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View Full Version : Totally Biased Book Review: "Southside Hitmen, the story of the 1977 White Sox"


Lip Man 1
03-20-2006, 12:58 PM
This is WSI poster Dan Helpingstein’s third White Sox book. I got a copy from him a few days ago and completed it last night. In his comment to me he said that he hoped the book would "stir some great memories" and it did.

Dan goes through the course of the season but also (and I thought this was brilliant) talks about the ten year period leading up to the 1977 season to give everyone an understanding of why the 1977 White Sox were so special.

He also then takes us through the history of the team after 1977 until Bill Veeck finally sold it.

In addition Helpingstein was able to contact some former players both from that team (Oscar Gamble, Eric Soderholm, Steve Stone) and from other White Sox teams (‘Goose’ Gossage, Gary Peters) to get their sense of where the franchise was at before the 1977 season.

He also has a section with fan comments about the 1977 team from things posted on the WSI message boards.

There are also some remarkable photos throughout the book, courtesy of Leo Bauby, who now has the ownership rights to the negatives of over 10,000 White Sox photos.

It is an interesting book and an easy read. I highly recommend it.

These books are important because they illustrate the history of one of the charter American League franchises. After the World Series championship there were a number of books published about the 2005 White Sox but the White Sox are so much more then just the 2005 team.

There are many Sox fans out there who weren’t around for the 1977 season (or now for that matter the 1983 season) and books like this tell the tale of players and events that they previously had no way of knowing about.

Dan and I have already had some discussions about his next book. He is considering doing it on the 1990 White Sox, the team that was ‘doin’ the little things...’ all season long while shocking the baseball world with 94 wins. The closing of the original Comiskey Park is a natural tie-in for this.

I also suggested the following teams / years:

*1993-94 White Sox: ‘Good Guys Wear Black’ and the ramifications of the 1994 labor impasse on the franchise caused in part by Jerry Reinsdorf.

* 1981 White Sox: ‘Only The Beginning’ focusing on the new owners, the labor strike that wiped out two months of the season and the signing of players like Fisk and Luzinski. How the entire attitude / philosophy of the franchise was changed.

* 1972 White Sox ‘Outhouse to Penthouse?’ The season that ‘saved’ the franchise. Dick Allen, Wilbur Wood, Chuck Tanner and the excitement that season generated.

* 1967 White Sox ‘The Last Great Pennant Race.’ Four teams fighting for the pennant in one of the final seasons with one and only one, league. How the Sox stayed in the fight despite a lack of hitting and what happened that final faithful week.

* 1963-65 White Sox ‘The Near-Miss White Sox.’ The story of those seasons where the Sox averaged 96 wins! Yet couldn’t win the pennant, losing out in 1964 by a measly one game.

Hopefully Dan will keep going with these. Again I highly recommend the 1977 book.

Lip

RedHeadPaleHoser
03-20-2006, 01:38 PM
Thanks Lip!

I got Kittle's book and Dan's 1959 book for my bday, and I agree with you - there needs to be more books about the team, not just the 2005 season. In the short time I'm reading Kittle's book, it takes me back to when I was 14 watching that team.

Baby Fisk
03-20-2006, 01:50 PM
Dan and I have already had some discussions about his next book. He is considering doing it on the 1990 White Sox, the team that was ‘doin’ the little things...’ all season long while shocking the baseball world with 94 wins. The closing of the original Comiskey Park is a natural tie-in for this.

* 1972 White Sox ‘Outhouse to Penthouse?’ The season that ‘saved’ the franchise. Dick Allen, Wilbur Wood, Chuck Tanner and the excitement that season generated.

Books about the 1990 and 1972 Sox would be awesome. Go Go Helpingstine! :bandance:

TommyJohn
03-20-2006, 02:41 PM
I vote for 1967. I was born in 1968, so I just missed it. I'm a huge fan of
the 1967 Sox. They are one of my favorites form White Sox history. I have
always wanted to do a book about them, but lack the necessary skills. If
Dan H were to write it, I'd live vicariously through it.

As for the 1977 book, it must not be out in stores because I've looked
all over for it.

Dan H
03-20-2006, 07:00 PM
I vote for 1967. I was born in 1968, so I just missed it. I'm a huge fan of
the 1967 Sox. They are one of my favorites form White Sox history. I have
always wanted to do a book about them, but lack the necessary skills. If
Dan H were to write it, I'd live vicariously through it.

