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BRDSR
07-01-2012, 05:33 PM
When I was about 7 years old in 1992 my great-grandfather sent me a box. It wasn’t my birthday and it wasn’t near Christmas, it was just because. There were about 500 baseball cards in that box, and I was hooked. As a kid I amassed what is now a substantially worthless collection of about 20,000 cards, and I would sift through the cards while I watched baseball games on TV, examining a player's card when he was up to bat or the starting pitcher. Now I actively collect vintage White Sox cards in mid- to high-grade. I’m one card away from completely finishing my first year, 1965, a 30-card set.

A couple weeks ago, I started thinking about what I was going to do with the set once I finished. I realized that other than the White Sox’ record at the end of the season and what place the team finished in (both of which I looked up when I started on the set), I really didn’t know much about the 1965 team at all. I wish I'd had a chance to watch some of these lesser-known White Sox players while collecting their cards, like I did in the '90s. So decided I would do a little research, learning about the team’s season by learning about each White Sox player with a card in the set.

The theory is simple: each player on a baseball team makes some sort of impact on that team over the course of a season. Each one has a season worth of stats which, in the aggregate, affected the team’s season. And most if not all had at least a few memorable moments which had a direct impact on the outcome of a particular game.

Starting with my next post in this thread, I will cover those players who played for the 1965 White Sox but do not have a card, as well as those players who did not play for the 1965 White Sox but do have a card. After that, I’ll take one player at a time, posting his 1965 Topps card. I’ll give a brief bio of the player, closely examine his 1965 season, and describe one particular game where he had a direct impact. Those games will go in chronological order, and my only request is that the team’s record and place in the standings not be revealed until the end of the project. Obviously that information can be found with the click of a button on the Internet, but I think some younger readers might enjoy letting the season unfold as it would have if they’d been following the team during the summer of 1965…and those who were fans in 1965 might enjoy reliving the season!

soxfan1965
07-01-2012, 06:09 PM
That was a pretty good team (esp #31) and season.

Southsider101
07-01-2012, 06:56 PM
The 1965 team was a excellent ball club. While they sometimes had trouble scoring runs, the pitching featured starters Joel Horlen, Gary Peters, John Buzhardt, and a young 22 year old Tommy John. Hoyt Wilhelm had a stellar year with a 1.81 ERA.

LITTLE NELL
07-01-2012, 07:00 PM
All I will say is that in October of 1965 I enlisted in the USAF and every year that I followed the Sox up to that point, they were Pennant contenders and all I knew was Southside winning Baseball. By the time I was discharged in 1969 things had changed drastically.
Look forward to reliving that season through your posts.

Noneck
07-01-2012, 07:12 PM
My eyes were of a child that year and they always saw hope. Now as a old man whose eyes has seen so many years, they see things so much differently.

Brian26
07-01-2012, 10:18 PM
I’m one card away from completely finishing my first year, 1965, a 30-card set.

I have a handful of Sox cards from 1965 (Gary Peters, Moose and Horlen). I love that design with the little pennant in the bottom corner w/ team name and logo. Someday if I hit the lottery, I'd like to build that entire set.

PaleHoser
07-01-2012, 10:33 PM
Is it too soon to share which card you're missing from the set?

I used to collect White Sox team sets years ago. The high numbered cards from the 1960's were always a bear to find, particularly in quality condition. The 1967 Tommy John was particularly tough to find because it was the last card issued in that set.

RCWHITESOX
07-02-2012, 10:31 PM
All I will say is that in October of 1965 I enlisted in the USAF and every year that I followed the Sox up to that point, they were Pennant contenders and all I knew was Southside winning Baseball. By the time I was discharged in 1969 things had changed drastically.
Look forward to reliving that season through your posts.

You must have really have looked forward to your Stars and Stripes paper!

LITTLE NELL
07-03-2012, 05:28 AM
You must have really have looked forward to your Stars and Stripes paper!

When I was stationed at Nha Trang Air Force Base in Viet Nam in 1968 I worked from 11pm to 7am and the Star and Stripes was flown in daily at 11am, I would get up at 1030am to make sure to get my copy to see what the Sox did and then went back to bed. 1968 was the first losing season I experienced as a Sox fan as I started following them in the early 50s.

RCWHITESOX
07-03-2012, 05:18 PM
When I was stationed at Nha Trang Air Force Base in Viet Nam in 1968 I worked from 11pm to 7am and the Star and Stripes was flown in daily at 11am, I would get up at 1030am to make sure to get my copy to see what the Sox did and then went back to bed. 1968 was the first losing season I experienced as a Sox fan as I started following them in the early 50s.

I was in the Navy a few years after you and stationed in Pearl Harbor. We were a west pact patrol DER. Went to Vietnam, China, Tailand, Phillipines, Japan, and Guam. I was always awaiting mail delivery while out to sea; looking for my copy of the paper.

roylestillman
07-03-2012, 08:35 PM
I was 8 in 1965 and collecting baseball cards took every stray nickel I had. The Checklist cards were my favorite. I still have the 1964 Yearbook "Operation White Sox."

BRDSR
07-04-2012, 11:05 AM
I am currently in the Air Force, stationed at Luke AFB. All in all, the lifestyle is very enjoyable. But one very real sacrifice is being away from home, friends, and family. Following the White Sox through DirectTV's MLB package and projects like this keep me connected to home and those friends and family that also follow the White Sox.

34 different players stepped up to the plate or took the mound for the 1965 Chicago White Sox, but only 24 have White Sox baseball cards in the 1965 Topps set. The following players do not have White Sox cards in the set:

-Frank Lary, 26.2 IP
-Ted Wills, 19 IP
-Johnny Romano, 425 PA
-Gene Freese, 38 PA
-Bill Voss, 37 PA
-Tommie Agee, 21 PA
-Jim Hicks, 19 PA
-Duane Josephson, 11 PA
-Dick Kenworthy, 3 PA
-Bill Heath, 1 PA

By far the most significant absentee is Johnny Romano, the White Sox starting catcher in 1965. (J.C. Martin also saw significant time behind the plate.) Romano had been traded to the White Sox in January 1965 from the Indians in part of a three-team trade. The White Sox traded Mike Hershberger, Jim Landis, and Fred Talbot to the Kansas City Athletics. In addition to Romano, the White Sox also received Tommy John and Tommie Agee from the Indians. Interestingly, although Johnny Romano and Tommie Agee appear in the 1965 set as members of the Cleveland Indians, Topps managed to put Tommy John on a White Sox card before production of the set began.

At the peak of his career, Romano had played in two all-star games, but by 1965 was dipping below his career average in most major categories. He batted .242 with 39 runs, 48 RBI, and 18 HRs for the 1965 Chicago White Sox. He threw out 22 of 69 base stealers and allowed 11 passed balls.

