The Chicago White Sox are one of the American League’s “original eight” charter franchises but can trace their lineage back to 1894 and their play in the Western League. The team began as the Sioux City Cornhuskers when it was moved to St. Paul Minnesota after the 1894 season. In 1900, the league changed its name to the American League and the team moved to the Near South Side of Chicago and was picked up the name discarded by the Chicago Cubs, the White Stockings. The team set out and won the 1900 American League pennant and finished the season the final WL/AL Champions.
Beginning in 1901, the White Stockings declared itself a major league and went on to win the American League’s first major league pennant. The press immediately began shortening the team name and began calling the team the Sox. It would be three years later that the franchise would officially recognize and change the name to the White Sox.
The franchise would have up and down seasons and acquired many talented players like Ray Schalk, Buck Weaver, Red Faber, Reb Russell and Eddie Cicotte. In 1915, the team signed Shoeless Joe Jackson, Eddie Collins and Happy Felsch. The team improved to a 93-61 record and the following season acquired SP Lefty Williams.
The final piece of the puzzle was inserted into the lineup at the beginning of the 1917 season. The franchise added 1B Chick Gandil and SS Swede Riseberg. The team blitzed the league en-route to a 100-54 record (a franchise record that still stands) and won the AL pennant by a large margin. In the World Series, the Sox faced the New York Giants winning four games to two for their second World Series Championship.
Due to WWI, the league was a shell of its former self and following the Championship season, the Sox fell to 57-67 in 1918. The team would bounce back in 1919 after posting an 88-52 record and faced the Cincinnati Reds in the World Series. There was heavy talk about significant money being bet on the Reds which sparked talk of a “fix” in the series. The Sox would end up losing to the Reds in eight games and the rumors continued through the following season as the Sox were chasing their third pennant in four years. Although all players who were accused (and some who had confessed) were acquitted but baseball commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis banned all those involved from professional baseball for life.
The team went through a period of time without much success and between 1922 and 1950 and would break .500 only a handful of times during that period. Between 1950 and 1967, the team would continue to get better and in 1931, team owner Charles Comiskey passed away leaving his family to operate the team. In 1951, the franchise hired former player Paul Richards as team manager. Richards brought a unique offensive style that focused on speed which is now commonly referred to as “small ball.” Although this proved effective and the team had successive winning seasons (1951, 52, 53 & 54) they could never get past the New York Yankees (51-53) or the Cleveland Indians in 1954. Richards was replaced by Al Lopez in 1955. The team would continue to gain in skill and players, signing SS Luis Aparicio in 1956.
Finally, in 1959, the team won the AL pennant and went on to face the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series. The team went and acquired Ted Kluszewski, a local slugger, to help them in their final push but even he couldn’t help the Sox overcome the Dodgers who took the series in six games. This was one of only two breaks in the Yankees famed dynasty. This would become ever frustrating for the Sox who would end up the runner up to the Yankees five times within that period including a 98 win season in 1964 that still wasn’t good enough to win the pennant as they finished one game behind the Yankees.
The Southside Hitters came into existence during the 1977 season and consisted of Oscar Gamble, Richie Zisk and the AL Comeback Player of the Year Eric Soderholm, who slugged a team record 192 combined home runs. The team finished with an impressive 90-72 record but in third place. The most significant season was the 1993 campaign where the team joined the new AL West and finished with a 94-68 record. In the ALCS, the team would stumble against the eventual World Series Champion Toronto Blue Jays. They would again lead their division up until the players strike in 1994. The team would take out the New York Yankees in the ALCS and met up against the LA the World Series.
The team fell into disarray the following season dropping to a dismal season ending record of 68-76, a full 32 games out of first place. The team would continue to struggle until the new millennium, when they took the AL Central with a 95-67 record. They managed to win a Wild Card Slot which they lost to the Seattle Mariners in the ALDS. By 2005, the team had rebuilt and finished with a 99-63 record. The Sox met the defending World Series Champions Boston Red Sox in the ALDS and swept them in three straight games. In the ALCS, the Sox met up against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The Angels opened the series with a victory but would go on to lose the next three straight games allowing the Sox to move on to play in the World Series. The 2005 World Series pitted the White Sox against the Houston Astros. Playing in their first World Series in 46 seasons, the White Sox did not let the opportunity slip by them as the swept the Astros in four straight games to win their first World Series Title since 1917.
The 2008 squad also captured the AL Crown but lost to the Tampa Bay Rays in the ALDS three games to one. They followed up that season with a 79-83 outing in 2009 and an 88-74 record in 2010.
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