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chisoxfanatic
06-23-2008, 08:57 PM
Obviously, my personal Sox knowledge is best for teams since the late 80s, and I do think I have a pretty solid understanding for which years were pretty strong since around the Go Go White Sox era; but, what about teams before the 1950s? Aside from the Hitless Wonders and the 1917 Sox (I don't even want to think of the certain scandle of 1919), what were some of the better Sox teams in the first half-century of White Sox baseball? How would you rank them (in this ranking, you can include the World Series teams)? I've been kind of curious as to the early history of this franchise.

Brian26
06-23-2008, 09:27 PM
http://chicago.whitesox.mlb.com/cws/history/year_by_year_results.jsp

Lip Man 1
06-23-2008, 09:58 PM
There was a short period of time in the late 30's / early 40's where the Sox had three or four winning seasons but in those days the Yankees were simply impossible to beat. Once the war started the Sox fell back into the black hole and didn't reemerge until the start of the Golden Era in 1951.

Lip

WhiteSox5187
06-23-2008, 10:14 PM
Prior to the 1919 Black Sox scandal the Sox were one of the power houses of the AL. We won the pennant in '19 and '17 (1918 was an awful year, but a war year) and came in second place in '16 and third place in 1915 (with a .604 winning percentage). We came within a stone's throw of the pennant in 1908 and 1907. So yea, up until 1921 we were one of the most dominant teams in the AL. Then as Lip pointed out we had some good years in the late '30s ('36, '37, and '39) and a good year in '43 (a war year) then we tanked out until 1951.

RockRiversoxfan
06-23-2008, 11:53 PM
the 1917 white sox which hold the record for most wins to this day. won 100 games. definantly the greatest sox team of all time win total and considering the fact they came through in the postseason by winning it all.:D:

whitesox901
06-24-2008, 01:48 AM
1901 we came in first place

LITTLE NELL
06-24-2008, 05:09 AM
From 1920 to 1950 the best teams the Sox had were in the Jimmy Dykes era. After Al Lopez, Dykes,even though he did'nt have a winning record, was probably the 2nd best manager the Sox have had.
1919 just about destroyed the franchise, they could have been a dynasty at least through the 20s.

soxpride724
06-24-2008, 08:14 AM
From 1920 to 1950 the best teams the Sox had were in the Jimmy Dykes era. After Al Lopez, Dykes,even though he did'nt have a winning record, was probably the 2nd best manager the Sox have had.
1919 just about destroyed the franchise, they could have been a dynasty at least through the 20s.


I just finished a book about the early years of the Sox. When the eight players from the 1919 team were banned in 1920, Comiskey tried to rebuild the team simmilar to the rebuilding of the Bulls after 1998 and the result unfortunantly was the same.

TommyJohn
06-24-2008, 08:31 AM
I would say the best teams from 1921-50 were the 1936-37 teams. In 1936
they averaged 6.1 runs per game (still the franchise record) batted .292
as a team, led by Luke Appling's league-leading .388 average (also a team
record) and Zeke Bonura's 12 HRs, 138 RBIs (team record until 1998) and
.330 average. The only drawback was the pitching-their team ERA was a
jaw-dropping (for that era) 5.06. They won games by scores like 11-6,
19-6, 13-12, 16-3, 13-5, 15-2. They also lost games by scores of 16-4,
12-9, 18-11 and 21-6. On July 18 at Shibe Park they beat the Philadelphia
A's by a touchdown, 21-14.

The 1936 team also managed to throw the second division monkey off the
Sox' back. They went 81-70, good enough for third place in that Yankees
Over All era. It was the first time since 1920 that they had seen the upper
echelons of the league standings. To top the season off they faced a Cubs
team that had gone 87-67, good enough for second place in the NL, in that
year's City Series. The Sox wiped them out four games to zero. All eight
position players played every inning of every game and every starter pitched
a complete game.

They were actually a bit better in 1937, with a record of 86-68, a team BA
of .280 and an ERA of 4.17. They finished 16 games in back of the Yankees
this year. Luke Appling batted .317 and Zeke Bonura had 19 HRs, 100 RBIs
and a .345 average.