In addition, five players appear on White Sox cards but did not play for the 1965 team:

-Fred Talbot (Traded to KCA during off-season)
-Mike Hershberger (Traded to KCA during off-season)
-Dave DeBusschere (Decided on a professional basketball career)
-Joel Gibson (Never made it to the big leagues)
-Gene Stephens (Never made it back to the big leagues after the 1964 season)

The remaining 24 players and manager Al Lopez have White Sox baseball cards in the 1965 set. I'll examine each one, starting in my next post with Don Buford, highlighting his performance on April 27, 1965.

RowanDye
07-04-2012, 11:24 AM
The 1965 team was a excellent ball club. They finished ------------- with a ------ record.

Spoiler alert! I think the original poster requested not to post their record and standing.

BRDSR
07-07-2012, 05:36 PM
http://i1199.photobucket.com/albums/aa476/ChiSoxCardboard/Untitled-2.jpghttp://i1199.photobucket.com/albums/aa476/ChiSoxCardboard/Untitled-3.jpg

A major-league player for 10 seasons, Don Buford broke into the big leagues in 1963 with the White Sox after signing as a free agent with the team in November 1959. At only 5’7” and 160 pounds, Buford was a prototypical leadoff hitter much of his career. He always scored more runs than he batted in, including 99 runs scored for the Baltimore Orioles each season between 1969 and 1971. He stole 12 or more bases in eight different seasons, including 51 for the White Sox in 1966. He also led the league in being caught three times. His 93 career home runs demonstrate that he always had a little power, but he seemed to get stronger in the World Series; in 58 Fall Classic at bats for the Baltimore Orioles between 1969 and 1971, he hit an impressive four home runs. Between batting leadoff, his quick speed, and good situational hitting, Don Buford owns the distinction of being the most difficult major league player to double up: in 4,553 career at bats, he grounded into only 33 double plays.

Although he also played a lot of left field and third base over the course of his career, Buford primarily played second base for the White Sox in 1965. He played in 155 games for the ’65 team, starting at second base 128 times and third base 15 times. Though known as a leadoff hitter, Al Lopez often put the switch-hitting Buford in the #2 slot in 1965. Buford’s 93 runs and 166 hits were tops on the White Sox in 1965, and his .283 batting average and .358 OBP was the best of any starter on the team. His .982 fielding percentage was also very respectable for an infielder. For his 1965 efforts, Buford garnered three MVP vote points, finishing in 25th place. His performance was apparently comparable to legend Mickey Mantle and teammate Floyd Robinson, both of whom also received three points.

The season started a little later in the 1960s than it does now, and the White Sox had only played 10 games coming into their April 27th Tuesday evening contest with the Boston Red Sox. At 7-3 and with four wins in a row, the White Sox were tied for first with the Minnesota Twins coming into play. The Red Sox kicked off the scoring with a 2nd inning solo home run by Tony Conigliaro off John Buzhardt, but after that it was all White Sox. Although the ’65 team didn’t usually overwhelm opponents at the plate, when they did, Don Buford was probably involved. Buford went 4-5 with four singles on the 27th, scoring twice and picking up two RBI. The White Sox first run was on Buford’s first single of the game, a bunt fielded by Red Sox catcher Bob Tillman. Tillman promptly threw the ball away; Cater scored from first base and Buford advanced to third base. Buford’s first run put the White Sox ahead in the bottom of the third when he scored on a Pete Ward single. He added an RBI in the 4th on a single which scored Buzhardt. And in the 7th he helped put the game away. Buford led off the inning, singled, and scored on an error by second baseman Felix Mantilla. When Buford batting again, his single to right drove in Ken Berry, but the inning was ended when Danny Cater was thrown out at third by Conigliaro, who was playing right field.

When it was all over, the White Sox had won 10-1, with five of their runs unearned due to three Red Sox errors. Buford’s four singles had directly or indirectly resulted in five runs. The Twins also won, and so the two teams remained tied for first place. A child thumbing through his baseball cards on April 27th might have noticed Buford’s .336 average and 114 runs two years earlier for the Sox’ farm team and wondered whether he would replicate that production for the White Sox in 1965.

fisk4ever
07-07-2012, 06:23 PM
BRDSR---This is my new favorite thread. Thanks for putting it on the board!

BRDSR
07-07-2012, 09:19 PM
BRDSR---This is my new favorite thread. Thanks for putting it on the board!

Thanks. I hope others like it, and I'm enjoying putting it together, if only as a way to learn White Sox history. Before I started this, I had no idea who Don Buford was, and it turns out he was really a significant part of the '65 team. And in the grand scheme of things, he was a pretty talented major league ballplayer. Now I know!

LITTLE NELL
07-08-2012, 06:40 AM
Thanks. I hope others like it, and I'm enjoying putting it together, if only as a way to learn White Sox history. Before I started this, I had no idea who Don Buford was, and it turns out he was really a significant part of the '65 team. And in the grand scheme of things, he was a pretty talented major league ballplayer. Now I know!

Had a hard time warming up to Buford since he replaced my all time favorite player a year earlier.

PeteWard
07-09-2012, 01:00 AM
Saw my first game as a five-year old in Comiskey in 65. Sox beat Boston. I think Horlen pitched. That's all I remember about the game except I sat along the right field foul line upper deck and was afraid of the height at first.

TomBradley72
07-09-2012, 07:47 AM
Saw my first game as a five-year old in Comiskey in 65. Sox beat Boston. I think Horlen pitched. That's all I remember about the game except I sat along the right field foul line upper deck and was afraid of the height at first.

This looks like the only game Horlen started at home vs. BOS that year (Game 1 of a Twi-Night DH- I miss those)

http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/1965/B08271CHA1965.htm

soxfan1965
07-09-2012, 08:27 AM
Thanks. I hope others like it, and I'm enjoying putting it together, if only as a way to learn White Sox history. Before I started this, I had no idea who Don Buford was, and it turns out he was really a significant part of the '65 team. And in the grand scheme of things, he was a pretty talented major league ballplayer. Now I know! I liked Buford's speed and versitility (switch hitting, infield/outfield) that was supplemented by Tommie Agee (and both got World Series rings) the next year. He was a good sport on Sox photo day, flashing a nice smile and arm around the shoulder for this young fan. He played in Japan at the end of his career. He and his sons were USC alum. His one son is a prominent orthopedic surgeon. He's still living so it would be nice to get him back to Chicago somehow (and others like Ken Berry), like they did Dick Allen and Goose Gossage.

PeteWard
07-09-2012, 08:51 AM
This looks like the only game Horlen started at home vs. BOS that year (Game 1 of a Twi-Night DH- I miss those)

http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/1965/B08271CHA1965.htm

Wow thanks but it was definitely not a DH unless my mom made us go home after Game 1 which is possible as we were young.

