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View Full Version : What was the biggest blunder in White Sox history?


Fenway
08-28-2010, 10:41 AM
Had a long talk last night with an old Chicago friend and we were discussing blunders being made by Sox owners in the past.

We narrowed it down to four.

1 Comiskey lowballing his players forcing them to look for $$$ elsewhere

2 Replacing Harry and Jimmy

3 Sportsvision

4 White Flag 1997

I go with Harry and Jimmy - Einhorn is unfairly blamed for Sportsvision but the reality was the Sox had no other options for TV in 1982. WSNS had become ONTV, WFLD and WGN only offered the team one game a week, Veeck had signed an awful deal with Charles Dolan for cable given most of Chicagoland wasn't wired. Sportsvision was the only way the Sox, Hawks and Bulls could show their games.

cards press box
08-28-2010, 10:47 AM
Had a long talk last night with an old Chicago friend and we were discussing blunders being made by Sox owners in the past.

We narrowed it down to four.

1 Comiskey lowballing his players forcing them to look for $$$ elsewhere

2 Replacing Harry and Jimmy

3 Sportsvision

4 White Flag 1997

I go with Harry and Jimmy - Einhorn is unfairly blamed for Sportsvision but the reality was the Sox had no other options for TV in 1982. WSNS had become ONTV, WFLD and WGN only offered the team one game a week, Veeck had signed an awful deal with Charles Dolan for cable given most of Chicagoland wasn't wired. Sportsvision was the only way the Sox, Hawks and Bulls could show their games.

Rob Neyer wrote a book called The Big Book of Baseball Blunders and he listed Bill Veeck's ill-fated trades of Norm Cash, Johnny Callison, Earl Battey, Johnny Romano, Don Mincher, Barry Latman and others as perhaps the biggest blunder in baseball history, and not just White Sox history. I agree with Mr. Neyer that Veeck "selling the farm" cost the Sox several pennants in the '60's. That, in retrospect, is a pretty big blunder.

LITTLE NELL
08-28-2010, 11:16 AM
Rob Neyer wrote a book called The Big Book of Baseball Blunders and he listed Bill Veeck's ill-fated trades of Norm Cash, Johnny Callison, Earl Battey, Johnny Romano, Don Mincher, Barry Latman and others as perhaps the biggest blunder in baseball history, and not just White Sox history. I agree with Mr. Neyer that Veeck "selling the farm" cost the Sox several pennants in the '60's. That, in retrospect, is a pretty big blunder.

Its amazing that after those horrible trades that we came back in 63,64 and 65 and won over 90 games all 3 seasons.

Fenway
08-28-2010, 11:18 AM
Rob Neyer wrote a book called The Big Book of Baseball Blunders and he listed Bill Veeck's ill-fated trades of Norm Cash, Johnny Callison, Earl Battey, Johnny Romano, Don Mincher, Barry Latman and others as perhaps the biggest blunder in baseball history, and not just White Sox history. I agree with Mr. Neyer that Veeck "selling the farm" cost the Sox several pennants in the '60's. That, in retrospect, is a pretty big blunder.

Why Veeck did that probably only Mary Francis knows...unlike his second ownership where he was short of cash, that wasn't an issue in the reserve clause days and the Sox must have been making money.

Daver
08-28-2010, 11:25 AM
Charles Comiskey with little doubt, it gave the whole sport a black eye.

Hitmen77
08-28-2010, 11:39 AM
Had a long talk last night with an old Chicago friend and we were discussing blunders being made by Sox owners in the past.

We narrowed it down to four.

1 Comiskey lowballing his players forcing them to look for $$$ elsewhere

2 Replacing Harry and Jimmy

3 Sportsvision

4 White Flag 1997

I go with Harry and Jimmy - Einhorn is unfairly blamed for Sportsvision but the reality was the Sox had no other options for TV in 1982. WSNS had become ONTV, WFLD and WGN only offered the team one game a week, Veeck had signed an awful deal with Charles Dolan for cable given most of Chicagoland wasn't wired. Sportsvision was the only way the Sox, Hawks and Bulls could show their games.

The 1919 Black Sox fiasco by far tops the list. That sent the franchise reeling for decades.

Besides that, why isn't the Sox move from WGN to obscure Channel 32 in 1967 on your list? We had a discussion on another thread about this recently and it sounds like this was the Sox decision and WGN would have wanted to keep both the Cubs and Sox.

Yeah, Allyn got $1 million from WFLD, but this may have been the biggest blunder by the franchise in the last 50 years. This had a devastating effect on this franchise as it was shunted to hard to reach UHF channels while the next 2 generation of Chicago fans grew up watching the Cubs on WGN, which eventually became a superstation powerhouse.

If the Sox don't leave WGN in 1968, then maybe they never get to the point in 1981 where they have no station to carry most of their games.

As far as the SportsVision fiasco goes, I understand the Sox options were limited. Like you said, no over the air station would carry them more than once a week. Plus Chicago and most of the suburbs weren't wired for cable yet in 1982. But, I think it was more than that. I distinctly remember Einhorn seeing this as a huge cash cow for the Sox and not just "their only option". They charged an insane $15/month for just one part-time sports channel! That's like asking viewers today to pay $35/month just to access Comcast Sports Net (and have it only air part time). Did the Sox really need to gouge fans like that? Why not charge a more reasonable rate and commit to making this a basic cable access channel as Chicagoland got wired for cable (my suburb got cable in 1983, so it wouldn't have been too long of a wait). By the time SportsVision moved to basic cable in the late 80s, it was too late. The Sox were horrible on the field and the 2nd generation of Chicago fans were entrenched in growing up with the Cubs.

As far as Harry and Jimmy goes, I agree that losing them...and losing Harry to the Cubs was a huge blunder. But as time goes on and I read more about, it sounds like this wasn't just Jerry and Eddie being stupid *******s. Harry himself was an ass. He didn't like Jerry and Eddie and just wanted to screw them. Their biggest sin? Probably asking Harry to tone down his act and become more of a Sox cheerleader. He told them to drop dead because there's no way he'd sell out the fans like that......and then he went across town and became a total cheerleader and cartoon for the Cubs. Really, the bottom line was that Harry didn't want to be on pay TV. Period. That would have been bad for Harry. That's what sealed the deal of him leaving.

voodoochile
08-28-2010, 12:09 PM
In my lifetime the biggest blunder is obviously the White Flag Trade. It was the final injustice that finished the decimation of the team's fan base, but it was the way it was handled that was the worst part of it. JR pretty much calling the fans stupid was not a good business decision. The team had actually made some strides forward with the good teams in the early 90's. Then came the strike and JR was a vocal leader for the owners. Every team paid the price the next year. The Sox started to rebound slightly in 1996 and then came the trade and attendance dropped to 1.3M per the next two seasons.

I believe it's one of the worst marketing blunders in history honestly. Over the top stupid is the phrase that leaps immediately to mind. What do the fans want you to do JR? Ask Kenny, he knows...

Fenway
08-28-2010, 12:09 PM
The 1919 Black Sox fiasco by far tops the list. That sent the franchise reeling for decades.

Besides that, why isn't the Sox move from WGN to obscure Channel 32 in 1967 on your list? We had a discussion on another thread about this recently and it sounds like this was the Sox decision and WGN would have wanted to keep both the Cubs and Sox.

Yeah, Allyn got $1 million from WFLD, but this may have been the biggest blunder by the franchise in the last 50 years. This had a devastating effect on this franchise as it was shunted to hard to reach UHF channels while the next 2 generation of Chicago fans grew up watching the Cubs on WGN, which eventually became a superstation powerhouse.

If the Sox don't leave WGN in 1968, then maybe they never get to the point in 1981 where they have no station to carry most of their games.

As far as the SportsVision fiasco goes, I understand the Sox options were limited. Like you said, no over the air station would carry them more than once a week. Plus Chicago and most of the suburbs weren't wired for cable yet in 1982. But, I think it was more than that. I distinctly remember Einhorn seeing this as a huge cash cow for the Sox and not just "their only option". They charged an insane $15/month for just one part-time sports channel! That's like asking viewers today to pay $35/month just to access Comcast Sports Net (and have it only air part time). Did the Sox really need to gouge fans like that? Why not charge a more reasonable rate and commit to making this a basic cable access channel as Chicagoland got wired for cable (my suburb got cable in 1983, so it wouldn't have been too long of a wait). By the time SportsVision moved to basic cable in the late 80s, it was too late. The Sox were horrible on the field and the 2nd generation of Chicago fans were entrenched in growing up with the Cubs.

As far as Harry and Jimmy goes, I agree that losing them...and losing Harry to the Cubs was a huge blunder. But as time goes on and I read more about, it sounds like this wasn't just Jerry and Eddie being stupid *******s. Harry himself was an ass. He didn't like Jerry and Eddie and just wanted to screw them. Their biggest sin? Probably asking Harry to tone down his act and become more of a Sox cheerleader. He told them to drop dead because there's no way he'd sell out the fans like that......and then he went across town and became a total cheerleader and cartoon for the Cubs. Really, the bottom line was that Harry didn't want to be on pay TV. Period. That would have been bad for Harry. That's what sealed the deal of him leaving.

Allyn was also boxed in. WGN and the Cubs decided to televise most road games starting in 1968 which would have knocked most Sox games off home TV.

When the FCC gave out VHF channels they screwed Chicago by only having 9 as a non network outlet. Ironically the Tribune complained to the FCC that they couldn't get a VHF in New York so the FCC moved Channel 11 in Providence to 10 and created a slot for WPIX. NY had THREE extra VHF slots, 5,9 and 11 and the 3 NY clubs were all on seperate channels. That option didn't exist in Chicago when channel 4 was relocated to Milwaukee.

WFLD had signal issues BUT at the time the contract was signed that wasn't a problem.

32 had their tower on top of Marina City which wasn't a problem until a little building called the John Hancock Tower went up a mile away to the NE. The 32 signal bounced off the steel and thus caused horrific ghosting on the SOUTHWEST side which of course was the core of the Sox base.

UHF had proven to be a viable solution in other markets for sports most notably Boston where WSBK Channel 38 got huge ratings for the Boston Bruins when Orr arrived.

True SportsVision was way overpriced - for 1982 but the flaw wasn't the cost - the other team was providing all their games for FREE.

Even the 83 team couldn't sell SV.

JR panicked and sold SV to Dolan for cheap $$$$$ The Red Sox being the only team in town could cram NESN down our throats and today NESN is worth more than the team.

Lip Man 1
08-28-2010, 12:11 PM
The single biggest mistake which had the longest ramifications was leaving WGN-TV after the 1967 season.