Unfortunately, they were unable to follow up on this heady success. They
traded Bonura to the Washington Senators in the offseason (Sox fans were
enraged) and suffered a rash of injuries to go 65-83. They rebounded to
have a winning season in 1939, and would field good, first division teams
until 1943. Still, I would say the 1936-37 seasons is when the Jimmie Dykes
era Sox were at the absolute peak of their powers.

russ99
06-24-2008, 08:34 AM
There was a short period of time in the late 30's / early 40's where the Sox had three or four winning seasons but in those days the Yankees were simply impossible to beat. Once the war started the Sox fell back into the black hole and didn't reemerge until the start of the Golden Era in 1951.

Lip

My dad absolutely loathed the Yankees.

I though it was because of how they always beat and finished ahead of solid Sox teams in the early/mid 60's. But I see now his hatred may have been much more deep seeded...

Viva Medias B's
06-24-2008, 08:51 AM
Didn't the death of J. Louis Comiskey in 1939, with his widow Grace Comiskey subsequently becoming the virtual boss of the franchise, help derail the run of contention from the late '30s?

LITTLE NELL
06-24-2008, 11:14 AM
This thread brings to mind that down through the years there is one thing that has hurt this franchise more than anything and that is the Sox have been owned by either very cheap owners or owners with little captital. Inspite of that, as of today the Sox have a winning record of 8,413-8,216 for a.506 pct.

ChiSoxFan7
06-24-2008, 11:36 AM
1994 Chicago White SoxAmerican League6746.593-1,697,398


look how little games we played and yet our attendance was one of the highest. did we sell out almost every game or what?

TornLabrum
06-24-2008, 01:40 PM
Didn't the death of J. Louis Comiskey in 1939, with his widow Grace Comiskey subsequently becoming the virtual boss of the franchise, help derail the run of contention from the late '30s?

Grace Comiskey's goal throughout her ownership was to break even. I think the war masked the damage this policy did to the team, but it was evident from 1946-1950 until Chuck Comiskey was given a role in running things.

Chuck Comiskey's story is a kind of tragedy in itself. He was a bit hot-headed in his youth and at one point when Grace wouldn't give him a raise, he bolted to the Liberty Broadcasting Network, a radio network that specialized in game recreations using the Western Union ticker reports.

I've always had the feeling that this act of "disloyalty" on Chuck's part was what made Grace decided to leave a majority interest in the club to her daughter Dorothy Comiskey Rigney (despite J. Louis Comiskey's stated wishes). When Dorothy decided to sell, Chuck got first chance but demanded what amounted to a family discount for her shares. Dorothy refused and accepted a bid from Bill Veeck.

The result was a court battle that Chuck lost. When Veeck had to sell due to ill health, one group fronted by Danny Thomas (but actually led by Bernie Epton) tried to buy the team, but Veeck sensed that this was a ploy to restore ownership to Chuck, so he sold the club to Art Allyn.

Once Chuck realized he would not gain control of the club, he sold his shares to Allyn.

Oh, I also have to agree that between 1920-51, the best teams were those late '30s clubs run by Dykes. Sadly a couple of real tragedies occurred with those clubs. First, of course, Monty Stratton shot his leg which had to be amputated. Then a year or two later, second baseman Jackie Hayes went blind.

LITTLE NELL
06-24-2008, 02:18 PM
1994 Chicago White SoxAmerican League6746.593-1,697,398


look how little games we played and yet our attendance was one of the highest. did we sell out almost every game or what?
Sox averaged 32,018 for 53 homes games in 94, then the strike happened and ended our dreams of a World Series.
Attendance was very good but new Comiskey sat over 44,000 so we were far short of selling out every game. Best attendance up to 94 was in 91, first year of the new park when the Sox drew over 2.9 million, and averaged over 36,000 a game. In 06 we did slightly better but missed drawing 3 million by around 40,000.

Lip Man 1
06-24-2008, 03:14 PM
Hal:

And don't forget Charlie Finley who had real cash designs on the Sox as far back as the late fifties and with the money he was putting up it appears that only a "technicality" prevented him from getting the club over Bill.