Procol Harum
07-09-2012, 09:49 AM
Nice new thread BRDSR.

The 1965 season took me from 5th to 6th grade. It was the summer that I was on my one and only championship team in any sport as a strong-hitting catcher/first baseman for my Little League team (named, to my chagrin, the Yankees!). It was a summer where I became briefly enthralled with surfer comics and hot rods to supplement my abiding interests in reading history and listening to the still British Invasion-dominated sounds of WLS' Top 40 format.

It was also the summer that I had my first encounter with death's severe hand as my paternal grandfather passed away down in NC. It was at that funeral--actually during the viewing at my grandparents' house, they were still in the habit there of taking the body "home" one last time and setting the coffin out in the parlor--where, during the year of the March on Selma that I saw two of my grandfather's black neighbors from the filling station down the road come forward, hesitant, hats in hand, unsure about the propriety of stepping foot in a white man's house, until reassured by my grandmother that they could come in and pay their respects. They say the past is a different country. Indeed.

I entered the 1965 baseball season fueled with hope--the previous year's White Sox team's anemic hitting and excellent pitching staff had, after all, lifted us to a 98-win season that had fallen one desperate game short of the hated Yankees. If only we (and it was always "we") had been able to win just two--two stinkin' games!--of the first ten games we had played against the Yankees the pennant would have been ours! Surely, there was reason for optimism going into '65--the White Sox pitching staff was a close, close second to the Dodgers' unworldly staff featuring the likes of Koufax, Drysdale and Osteen. In looking at the entire staff from starters through bullpen--a good argument could be made that perhaps Sox pitching was stronger even than that of Los Angeles.

And there was even hope that our inept offense just might be ready to do something. In the off season we had strengthened our club after having re-acquired "Honey" John Romano to add some punch along with a good-looking outfielder acquired from the Phillies named Danny Cater. The '64 lineup promised better, revolving around our star 3rd baseman Pete Ward who had given the dodge to the sophomore slump after his near-miss Rookie of the Year 1963 season posting a .282 ba, driving in 94 runs, and banging out 23 home runs (23! It's hard now to convey just how awesome those sorts of numbers looked for a White Sox player during that era of the pitcher). With Floyd Robinson out in RF, our tall, lanky power-hitting shortstop Ron Hansen, and the big bat of first baseman Moose Skowron (on hand for the entire season this time) it looked like the Sox would be able to make their move.

And from the start it looked good--an opening day win and a decent start while the Yankees so uncharacteristically stumbled out of the gate. In May there was a 9 or 10-game winning streak that I followed excitedly every morning in the pages of "The Bright One", the Chicago Sun-Times. But alas...the Twins, with that horde of great hitters Killebrew, Allison, Hall, Versailles, Mincher, Rollins, Oliva, and the ex-Sox prospect Earl Battey suddenly came up with great seasons from the likes of veteran pitchers such as Camillo Pascual, 21-game winner Jim "Mudcat Grant," Jim Perry, and Jim Kaat; the previous season's 6th place team suddenly gelled and began playing great baseball. And the Sox? A few key injuries undercut the team. The pitching was not quite as good as it had been in '64 although it was still very good and, unimaginably, the hitting was even worse. I learned a lot about expectations, realities, ideals, disappointments, baseball and life that year...

shes
07-09-2012, 12:33 PM
Great thread!

I began collecting baseball (and basketball) cards in the early nineties when I was 6 or 7 and they were an incredible source of information for a kid who was looking to gobble up as much information about baseball history as he could. I also read almanacs, player biographies and the Kahn/Halberstam books as well. To this day, I remember very little about what I learned in school at that age but I distinctly remember poring over lists on the all-time and yearly home run leaders, hits leaders, etc. I remember coming across names like Mel Ott and Harmon Killebrew near the top of these lists, not knowing who they were, and then finding a book that could clue me in. To this day I can tell you that Ott hit 511 home runs, which was 1 fewer than Banks and Eddie Matthews and 10 fewer than Williams and McCovey. I remember reading the back of a Dale Murphy card that called him something like the "ghost of a once-great slugger trying to hold on for just a couple more home runs and a shot at the HOF." (He retired with 398 -- I guess once upon a time 400 was a lot bigger deal in terms of HOF credentials) and feeling sorry for him. I know that Boggs hit over .360 four times before he was 30 (!) but was never close to winning an MVP (probably should have won in '87), which boggled my young mind. I have retained all this knowledge and forgotten all about virtually everything else -- guess I've always had baseball on the brain.

Every year my mom asks me what to do with all the boxes of cards that are just taking up space in my old room. I don't yet have the heart to tell her to just get rid of 'em. Too many memories attached.

BRDSR
07-09-2012, 01:53 PM
Awesome posts, especially Procol's. It's amazing how an avid fan will contextualize the rest of his/her life based on his/her favorite team. I know I still do.

TomBradley72
07-09-2012, 05:17 PM
Nice new thread BRDSR.

The 1965 season took me from 5th to 6th grade. It was the summer that I was on my one and only championship team in any sport as a strong-hitting catcher/first baseman for my Little League team (named, to my chagrin, the Yankees!). It was a summer where I became briefly enthralled with surfer comics and hot rods to supplement my abiding interests in reading history and listening to the still British Invasion-dominated sounds of WLS' Top 40 format.

It was also the summer that I had my first encounter with death's severe hand as my paternal grandfather passed away down in NC. It was at that funeral--actually during the viewing at my grandparents' house, they were still in the habit there of taking the body "home" one last time and setting the coffin out in the parlor--where, during the year of the March on Selma that I saw two of my grandfather's black neighbors from the filling station down the road come forward, hesitant, hats in hand, unsure about the propriety of stepping foot in a white man's house, until reassured by my grandmother that they could come in and pay their respects. They say the past is a different country. Indeed.

I entered the 1965 baseball season fueled with hope--the previous year's White Sox team's anemic hitting and excellent pitching staff had, after all, lifted us to a 98-win season that had fallen one desperate game short of the hated Yankees. If only we (and it was always "we") had been able to win just two--two stinkin' games!--of the first ten games we had played against the Yankees the pennant would have been ours! Surely, there was reason for optimism going into '65--the White Sox pitching staff was a close, close second to the Dodgers' unworldly staff featuring the likes of Koufax, Drysdale and Osteen. In looking at the entire staff from starters through bullpen--a good argument could be made that perhaps Sox pitching was stronger even than that of Los Angeles.

And there was even hope that our inept offense just might be ready to do something. In the off season we had strengthened our club after having re-acquired "Honey" John Romano to add some punch along with a good-looking outfielder acquired from the Phillies named Danny Cater. The '64 lineup promised better, revolving around our star 3rd baseman Pete Ward who had given the dodge to the sophomore slump after his near-miss Rookie of the Year 1963 season posting a .282 ba, driving in 94 runs, and banging out 23 home runs (23! It's hard now to convey just how awesome those sorts of numbers looked for a White Sox player during that era of the pitcher). With Floyd Robinson out in RF, our tall, lanky power-hitting shortstop Ron Hansen, and the big bat of first baseman Moose Skowron (on hand for the entire season this time) it looked like the Sox would be able to make their move.

