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WSI News - WSI Spotlight

The Beat Goes On!

...and so does the beating for Sox Fans!

42 and 85. White Sox fans know those numbers by heart. They represent the number of years that have passed since the Sox got into and won the World Series respectively.

Pretty amazing. Pretty pathetic. It doesn’t seem to matter who owns the team, when the post season comes around, you can bank on the Sox not being in it or making a quick and painless exit.

I remember Chris Berman from ESPN issuing a verbal scolding of Sox fans who were leaving in droves in the bottom of the 9th inning in Game #2 of the 2000 ALDS. Berman was doing the play by play and couldn’t believe how the fans were reacting. He was saying how the Sox were the highest scoring team in the American League and authored numerous comeback wins. He couldn’t understand what was happening.

Any Sox fan could. When October comes around, the hitting dries up, the pitching heads South and the club tightens up, especially at home. Is it any coincidence the Sox are closing in on the MLB record for most consecutive home post season losses? (The mark is ten set by the Phillies. The current Sox streak is at nine...and counting.)

It’s a pretty sick and pathetic performance but until you take a closer look at the numbers, you don’t realize how bad things are on the South Side.

That’s what we’re going to do here. Break down the numbers and see who’s done what since 1959.

When the 1960 season rolled around, after the Dodgers shut down the Sox vaunted running game and took the Series 4-2, baseball had only 16 teams. Eight in each league. We’ll start our examination here.

Here’s the list of "original" American League teams who have made the World Series since 1960: Baltimore, Boston, Cleveland, Detroit, Kansas City (they became the Oakland Athletics in 1968), New York and Washington (who became the Minnesota Twins in 1961.)

Now here are the "original" National League teams who have been in the World Series since 1960: Cincinnati, Los Angeles, Milwaukee (who became the Atlanta Braves in 1966), Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Francisco and St. Louis.

The only two of the "original" clubs who have not made the World Series since 1960 are the White Sox and Cubs! Anybody care to calculate the odds of BOTH teams from the same town being the only ones to miss the mark?

In 1961 the first wave of expansion came as the American League added the Los Angeles Angels and the "new" Washington Senators (who became the Texas Rangers in 1972.) The National League countered in 1962 with the Houston Colt .45's (who changed their name to the Astros,) and the New York Mets.

Of those four teams, the Angels and the Mets have made World Series appearances during the period the White Sox have been shut out.

1969 saw four more teams come of age. The A.L. added the Kansas City Royals and the Seattle Pilots (who became the Milwaukee Brewers in 1970.) The N.L. saw the Montreal Expos and the San Diego Padres begin. Of those four teams, the Royals, Pilots (as the Brewers) and the Padres have been in the Fall Classic.

The American League expanded to Seattle and Toronto in 1977, with the Blue Jays making the promised land.

The National League caught up by adding the Colorado Rockies and the Florida Marlins in 1993. Florida has been to the World Series.

Once more baseball expanded with the Arizona Diamondbacks and Tampa Bay Devil Rays being born in 1998. The D’backs have already made the big show.

Fourteen teams have come into existence since 1960. Of those "expansion" clubs, eight have made it all the way to the World Series, since the last time the White Sox did!  That's 57 per cent!!!

Of all the clubs in currently in baseball the list of those shut out since 1960 is down to a ridiculous few: the White Sox, Cubs, Mariners, Devil Rays, Rangers, Rockies, Astros and Expos. Pretty impressive company eh? And in fairness it has to be noted that the only other club who has had as many chances as the Sox (42 years) are the Cubs! The other six clubs haven’t been around as long.

I guess that makes the Sox and the Cubs "co- holders" of the league’s "futility" award. If it’s so hard to get to the World Series, how come the overwhelming majority of teams have been able to accomplish this, while the White Sox still aimlessly wander around looking for the promised land.

Best of the best? More like the worst of the worst!!!!!

Below is a franchise breakdown of when each team appeared in the World Series since 1959:

Angels (2002)

Orioles (1966, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1979, 1983)

Red Sox (1967, 1975, 1986)

Indians (1995, 1997)

Tigers (1968, 1984)

Royals (1980, 1985)

Twins (1965, 1987, 1991)

Yankees (1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1981, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001)

Athletics (1972, 1973, 1974, 1988, 1989, 1990

Blue Jays (1992, 1993)

Diamondbacks (2001)

Braves (1991, 1992, 1995, 1996, 1999)

Reds (1961, 1970, 1972, 1975, 1976, 1990)

Marlins (1997)

Dodgers (1963, 1965, 1966, 1974, 1977, 1978, 1981, 1988)

Brewers (1982)

Mets (1969, 1973, 1986, 2000)

Phillies (1980, 1983, 1993)

Pirates (1960, 1971, 1979)

Cardinals (1964, 1967, 1968, 1982, 1985, 1987)

Padres (1984, 1998)

Giants (1962, 1989, 2002)

One other note. The only teams not to WIN a World Series since the White Sox last appeared in 1959 are, of course, the White Sox, Cubs, Mariners, Devil Rays, Rangers, Rockies, Astros and Expos (because they haven’t been there) plus the Red Sox, Indians, Padres and Giants. The only teams in MLB to have gone longer then the White Sox 85 seasons without a championship have been the Cubs and Red Sox. Once again great company eh? Just something our intrepid management needs to think about when they head to the Winter Meetings and the free agent signing period.

As always comments, questions, insults, puns and snide remarks are always welcome. Contact me at mliptak1@ida.net


Editor's Note:  Mark Liptak is an experienced sports journalist, holding several awards for both his electronic and print media work.  He has held numerous sports reporting positions for various TV and newspaper organizations, including Director of Sports for KNOE-TV (Monroe, Louisiana) and KPVI-TV (Pocatello, Idaho), and sports writer for the Idaho Falls Free Press, where his column "Lip Service" has appeared for for a number of years.  "Lip", his wife, and cats presently live in Chubbuck, Idaho, where they collectively comprise 100 percent of the Pocatello River Valley's long-time Sox Fan population.

More features from Mark Liptak here! 

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