December 26, 1958 - In the middle of a family fight involving the Comiskey’s and the attempt to sell the Sox, Charlie Finley (yes THAT Charlie Finley) offered 500,000 dollars cash up front, to buy the club. Dorothy Comiskey immediately began to give serious consideration to selling it to him, since that amount of money was gigantic for its time and surpassed the initial offer that came from Bill Veeck’s group. However Veeck had purchased for one hundred dollars, an ‘option’ period where he would have the first right to buy the team. Dorothy Comiskey and her advisers tried to determine a fair price to buy that option back and sell to Finley but were never able to do so. Thanks in part to a judicial ruling in March 1959 and because he raised his initial offer, Veeck’s group took control of the club right before the start of the regular season.

Lip

soxpride724
06-24-2008, 03:26 PM
Hal:

And don't forget Charlie Finley who had real cash designs on the Sox as far back as the late fifties and with the money he was putting up it appears that only a "technicality" prevented him from getting the club over Bill.

December 26, 1958 - In the middle of a family fight involving the Comiskey’s and the attempt to sell the Sox, Charlie Finley (yes THAT Charlie Finley) offered 500,000 dollars cash up front, to buy the club. Dorothy Comiskey immediately began to give serious consideration to selling it to him, since that amount of money was gigantic for its time and surpassed the initial offer that came from Bill Veeck’s group. However Veeck had purchased for one hundred dollars, an ‘option’ period where he would have the first right to buy the team. Dorothy Comiskey and her advisers tried to determine a fair price to buy that option back and sell to Finley but were never able to do so. Thanks in part to a judicial ruling in March 1959 and because he raised his initial offer, Veeck’s group took control of the club right before the start of the regular season.

Lip

And dismantled the team shortly after the 1959 season, ending all hope for a return to the World Series.

Lip Man 1
06-24-2008, 03:37 PM
Pride:

Very true...to a point. In fairness to Bill there's a little more to that story:

December 6, 1959 - In an effort to try to repeat as American League champs Bill Veeck and Hank Greenberg decide to make a series of moves to bring in hitters at the expense of some of the top young players in the Sox system. Veeck originally tired to get young stars like Orlando Cepeda from the Giants and Bill White from the Cardinals but was turned down. So he went in the only direction he felt he could. The first deal brings the Sox back outfielder “Minnie” Minoso at the cost of future power hitting first baseman Norm Cash and future power hitting catcher Johnny Romano. Cleveland also gets “Bubba” Phillips. Sox manager Al Lopez is quoted after the controversial deal as saying, “Some of us, like me, are not worried about next year because we might not be around then.”

Lip

Medford Bobby
06-24-2008, 08:42 PM
Pride:

Very true...to a point. In fairness to Bill there's a little more to that story:

December 6, 1959 - In an effort to try to repeat as American League champs Bill Veeck and Hank Greenberg decide to make a series of moves to bring in hitters at the expense of some of the top young players in the Sox system. Veeck originally tired to get young stars like Orlando Cepeda from the Giants and Bill White from the Cardinals but was turned down. So he went in the only direction he felt he could. The first deal brings the Sox back outfielder “Minnie” Minoso at the cost of future power hitting first baseman Norm Cash and future power hitting catcher Johnny Romano. Cleveland also gets “Bubba” Phillips. Sox manager Al Lopez is quoted after the controversial deal as saying, “Some of us, like me, are not worried about next year because we might not be around then.”

Lip

My Dad still starts to cry when reminded of this time.....:whiner:

nasox
06-24-2008, 09:31 PM
Great thread. This is why I love baseball. No other sport can match its history, and no other sport has been so intertwined with the fabric of American history as baseball has.

Nellie_Fox
06-25-2008, 12:23 AM
My dad absolutely loathed the Yankees.

I though it was because of how they always beat and finished ahead of solid Sox teams in the early/mid 60's. But I see now his hatred may have been much more deep seeded...From 1949 (the year I was born) through 1964 (I was fifteen,) the Yankees won the AL pennant every damn year except 1954 (Indians) and 1959 (White Sox.) Why would any non-Yankee AL fan NOT loathe the Yankees?

By the way, Al Lopez was the manager of both non-Yankee pennant winners.

My Dad still starts to cry when reminded of this time.....:whiner:I'm right there with him.