And from the start it looked good--an opening day win and a decent start while the Yankees so uncharacteristically stumbled out of the gate. In May there was a 9 or 10-game winning streak that I followed excitedly every morning in the pages of "The Bright One", the Chicago Sun-Times. But alas...the Twins, with that horde of great hitters Killebrew, Allison, Hall, Versailles, Mincher, Rollins, Oliva, and the ex-Sox prospect Earl Battey suddenly came up with great seasons from the likes of veteran pitchers such as Camillo Pascual, 21-game winner Jim "Mudcat Grant," Jim Perry, and Jim Kaat; the previous season's 6th place team suddenly gelled and began playing great baseball. And the Sox? A few key injuries undercut the team. The pitching was not quite as good as it had been in '64 although it was still very good and, unimaginably, the hitting was even worse. I learned a lot about expectations, realities, ideals, disappointments, baseball and life that year...

A great read on many levels- thank you for posting this.

BRDSR
07-09-2012, 09:48 PM
http://i1199.photobucket.com/albums/aa476/ChiSoxCardboard/Untitled-4.jpghttp://i1199.photobucket.com/albums/aa476/ChiSoxCardboard/Untitled-5.jpg



A major-leaguer for parts of 18 seasons, Smoky Burgess was signed at 17 years old by the Chicago Cubs in 1944. He broke into the majors with the Cubs in 1949 and would go on to play for five different clubs. He consistently hit for respectable batting averages, finishing his career at .295, but never hit more than 21 homers in a season and finished with relatively low career power numbers; 230 doubles; 126 homers, and 673 RBI. Burgess never took the field at any position other than catcher, where he fielded at a .988 clip and threw out 213 of 583 base stealers. To this writer’s knowledge, he holds the distinction of being the only catcher to catch more than 9 consecutive perfect innings in a single game when, on May 26th, 1959, he helped Harvey Haddix retire 36 consecutive batters before giving up an unearned run in the 13th to lose 1-0. In 11 seasons between 1954 and 1964, Burgess made six National League all-star teams, even cracking the starting lineup in 1961. By the time he was picked up on the waiver-wire by the White Sox in September 1964, Burgess was used almost exclusively as a pinch-hitter. He would retire after the 1967 season with 145 career pinch hits, a record that wasn’t broken until 1979 by Manny Mota. Burgess now sits fourth on the all-time pinch-hits list.

1965 was indicative of Burgess’s last years in the league. Burgess appeared in 80 games, but he was third on the catching depth chart behind Johnny Romano and J.C. Martin, and only appeared in five games behind the plate, three as a starter. Burgess pinch-hit 75 times in ’65 and made the most of them. He batted .286 on the season, and with 24 RBI in 89 plate appearances, his rate of one RBI per 3.7 plate appearances was better than anyone on the team with more than 10 plate appearances. (Marv Staehle picked up two RBI in seven plate appearances.) His late-game appearances put him at the plate during lots of crucial situations, such as in the 7th inning of the second game of a double header against the Detroit Tigers on May 5, 1965.

The Sox came into the day a half-game ahead of the Twins, who were only playing one game on May 5th. Heading into the night game, White Sox had gone 4-2 since their win on April 27th, including a 4-0 four-hit shutout victory by John Buzhardt earlier in the day. In the nightcap, Joe Horlen and Tigers pitcher Dave Wickersham were locked in a 0-0 contest until the bottom of the 6th when leadoff hitter Dick McAuliffe hit an inside-the-park home run to the cavernous center field of Tigers Stadium. (The wall was 440 feet from home plate just to the left of dead center.) Down one coming into the top of the 7th, Pete Ward walked, Bill Skowron doubled, and Ron Hansen was intentionally walked. Ken Berry was due up, but his .200 batting average prompted Al Lopez to pinch-hit Burgess instead. Burgess stroked a single, scoring Ward and Skowron, and was promptly taken out for pinch-runner Tommy McCraw. The Sox would score two more runs that inning and win 4-1, but all they needed was the one at-bat from Burgess.

The Sox moved to 13-5 and, in sweeping the double-header, improved to one game ahead of the Twins, who also won that day. And if a child had looked at the back of Burgess’s baseball card that day, he probably would have simply been impressed at how long he’d been playing. Most kids enamored with baseball cards were under 16 years old, which means the child looking at the back of Burgess’s would not have been born when he broke into the big leagues.

BigKlu59
07-09-2012, 10:12 PM
Hey BRDSR.... Thanks for the flashbacks. Smokey was the man. He always had a knack for poking it thru some hole and moving them around the bases. If you could say he was an original DH before its time. Not understanding his physical limitations and age and success rate on those ptching and defence Sox teams, I used to ask my Dad why he wasnt an every day player.. He used to laugh and say he could be the father of some of the guys on the diamond. Yup, Smokey had been in the bigs since Korea and had quite a resume on the flip side of his card.

BK59

MikeW
07-10-2012, 10:47 PM
I was 10 years old in 1965 and growing up in New Jersey. Rooting for the Sox in Yankee territory was not any easy thing to do. I am proud to say that I have every White Sox baseball card since 1949 and quite a few before that. Also many programs,yearbooks seats from Comiskey and over 600 Sox autographs.

Ex-Chicagoan
07-11-2012, 11:03 AM
As a kid who was negative-four in 1965, I am thoroughly enjoying this read. Thanks for taking the time and sharing the cards!

Chez
07-11-2012, 11:40 AM
Smoky Burgess could be the slowest position player in White Sox history. But he could hit.

LITTLE NELL
07-11-2012, 12:38 PM
Smoky Burgess could be the slowest position player in White Sox history. But he could hit.

Who would win a race between Burgess, Sherm Lollar and Paulie?

Chez
07-11-2012, 12:57 PM
Who would win a race between Burgess, Sherm Lollar and Paulie?


In my last post, I was going to pose a similar question -- Smoky v. Wilbur Wood (even the pre-kneecap injury Wilbur Wood).

fisk4ever
07-11-2012, 02:17 PM
Who would win a race between Burgess, Sherm Lollar and Paulie?

Paulie, being alive and all.

BigKlu59
07-11-2012, 11:13 PM
Who would win a race between Burgess, Sherm Lollar and Paulie?

Smoky knew he wasnt Mercury re-incarnated, so each at bat he had to clear the infield.. Duck snort, seeing eye squirter, or the long fly... and he did it almost to perfection..

Oh the Clydesdale Classic... Paying out win, place or show..