Other mistakes that made the "final cut" in no particular order

SportsVision
The White Flag Trade
The 1994 labor impasse
The "Chicago's American League team..." philosophy by ownership
Comiskey's spending habits that helped led to the Black Sox issue.
Comiskey's son J. Louis dying at a young age.
Judge granting ownership of Sox to Veeck in 1959.

Lip

Lip Man 1
08-28-2010, 12:17 PM
Veeck felt to his bones that the Sox couldn't repeat in 1960 without more power especially after the Yankees got Roger Maris from the A's for worthless junk.

He also had enough of an ego to understand that in 59 that wasn't "his" team it was put together by Chuck Comiskey, John Rigney and Al Lopez.

Veeck wasn't a dummy when it came to evaluating talent. His targets that off season were Orlando Cepeda and Bill White and he made different combinations of players to the Giants and Cardinals to get them. They refused and as time started to run out he panicked and took what he could, Minoso, Freese and Sievers all of whom had good years in 1960.

The Sox didn't repeat in large part because the mainstays, Aparicio, Fox, Landis, Wynn and Lollar all had down years compared to the season before.

Lip

Lip Man 1
08-28-2010, 12:21 PM
A quote from my upcoming WSI historical feature, "Sox and the Media..." submitted for context and discussion:

"I talked with Jack (Brickhouse) about it in an interview in 1996. Jack told me about the time he, Arnie Harris and Sox owner Art Allyn sat down for lunch. Jack expected the Sox to agree to another extension on WGN-TV after their agreement expired after the 1967 season. He was shocked when Allyn told him that the Sox were moving to a basically brand new UHF outlet WFLD-TV. Brickhouse, whom I consider a giant of the broadcasting industry, said he felt sure that something would happen to the industry in the future that would make it possible for WGN to be shown not only in Chicago but around the Midwest, he strongly urged Allyn to reconsider. Allyn wouldn’t but he had the best interest of the team at heart. You have to look at why the Sox wanted to move in the first place. WGN was basically showing Sox day games on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, they weren’t showing night games because they didn’t want to disrupt their evening schedule. Very few road games were shown and those were only from the East Coast… New York, Cleveland and such.”

“Allyn wanted ALL Sox road games shown and at least WFLD tried to do that. For the first time Sox fans saw the inside of the Oakland Alameda County Coliseum and Anaheim Stadium. The trouble was UHF technology was very new. You had to have a converter box to be able to get the channels on your old TV and it didn’t work very well. The picture was snowy, grainy and unreliable. The other problem was that WFLD decided to have Jack Drees do the games. Dress was an East Coast horse racing guy who wasn’t known in Chicago. Bottom line the experiment just didn’t work."


"These decisions weren’t just "minor" mistakes...both happened to coincide with resurgence by the Cubs. For years the Cubs were a dead team, then Leo Durocher came in and things started happening. It was at the same time the Sox left WGN. Then when Harry(Caray) left after 1981, Chicago started to become more aware of the Wrigley Field area, the stadium started to become a tourist attraction and Cub fortunes went up again. If you think about it, Harry going to the Cubs really showed the power of the Tribune Company. Harry heeled to their demands. He stopped taking shots at the club, at the players, he didn’t have any negativity. He had to because he had no place else to go, where was he going to wind up? Cincinnati? St. Louis?" – Sox historian Rich Lindberg in his interview with White Sox Interactive, 2003, talking about the decision to leave WGN-TV after 1967 and letting Harry Caray leave after 1981.

Lip

LITTLE NELL
08-28-2010, 12:24 PM
Why Veeck did that probably only Mary Francis knows...unlike his second ownership where he was short of cash, that wasn't an issue in the reserve clause days and the Sox must have been making money.

Even though the Sox won the AL flag in 59, Veeck felt that the Sox could not compete with the Yankees and their power. He kept the middle 4 intact, Lollar, Fox , Aparicio and Landis but traded for power with Minnie coming back to the Sox along with Roy Sievers and third baseman Gene Freese who makes Teahen look like a Gold Glover. The Sox held in the 1960 race up until August but the pitching just wasn't the same as 59 plus in early August a home run taken away from big Klu in Baltimore in a crucial game deflated the Sox.
As I stated in an earlier thread even though Veeck traded a way some fine young talent the Sox won over 90 games for 3 straight seasons in 63,64,and 65. Thats the only time in Sox history that they did that.

Fenway
08-28-2010, 01:02 PM
Lip

As I said earlier 32 just screwed up with putting the tower on top of Marina City. The steel framework of the Hancock just destroyed the signal to the SW.

UHF worked fine in Detroit with WKBD, Philadelphia with 17 and 29N and Boston's 38 and 56. But in all of those markets the stations used stand alone towers that were higher than any downtown building.

Chicago went the New York route which with the Empire State Building made sense but Chicago only had the Prudential and Marina City before the Hancock went up.

NYC TV had the same problem in the late 60's when the WTC went up and it destroyed reception in Connecticut because of the signal bounce.

The Tribune lobbied hard with the FCC to have the only game in town with 9 and when 4 was awarded to the Miwaukee Journal from the old WBKB

WGN was the Cubs radio home and it obviously was in their interest to bet heavily on the Cubs for TV. The White Sox just had a lot of outside forces working against them.

But times are a changing. The Cubs fanbase is FINALLY getting fed up.
The Hawks coming back from oblivion was the last straw after the Red Sox and White Sox winning.

They may lose 100 games in YEAR ONE.

Bucky F. Dent
08-28-2010, 01:09 PM
No reference to Terry Bevington or Jamie Navarro!?!

Lip Man 1
08-28-2010, 01:27 PM
Fenway:

All true but also it would have behooved the Sox to consult with someone versed in TV signals to see if there could have been an impact with another large structure going up at some time in the area. And even if it wasn't the Hancock building sooner or later something would have.

It doesn't excuse the Sox in this regard in my opinion.

I'll give you a personal example. When I was at KNOE-TV they put in a satellite that literally was as big as a house. It was so large a crane had to put it in place, it was anchored in a deep concrete footing.

There was one problem...we couldn't get half the satellites because down the block AT&T had a relay tower that cut directly across the face of the satellite wiping out the ability to get certain receptions due to microwave interference.

The chief engineer at KNOE, a nice gentleman, never did a site study. The satellite couldn't be moved because of the cost. The chief engineer was fired over it.

The Sox needed to have someone when they were contemplating this move that could have advised them of all possibilities however remote they could be. This was a ground breaking decision and I think the Sox simply didn't realize the consequences of their actions.

Lip

SBSoxFan
08-28-2010, 01:30 PM
No reference to Terry Bevington or Jamie Navarro!?!

I was gonna say the Dibber overrunning second base in game 4 of the '83 ALCS.

wilburaga
08-28-2010, 01:58 PM
I think the era of Schueler, Bevington and Gallas was one of the most joyless in our history. Cheering for those teams was almost a chore.

Brian26
08-28-2010, 02:14 PM
But, I think it was more than that. I distinctly remember Einhorn seeing this as a huge cash cow for the Sox and not just "their only option". They charged an insane $15/month for just one part-time sports channel! That's like asking viewers today to pay $35/month just to access Comcast Sports Net (and have it only air part time). Did the Sox really need to gouge fans like that?

But, remember that your television options then were basically limited to 2, 5, 7, 9, 11, 26, 32 and 60. I think 26 was Spanish programming after 7pm at night. So, with fewer entertainment options, no internet, etc...$15/month probably made sense.

Fenway
08-28-2010, 02:15 PM
Fenway:

All true but also it would have behooved the Sox to consult with someone versed in TV signals to see if there could have been an impact with another large structure going up at some time in the area. And even if it wasn't the Hancock building sooner or later something would have.

It doesn't excuse the Sox in this regard in my opinion.

I'll give you a personal example. When I was at KNOE-TV they put in a satellite that literally was as big as a house. It was so large a crane had to put it in place, it was anchored in a deep concrete footing.

There was one problem...we couldn't get half the satellites because down the block AT&T had a relay tower that cut directly across the face of the satellite wiping out the ability to get certain receptions due to microwave interference.

The chief engineer at KNOE, a nice gentleman, never did a site study. The satellite couldn't be moved because of the cost. The chief engineer was fired over it.

The Sox needed to have someone when they were contemplating this move that could have advised them of all possibilities however remote they could be. This was a ground breaking decision and I think the Sox simply didn't realize the consequences of their actions.

Lip

Lip

In fairness to AA one would have assumed the CE who built WFLD for Field Broadcasting should have figured it out. I don't think it was a big secret a 96 floor tower was going up a mile away.

The Red Sox did one better - after the 1975 REGULAR season they left 50,000 watt WHDH (now WEEI) for WMEX which was 50K day but at night was very directional nights at 5K. Game 3 of the ALCS vs Oakland was at night and nobody 10 miles west of Boston could hear it. All Dick O'Connell had to do was try getting the station at his home at night before he did the deal. Nope.

John Harrngton topped that when he moved TV from 38 to 68 in the late 90's - WSBK was on cable all over ythe Northeast and Canada - 68 was like channel 26 in Chicago get 40 miles out and nada.

Baseball owners are prime examples of the Peter Principal.

JermaineDye05
08-28-2010, 02:33 PM
The way this board has been for the past eight months, you'd think it was not signing Jim Thome.

downstairs
08-28-2010, 02:45 PM
I don't know much about the Comiskey era, so I can't comment on that. I'd say the entire TV situation in the 70s-80s. Compared to what the Cubs did, it really hurt the Sox. Especially making people pay (a lot!) for most of the games.

Its a classic business blunder that happens every time new technology comes out. Rather that spread your product around as much as possible (Cubs on WGN SuperStation), you hoarde it or try to use the new technology to rip off your customer base (You now have to pay to get the Sox, when it was free for decades.)

The music/TV/movie industry is doing this now in parts, and it'll fail.

downstairs
08-28-2010, 02:48 PM
But, remember that your television options then were basically limited to 2, 5, 7, 9, 11, 26, 32 and 60. I think 26 was Spanish programming after 7pm at night. So, with fewer entertainment options, no internet, etc...$15/month probably made sense.

Yeah, but people have radio. And most baseball fans- especially back then- didn't mind listening to the game on radio.

I have Extra Innings and mlb.tv with the radio feed. I'm considering saving some money going with radio only. Its really no big deal to me, as long as I can hear play by play I'm happy.

kittle42
08-28-2010, 03:43 PM
1. Kotsay.

2. Not having Brian Anderson in the starting lineup for the second game of the 2006 season.

doublem23
08-28-2010, 04:15 PM
How can anybody not say the Black Sox?

