Thursday, April 4, 2013
April 4- Chicago White Sox
The last four days have been truly spectacular. The Oakland Athletics and the Seattle Mariners played an amazing four games series ending in a 2-2 decision as both team hit the road. I have decided to stay in the Bay Area for another day to let the intense baseball experience I just lived sink in a little bit more as well as to get some much needed rest before I take an 18-hour train ride back to Portland on Saturday night. I must apologize to all of you who have been loyal readers to keep you hanging for my blog posts. Things have been a bit hectic as I’ve been running around to different corners of the Bay, meeting up with long-time friends and making new ones. If there’s anything that I’ve learned from this it’s that I need to figure out a new way to balance my days, especially if I’m going to hitting the road and finding work over the next few months of the season. Busy busy busy!!!
It may not seem like it, but there is a surprising amount of work that goes into these daily posts, something I really took for granted in the first month. I originally started doing this as a side project to motivate me to write on a daily basis, as I had been somewhat lazy about keeping a better habit for the last two years. As I’ve gone back and re-read the ones I’ve all ready written I’ve noticed that the length and depth of information I’ve provided grew exponentially after the first two weeks, something I’m very proud of as a researcher. More important, I felt that adding my own personal twist to each story was vital to my storytelling. After all, hats are easy to come by, and researching a particular time frame can be just as so, but adding intricate details about the time of when I purchased them, the mood as well adding my own personal touch to each hat, I feel, goes further. I appreciate all the time you’ve taken to read these posts and I am more than welcome to comments and suggestions for future posts. After all, this experience isn’t all about me; I do it mostly for you, the fans.
This Chicago White Sox hat is one that I really liked from a distance, but never fully understood why I picked it up. If you recall in my Cincinnati Reds post from yesterday, custom hats can be cool, but only as long as they make sense and have a purpose. This is one of the few hats that I definitely enjoy having on my wall, but always feels a little weird wearing it as the White Sox themselves never wore in their history. Rather, like the Reds hats from yesterday, the logo on the center of this cap was never featured on any of their hats. This logo, which is one of my favorites in MLB history, served as the team’s primary logo from 1976-1990, and was a frequent attraction on a lot of the baseball cards I came across during the 1980s. In fact, I like it so much that I had it tattooed on me as my representation of the White Sox for the American League half of my MLB tattoos.
There is a very similar hat that the White Sox did use and are bringing back for the 2013 season, but I will write about that in a future post. To be honest, I totally would have been on board if they ever made this into an actual hat. There’s something about it that doesn’t fit entirely with the old and current history of the team, mostly the colors and the lack of the classic interlinking “SOX” logo; however, it is an iconic throwback to the time when legendary, visionary owner Bill Veeck owned the team from 1959-1961 and then again from 1975-1980. This logo made its debut during the 1976 season as an innovative bicentennial themed emblem, hence why their colors changed to red, white and blue. While other teams opted the 200th birthday of our country by keeping things relatively the same, Veeck always knew how to make an extra buck, but also give the fan a much more intimate, original experience.
The marks on my hat were originally going to be used for another White Sox hat in my collection; however, I changed my mind in order to pay tribute to a Veeck-created even that I will write about in July. Since the numbers I have in mind fall suit with the time frame in which this logo was used, I felt it was a perfect choice.
#9- One of the first, and most prominent Cuban-born players in MLB history, Minnie Minoso broke out was signed by the Cleveland Indians as a free agent in 1948 and made his debut in 1949, only playing nine games. It would be two years before he stepped onto a Major League field again at which it turned out to be the most successful of his career. In 1951 Minoso played eight games for the Indians before getting dealt to the White Sox. He finished the season in second place for the AL Rookie of the Year award as well as in fourth place for the MVP after batting .326 with 10 home runs, 76 RBI and a league-leading 14 triples and a league-leading 31 stolen bases. He also made the first of seven All-Star Game appearances with that campaign. Throughout his career Minoso finished in the Top-five for AL MVP voting a total of four times; 1953-1954 and 1960 being the other three years. In 1957 he was one of the first few players to receive a Rawlings Gold Glove award for being the best defender at his position, left field, an honor he would go on to receive two more time throughout his career (1959-1960). Minoso was a very disciplined batter, always sacrificing his body for the good of the team which he did to the tune of leading the league in hit-by-pitches a total of 10 times. He also led the league in stolen bases and triples three times each. He finished his career with a .298 average, 1963 hits and 1023 RBI. Of all of his accomplishments in the field the one thing Minoso is most known for is being one of two players in MLB history to play in five different decades: 1949-1964, 1976 and 1980; three-time World Series champion Nick Altrock is the first to accomplish this feat. Minoso’s professional career did not end after the 1980 season; he went on to make appearances in with the St. Paul Saints in 1993 and 2003, being the only player in professional baseball history to play in seven decades. In 1990 Minoso presented the lineup card for the White Sox in a new uniform they were debuting on September 30, the final game ever played at Comiskey Park.
#17- This one is kind of an interesting pick, but Oscar Gamble’s best year of his career came in the first of two years that he played for the White Sox; those years being 1977 and 1985. Gamble made a few stops around the league, but the two teams he is mostly remembered for al the Indians and the New York Yankees; however, the best year of his career came during the ’77 season when Gamble finished in 29th place for the AL MVP awards with a career bests in home runs (31), RBI (83), doubles (22), games played (137) and runs (75). Also, when you look this awesome as you accomplish all of these feats, it’s totally worth recognizing.