1st Place.... Paulie K LongFly
2nd Place.... Sherm Shield of Armour
3rd Place .... Smoky of Burgessville

W P S
14.70 4.40 3.80

BK59

SI1020
07-12-2012, 08:28 AM
OK, going from my foggy old memory Burgess was definitely faster than Lollar. I can remember him hitting the ball hard on the ground and hustling as best he could down to first. I just don't remember him being as slow as maybe I'm supposed to. Smoky wasn't svelte that's for sure. Lollar OTOH made Konerko seem like a track star.

Procol Harum
07-12-2012, 02:33 PM
OK, going from my foggy old memory Burgess was definitely faster than Lollar. I can remember him hitting the ball hard on the ground and hustling as best he could down to first. I just don't remember him being as slow as maybe I'm supposed to. Smoky wasn't svelte that's for sure. Lollar OTOH made Konerko seem like a track star.

Yep, dovetails with my memory--Lollar was about as mobile as the Prudential Building...

soxfan1965
07-12-2012, 09:19 PM
Smoky was able to extend his career to age 40 by being a specialist who was a fan favorite when he was called on. I think he's still up there in career pinch hits. Probably because of long minutes on the bench and his age, it was fun to watch his warm up routine in the on deck circle before pinch hitting, eventually windmilling double bats/iron rod. He would get his hit, then taken out to cheers for a pinch runner like Al Weis. I don't ever recall him actually behind the plate the few times he was, but his role was clear and needed by their lack of hitting depth (I recall the team needing to use Gary Peters as a pinch hitter). Too bad he didn't get a ring in 1964 or 1967, but he sure was special.

BRDSR
07-12-2012, 10:40 PM
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Switch-hitter Al Weis broke into the big leagues with the White Sox in 1962 and would play for 10 seasons. Never a regular, the most games he ever started in a season was 83 for the ’64 Sox. A career utility player, he played second base, third base, shortstop, and the outfield during his career. He would never break the .300 mark for batting average, although he did come close in 1965 with a .296 mark. finishing with only a .219 average. He would never hit for more than two home runs or 23 RBI in a season, finishing with seven and 115 for his career, respectively. The White Sox traded him to the Mets following the 1967 season, where he would finish his career. Certainly the highlight of his career came in October 1969 as a member of the Mets’ World Series-winning squad. Interestingly, although he had only one plate appearance in three games during the NLCS against the Braves, he had 16 plate appearances in five games during the World Series. He made the most of the Series, batting .455 and knocking in three runs, including a solo home run that tied the game in the bottom of the 7th of the eventual series-clinching game five.

Other than having the highest batting average of his career, Weis’s 1965 season was fairly typical. He appeared in many more games (85) than he started (37), seeing time at second, third, shortstop, and centerfield. Despite the high average, he had fewer at bats than the two previous years or the next year, stepping up to the plate 156 times. He would score 29 times and drive in 12 runs. Eight of his 40 hits were for extra bases; his only home run of the season came on May 7th, 1965.

The White Sox didn’t play on May 6th, so the May 7th game was the first since Burgess had driven in the tying and go-ahead run with his pinch-hit single on the 5th. It was the first game of a three-game series against the Twins, the second series the two teams had played in 1965. The Twins had taken the first series two games to one but, having lost the day before, entered the game 1.5 behind the White Sox. It looked bad for the White Sox in the first inning when Harmon Killebrew hit one of his 573 career homers with two men on. But Al Weis would get the Sox back in the game with a two-run, two-out double in the 2nd inning, scoring Pete Ward and Ron Hansen. Tommy John retired the next six Twins he faced, and Hansen tied the game with a solo home run in the top of the 4th. After Ken Berry flied out to left field, Weis came up again with two outs. His solo home run was his only of the season, put the Sox ahead, and knocked Twins pitcher Dick Stigman out of the game early. The Sox would go on to score nine more runs and win 13-5. Don Buford eventually pinch-hit for Weis in the 7th, even though his performance was by far his most productive of the season.

With the win, the White Sox had won five in a row and moved to 2.5 games ahead of the Twins. A child thumbing through his White Sox cards on May 7th may have been encouraged about his own ability to be a major league player when he came to Weis’s card. With a youthful face and a slender frame, the average American young man might have seen a little of himself in Al Weis.

LITTLE NELL
07-13-2012, 06:47 AM
Met Al a few years ago at Hunters Ridge Golf Club in Bonita Springs Fl where I was a part time Desk Jockey. We talked quite a bit about the White Sox of that era, he gave me a signed baseball card from the 67 season.

PS Joe Pignatano who caught for the Dodgers was a member at Hunters Ridge and always gave me the needle about the Bums beating us in the 59 Series.

pdr
07-14-2012, 08:17 AM
One of my favorite players growing up, though I thought he played more than he did. At the time, I started to make a song about him using the melody from a certain song in The Sound of Music:

A-al Weis, A-al Weis,
Second baseman for the White Sox,
Small and white...


That's as far as I got.

fisk4ever
07-14-2012, 12:10 PM
One of my favorite players growing up, though I thought he played more than he did. At the time, I started to make a song about him using the melody from a certain song in The Sound of Music:

A-al Weis, A-al Weis,
Second baseman for the White Sox,
Small and white...


That's as far as I got.
Perhaps you could incorporate the fish, alewife.

BRDSR
07-14-2012, 06:25 PM
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Three eventual Hall-of-Famers would have rookie cards in the 1965 Topps set: Steve Carlton, Joe Morgan, and Jim “Catfish” Hunter. So Greg Bollo was in good company when his name and likeness appeared on a rookie card that season. Signed by the White Sox as an amateur before the 1964 season, Bollo put together a 12-7 record with a 2.46 ERA in A-ball during his first professional season. He made his major-league debut the next season, on May 9th, 1965. It was mop-up duty, but Bollo made the most of his debut, pitching 2 perfect innings in a 6-1 White Sox loss to the Twins. And it wasn’t an easy assignment, either. The first two batters he faced were Tony Oliva and Harmon Killebrew, who flew out to left and grounded out to shortstop, respectively. Having lost the day before as well, the White Sox had seen a 2.5-game lead dwindle to a .5-game lead by the end of the day.

Bollo’s debut on May 9th was indicative of how he was used during what would turn out to be a brief career. In 15 appearances during the ’65 season, Bollo entered the game with the White Sox losing in all but one. On June 28th, Bollo was called upon to protect a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the 5th. Although he retired the first two batters, he then gave up a solo home run to Jimmie Hall and was promptly taken out of the game in favor of Eddie Fisher. Although Bollo would have a 2.20 ERA as late in the season as July 24th, he finished the season with a 3.57 ERA in 22.2 innings pitched, third highest among a talented batch of 1965 White Sox pitchers. Bollo would appear in three games as a late-season call-up in 1966, but never reached the big leagues again, retiring after the 1970 season.