LITTLE NELL
06-25-2008, 04:55 AM
Great thread. This is why I love baseball. No other sport can match its history, and no other sport has been so intertwined with the fabric of American history as baseball has.
Great post, I argue this point with a good friend who thinks that football is America's pastime.
How can a game thats played once a week be a pastime?

DumpJerry
06-25-2008, 07:20 AM
Some have written that the Sox team leading up to the 1919 debacle was developing itself into one of the all time best teams ever on par with the Yankee teams that were in the near future.

Going into the 1919 season, some say, the Sox were so strong, that the other MLB team in Chicago was contemplating moving to another city because they could not draw fans. 1919 happened and that other team stayed in Chicago.:angry:

TommyJohn
06-25-2008, 09:17 AM
Some have written that the Sox team leading up to the 1919 debacle was developing itself into one of the all time best teams ever on par with the Yankee teams that were in the near future.

Going into the 1919 season, some say, the Sox were so strong, that the other MLB team in Chicago was contemplating moving to another city because they could not draw fans. 1919 happened and that other team stayed in Chicago.:angry:

Not to mention the fact that they apparently got away with their own Series fix.

Madscout
06-25-2008, 11:00 AM
The more I read about the sox history, the more I find the 26 titles for the Yankees tainted by extraordinary events. The rise of the Yankees in the 20's was helped by a decision to throw a core of an entire team that had been to the world series in '17 and '19, in the Sox. This hurt the only other major franchise that was in a comparable market that had sucess in the past.

After reading Bill Veeck's book, the titles in the 50's and 60's don't look real either, as they had Kansas City (Athletics) as thier sort of farm club, in that every kid knew if a player was traded to the A's, they were really traded to the Yankees.

Anyone want to comment on this? Am I completely wrong in saying this, or half right or what?

Lip Man 1
06-25-2008, 11:09 AM
True the Yankees used and abused Kansas City in deals getting numerous players like Roger Maris...however to a certain extent the White Sox used the St. Louis Browns the same way getting guys like Sherm Lollar and Jim Rivera among many others.

Regarding the Black Sox. Sox historian Rich Lindberg has postulated that if the Black Sox scandal hadn't happened the Yankee dynasty never comes to pass. He bases that on a number of things but particularly the fact that even though Ruth starting hitting those home runs there was no public outcry to change the style of the game out of the dead ball era.

No Black Sox, the owners don't abandon the 'dead ball' (as opposed to instituting the lively ball in order to add excitement and help fans forget the fix) and the White Sox with the best team in the league at playing that style continues to win pennants...not the Yankees.

Lip

Paulwny
06-25-2008, 12:02 PM
After reading Bill Veeck's book, the titles in the 50's and 60's don't look real either, as they had Kansas City (Athletics) as thier sort of farm club, in that every kid knew if a player was traded to the A's, they were really traded to the Yankees.

Anyone want to comment on this? Am I completely wrong in saying this, or half right or what?


From 55' to 60' the yanks traded with the A's more than they did with any other club.
Clete Boyer was given a signing bonus of $40,000 in 55'. The A's later admitted they did it for the yanks with the understanding that he'd be traded to NY later. After spending 2 yrs with the A's, gaining ML experience, he was traded to NY.

BigKlu59
06-25-2008, 12:21 PM
:cool: Great thread... Yup, The Yankmee's have stepped is some in some odiferious droppings at expense of other markets (Chi,Phi,Bos). Frazze and Ruth..., Connie Mack selling off the A's to float his boat, and of course our beloved,when at the pinacle givin up just to much to get so little..


Common knowledge about the A's and Yanks... Nice to have a Major/Minor league farm system in the same league... :tongue:

Sucks about Cash and Johnny Callison, Power to spare, but we was putting our money on the Moose...We did have Romano for a season or two till he blew his knee out on a play at the plate...

Geeze, it's great to be a geezer and reminisce like this....

BigKlu59

TornLabrum
06-25-2008, 01:54 PM
True the Yankees used and abused Kansas City in deals getting numerous players like Roger Maris...however to a certain extent the White Sox used the St. Louis Browns the same way getting guys like Sherm Lollar and Jim Rivera among many others.

Regarding the Black Sox. Sox historian Rich Lindberg has postulated that if the Black Sox scandal hadn't happened the Yankee dynasty never comes to pass. He bases that on a number of things but particularly the fact that even though Ruth starting hitting those home runs there was no public outcry to change the style of the game out of the dead ball era.