People still talk about that ****.

gogosox675
08-28-2010, 04:49 PM
It's gotta be the Black Sox scandal. It seriously hurt the game and the Sox weren't competitive for over 30 years after it.

TheOldRoman
08-28-2010, 05:05 PM
I go with Harry and Jimmy - Einhorn is unfairly blamed for Sportsvision but the reality was the Sox had no other options for TV in 1982. WSNS had become ONTV, WFLD and WGN only offered the team one game a week, Veeck had signed an awful deal with Charles Dolan for cable given most of Chicagoland wasn't wired. Sportsvision was the only way the Sox, Hawks and Bulls could show their games.I read somewhere that part of the reason Harry left was because he didn't want to go onto a crappy network which nobody would see. If that is true, even a good relationship with management wouldn't have kept him.

Hitmen77
08-28-2010, 06:22 PM
How about this for one of the big blunders in recent Sox history: Giving New Comiskey Park a very sterile, generic design.

I never thought the new park was as bad as the media made it out to be, but the Sox lack of vision didn't help when they were filling the new park with exposed concrete and a bright blue look while other teams were designing "retro" parks.

Lip Man 1
08-28-2010, 06:41 PM
Roman:

You are correct. In fact the Sox offered Harry more money to stay in 82 than the Cubs did. He told Bob Logan in his book, "Miracle on 35th Street" that he couldn't see working for a product that might get 50 thousand homes as opposed to millions on Superstation WGN.

Lip

WhiteSox5187
08-28-2010, 06:51 PM
How about this for one of the big blunders in recent Sox history: Giving New Comiskey Park a very sterile, generic design.

I never thought the new park was as bad as the media made it out to be, but the Sox lack of vision didn't help when they were filling the new park with exposed concrete and a bright blue look while other teams were designing "retro" parks.

I am convinced that New Comiskey's sterile, generic design was a deliberate effort by the Sox to distance themselves from Sox history which was a very bad idea. Up until like 2000 the Sox ownership did everything they could to alienate their fan base and not only that, but they seemed to delight in doing it.

chisoxfanatic
08-28-2010, 06:54 PM
It's gotta be the Black Sox scandal. It seriously hurt the game and the Sox weren't competitive for over 30 years after it.
I agree with this. During my lifetime, it was the White Flag trade (the division was SO winnable then), but that just takes the cake. It left a huge black cloud over the franchise for a long time.

WhiteSox5187
08-28-2010, 06:59 PM
I agree with this. During my lifetime, it was the White Flag trade (the division was SO winnable then), but that just takes the cake. It left a huge black cloud over the franchise for a long time.

That right on the heels of the strike which our ownership played a big role in organizing just seemed to scream that the ownership didn't give a damn about winning.

chisoxfanatic
08-28-2010, 07:04 PM
That right on the heels of the strike which our ownership played a big role in organizing just seemed to scream that the ownership didn't give a damn about winning.
Fans also let management know of their displeasure, as the numbers at the gate dropped off considerably. It started picking up once again when the Sox started off hot in 2000. What a dark last 2 years of the 90s that was!

captain54
08-28-2010, 07:05 PM
I can't really say whether there is one singular "biggest" blunder, but I would say that the era of 88' - 99' is a decade where the Reinsdorf regime could possibly have singlehandedly destroyed the fan base with the following series of blunders, some still being felt today, despite winning the WS in 05'

-there are still a lot of veteran Sox fans I know that still hold it against Reinsdorf for holding the team hostage in 88' and threatening to move it to Florida when he wasn't getting his way with the State of Illinois and the new Sox Park...

-JR carrying the stigma of leading the charge of trying to break the players union and causing the strike of 94', which some say could have cost the Sox a chance at a WS appearance

-blowing a chance at the wild card in 96' by not getting any help for a horrible bullpen down the stretch

-hiring Terry Bevington as manager, thus making the WS the laughingstock of MLB

-the White Flag in 97', and the veiled insult to Sox fans with the comment "anyone that thinks the Sox have a chance to catch Cleveland are crazy"...(or something to that effect)...when the Sox were 3 1/2 out with two months to play and Cleveland losing 10 of 14 going into August

-the beginning of the management mantra of crying poor and stating, through several GM's that the Sox will spend money if the fans show up..
thus making the White Sox the first enterprise in the history of business that demand the consumer first spend the money prior to receiving a decent product.

GoGoCrede
08-28-2010, 07:16 PM
I'll vote Sportsvision, even though it was way before my time.

Brian26
08-28-2010, 07:16 PM
I can't really say whether there is one singular "biggest" blunder, but I would say that the era of 88' - 99' is a decade where the Reinsdorf regime could possibly have singlehandedly destroyed the fan base with the following series of blunders, some still being felt today, despite winning the WS in 05'

But the period from the 2nd half of '89 to the strike of '94 was a renaissance of White Sox baseball, with new uniforms, a new stadium, acquisitions of some big name players, the emergence of Big Frank and Robin, and the team had the best record in baseball for that period behind only the Atlanta Braves. Those five-plus years were a pretty good time to be a Sox fan.

slavko
08-28-2010, 07:31 PM
I am convinced that New Comiskey's sterile, generic design was a deliberate effort by the Sox to distance themselves from Sox history which was a very bad idea. Up until like 2000 the Sox ownership did everything they could to alienate their fan base and not only that, but they seemed to delight in doing it.

My feeling is that the sterility of the design was a function of the money they had to work with. It would have been smart to fancy things up with private money at the start instead of retrofitting it later on. It's a pretty nice place to be now, esp with people in it. Sorry I can't go along with the evil motives theory. $140M~ Can't sign a crappy player to a 7 year contract Right About Now for that kind of money.

Bobby Jenks
08-28-2010, 07:45 PM
I think firing Larussa and trading Bobby Bonilla at least should be mentioned. Heck, why not just mention the fact we hired hawk as our GM.

Fenway
08-28-2010, 08:06 PM
My feeling is that the sterility of the design was a function of the money they had to work with. It would have been smart to fancy things up with private money at the start instead of retrofitting it later on. It's a pretty nice place to be now, esp with people in it. Sorry I can't go along with the evil motives theory. $140M~ Can't sign a crappy player to a 7 year contract Right About Now for that kind of money.

Lip - There is no denying how Harry helped Budweiser to finally make a dent in the Chicago market. Who knows how much he was making from the Busch family.

My understanding is that JR simply used the blueprints made for Addison in 1986 and just plopped it onto 35th.

Yes Camden Yards opened a year later and changed everything but we have to keep in mind that old Comiskey was a pretty much a symmetrical park without the quirks you saw in many of the other parks that were built in the 1910's. Fenway wasn't the only park with a big wall, Shibe Park, Griffith Stadium and Ebbetts Field come to mind - Fenway simply survived. The walls all existed for a reason, there was a city street on the other side.

My hunch is JR just was so occupied with both the Bulls and building the United Center that the Sox became an afterthought for a few years.

For all the mistakes made with Comiskey II they hit a bulls eye with the UC. I think it is one of the 3 best arenas in North America along with Staples in LA and Centre Molson in Montreal. TD Garden in Boston by comparison is an awful hockey building.

SI1020
08-28-2010, 08:08 PM
It seems that the Eliot Asinof book and the movie based on it are still at this late date what people base their knowledge and opinions of the Black Sox scandal on. This should be the new Holy Grail for serious researchers on that subject and even that era of baseball.

http://www.amazon.com/Burying-Black-Sox-Baseballs-Succeeded/dp/1574889729

Unfortunately the author Gene Carney, an articulate, kind, erudite man passed away suddenly earlier this year. Carney's book is far superior to Asinof's, has much more in depth material. It casts Charles Comiskey in a more generous light, without absolving him. I recommend anyone serious about this subject to give it a read. This was truly the worst thing that ever happened to the team. The White Sox were on the verge or the cusp if you will of dominance, and then it was all ruined. It took three long decades to get the team back on track and four for a return to the WS.

I would also like to add that for me this is one of the more enjoyable threads ever on this site, even if the subject has been hashed and rehashed numerous times in the past. There are just some really interesting and informative posts here.

RadioheadRocks
08-28-2010, 08:09 PM
Yeah, but people have radio. And most baseball fans- especially back then- didn't mind listening to the game on radio.

I have Extra Innings and mlb.tv with the radio feed. I'm considering saving some money going with radio only. Its really no big deal to me, as long as I can hear play by play I'm happy.

This is one issue that hadn't been touched upon here yet. While maybe not nearly the same magnitude as what's already been mentioned, how about the White Sox being virtually impossible to find on the radio in the early 70s? Banishment to such low power outlets as WEAW and WTAQ certainly didn't help things any!

Daver
08-28-2010, 08:11 PM
.

Yes Camden Yards opened a year later and changed everything but we have to keep in mind that old Comiskey was a pretty much a symmetrical park without the quirks you saw in many of the other parks that were built in the 1910's.


Comiskey Park had a magical quirk, it possessed an outfield where fly balls went to die.

SI1020
08-28-2010, 08:12 PM
This is one issue that hadn't been touched upon here yet. While maybe not nearly the same magnitude as what's already been mentioned, how about the White Sox being virtually impossible to find on the radio in the early 70s? Banishment to such low power outlets as WEAW and WTAQ certainly didn't help things any! Some would get into their car and drive in the direction of the closest signal. It was a real adventure trying to watch or listen to the Sox back then while Leo Durocher and the Cubs were so called contenders.

SBSoxFan
08-28-2010, 10:20 PM
I am convinced that New Comiskey's sterile, generic design was a deliberate effort by the Sox to distance themselves from Sox history which was a very bad idea. Up until like 2000 the Sox ownership did everything they could to alienate their fan base and not only that, but they seemed to delight in doing it.

That right on the heels of the strike which our ownership played a big role in organizing just seemed to scream that the ownership didn't give a damn about winning.

I don't buy this at all. The new ownership showed right from the get-go they were very interested in winning; that's why they signed Fisk and Luzinski.

WhiteSox5187
08-28-2010, 10:49 PM
I don't buy this at all. The new ownership showed right from the get-go they were very interested in winning; that's why they signed Fisk and Luzinski.

And then Jerry played a big role in collusion, canceling a post season where the White Sox were almost sure to be in and gave up on a season half way through it.

I'm sure that ownership wanted to win, but I am not so sure that they wanted to win at the expense of profit. They allowed the public perception that they didn't care about winning and had this attitude of "You know, we could run a great franchise if it weren't for these fans."

kba
08-28-2010, 10:55 PM
UHF worked fine in Detroit with WKBD, Philadelphia with 17 and 29N and Boston's 38 and 56. But in all of those markets the stations used stand alone towers that were higher than any downtown building.