A discerning child in 1965 might have chuckled at Topps’ rudimentary “photoshop” capabilities. The cap on Bollo’s head is clearly set high and to the right. It’s not surprising that Topps didn’t have a photo of Bollo in a White Sox uniform; he had never put on one until a few months after the cards were printed.

BRDSR
07-21-2012, 01:52 PM
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Floyd Robinson was one of the White Sox most productive hitters during the early 1960s. He got his first chance as a starter in 1961, and his .310 average, 11 homers, and 59 RBI earned him third place in Rookie of the Year voting. He would go on to receive MVP votes each of the next four seasons, with his 1962 sophomore season by far the best of his career. That year he set career highs in average (.312), RBI (109), and total bases (285), and led the entire league in doubles with 45. He led the White sox in average three out of four years between 1961 and 1964, and 1965 was his last season of significant productivity. He started seeing less playing time in 1966 and after the ’66 season was traded to the Reds for pitcher Jim O’Toole. He would bounce between the Reds, Red Sox, and Athletics for two seasons before retiring after the 1968 season. Robinson’s .287 batting average with the White Sox is good 22nd on the White Sox all-time list, and his 875 hits and 400 RBI are good for 32nd and 34th, respectively.

Complementing Pete Ward as the only other pure lefty in the White Sox regular 1965 lineup, Al Lopez generally put Robinson first, second, or third in the batting order. He started 146 games in 1965, all but eight in right field. Robinson got off to somewhat of a slow start to the season, batting only .226 after the first game of a doubleheader on May 31st. But Robinson would never be pulled from the starting lineup, and finished the season with a .265 average. His 66 RBI tied him with Ron Hansen for second on the team, behind Bill Skowron’s team-leading 78. His RBI seemed to come in bunches; in 1965 he had three or more RBI seven times. Hansen and Skowron accomplished the feat a total of seven times between them. One of Robinson’s high-octane games came on May 17th.

On May 10th, the White Sox had lost the last of a four-game series with the Twins. Finishing the series with only one win, the Twins had taken a half-game lead over the White Sox. Since the 10th, however, the Sox had won seven straight, including sweeping two doubleheaders. They entered the game on the 17th with a 2.5 game lead over the Twins, and got off to a quick start. Cater lead off the game with a triple, scored on a wild pitch, Buford doubled, and Floyd Robinson smacked a two-run homer off Athletics starter Rollie Sheldon. With Ron Hansen single later in the inning, and the White Sox had batted for the cycle and taken a 3-0 lead in the first inning. Robinson would get out the next two times at the plate, but singled twice late in the game, adding another RBI and two more runs. By the end of the night, the Sox had plated 13 runs and Robinson had three hits, three RBI, and three runs. The White Sox took a 3.5-game lead as they won their 8th straight while the Twins lost in 10 innings to the California Angels.

If a child had run across the actual card pictured above in 1965, he must have put it away in a safe place. Of 144 examples graded by Professional Sports Authenticator, 20 have received the same Mint grade and none have received the coveted grade of Gem Mint.

LITTLE NELL
07-21-2012, 02:01 PM
To this day I still marvel at Robby's 109 RBIs in 1962 with only 11 HRs. Quite a feat.

SI1020
07-21-2012, 07:30 PM
My top 5 favorite players in the go go era are in order Billy Pierce, Minnie Minoso, Nellie Fox, Floyd Robinson and Gary Peters. Robby was a line drive hitter who used the whole field.

My_Sox_Summer
07-21-2012, 10:27 PM
I am currently in the Air Force, stationed at Luke AFB. All in all, the lifestyle is very enjoyable. But one very real sacrifice is being away from home, friends, and family. Following the White Sox through DirectTV's MLB package and projects like this keep me connected to home and those friends and family that also follow the White Sox.

Very cool. I love the Flying Sox logo.

I was out west (AZ for 3 years and Cali for 7) and the one thing that connected me with my family and friends back in IL and then later CA, was Illini basketball. Always made calls at half and talked to my dad and friend, and texted during the game with several folks. It was a good way to keep home alive in my new environment.

BRDSR
07-22-2012, 11:17 PM
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Edit: Sorry mods; pics reduced to the size of the previous posts.

Danny Cater broke into the big leagues in 1964 with the Phillies but got his first chance as a regular starter after being traded to the White Sox with Lee Elia after the ’64 season for Ray Herbert and Jeoff Long. Cater would spend only the ’65 season and the first couple months of the ’66 season before being traded to the Athletics for Wayne Causey. Cater had some of his most productive seasons with the Athletics in Kansas City and Oakland. In 1968 he batted .290, good for second in the American League behind Carl Yastrzemski’s .301 (the lowest batting average ever to win a title). The next spring, Cater was featured in a Sports Illustrated article as “one of the game’s best unknown players,” and in 1970 after being traded to the Yankees had arguably his best season, batting .301 with 76 RBI and 64 runs scored for the second place club. His playing time steadily declined over the next five seasons, which he spent with the Yankees, Red Sox, and Cardinals.

Cater’s started 119 games for the 1965 White Sox, 109 in left field, 8 at third base, and 2 at first base. He occupied the leadoff spot, even though his batting average at that spot was lower than any other spot in the lineup. His .270 average on the season was very respectable, and his 74 runs scored was second only behind Don Buford. His 14 home runs were tied for third on the team with Floyd Robinson, and was also a career high for Cater, who would only hit 51 more in his remaining 10 seasons as a big-league ballplayer. Cater started off the season exceptionally strong, batting .328 with 17 RBI and 21 runs scored in the team’s first 32 games (during which the Sox went 23-9). The Sox’ decision to trade him after he got off to a slow start in 1966 turned out to be a poor one; Cater would go on to have five consecutive productive seasons in the big leagues, while Causey was never a regular starter for the White Sox and never batted over .250 after being traded for Cater.

During his one full season with the White Sox, Cater had a knack for clutch situations, batting .327 with two outs and runners in scoring position and .319 when the game was late and close (7th inning or later, with the game tied, the Sox ahead by one, or with the tying run at least on deck). Perhaps one of Cater’s ultimate late and close heroics came on June 4th, 1965. The White Sox had gone only 5-8 since the 13-run affair against the Athletics on May 17th, and had slipped to 1.5 games behind the Twins coming into their Friday evening matchup at Yankee Stadium. Joel Horlen started for the White Sox and Bill Stafford for the Yankees. Both starting pitchers scattered six hits but gave up no runs, and the game went into extras. Eddie Fisher took the mound for the Sox in the 10th and the Yankees used three relievers to get the game to the 15th, still tied at 0. Cater, batting leadoff, was 0-6 with three strikeouts when he came to the plate with one out and nobody on in the top of the 15th. Facing Pete Mikkelsen, Cater smashed his 5th home run of the season, putting the Sox ahead 1-0. Robinson would add another solo home run later in the inning, and the Sox won the game 2-0 to remain 1.5 games behind the Twins. Eddie Fisher’s six innings pitched, giving up only one hit, was his longest outing of the season and earned him a well-deserved fifth win of the season to add to his 11 saves.

