aaron for the NL batting title.

Cunningham was traded from the Cardinals to the Chicago White Sox after the 1961 season in exchange for long-time star Minnie Miñoso. Although his first season as the White Sox first baseman was successful, Cunningham would never fully recover from a broken collarbone suffered in a collision on June 3, 1963. After his playing career, Cunningham returned to the Redbirds from 1968–71 to manage in their farm system at the Class A level. Cunningham worked as a coach for the MLB Cardinals in 1982.In a 12-season career, Cunningham posted a .291 batting average (980-3362) with 64 home runs, 525 runs scored, and 436 RBI in 1141 games played. His on-base percentage was .403 and slugging percentage was .417. He compiled a .989 fielding percentage. His primary position was first base, in which he played in 608 games. He also played in the outfield, appearing in 404 games in right field and 46 games in left field.

His son, Joe III, who played in the minor leagues during the 1980s, also has worked as a batting instructor and manager in the Cardinals' farm system.

José Rijo

José Antonio Rijo Abreu (born May 13, 1965) is a Dominican former pitcher in Major League Baseball (MLB) who spent the majority of his career with the Cincinnati Reds (1988–1995 and 2001–2002). Originally signed by the New York Yankees as an amateur free agent in 1980, Rijo made his MLB debut with them in 1984, and also played in MLB for the Oakland Athletics. He pitched and batted right-handed, stood 6 feet 1 inch (1.85 m) tall, and weighed 200 pounds (91 kg) during his playing career.The most notable success of Rijo's career came as a member of the Reds, where each year as a starting pitcher from 1988−1993, he posted an earned run average (ERA) below 3.00. He won a World Series title in 1990 and that event's Most Valuable Player Award (MVP). In 1993, he was the National League (NL) leader in strikeouts and Wins Above Replacement (WAR) at 10.6. He was named to the All-Star Game in 1994.

Elbow injuries sidelined Rijo for most of the 1995 season, and from 1996−2000, prevented him from appearing in the major leagues in spite of all his efforts. In 2001, he returned to the major leagues as a relief pitcher with the Reds. By doing so, he became the first player to appear in a game after receiving a Baseball Hall of Fame vote since Minnie Miñoso in 1976. As a result, Rijo was the Tony Conigliaro Award winner in 2002. He again retired after that season, and was elected to the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame in 2005.

List of Chicago White Sox nicknames

In the last 100-plus years, the Chicago White Sox have had many players with colorful and memorable nicknames from "Shoeless Joe" Jackson to "Old Aches & Pains" Appling, Minnie the "Cuban Comet" Minoso, "Little Louie" Aparicio, "Black Jack" McDowell, and Frank "The Big Hurt" Thomas. These are some of the best.

Dick Allen: "Wampum"

Sandy Alomar: "Iron Pony"

Luis Aparicio: "Little Louie"

Luke Appling: "Fumblefoot" or "Kid Boots" or "Old Aches & Pains"

Cuke Barrows, Roland Barrows: "Cuke"

Bruno Block, James John Blochowicz: "Bruno"

Ken Boyer: "Cap" or "Captain"

Smoky Burgess, Forrest Harrill Burgess: "Smoky"

Iván Calderón: "Ivan The Terrible"

Norm Cash: "Stormin’ Norman"

Eddie Cicotte: "Knuckles"

Rocky Colavito, Rocco Colavito: "Rocky"

Eddie Collins: "Cocky"

José Contreras: "Commander"

Joe Crede: "Clutch Norris"

Bucky Dent, Russell Earl O’Day: "Bucky" or "Bucky 'Fucking' Dent"

Octavio Dotel: "Ol' Dirty"

Richard Dotson: "Dot"

Brian Downing: "Incredible Hulk"

Red Faber, Urban Clarence Faber: "Red"

Carlton Fisk: "Pudge"

Nellie Fox, Jacob Nelson Fox,: "Nellie", "Little Nel", or "The Mighty Mite"

Freddy García: "Chief"

Ralph Garr: "Road Runner"

Kid Gleason, William Gleason: "Kid"

Goose Gossage, Richard Michael Gossage: "Goose" or "The White Gorilla"

Craig Grebeck: "The Little Hurt"

Bo Jackson, Vincent Edward Jackson: "Bo"

Joe Jackson: "Shoeless Joe"

Bobby Jenks: "Big Bad Bobby Jenks"

Lance Johnson: "One Dog"

Ted Kluszewski: "Big Klu"

Paul Konerko: "Paulie"

Carlos Lee: "El Caballo"

Ted Lyons: "Sunday Teddy"

Jack McDowell: "Black Jack"

Catfish Metkovich, George Michael Metkovich: "Catfish"

Minnie Miñoso, Saturnino Orestes Armas (Arrieta) Miñoso: "Minnie" or "The Cuban Comet"

Blue Moon Odom, Johnny Lee Odom: "Blue Moon"

Magglio Ordóñez: "El Caribe Mayor (The Caribbean Mayor)" or "Mags"

Tom Paciorek: "Wimpy"

Don Pall: "The Pope"

Herbert Perry: "The Milkman"

Bubba Phillips, John Melvin Phillips: "Bubba"

Billy Pierce: "Billy the Kid"

Scott Podsednik: "Pods"

Carlos Quentin: "TCQ"

Tim Raines: "Rock"

Alexei Ramírez: "The Cuban Missile"

Ray Schalk: "The Cracker"

Tom Seaver: "Tom Terrific"

Bill Skowron: "Moose"

Moose Solters, Julius Joseph Soltesz: "Moose" or "Lemons"

Nick Swisher: "Dirty Thirty"

Frank Thomas: "The Big Hurt"

Jim Thome: "Big Jimmy" or "Mr. Incredible"

Javier Vázquez: "The Silent Assassin"

Robin Ventura: "Batman"

Dayán Viciedo: "The Tank"

Ed Walsh: "Big Ed"

Skeeter Webb, James Laverne Webb: "Skeeter"

Hoyt Wilhelm: "Old Sarge"

Walt Williams: "No Neck"

Taffy Wright, Taft Shedron Wright:: "Taffy"

Early Wynn: "Gus"

List of Chicago White Sox team records

This is a list of team records for the Chicago White Sox professional baseball team.

List of Major League Baseball players who played in four decades

Playing Major League Baseball in four decades has been attained by only 29 players in the league's history, dating from the 1870s to the present day.

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