The Tigers moved their games to UHF in 1995. The Phillies made the move in 1982. For the Red Sox, it was 1975.

Allyn moved the White Sox to UHF in 1968 - the first franchise in any major sport to do so. Most TV sets in use at that time still didn't have UHF tuners. To get channel 32, viewers would have had to buy and hook up a set-top UHF converter box. So the problem wasn't just WFLD's transmitter. Even if the station's signal had been stronger, many viewers couldn't watch it on their TVs.

BainesHOF
08-28-2010, 11:08 PM
I was gonna say the Dibber overrunning second base in game 4 of the '83 ALCS.

Yep. It's not a stretch to say that we would have won the World Series if he doesn't make that gaffe.

mcsoxfan
08-28-2010, 11:10 PM
Rob Neyer wrote a book called The Big Book of Baseball Blunders and he listed Bill Veeck's ill-fated trades of Norm Cash, Johnny Callison, Earl Battey, Johnny Romano, Don Mincher, Barry Latman and others as perhaps the biggest blunder in baseball history, and not just White Sox history. I agree with Mr. Neyer that Veeck "selling the farm" cost the Sox several pennants in the '60's. That, in retrospect, is a pretty big blunder.

For what it did to the Sox for decades to follow, it was indeed perhaps the greatest. But most historians will tell you the Joe Jackson White Sox were in the midst of evolving into the dominant team for the ages.

mcsoxfan
08-28-2010, 11:23 PM
I think the era of Schueler, Bevington and Gallas was one of the most joyless in our history. Cheering for those teams was almost a chore.

Save 2005, I wish the Reinsdorf era never happened.
I would have loved to seen what the DeBartalo family would have done.
Steinbenner was terrified of them.
He knew they had the money to compete with his Yankees.
That's why he lobbied so hard against them.

mcsoxfan
08-28-2010, 11:29 PM
1. Kotsay.

2. Not having Brian Anderson in the starting lineup for the second game of the 2006 season.



Reinsdorf's hiring of Harrelson as GM

mcsoxfan
08-28-2010, 11:32 PM
It's gotta be the Black Sox scandal. It seriously hurt the game and the Sox weren't competitive for over 30 years after it.


Imagine when you hear about all of those great Yankees teams winning all those championships.

That could have been the White Sox had it not been for that scandal.

Lip Man 1
08-28-2010, 11:52 PM
Hitmen:

You bring up some good points. In the book, "Ballpark...the building of Camden Yards," the author quotes a rep from the HOK firm which built both stadiums. He said HOK offered JR basically the Camden Yards plan and he flat turned them down.

The blue seats were a JR decision paying homage to his beloved Brooklyn Dodgers as was the uniforms the Sox wore from 1986 through 1990.

Jeff Torborg told me a story last month I never knew. Jeff said immediately after he was hired as manager he began lobbying for new uniforms. JR asked why and Jeff said, the only team those uniforms would look good on are the Dodgers because they are a copy of their script and design.

JR told him, "I designed those uniforms." Which made for an awkward moment but Jeff said that uniforms need to be identified to a particular franchise and the fan base has to connect with them. He said the last great Sox time period (this was in 89) was from back in the 50's...he suggested pinstripes which Jeff said JR hated (again because the Dodgers didn't have them...)

Finally after six months of lobbying Jeff got the go ahead. Actually two sets were designed. The silver and black design honoring the 1950's and they also had made up a blue pinstripe uniform relating to the teams in the middle 1960's that averaged 95 wins a season.

I've never seen a photo of the blue version.

Lip

cards press box
08-28-2010, 11:55 PM
Comiskey Park had a magical quirk, it possessed an outfield where fly balls went to die.

And in a tip of the hat to the owner's nickname "The Old Roman," that great, old park had those archways around its perimeter as a nod to the Roman Coliseum. I like the Cell but, man, there are days when I really miss Sox park.

And I also liked the fact that it was a severe pitcher's park. I guess that isn't considered quirky but I liked it.

cards press box
08-28-2010, 11:59 PM
Finally after six months of lobbying Jeff got the go ahead. Actually two sets were designed. The silver and black design honoring the 1950's and they also had made up a blue pinstripe uniform relating to the teams in the middle 1960's that averaged 95 wins a season.

I've never seen a photo of the blue version.

Lip

A blue pinstripe uniform (based on the early to mid '60's Sox), even as an alternate, would be great! So would an occasional appearance of the red pinstripe uniform of the Dick Allen/Bill Melton era.

Brian26
08-29-2010, 12:13 AM
Reinsdorf's hiring of Harrelson as GM

:rolleyes:

Bobby Thigpen
08-29-2010, 12:33 AM
Without the White Flag Trade, you don't get 2000. Without 2000, maybe you don't get 2005.

Sure, it pissed me off at the time, but I would hardly call it one of the worst blunders of all time.

Hitmen77
08-29-2010, 12:55 AM
But, remember that your television options then were basically limited to 2, 5, 7, 9, 11, 26, 32 and 60. I think 26 was Spanish programming after 7pm at night. So, with fewer entertainment options, no internet, etc...$15/month probably made sense.

Granted I lived on the north side, but in the early to mid 80s, I only knew one family that had SportsVision - and they had a pirated box (mostly for the Blackhawks).

I don't know, maybe the fees of operating an over the air pay TV channel necessitated a $15/month fee, but everyone I knew thought it was an outrageous fee. People didn't pay it, they just tuned in to the Cubs for free.

Lip - There is no denying how Harry helped Budweiser to finally make a dent in the Chicago market. Who knows how much he was making from the Busch family.

My understanding is that JR simply used the blueprints made for Addison in 1986 and just plopped it onto 35th.

Yes Camden Yards opened a year later and changed everything but we have to keep in mind that old Comiskey was a pretty much a symmetrical park without the quirks you saw in many of the other parks that were built in the 1910's. Fenway wasn't the only park with a big wall, Shibe Park, Griffith Stadium and Ebbetts Field come to mind - Fenway simply survived. The walls all existed for a reason, there was a city street on the other side.

My hunch is JR just was so occupied with both the Bulls and building the United Center that the Sox became an afterthought for a few years.


I never had a problem with the symmetry of the new park. I thought that issue was overblown by the media who just wanted to hate the place. The real problems were the ugly upper deck (it had a saucer look from the outside and just about no roof over it), the "moat" between the outfield seats and the outfield fence, the tackiness of the blue color scheme and the abundance of exposed concrete. On television, you couldn't see any fans behind home plate because of the huge camera/ service tunnel area that took up much of what is now the scout seats.

It took $68 million from US Cellular to fix those mistakes. When ever I see old Sox highlights from the early 90s now, I'm struck at how unsightly the bright blue and concrete looks.

SBSoxFan
08-29-2010, 01:04 AM
I don't know, maybe the fees of operating an over the air pay TV channel necessitated a $15/month fee, but everyone I knew thought it was an outrageous fee. People didn't pay it, they just tuned in to the Cubs for free.

This is the part I don't get. If your a Sox fan, or not a Cubs' fan, why watch the Cubs on TV just because they're free? That's just ****ing lazy. If you're gonna do that, why in the hell would you become a Cubs' fan, when an actually good team, the Braves, is there for the taking as well?

doublem23
08-29-2010, 01:09 AM
This is the part I don't get. If your a Sox fan, or not a Cubs' fan, why watch the Cubs on TV just because they're free? That's just ****ing lazy. If you're gonna do that, why in the hell would you become a Cubs' fan, when an actually good team, the Braves, is there for the taking as well?

Because that was a time when paying for TV seemed crazy, a lot different than today when people will gladly for over $50+ for cable television alone.

doublem23
08-29-2010, 01:11 AM
It took $68 million from US Cellular to fix those mistakes. When ever I see old Sox highlights from the early 90s now, I'm struck at how unsightly the bright blue and concrete looks.

Yeah, CSN just replayed that Frank Thomas walk-off game from 2003. It's amazing how ugly that place was back then. And hey, I like the Cell, I think it's a fine ballpark, but jesus, that bright blue really looked like ****. Who the hell approved that color?

SBSoxFan
08-29-2010, 01:15 AM
Because that was a time when paying for TV seemed crazy, a lot different than today when people will gladly for over $50+ for cable television alone.

I understand that, but why bother watching something you don't want to watch. I don't recall, because we had onTV, but were the Sox not on any other channel at the time? Before then, I'd listen to them on the radio or try my best to see through the fuzz on channel 44. Both of those were certainly preferential to watching another baseball team on a free station. When I went to college, I couldn't watch the Sox at all, but I sure didn't watch the Cubs just because I could.

Maybe I was just born a Sox fan. :D:

SI1020
08-29-2010, 01:19 AM
This is the part I don't get. If your a Sox fan, or not a Cubs' fan, why watch the Cubs on TV just because they're free? That's just ****ing lazy. If you're gonna do that, why in the hell would you become a Cubs' fan, when an actually good team, the Braves, is there for the taking as well? The Braves won their division in 1982 and finished 2nd in 83. Then came a long dry spell that lasted until 1991.

RadioheadRocks
08-29-2010, 01:43 AM
I never had a problem with the symmetry of the new park. I thought that issue was overblown by the media who just wanted to hate the place. The real problems were the ugly upper deck (it had a saucer look from the outside and just about no roof over it), the "moat" between the outfield seats and the outfield fence, the tackiness of the blue color scheme and the abundance of exposed concrete. On television, you couldn't see any fans behind home plate because of the huge camera/ service tunnel area that took up much of what is now the scout seats.

It took $68 million from US Cellular to fix those mistakes. When ever I see old Sox highlights from the early 90s now, I'm struck at how unsightly the bright blue and concrete looks.

I definitely agree, and add to that the overall feeling of being at the food court at the mall as opposed to a ballpark.

Fenway
08-29-2010, 02:27 AM
The Tigers moved their games to UHF in 1995. The Phillies made the move in 1982. For the Red Sox, it was 1975.

Allyn moved the White Sox to UHF in 1968 - the first franchise in any major sport to do so. Most TV sets in use at that time still didn't have UHF tuners. To get channel 32, viewers would have had to buy and hook up a set-top UHF converter box. So the problem wasn't just WFLD's transmitter. Even if the station's signal had been stronger, many viewers couldn't watch it on their TVs.

Bruins and Celtics moved to UHF in 66-67 and and the Bruins especially with Orr made people run to Radio Shack for converters. But color TV exploded at the same time and those sets did have UHF.