A young White Sox fan in 1965 looking at Cater’s card might have seized on his minor league performances in 1959 and 1961, years when he hit above .300 and scored more than 100 runs. Cater would never score more runs than the 74 he scored for the 1965 White Sox, but he did go on to have a productive major league career.

soxfan1965
07-23-2012, 06:54 AM
I felt deflated after the Sox traded Cater for Causey, moreso when Causey didn't work out so well. Cater had an unusual batting stance, standing upright, hands low, with feet close together, hard to believe he could get off an efficient swing. But for me, Cater was a likable player you liked having on your team. When Robinson came up, you felt confident that he would make something happen, though by 1965 he was starting his decline from 1964. Except for the home runs, I didn't think he was that far down from Billy Williams. Too bad Robinson didn't make the All Star game or the post season. It would be nice if the Sox could bring him back for a visit some time, if possible. Speaking of 1964, I noticed that Mike Hershberger died earlier this month. It may be on this site, but I didn't see it posted.

gaelhound
07-23-2012, 11:01 PM
I felt deflated after the Sox traded Cater for Causey, moreso when Causey didn't work out so well. Cater had an unusual batting stance, standing upright, hands low, with feet close together, hard to believe he could get off an efficient swing. But for me, Cater was a likable player you liked having on your team. When Robinson came up, you felt confident that he would make something happen, though by 1965 he was starting his decline from 1964. Except for the home runs, I didn't think he was that far down from Billy Williams. Too bad Robinson didn't make the All Star game or the post season. It would be nice if the Sox could bring him back for a visit some time, if possible. Speaking of 1964, I noticed that Mike Hershberger died earlier this month. It may be on this site, but I didn't see it posted.

This is about the earliest team i really remember. I fondly recall my Father singing "Danny Boy" When this guy came up to bat. My father invented walk up music but gets no credit :D:

Golden Sox
07-24-2012, 08:26 AM
When Cater was traded for Wayne Causey it turned out to be a bad trade for the White Sox. The trade was made because White Sox manager Eddie Stanky didn't like Cater. Needless to say the trade didn't work out for the White Sox.

BRDSR
08-28-2012, 07:00 PM
Had a brief hiatus, but here's the next installment:

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The story of Joe Horlen, often known as Joel, is perhaps most about why he isn’t much of a story. He’s not really a part of baseball lore, or even an immediately recognizable name for many White Sox fans. Yet he is one of only six pitchers to start at least 15 games in ten consecutive years for the 112-year-old franchise, from 1962-71. The others are Doc White (ten seasons, 1903-12), Red Faber (13 seasons, 1919-31), Ted Lyons (11 seasons, 1932-42), Billy Pierce (13 seasons, 1949-61), and Mark Buerhle (11 seasons, 2001-2011).

Why isn’t Horlen a bigger part of White Sox history? For one thing, Horlen didn’t win all that many games. His 113 wins are good for 9th on the White Sox all-time list, but he also lost 113 games for the team. The numbers are a little mind-boggling by modern standards. Over the course of his career he posted a 3.11 ERA and finished one game under .500 (he went 3-4 for the Athletics in 1972, the only season he pitched for a team other than the White Sox). For five straight seasons (1964-68) he posted sub-3.00 ERAs, yet only won more than 13 games once (19, in 1967).

Horlen’s won-loss record earned him a nickname of Joe “Hard Luck” Horlen, and there is actually empirical data that would arguably make him unluckiest pitcher ever to play the game. Horlen’s career ERA places him at 92nd on the all-time list for pitches who pitched more than 2,000 innings. Of the 91 players above him on the list, only 8 had non-winning records (one, Nap Rucker, had an even mark at 134-134). Of those 8 pitchers, each one pitched exclusively in the dead-ball era. The careers of five started before 1900 and the last, Bob Groom’s, ended in 1918. Thus, no pitcher since the end of World War I has pitched as effectively as Joe Horlen and still lost more games than he won.

The 1965 season was the first season that Horlen was used exclusively as a starter, and he was up to the task, although it was one of the seasons that earned him his nickname. He led the team’s starters with a 2.88 ERA, seven complete games, four shutouts, 219 IP, and a 3.21 K/BB ratio. Despite his dominance, he finished with an even 13-13 mark on a team that ended the season well above .500. Only Gary Peters, who finished the season with a 3.62 ERA (the highest of any White Sox starter) had a worse win-loss record.

Although not his most dominant pitching performance of the season, Horlen’s overall performance on June 8th may have been his best of the season. Facing the Red Sox on the road, Horlen gave up two early runs, in the second and third innings, on a home run by Lee Thomas and then a sacrifice fly. The Sox tied the game in the fifth and (since this was before the designated hitter was adopted in 1973) Horlen came up to bat in the sixth with Ron Hansen on third, J.C. Martin on first, and two outs. Horlen singled, his second of three singles that day, driving in the go-ahead run. When Horlen took the mound in the bottom of the sixth, he proceeded to retire the next 12 Red Sox batters in order, finishing his complete game and securing the victory to stay 2.5 games behind the Twins.

A child looking at Horlen’s 1965 baseball card would have noticed the 1.88 ERA he posted the year earlier. Although out-done in 1964 by Dean Chance’s 1.65 ERA and Sandy Koufax's 1.74 ERA, Horlen’s mark that year would have led the Major Leagues in each of the previous 18 seasons. By any measure Horlen probably did turn out to be one of the 10 best pitchers in White Sox history, but a child in 1965 might have seen even a much greater potential.

SI1020
08-28-2012, 08:56 PM
Horlen was the best pitcher in the AL in the ill fated year of 1967, but Jim Lonborg won the Cy Young award.

LITTLE NELL
08-28-2012, 09:00 PM
Horlen was the best pitcher in the AL in the ill fated year of 1967, but Jim Lonborg won the Cy Young award.

If the Sox had won the Pennant, Horlen would have won the Cy Young.

After he pitched that no-hitter I thought we would go all the way.

Procol Harum
08-29-2012, 08:44 AM
Joe Horlen was a great pitcher for the White Sox. If he would have been on, say, the Cardinals during that stretch from '63 through ''69 he undoubtedly would've registered 3-4 20-win seasons.