No Black Sox, the owners don't abandon the 'dead ball' (as opposed to instituting the lively ball in order to add excitement and help fans forget the fix) and the White Sox with the best team in the league at playing that style continues to win pennants...not the Yankees.

Lip

There are a couple of things that may not be exactly accurate. Both leagues went from a rubber-core ball to a cork-center ball sometime around 1910-1912 (I'd have to look up the exact year). You'll note that there is an increase in offensive production right about that time, but still the line-drive hitter was paramount (see Jackson, Shoeless Joe).

The BIG thing, though, was the Ray Chapman incident in 1920. After Chapman was killed by Carl Mays' submarine pitch, possibly due to the ball being not very visible, umpires were directed to start changing balls as soon as there was a speck of dirt on them (as they do today). A more visible ball is a more hittable ball.

In addition to that, Ruth starting pounding homers during the 1920 season. As soon as he paved the way, others followed in his footsteps.

I'd say the Black Sox was less important to the abandonment of deadball style play than either Chapman's death and Ruth showing demonstrating his longball prowess. Ruth simply gave the owners and fans something to latch on to after the scandal.

chisoxfanatic
06-25-2008, 02:26 PM
Some have written that the Sox team leading up to the 1919 debacle was developing itself into one of the all time best teams ever on par with the Yankee teams that were in the near future.

Going into the 1919 season, some say, the Sox were so strong, that the other MLB team in Chicago was contemplating moving to another city because they could not draw fans. 1919 happened and that other team stayed in Chicago.:angry:
Sometimes, I seriously wonder how different our history would've been had it not been for the scandal. If that team's core wasn't consequently broken apart, they might have gone on a Yankee-like run. We might have at least triple our World Series titles by now.

And, who knows, maybe this would've been a one-team town! That would've been great.

DumpJerry
06-25-2008, 03:27 PM
Sometimes, I seriously wonder how different our history would've been had it not been for the scandal. If that team's core wasn't consequently broken apart, they might have gone on a Yankee-like run. We might have at least triple our World Series titles by now.

And, who knows, maybe this would've been a one-team town! That would've been great.
Even if the Cubs had been driven to greener pastures by the pre-1920's White Sox, we would have eventually gotten a second team here. Chicago is too big for just one team. You see how hard it is to get good tickets now, imagine if there was only one team here......

russ99
06-25-2008, 04:19 PM
The more I read about the sox history, the more I find the 26 titles for the Yankees tainted by extraordinary events. The rise of the Yankees in the 20's was helped by a decision to throw a core of an entire team that had been to the world series in '17 and '19, in the Sox. This hurt the only other major franchise that was in a comparable market that had success in the past.

While the 1919-20 scandal damaged the White Sox for many years to come, I don't really think that if Gandil, Felsch, Risberg, Weaver and Jackson had been allowed to continue their careers they would have beaten out a Yankees team with Ruth, Gehrig, Lazzeri, Meusel and Combs.

johnr1note
06-25-2008, 04:23 PM
Sometimes, I seriously wonder how different our history would've been had it not been for the scandal. If that team's core wasn't consequently broken apart, they might have gone on a Yankee-like run. We might have at least triple our World Series titles by now.

And, who knows, maybe this would've been a one-team town! That would've been great.

It is interesting to muse about what might have happened had there been no Black Sox scandal.

Ban Johnson, the founder of the American League and for years a drinking buddy of Charlie Comiskey, was a virtual dictator in the way he ran the AL with an iron hand. He brooked no criticism, and made it very difficult for men he didn't like or approve of to be involved in the league.

Johnson's crass and boorish behavior started wearing thin on Comiskey, especially when it meant something he wanted for the White Sox couldn't be had. Another example was when Harry Frazee bought the Boston Red Sox in 1917. Johnson tried almost from the start to drive him out. Frazee was the first owner in league history not to be virtually handpicked by Johnson. In fact, Johnson started rumors that Frazee was Jewish and thus not fit to be part of the "noble" sport of baseball. At one point, Johnson secretly even had ownership interests in the Cleveland and Washington teams. There were unconfirmed rumors that he owned stakes in the other six teams as well.