Phillies were way before 82 --- The Flyers were on UHF from day 1 - Red Wings were on WKBD from 66 on.

The Red Sox were content with 50-60 TV games a year on channel 5 ( and 4 for 3 years) but when cable first hit Boston in 74 - a big hook was WPIX and WOR New York which showed most Yankees and Mets games.

The Braves were on tiny channel 17 and one summer Ted was in Rhode Island for the America's Cup all summer when he asked his CE 'anyway I can see my Braves in Newport?' And the engineer said well its expensive but we could put them on a satellite and build you a receiver and Turner said - do it - well then Turner asked the billion dollar question 'Can anybody else see this signal? - and the lightbulb went off.

Allyn made a dumb move.- but I am assuming he figured the Field's knew what they were doing.

The Field's built a nice UHF empire nationwide and yhey also bought Kaiser Broadcasting which had UHF's in Detroit, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Boston and Oakland.

The Field family then had a war and they sold off the stations quickly and in Philadelphia simply closed Channel 48. I never knew exactly what the heck happened.

Nellie_Fox
08-29-2010, 02:52 AM
Not only did a lot of people have TV sets that didn't have a UHF tuner, but many of us who did only had a VHF antenna on the roof. Whether you used the VHF roof antenna or an indoor UHF antenna, you had to watch the Sox game through a snow blizzard to where you could barely tell what was going on.

Dan H
08-29-2010, 08:05 AM
I think the era of Schueler, Bevington and Gallas was one of the most joyless in our history. Cheering for those teams was almost a chore.

It was most joyless in Sox history. That was the team's version of "We Hate the Fans." And don't kid yourself, they hated their own fans. The atmosphere surrounding the club was one of anger and bitterness. I am convinced that old grudges are still there. Only shows how disastrous the White Flag Trade was.

tsoxman
08-29-2010, 08:24 AM
Without the White Flag Trade, you don't get 2000. Without 2000, maybe you don't get 2005.

Sure, it pissed me off at the time, but I would hardly call it one of the worst blunders of all time.
I do not fault the logic of the WF trade, though the pieces that we got in return were far from what one would describe as 'organization builders'. The best guy in the deal was Kieth Foulke, with Bobby Howry a distant second. The lynch pin from the deal, Mike Caruso, was a complete bust. Only Howry and Foulke had something to do with 2000 and neither had anything to do with 2005.

tsoxman
08-29-2010, 08:37 AM
Hitmen:

You bring up some good points. In the book, "Ballpark...the building of Camden Yards," the author quotes a rep from the HOK firm which built both stadiums. He said HOK offered JR basically the Camden Yards plan and he flat turned them down.

Lip, I also think that the same book mentioned that there was an overall design committee that oversaw the design of Camden Yards and that they used a lot of the design concepts for new Comiskey as precedent for 'what NOT to do' in the development of their new park.

Two big mistakes were made with the New Comiskey design. One, the site should have been closer to downtown so that that new park would have been a centerpiece for an urban redevelopment effort (South Loop, Goose Island). Example-PNC Park in Pittsburgh was built on a very modest budget but owing to urban context and its magnificent offsite views of the river, it is one of the more acclaimed new ballparks.

Two, handing Reinsdorf autonomous design control of the new park precluded a more ambitious vision for the new facility, as stated in the aforementioned book.

Dan H
08-29-2010, 09:28 AM
Without the White Flag Trade, you don't get 2000. Without 2000, maybe you don't get 2005.

Sure, it pissed me off at the time, but I would hardly call it one of the worst blunders of all time.

If you look at the White Flag Trade in baseball player terms, you're missing the point. The trade has disastrous effects on the team that still linger today. Any decent rebuilding effort could have created 2000 without the massive public relations fallout. And this trade did nothing to contribute to 2005. This was the worst of Jerry Reinsdorf's mistakes.

The White Flag Trade showed that the White Sox didn't understand their fans. It wasn't that Wilson Alvarez was going to save the Sox; it was the combination of the strike and the timing of this trade pushed people toward apathy. With the move, we fans knew '97 was over and '98 as well. This meant we were looking forward to '99, the 40th anniversary of the last White Sox World Series appearance. Cub fans like big round numbers; Sox fans don't. This trade caused fan alienation like I have never seen.

I'm glad 2005 came along. I would've hated to see the condition of this franchise if it hadn't.

C-Dawg
08-29-2010, 09:33 AM
Yeah, CSN just replayed that Frank Thomas walk-off game from 2003. It's amazing how ugly that place was back then. And hey, I like the Cell, I think it's a fine ballpark, but jesus, that bright blue really looked like ****. Who the hell approved that color?

Yep and that was as recent as 2003 when they were already painting a lot of the metal trim and stuff black.... It helped, but the blue was just tacky. I know I didn't mind it at the time but seeing a few games at Comerica Park that year opened my eyes for the first time to the ugliness of the blue & white we had from 1991-2002.

Regarding Channel 44.... Weren't a lot of road games filmed from just one or two camera angles? I seem to remember certain road trips where we'd be seeing the whole game (or most of it) from one camera located high above and behind the plate. Or perhaps my memory is bad.

fram40
08-29-2010, 10:09 AM
How about MLB allowing Reinsdorf to buy the team?

Just reading through this thread - lots of anger and resentment over the 30 year tenure of his ownership team. Lots.

So many fans (including me) won't let it go. So many fans (including me) seem to find the entire Reinsdorf era an effort in pissing off the long-time fans in an attempt to drive them away. I don't want to imagine where this franchise would be without 2005.

TommyJohn
08-29-2010, 10:19 AM
I honestly don't get all of the raging angst over the White Flag trade, and I don't get the bitterness over it at the time. That team was 50-51, 3.5 games back on July 31st. These days when a Sox team is that far back there is wailing, angsting, gnashing of teeth and pissing matches pitting the "dark clouds" versus the "pollyannas." Hell, there were people giving up on the 2005 team in a scary September in which they never lost the division lead. And yet we have fans who were pissed at management for giving up on 1997? If you ask me, Jerry Reinsdorf's famous "anyone who thinks we can catch Cleveland is crazy" quote is strikingly similar to things that have been written on these boards the past few years. He was simply speaking for all fans when he said that. Hell, ask anyone here if the current version of the Sox can catch the Twins, whom they trail by only 4.5 with little over a month to go. And yet we all think that a team that was 50-51 with no pitching could have been something special.

I look at it this way-fans give up on the season all the time-so why can't management?

socko82
08-29-2010, 10:37 AM
It was most joyless in Sox history. That was the team's version of "We Hate the Fans." And don't kid yourself, they hated their own fans. The atmosphere surrounding the club was one of anger and bitterness. I am convinced that old grudges are still there. Only shows how disastrous the White Flag Trade was.


The first few years of new Comiskey the team was good and the stadium was new so the crowds were big and they didn't seem to care how crappy they treated their customers. Tailgating was not allowed so from the time you hit the parking lot it was get inside, give us your money, sit down and shut up. As soon as the last out was made, get out and get off our property! If you didn't like it, too bad they had someone else who would buy your ticket. I did not go for several years in the mid '90's not because of the strike but because I did not feel like dropping over a hundred bucks so my family could be treated like garbage by the team employees. Finally when attendance bottomed out the light bulb seemed to go on and they realized you don't treat your customers like crap.

LITTLE NELL
08-29-2010, 10:41 AM
How about MLB allowing Reinsdorf to buy the team?

Just reading through this thread - lots of anger and resentment over the 30 year tenure of his ownership team. Lots.

So many fans (including me) won't let it go. So many fans (including me) seem to find the entire Reinsdorf era an effort in pissing off the long-time fans in an attempt to drive them away. I don't want to imagine where this franchise would be without 2005.

One of the trademarks of the Sox going back to the beginning is bad ownership with the Old Roman being cheap and the family after that running the team with a low budget. Veeck in his 2 ownerships ran it on a tight budget especially the 2nd time. The Allyns were a disaster especially John. The Sunshine boys gave us 1 championship in 30 years but a lots of alienation to go with it.

If the Comiskeys had more money like PK Wrigley I would guess that down through the years the old ballpark would have been maintained better and might still be standing today.

SI1020
08-29-2010, 10:45 AM
I honestly don't get all of the raging angst over the White Flag trade, and I don't get the bitterness over it at the time. That team was 50-51, 3.5 games back on July 31st. These days when a Sox team is that far back there is wailing, angsting, gnashing of teeth and pissing matches pitting the "dark clouds" versus the "pollyannas." Hell, there were people giving up on the 2005 team in a scary September in which they never lost the division lead. And yet we have fans who were pissed at management for giving up on 1997? If you ask me, Jerry Reinsdorf's famous "anyone who thinks we can catch Cleveland is crazy" quote is strikingly similar to things that have been written on these boards the past few years. He was simply speaking for all fans when he said that. Hell, ask anyone here if the current version of the Sox can catch the Twins, whom they trail by only 4.5 with little over a month to go. And yet we all think that a team that was 50-51 with no pitching could have been something special.

I look at it this way-fans give up on the season all the time-so why can't management? You're one of the smarter posters so surely you can understand the uproar the "White Flag" trade caused. It was the culmination in a series of negative events. It was the last straw for many Sox fans. Whether the 97 team was a playoff bound juggernaut or not was irrelevant.

Fenway
08-29-2010, 10:45 AM
From a TV production standpoint the first decade of Comiskey II it was considered the worst venue to shoot a game in the AL followed by the Metrodome.

The CF camera is your workhorse during a game and that tunnel behind the plate was just ugly. At least the big circle at the pimple on the prairie had Bob Casey inside and he could be animated.

JR didn't want cameras in the club level so having your high first and third cameras in the concourse is not fun. While the sight lines are fine you have the problem of standees bumping into the platform which can cause shakies.

I don't know how they solved this problem but for several years on a windy day trash flying across the field was just lovely television.

When 44 did the games they as was the custom back then on the road would use the home team video feed and insert their own graphics BUT many teams didn't televise home games.

There was in place a gentlemen's agreement in place between the host TV stations - we will do your games (at Fenway) and you do the same for us in Chicago. BUT WSNS didn't play along for unknown reasons because they were at Comiskey for almost every game. For example they would charge WSBK Boston for the WSNS feed (minus announcers) and cut corners on the road. (BTW I have old footage of Nancy playing the anthem and 44 would put her inside a circle and have a cover shot of the park.)

I can only speak of how they produced games at Fenway - they rented a truck from tiny WSMW in Worcester and only used 3 cameras instead of the normal 4 or 5 as they wanted to cut down on union labor. Fenway in the 70's was a union or else venue and IBEW Local 1228 which controlled TV-radio production in Boston was draconian.