BRDSR
09-01-2012, 10:03 AM
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After pitching at the University of Oklahoma, Eddie Fisher was signed by the San Francisco Giants before the 1958 season. He spent all of 1958 in the minors and, although he would see some time in the majors in 1959, 1960, and 1961, he wouldn’t spend an entire season on a big league roster until the Giants traded him to the White Sox in the deal that ended Billy Pierce’s playing days in Chicago. Over the course of 15 seasons in the big leagues, Fisher would play for six different teams, but more for the White Sox than any other team. He started a significant number of games in 1962, 1963, and 1973, but otherwise was used primarily as a reliever. He compiled an 85-70 record during his career, a 3.41 ERA, and 81 saves.

By far Fisher’s most impressive season was his 1965 campaign for the White Sox. Teams generally did not have a defined “closer” in that era; rather, the team’s best reliever was often called a fireman. A fireman would enter a game to protect a lead or close deficit and would usually pitch multiple innings, sometimes 3 or more. Fisher was a White Sox fireman in 1965. His 82 appearances and 60 games finished were both league highs, as was his .974 WHIP. Despite never starting a game, he amassed 15 wins, usually by coming in during the middle of the game. Many of Fisher’s 24 saves during the 1965 season were two- or three-inning efforts. Fisher was especially effective during the first half of the season. Through July 7th, he boasted a 1.21 ERA, 19 saves, and a 9-3 record. He finished the season with a 2.40 ERA and Hoyt Wilhelm took over as the team’s primary fireman, but his incredible season still earned him a spot on the All-Star team and 4th place in MVP voting, the highest a White Sox player had finished since Minnie Minoso also finished 4th in 1960. (White Sox players Nellie Fox, Luis Aparicio, and Early Wynn had finished 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, respectively, in 1959.) The Sporting News awarded Fisher its annual Fireman of the Year award.

June 11th, 1965, was an incredibly accurate microcosm of Fisher’s season. The day featured a double header against the Senators in Washington, D.C. Juan Pizarro started the first game, and through five innings had only given up one run, with the White Sox leading 3-1. After giving up a single to the first batter in the 6th, Al Lopez decided to take Pizarro out and put in Fisher. Fisher finished the game, giving up 3 hits and one unearned run resulting from a passed ball by backup catcher J.C. Martin. In the nightcap, after his dissatisfaction with five different pitchers through seven innings, Lopez again put in Fisher, this time with the White Sox losing 4-3. Fisher pitched a scoreless 8th, allowing only a harmless single with two outs. The White Sox tied the game on a lead-off home run by J.C. Martin in the top of the 9th, and Fisher pitched another scoreless inning in the bottom half of the inning. In the top of the 10th, Don Buford hit another lead-off home run, putting the Sox in front, and Fisher closed out the game with a perfect 10th inning. By the end of the day, Fisher had pitched seven innings, given up 5 hits and zero earned runs, and earned himself a four-inning save and a three-inning win. The Twins, who also swept a double header against the Tigers, remained 1.5 games ahead of the White Sox.

An undiscerning youngster looking at Fisher’s 1965 baseball card might have been incredibly impressed by his .302 ERA the year before. This, of course, was a misprint, evidence of the hastiness often employed by Topps to get the set to print. Fisher’s ERA had actually been 3.02. Still, you can imagine a 7- or 8-year-old, just learning about statistics, running to his father and exclaiming what an incredible year Fisher had just had.

LITTLE NELL
09-01-2012, 01:22 PM
Another pitcher in the long line of damn good hurlers from the Go-Go era of the 50s and 60s. Fisher was another great knuckleball pitcher that we had in those days along with Wilhelm and Wood who joined the Sox a few years later. We could use some of those guys right now.
I know it was a different era but the Sox from 1951 through 1968 never had a team ERA over 3.73 except for 1961 when it was 4.01, 1961 was an expansion year when pitching is sort of watered down.

BRDSR
11-03-2012, 11:55 AM
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By 1965, Bill “Moose” Skowron had been a nine-year starter with the Yankees, played one season with the Dodgers, and had a short stint with the Senators before being traded (with Carl Bouldin) to the White Sox in July 1964 for Frank Kreutzer and Joe Cunningham. His career as a Yankee was somewhat overshadowed by the likes of Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, and Yogi Berra, but he was consistently productive for the Yankees, batting .294, hitting 165 home runs, and driving in 672 runs for the franchise. During his nine seasons with the Yankees, he helped the team to 7 World Series (and helped the Dodgers to another in 1963). He batted .293 with eight home runs and 29 RBI in 39 World Series games over the course of his career. On any other team, Skowron would have batted 3rd or 4th for the most productive seasons of his career instead of 5th or 6th; some believe that on a different team, he might have put up Hall-of-Fame-caliber numbers.

The 1965 season was Skowron’s first full season with the White Sox and his only truly productive one. He led a relatively low-scoring offense with 78 RBI and 237 total bases, and matched John Romano for most home runs with 18. His .274 batting overage was second only to Don Buford among starters. His performance earned him a spot on the All Star team with teammate Eddie Fisher. Although his production for White Sox was rather short-lived, he would become a beloved former player, working as a community relations representative for the team from 1999 until his death from lung cancer in April 2012.

Skowron’s importance to the 1965 squad was underscored on June 13th. Having lost to the Senators on the 12th, the White Sox started the day 1.5 games behind the Twins. Senators center-fielder Don Lock hit a solo home run off of Sox starter Bruce Howard in the bottom of the 2nd, and then the teams locked in a pitching duel for four innings. Still trailing 1-0 in the top of the 7th, Skowron came to the plate with one out and crushed a solo home run of his own off Senators starter Pete Richert, who was in the middle of one of the best seasons of his 13-year career. In the top of the 9th, Floyd Robinson led off the inning with a double, and after Danny Cater struck out, Skowron tripled the opposite way to drive in the eventual game-winning run. Hoyt Wilhelm, who pitched the last two scoreless innings, picked up his first win of the season. With the Twins losing to the Tigers, the White Sox pulled within a half game of the league lead.

A child looking at Skowron’s 1965 card might have wondered why he was nicknamed Moose. At 6’0” and 197 pounds, he was a muscular guy, but not particularly big. His face was large and narrowed at the jaw, so that could be it. But a really inquisitive child would have learned that as a kid, Skowron’s grandfather had thought he looked like Italian prime minister Benito Mussolini, that the nickname eventually got shortened to Moose, and that it obviously stuck for his entire baseball career.

TheVulture
11-10-2012, 04:56 PM
Paulie, being alive and all.

For some reason, this reminded me of story about Ty Cobb. As an old man, he was asked what he thought he would hit if he was playing in the modern game. He said, "Probably .290, .300." The interviewer asked if it was because of the advent of the slider, growing use of relievers, stronger pitchers. "No," he said, "because I'm seventy years old."

TheVulture
11-10-2012, 05:03 PM
Horlen was the best pitcher in the AL in the ill fated year of 1967, but Jim Lonborg won the Cy Young award.

'64 Horlen was an absolute beast in strato-matic.