The Frazee dispute planted the seed for Johnson's downfall. Eventually, the league divided into two factions, with the Red Sox, White Sox and New York Yankees on one side, led by Charlie Comiskey, and the other five clubs (the Indians, Philadelphia Athletics, St. Louis Browns, Detroit Tigers and Washington Senators, known as the "Loyal Five") on the other. By this time, Comiskey had become a bitter enemy of Johnson; the two men's once warm friendship now strained after Comiskey lost Jack Quinn to the Yankees for the 1919 season on a Johnson ruling. Johnson's authority eroded further that year when the Red Sox traded Carl Mays to the Yankees in defiance of a Johnson order to suspend him. The Yankees got an injunction to allow Mays to play.

I don't have my copy handy, but in Harold Seymour's book "Baseball, the Golden Age," he said that there was a plan hatched by Comiskey, Frazee, Ruppert and Huston (Yankee owners) hatched a plan whereby they would pull their teams out of the AL, join the National League and have the NL withdraw from the authority of the National Commission. If I recall correctly, there was either a 4th AL team considering joining the rebel group (Washington?) or there was talk of disbanding one of the established NL franchises in order to make the new hybrid NL work.

The ground work for this secret deal was supposedly laid out during the 1919 season. The Black Sox scandal served to hasten the end of the National Commission. Interesting -- the Black Sox scandal wasn't so much a catalyst for change as a means to an end, at least as far as those who sought Ban Johnson's ouster was concerned. Comiskey wouldn't have agreed, but Rupport and Huston certainly gained the upper hand in control and influence in the AL because of it, and the Commissioner was given power out of a sense of panic and PR issues over the scandal where had there been no scandal, we might have had baseball run by the owners in the manner it is being handled today.

But think about it -- without the Black Sox scandal, the White Sox could have wound up in the National League.

Lip Man 1
06-25-2008, 04:44 PM
Klu:

Not sure what you mean about the Skowron reference. Cash, Callison, Mincher, Battey were all traded after the 1959 season.

Moose didn't arrive until midseason 1964.

The Sox got back in those deals right after 1959 Minnie Minoso and Roy Sievers and Gene Freese and surprisingly all had pretty good seasons in 1960. But it was clear they were on the downsides of their careers by that point.

Lip

Lip Man 1
06-25-2008, 04:47 PM
Russ99:

It all depends on what "style" of baseball would have taken hold. The lively ball style of home runs or the dead ball style of playing for one run, gap hitting, aggressive base running, bunting and so forth.

If it was the later, then Lindberg's point about the White Sox dominating the 1920's has some validity.

Babe Ruth was not going to bunt was he?

Lip

WhiteSoxJunkie
06-27-2008, 08:23 PM
This thread points out one of the many reasons I love baseball...it is filled with "what ifs" that could change the outcome of a game...or its own history.

Madscout
06-27-2008, 09:51 PM
While the 1919-20 scandal damaged the White Sox for many years to come, I don't really think that if Gandil, Felsch, Risberg, Weaver and Jackson had been allowed to continue their careers they would have beaten out a Yankees team with Ruth, Gehrig, Lazzeri, Meusel and Combs.
I agree, but the Yankees only won 2 titles in the 1920's, the big run coming in the 1930's on into the 60's. If the White Sox hold on to those players, they have a more valuable ball club, and thus more dominant into the 1920's when the Yanks were building a team. Imagine what it would be like today. We lose Buehrle, Vazquez, Dye,Konerko, and you pick four more starters. We don't get draft conciderations for them, and our PR goes down the tubes, so attendace shoots down. How long before the Sox can contend again with that? Can't sign good FA because they cost too much money. Can't get the good prospects, because other teams will out bid you (no farm systems in those days, you had to bid on prospects and scout them) and you have nothing to trade slash sell. Your attendance hurts until you start winning. So you are ****ed for quite a few years.

fram40
06-28-2008, 10:41 AM
I agree, but the Yankees only won 2 titles in the 1920's, ...

The Yankees won 6 pennants and 3 WS in the 1920s

http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/NYY/

Ruth, Gehrig, Lazzeri, Combs et al would have dominated in any era under any style of play.