Here is an example....in the early 70's WJR Radio in Detroit decided to cut corners on radio by having announcer Paul Carey double as the audio engineer. Now the Boston union didn't care if a tech from WJR who was in a Detroit local came to Boston or if they hired a Boston tech but WJR figured that since Carey was in AFTRA they were covered. The first night nothing happened but all hell broke loose the next night.

IBEW 1228 knew every trick in the book and back in the 50's they unionized the USHERS at Boston Garden and Fenway and they had to have IBEW cards.

The next afternoon IBEW formed a picket line because of Paul Carey - the ushers would not cross - the park could not open and the game was 'postphoned'. A WJR tech was flown in for the DH the next day.

WSNS wasn't so much cheap (in fact their Comiskey crew was considered the best in the AL) but the station was a money pit. They cut Veeck's throat when they leased the airwaves to ONTV just to pay the power bills and finally hit paydirt as a Spanish outlet.

BringHomeDaBacon
08-29-2010, 11:09 AM
Lip, I also think that the same book mentioned that there was an overall design committee that oversaw the design of Camden Yards and that they used a lot of the design concepts for new Comiskey as precedent for 'what NOT to do' in the development of their new park.

Two big mistakes were made with the New Comiskey design. One, the site should have been closer to downtown so that that new park would have been a centerpiece for an urban redevelopment effort (South Loop, Goose Island). Example-PNC Park in Pittsburgh was built on a very modest budget but owing to urban context and its magnificent offsite views of the river, it is one of the more acclaimed new ballparks.

Two, handing Reinsdorf autonomous design control of the new park precluded a more ambitious vision for the new facility, as stated in the aforementioned book.


I agree with all of this. Additionally, how about simply taking advantage of the beautiful skyline as a backdrop? This could have been done from the current location.

johnnyg83
08-29-2010, 11:17 AM
I agree with all of this. Additionally, how about simply taking advantage of the beautiful skyline as a backdrop? This could have been done from the current location.

I've heard stories that the park was turned to the projects vs. the skyline for a real reason. Something to the effect that it was in someone's financial interest (either parking lots or some real estate issue) to have it facing southeast.

It doesn't makes sense to me logically why that would affect anyone though. Anybody ever heard these stories?

IMHO, the biggest blunder was the New Comiskey, They've done great things with what they've had to work with since it was built, but it was original constructed for the players and corporations, not the fans.

Lip Man 1
08-29-2010, 12:40 PM
Double:

Your question on who authorized the blue seats, it was JR as homage to his love of the Brooklyn Dodgers. (No I'm not kidding...)

Lip

WhiteSox5187
08-29-2010, 12:47 PM
Double:

Your question on who authorized the blue seats, it was JR as homage to his love of the Brooklyn Dodgers. (No I'm not kidding...)

Lip

Strange because I don't think Ebbets Field had blue seats.

WhiteSox5187
08-29-2010, 12:53 PM
Strange because I don't think Ebbets Field had blue seats.

This is as close as I can come to a photo of the seats at Ebbets Field, but their color is actually more a of deep green that we have now and had at the old ballpark. At least that's what it looks like to me: http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.projectballpark.org/history/nl/pics/ebbets-in.jpg&imgrefurl=http://projectballpark.org/history/nl/ebbets.html&usg=__F0kCVVAu7eVqgrEqTeqkutZUYIc=&h=338&w=500&sz=30&hl=en&start=48&zoom=1&tbnid=d2HN4U4c1FchyM:&tbnh=129&tbnw=191&prev=/images%3Fq%3Debbets%2Bfield%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26s afe%3Doff%26sa%3DN%26biw%3D998%26bih%3D636%26tbs%3 Disch:10%2C2297&um=1&itbs=1&iact=hc&vpx=535&vpy=238&dur=415&hovh=172&hovw=255&tx=99&ty=132&ei=EJB6TLXEBYnInAfqxpD4AQ&oei=2496TOCnOYGLnAfY4JidCw&esq=7&page=5&ndsp=13&ved=1t:429,r:11,s:48&biw=998&bih=636

kba
08-29-2010, 01:01 PM
Bruins and Celtics moved to UHF in 66-67 and and the Bruins especially with Orr made people run to Radio Shack for converters. But color TV exploded at the same time and those sets did have UHF.

Phillies were way before 82 --- The Flyers were on UHF from day 1 - Red Wings were on WKBD from 66 on.

You're right. The White Sox were the first BASEBALL team to move its games to UHF, not the first team in any sport; I remembered the history wrong.

Looking back at old newspaper articles on ProQuest, the move to WFLD got quite a bit of national attention at the time. A New York Daily News story on November 4, 1967 said the lucrative contract with WFLD (a million dollars a year) "might be construed by some as anchoring the franchise to Chicago." The context was that the White Sox were losing a ton of money (Even with a contending team in 1967, attendance was only about 985,000), and Allyn was considering moving the team to Milwaukee. So he jumped at the short-term money, which he badly needed to keep the franchise afloat.

None of the articles at the time acknowledged the fact that most Chicagoans couldn't receive UHF on their TV sets at the time. Olson Electronics (a store that was like Radio Shack) advertised a "White Sox special" in their 1968 newspaper ads: set-top UHF converters for $15.00. But I recall those things being a pain in the neck to use, and while Boston fans might have gone through the trouble to watch Bobby Orr, I doubt Carlos May and Buddy Bradford did much to boost converter box sales.

I've heard stories that the park was turned to the projects vs. the skyline for a real reason. Something to the effect that it was in someone's financial interest (either parking lots or some real estate issue) to have it facing southeast.

What they said at the time was that they wanted to keep home plate at 35th and Shields.

Fenway
08-29-2010, 01:45 PM
This is as close as I can come to a photo of the seats at Ebbets Field, but their color is actually more a of deep green that we have now and had at the old ballpark. At least that's what it looks like to me: http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.projectballpark.org/history/nl/pics/ebbets-in.jpg&imgrefurl=http://projectballpark.org/history/nl/ebbets.html&usg=__F0kCVVAu7eVqgrEqTeqkutZUYIc=&h=338&w=500&sz=30&hl=en&start=48&zoom=1&tbnid=d2HN4U4c1FchyM:&tbnh=129&tbnw=191&prev=/images%3Fq%3Debbets%2Bfield%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26s afe%3Doff%26sa%3DN%26biw%3D998%26bih%3D636%26tbs%3 Disch:10%2C2297&um=1&itbs=1&iact=hc&vpx=535&vpy=238&dur=415&hovh=172&hovw=255&tx=99&ty=132&ei=EJB6TLXEBYnInAfqxpD4AQ&oei=2496TOCnOYGLnAfY4JidCw&esq=7&page=5&ndsp=13&ved=1t:429,r:11,s:48&biw=998&bih=636

http://www.collectiblestadiumseats.com/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderpictures/SR-Ebbets-11-1-08.jpg

They were blue....

I never had a problem with the blue seats but one issue is that with the old NTSC television color signal, you always tried to avoid having green and blue as they simply didn't mix well especially on cheaper seats - and you could wind up with a blueish looking outfield.

One color seat should be avoided and that is yelllow/gold. Stade Olympique looked even worse with all the yellow seats - the new Boston Garden had the same problem - if the seat is empty, it really stands out.

LITTLE NELL
08-29-2010, 01:48 PM
This is as close as I can come to a photo of the seats at Ebbets Field, but their color is actually more a of deep green that we have now and had at the old ballpark. At least that's what it looks like to me: http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.projectballpark.org/history/nl/pics/ebbets-in.jpg&imgrefurl=http://projectballpark.org/history/nl/ebbets.html&usg=__F0kCVVAu7eVqgrEqTeqkutZUYIc=&h=338&w=500&sz=30&hl=en&start=48&zoom=1&tbnid=d2HN4U4c1FchyM:&tbnh=129&tbnw=191&prev=/images%3Fq%3Debbets%2Bfield%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26s afe%3Doff%26sa%3DN%26biw%3D998%26bih%3D636%26tbs%3 Disch:10%2C2297&um=1&itbs=1&iact=hc&vpx=535&vpy=238&dur=415&hovh=172&hovw=255&tx=99&ty=132&ei=EJB6TLXEBYnInAfqxpD4AQ&oei=2496TOCnOYGLnAfY4JidCw&esq=7&page=5&ndsp=13&ved=1t:429,r:11,s:48&biw=998&bih=636


http://www.baseballforum.com/attachments/baseball-history-teams-yester-year/52d1151130385-brooklyn-dodgers-1957-ebbets-field-tinker-postcard-color
Looks sort of greenish-blue. hard to tell.

TommyJohn
08-29-2010, 01:53 PM
http://www.baseballforum.com/attachments/baseball-history-teams-yester-year/52d1151130385-brooklyn-dodgers-1957-ebbets-field-tinker-postcard-color
Look sort of greenish-blue. hard to tell.

*GASP!* It's......Ebbets Field. *swoon*

Hitmen77
08-29-2010, 04:10 PM
This is the part I don't get. If your a Sox fan, or not a Cubs' fan, why watch the Cubs on TV just because they're free? That's just ****ing lazy. If you're gonna do that, why in the hell would you become a Cubs' fan, when an actually good team, the Braves, is there for the taking as well?

It wasn't adult Sox fans "switching to the Cubs". It was a whole generation of new fans (also known as "children") who grew up only being able to watch the Cubs and became Cubs fans. This happened to people who were kids in the late 60s/early 70s. They became the main demographic for ticket buyers in the 80s. It happened again in the 1980s when the Sox were on SportsVision. These people ended up buying lots of Cubs tickets in the 90s and 2000s.

Not everyone is 3rd generation Sox fan or 3rd generation Cubs fan. Many kids form their own allegiances when they first get into baseball. The Sox lost a lot of market share because of lack of access to games. It didn't happen overnight. But nowadays I've heard quite a few people who identify themselves as Cubs fans say they became Cubs fans because they were always on TV when they were growing up.

Hitmen77
08-29-2010, 04:23 PM
Lip, I also think that the same book mentioned that there was an overall design committee that oversaw the design of Camden Yards and that they used a lot of the design concepts for new Comiskey as precedent for 'what NOT to do' in the development of their new park.

Two big mistakes were made with the New Comiskey design. One, the site should have been closer to downtown so that that new park would have been a centerpiece for an urban redevelopment effort (South Loop, Goose Island). Example-PNC Park in Pittsburgh was built on a very modest budget but owing to urban context and its magnificent offsite views of the river, it is one of the more acclaimed new ballparks.

Two, handing Reinsdorf autonomous design control of the new park precluded a more ambitious vision for the new facility, as stated in the aforementioned book.

I may be wrong, but after the Addison deal fell through I thought it was the City of Chicago that dictated that the new Sox stadium approved in 1988 would be built at 35th Street.

I didn't have the impression that Jerry and Eddie wanted to stay in a bad neighborhood on the South Side and build their park in the shadow of housing projects.

Over time, I think this is becoming less and less of an issue. The area around the Cell is booming, the Projects are long gone, and the park location is easily accessible by car and by train (only 4 stops to the Loop).

EDIT: Oh, and by the way, an even bigger mistake would have been if the Sox actually built their new stadium in Addison. That would have been a huge disaster.

Gavin
08-29-2010, 04:29 PM
Over time, I think this is becoming less and less of an issue. The area around the Cell is booming, the Projects are long gone, and the park location is easily accessible by car and by train (only 4 stops to the Loop).

It will be very interesting to compare the sociographic data of the area surrounding the Cell when the Census 2010 data comes up (versus 2000, 1990, etc). While income data won't be available, we ought to see a lot of signs of gentrification: less # of people per household, diversified races, etc.

Fenway
08-29-2010, 05:03 PM
We have talked about this before but another problem which I surmise hurt the Sox in generating a downstate or west of Chicago audience was their radio stations in the 20 years after WW2

http://mlb.mlb.com/cws/history/broadcasters.jsp

The Sox main nighttime radio outlet for many years was WCFL (now WMVP) which was a 50,000 watt station but at night was directional to the East as it had to protect an AM station in Seattle.

One look at this map and you see the problem
http://www.radio-locator.com/cgi-bin/pat?call=WMVP&service=AM&status=L&hours=N

We become a fan of the team your Dad rooted for - so if you lived in Rockford or Downstate you titled towards the Cubs as you could HEAR them.

The Sox I am sure had some smaller stations in those markets but with the Cubs on clear channel WGN and the Cards on KMOX the White Sox were afterthoughts.

The Sox did move to WMAQ (now WSCR) in the mid 60's but the damage had been done.

To back up my theory - The Sox were big in Indiana and points east (and were very popular in Buffalo)
I could get WCFL loud and clear in Boston at night.

Of course as soon as the team gets to 670 they have a good 67 and then disaster - plus the Cubs got good finally. WMAQ said cya, WBBM said nope as did WIND and the Sox wound up on two small AM's in Joliet and Evanston - and while they were on FM clearly nobody had FM in cars yet.

Baseball more than any sport is a creature of habit -and if your Dad listened to the White Sox you did too.

Funny - Boston was a rare exception to having games on a clear channel station. The Red Sox have NEVER been on WBZ 1030 heard in 38 states but elected to be on WHDH 850 (now WEEI) which was 50,000 watts but did not beam south or west. But Boston built a stong regional network that still exists today. They did and still do use clear channel WTIC Hartford but when they first signed with the station it was for Yawkey to hear the games in South Carolina.

http://www.bostonspastime.com/audio.html

Boston also has a station in Greenwich, CT which puts a strong signal into the small village of New York City :)

No 2 team market is split 50-50. NY is Yankees then Mets, LA the Dodgers then Anaheim and SFO is Giants and then the A's.

Fenway
08-29-2010, 06:36 PM
Now for the older fans here that remember the AA years....

Talking to a friend today who is a major researcher with SABR and he is lurking in this thread.

He wonders if Allyn went to WFLD-TV for another reason to make it easier for him to pack up the team and head up 94 to vacant Milwaukee.

He says there are certain clues that indicate that is what he wanted but wanted to say to his LaSalle St cronies "Hey we tried.".

Milwaukee was certainly not a failure but the new owners were blinded by the exploding market of Atlanta. The Braves were also being hurt by the born again Lombardi Packers who will always own the state.

Young Bud Selig certainly was doing everything he could to get a team and Allyn did move some home games to County Stadium with the AL's blessing.

Selig was rebuffed TWICE in the 69 expansion when Seattle, Kansas City, San Diego and MONTREAL were awarded teams. Selig has told the story of seeing Warren Giles form the letter M and for a split second thought he had a team but Montreal got it - which was amazing as they had NO STADIUM and had only a year to do something.

So my friend thinks that had the Seattle Pilots survived the Sox were gone....and then Finley would have bolted out of Oakland with a team that would be a dynasty.

I think honestly the one thing that kept the White Sox from leaving was the loyal fan who lived in the 3500 block of S Lowe.

Concerning Dibartolo, 2 years before he was rebuffed another Italian was refused the opportunity to become an owner.

DOMINIC DiMAGGIO

Dom after he retired became a multi-millionaire in Massachusetts and when Tom Yawkey died in 1976, Jean put the team up for sale - she wanted no part of it.

DiMaggio partnered with a Massachusetts company with strong baseball roots - Spalding Sports -

Bowie Kuhn told Spaulding get rid of Dominic or no go. Spaulding went to Will McDonough at the Globe.

DiMaggio was to put it mildly FURIOUS and was going to sue Mrs. Yawkey, Kuhn, MLB and just make a big mess for baseball.

So....Mrs. Yawkey sold the team to herself to stop that cold....and brought in 2 partners, one was a former player turned GM and the team's former trainer. Haywood Sullivan and Buddy LeRioux.

You can thank them for Carlton Fisk.

Mrs Yawkey first deep sixed Buddy, then Haywood as she became fond of team accountant John Harrington.

In any event - NO Italian would become an owner while Bowie was in charge.

tsoxman
08-29-2010, 06:45 PM
I may be wrong, but after the Addison deal fell through I thought it was the City of Chicago that dictated that the new Sox stadium approved in 1988 would be built at 35th Street.

I didn't have the impression that Jerry and Eddie wanted to stay in a bad neighborhood on the South Side and build their park in the shadow of housing projects.


You are correct. The 35th Street site was mandated by the City. I was in no way implying that all of the design mistakes with New Comiskey were the Sox' fault, but the site selection was a mistake nonetheless.

Brian26
08-29-2010, 08:27 PM
Hitmen:

You bring up some good points. In the book, "Ballpark...the building of Camden Yards," the author quotes a rep from the HOK firm which built both stadiums. He said HOK offered JR basically the Camden Yards plan and he flat turned them down.

The blue seats were a JR decision paying homage to his beloved Brooklyn Dodgers as was the uniforms the Sox wore from 1986 through 1990.

Jeff Torborg told me a story last month I never knew. Jeff said immediately after he was hired as manager he began lobbying for new uniforms. JR asked why and Jeff said, the only team those uniforms would look good on are the Dodgers because they are a copy of their script and design.

JR told him, "I designed those uniforms." Which made for an awkward moment but Jeff said that uniforms need to be identified to a particular franchise and the fan base has to connect with them. He said the last great Sox time period (this was in 89) was from back in the 50's...he suggested pinstripes which Jeff said JR hated (again because the Dodgers didn't have them...)

Finally after six months of lobbying Jeff got the go ahead. Actually two sets were designed. The silver and black design honoring the 1950's and they also had made up a blue pinstripe uniform relating to the teams in the middle 1960's that averaged 95 wins a season.

I've never seen a photo of the blue version.

Lip

Would the blue version have had the same script and pinstripes? Or a different script with the 60s piping similar to what the Tigers have?

Either way, Torborg deserves a statue based on this story. Another reason to love the guy.

Lip Man 1
08-29-2010, 08:53 PM
Brian:

It's my understanding the blue-pinstripes were exactly like the current black-silver pinstripes uniform.

and the seats in Ebbets Field were blue. JR has some in his office from what I saw along with some from the original Comiskey Park.

Lip

SBSoxFan
08-29-2010, 09:38 PM
Waiver claim for Manny Ramirez.

Marqhead
08-29-2010, 09:51 PM
Waiver claim for Manny Ramirez.

This attempt at teal is the biggest blunder in WSI history...:cool:

Hitmen77
08-29-2010, 10:04 PM
Hitmen:

You bring up some good points. In the book, "Ballpark...the building of Camden Yards," the author quotes a rep from the HOK firm which built both stadiums. He said HOK offered JR basically the Camden Yards plan and he flat turned them down.

The blue seats were a JR decision paying homage to his beloved Brooklyn Dodgers as was the uniforms the Sox wore from 1986 through 1990.

Jeff Torborg told me a story last month I never knew. Jeff said immediately after he was hired as manager he began lobbying for new uniforms. JR asked why and Jeff said, the only team those uniforms would look good on are the Dodgers because they are a copy of their script and design.

JR told him, "I designed those uniforms." Which made for an awkward moment but Jeff said that uniforms need to be identified to a particular franchise and the fan base has to connect with them. He said the last great Sox time period (this was in 89) was from back in the 50's...he suggested pinstripes which Jeff said JR hated (again because the Dodgers didn't have them...)
Finally after six months of lobbying Jeff got the go ahead. Actually two sets were designed. The silver and black design honoring the 1950's and they also had made up a blue pinstripe uniform relating to the teams in the middle 1960's that averaged 95 wins a season.

I've never seen a photo of the blue version.

Lip

Very interesting, Lip. Thanks for sharing.

It's hard to believe it's already been 20 years since the Sox went back to the 50s/60s era logo and uniform. Those of you too young to remember really don't appreciate how great it is that the Sox have a "classic" logo and uniforms.

I first started following the Sox in the mid 70s as a little boy and I grew up with the Sox bouncing from one awful uniform to another. The Cubs had a classic look that never changed and the Sox look was an ever-changing joke. We went from pajama uniforms to video game uniforms to a Campbell Soup cap. Our "man holding a bat" logo was nice, but it wasn't a classic like the previous (and now current) old English logo.

Does anyone know what exact date in 1990 that the Sox made the switch to the new uniforms? What I do remember is that they were supposed to be new for the 1991 season, but the Sox moved up the date and the team permanently switched to the new design late in the 1990 season.

WhiteSox5187
08-29-2010, 10:08 PM
Very interesting, Lip. Thanks for sharing.

It's hard to believe it's already been 20 years since the Sox went back to the 50s/60s era logo and uniform. Those of you too young to remember really don't appreciate how great it is that the Sox have a "classic" logo and uniforms.

I first started following the Sox in the mid 70s as a little boy and I grew up with the Sox bouncing from one awful uniform to another. The Cubs had a classic look that never changed and the Sox look was an ever-changing joke. We went from pajama uniforms to video game uniforms to a Campbell Soup cap. Our "man holding a bat" logo was nice, but it wasn't a classic like the previous (and now current) old English logo.

Does anyone know what exact date in 1990 that the Sox made the switch to the new uniforms? What I do remember is that they were supposed to be new for the 1991 season, but the Sox moved up the date and the team permanently switched to the new design late in the 1990 season.

I think it was for the last home stand at Old Comiskey which started Tuesday September 25th. Now the Sox closed the season in Boston, does anyone know if they wore what would have been their new road uniforms then?

SephClone89
08-29-2010, 10:34 PM
The distribution of the Big Hurt bobbleheads on Frank Thomas Day.

Brian26
08-29-2010, 11:24 PM
I think it was for the last home stand at Old Comiskey which started Tuesday September 25th. Now the Sox closed the season in Boston, does anyone know if they wore what would have been their new road uniforms then?

Absolutely, they wore the new road unis that weekend. The final game was the controversial game where the Red Sox clinched the AL East on a phantom catch by Tom Brunansky near the Pesky Pole off the bat of Ozzie.

Lip Man 1
08-29-2010, 11:25 PM
To answer the questions, yes the Sox unveiled the new uniforms against Milwaukee, Minnesota and Seattle the final home stand and yes they wore the new road uniforms the final set of games in Boston.

Lip

Brian26
08-29-2010, 11:26 PM
Our "man holding a bat" logo was nice, but it wasn't a classic like the previous (and now current) old English logo.

That logo actually works better now and gets more love as a kitschy retro logo than it did when it was used as our actual logo.

Brian26
08-29-2010, 11:27 PM
Does anyone know what exact date in 1990 that the Sox made the switch to the new uniforms? What I do remember is that they were supposed to be new for the 1991 season, but the Sox moved up the date and the team permanently switched to the new design late in the 1990 season.

I remember the first time they were introduced- it was on the old White Sox Weekly show, in late July of 1990. Torborg was modeling the road uni and talked about how classy it looked. The switch came out of nowhere.

Stephen Jaworski
08-30-2010, 08:03 AM
Jorge Orta back in the mid-70's. While "playing" LF at Comiskey, Tony Oliva sliced a line drive over Jorge's head. As he turned to chase the white orb, a gust of wind separated his head from his Sox cap which skittered about 10 feet closer to the infield. What did JO do? He RETRIEVED HIS CAP before making a beeline for the ball. I think Harry Caray spewed Falstaff out of his nose as that comical blunder unfolded ...

http://www.falstaffbrewing.com/_borders/falstaff2.jpg

SBSoxFan
08-30-2010, 08:43 AM
This attempt at teal is the biggest blunder in WSI history...:cool:

:tongue: 2 down, 5 over!

Fenway
08-30-2010, 10:17 AM
Absolutely, they wore the new road unis that weekend. The final game was the controversial game where the Red Sox clinched the AL East on a phantom catch by Tom Brunansky near the Pesky Pole off the bat of Ozzie.

He caught the ball :) You get a quick look at the uniforms

]hH5e70HvP4Y

Railsplitter
08-30-2010, 11:18 AM
Hazy as my pre-1970 meories are (few beyond my sister being born in 1968) I was aware of channel 32 carring the sox games and I never remember bad screens or my folks complaining about the picture. In fact 32 was what I watched after school. Most of my first decade of life was spent around 76th and Damen. In 1974, the family moved out to Streamwood and I never had too much problems with reception for 32 or 44. My younger brother who was born in 1970, has been a Sox fan all his life despite seeing them on Channel 44 when he first started watching.

The worst blunder was the spate of trades at the 1959 winter meetings. Bill Veeck traded for the short term and got burnred on it, trading young talent for "proven" veterans, none of whom ever won a championship.

fram40
08-30-2010, 01:58 PM
Hazy as my pre-1970 meories are (few beyond my sister being born in 1968) I was aware of channel 32 carring the sox games and I never remember bad screens or my folks complaining about the picture. In fact 32 was what I watched after school. Most of my first decade of life was spent around 76th and Damen. In 1974, the family moved out to Streamwood and I never had too much problems with reception for 32 or 44.

I agree with Railsplitter.

I seem to be about the same age (born 1960). I grew up at 87th and Pulaski. I remember the occassional snowy television broadcasts, but nothing horrible. Not much worse than any of the channels at that time. They all had issues at times, iirc.

Hitmen77
08-30-2010, 02:01 PM
But times are a changing. The Cubs fanbase is FINALLY getting fed up.
The Hawks coming back from oblivion was the last straw after the Red Sox and White Sox winning.

They may lose 100 games in YEAR ONE.

I think the Cubs fanbase was furious in 2006 when the Cubs lost 96 games right after the Sox won the WS.....but then the Tribune bought complacency for a few years by handing out huge contracts to people like Soriano, Lilly, Fukudome, etc. in an attempt to buy a quick title. Now that that effort has fallen apart, Cubs fans are threatening to be "fed up" again.

I agree that times are changing in Chicago. Now, don't get me wrong, I don't think nor am I suggesting that Chicago is on the verge of becoming primarily a Sox town. However, the strides the Sox have made in the Chicago market over the last decade have been impressive.

Of course, at the center of this all is the Sox winning the World Series in '05. Some people will say "nothing has changed" because Chicago didn't suddenly become a Sox town. But that was never going to happen with all the people in the area who were born and bred as Cubs fans over the last 40 years. These things take time.

The fans growing up over the last 10 years saw a Sox championship plus other exciting Sox teams with likable players like Buehrle, Konerko, and Dye. At the same time, they saw the Cubs mostly bumble from one fiasco to another. Even their successful seasons of '03, '07, and '08 ended in bitter disappointment and they've had a number of player personnel troubles with Sosa, Bradley, Zambrano in recent years.

The '05 championship really changed the mindset in town about the Sox and Cubs. No longer can people just ignore the Sox and pretend that they're irrelevant. Also, the Cubs (with the Sox and then the Hawks winning) can no longer say they're not the only team in Chicago with an embarrassingly long drought.

Other changes over the last 10 or so years are helping the Sox: 1) the renovations to The Cell have really turned perception of the ballpark around. What was once a hated "ballmall" is now seen as an attractive, family friendly ballpark. 2) The neighborhood around the Cell has dramatically improved. People who still say they avoid Sox games because of the dangerous neighborhood are really living in the past. 3)There's not much inequity in TV broadcast exposure anymore. Yes, the Cubs still have more games on WGN, but both teams put a good chunk of their games on Comcast plus access to basic cable (and CSN) is extremely high.

A totally unscientific indicator to me of how much things have changed in the last few years is when I go out around town. In public places, I tend to see nearly as much Sox gear and Cubs gear (still mostly Cubs, but the Sox are well represented). Also, check out all the cars with bumper stickers and license plate frames on the roads. I see a ton of Sox stuff now where it was pretty non-existent 10 years ago.

It'll be interesting to see what happens when the people who were kids in 2005 reach adulthood. If the team remains competitive and interesting for most of the upcoming seasons (and I know that's not a given), you might really start to see a bump in the Sox market share.

tstrike2000
08-30-2010, 04:01 PM
Black Sox scandal and White Flag trade, followed by Jose Paniagua.

Ranger
08-30-2010, 04:20 PM
The 1919 Black Sox fiasco by far tops the list. That sent the franchise reeling for decades.

Besides that, why isn't the Sox move from WGN to obscure Channel 32 in 1967 on your list? We had a discussion on another thread about this recently and it sounds like this was the Sox decision and WGN would have wanted to keep both the Cubs and Sox.

Yeah, Allyn got $1 million from WFLD, but this may have been the biggest blunder by the franchise in the last 50 years. This had a devastating effect on this franchise as it was shunted to hard to reach UHF channels while the next 2 generation of Chicago fans grew up watching the Cubs on WGN, which eventually became a superstation powerhouse.

If the Sox don't leave WGN in 1968, then maybe they never get to the point in 1981 where they have no station to carry most of their games.

As far as the SportsVision fiasco goes, I understand the Sox options were limited. Like you said, no over the air station would carry them more than once a week. Plus Chicago and most of the suburbs weren't wired for cable yet in 1982. But, I think it was more than that. I distinctly remember Einhorn seeing this as a huge cash cow for the Sox and not just "their only option". They charged an insane $15/month for just one part-time sports channel! That's like asking viewers today to pay $35/month just to access Comcast Sports Net (and have it only air part time). Did the Sox really need to gouge fans like that? Why not charge a more reasonable rate and commit to making this a basic cable access channel as Chicagoland got wired for cable (my suburb got cable in 1983, so it wouldn't have been too long of a wait). By the time SportsVision moved to basic cable in the late 80s, it was too late. The Sox were horrible on the field and the 2nd generation of Chicago fans were entrenched in growing up with the Cubs.

As far as Harry and Jimmy goes, I agree that losing them...and losing Harry to the Cubs was a huge blunder. But as time goes on and I read more about, it sounds like this wasn't just Jerry and Eddie being stupid *******s. Harry himself was an ass. He didn't like Jerry and Eddie and just wanted to screw them. Their biggest sin? Probably asking Harry to tone down his act and become more of a Sox cheerleader. He told them to drop dead because there's no way he'd sell out the fans like that......and then he went across town and became a total cheerleader and cartoon for the Cubs. Really, the bottom line was that Harry didn't want to be on pay TV. Period. That would have been bad for Harry. That's what sealed the deal of him leaving.

This has to be it, because the effects of that are still felt today. It was such a critical time in history because cable TV had not yet exploded and people were limited to what they could watch which meant if the Sox were on TV, there was an excellent chance you were repeatedly exposed to them.

Had this not happened, the Cubs may have never gotten as popular as they are now and the Sox fanbase would be much greater today.

captain54
08-30-2010, 05:26 PM
Had this not happened, the Cubs may have never gotten as popular as they are now and the Sox fanbase would be much greater today.

there are an awful lot of reasons why the Cubs eventually eclipsed the Sox, and why the Sox fanbase isn't as great as it could be, and the reasons are a lot more than bad TV deals.

Ever since the 83' season, the Sunshine Boys regime has been riddled with one bad PR move after another. You could go back to the devasting loss against Baltimore in the ALCS and the Tito Landrum HR, and then the subsequent slide in 84', the firing of LaRussa, the appointment of Hawk as GM as the beginning of an era marked by a pretty bad relationship with the Sox fanbase.

In the meanwhile, beginning in 84', the Cubs started to play decent and had some fun, fan friendly teams. The New Comiskey and the stripping of the neighborhood surrounding it of any fun, cool places to hang out made attending Sox games a sterilized affair and Wrigley became the new fun baseball destination.