As for the 1977 book, it must not be out in stores because I've looked
all over for it.

It was supposed to be in the stores last week, or at least that was the publisher's date to get it there. I checked on the computer on Border's and they said it was on the way. Amazon is also selling it. I hope Sox fans like my latest effort.

TommyJohn
03-20-2006, 08:56 PM
It was supposed to be in the stores last week, or at least that was the publisher's date to get it there. I checked on the computer on Border's and they said it was on the way. Amazon is also selling it. I hope Sox fans like my latest effort.

No sooner do I say that I can't find it that I see it today in Borders. I picked
it up and finished it in one sitting. I like the take on the team, that it revived
the fan base and perhaps saved the team for Chicago. That may very well
be true. Yes, the team had ups and downs after that, but who knows? If
the 1977 team had lost 95 games, things might've been different, for the
worse.

I read with interest the fan who spoke of Harry Caray and Howard Cosell,
and how Cosell trashed Caray for being a "cheerleader." In the 1970's
Caray's schtick was looked down upon by many, and considered low
class. In the 1980's, on the other side of town, it turned him into a
baseball legend, not to mention a lovable old Gramps.

I shall forever be grateful to the 1977 New York Yankees. I hated them
as a kid and rooted against them. Now, older and wiser I realize just
how incredibly arrogant and obnoxious the Royals were that year. I
now love the fact the Kansas City Royal Chokers put on their choke
dog act for all of America to see. The fact that they lost it in the
final inning of the final game (the Royals led Game 5 3-2 in the 9th.
The Yankees rallied with 3 runs to win 5-3) in front of a packed
hometown crowd in KC makes it that much better. Thank you George,
Billy and Reggie.

Trav
03-20-2006, 09:15 PM
I just got done reading Who's on Third and have read other books on the Sox. Every time, without fail I feel so pissed off with the owners that I almost wish that I didn't know about how sleazy they are. I really enjoy learning about the history of the teams, though. I also am surprised at how many times the Sox have caught a bad break. It's amazing.

I am looking forward to this book, especially that it give the history leading up to it. After years of having great pitching and no hitting the roles are reversed.

Tragg
03-20-2006, 09:57 PM
This is WSI poster Dan Helpingstein’s third White Sox book. I got a copy from him a few days ago and completed it last night. In his comment to me he said that he hoped the book would "stir some great memories" and it did.

Dan goes through the course of the season but also (and I thought this was brilliant) talks about the ten year period leading up to the 1977 season to give everyone an understanding of why the 1977 White Sox were so special.

He also then takes us through the history of the team after 1977 until Bill Veeck finally sold it.

In addition Helpingstein was able to contact some former players both from that team (Oscar Gamble, Eric Soderholm, Steve Stone) and from other White Sox teams (‘Goose’ Gossage, Gary Peters) to get their sense of where the franchise was at before the 1977 season.

He also has a section with fan comments about the 1977 team from things posted on the WSI message boards.

There are also some remarkable photos throughout the book, courtesy of Leo Bauby, who now has the ownership rights to the negatives of over 10,000 White Sox photos.

It is an interesting book and an easy read. I highly recommend it.

These books are important because they illustrate the history of one of the charter American League franchises. After the World Series championship there were a number of books published about the 2005 White Sox but the White Sox are so much more then just the 2005 team.

There are many Sox fans out there who weren’t around for the 1977 season (or now for that matter the 1983 season) and books like this tell the tale of players and events that they previously had no way of knowing about.

Dan and I have already had some discussions about his next book. He is considering doing it on the 1990 White Sox, the team that was ‘doin’ the little things...’ all season long while shocking the baseball world with 94 wins. The closing of the original Comiskey Park is a natural tie-in for this.

I also suggested the following teams / years:

*1993-94 White Sox: ‘Good Guys Wear Black’ and the ramifications of the 1994 labor impasse on the franchise caused in part by Jerry Reinsdorf.

* 1981 White Sox: ‘Only The Beginning’ focusing on the new owners, the labor strike that wiped out two months of the season and the signing of players like Fisk and Luzinski. How the entire attitude / philosophy of the franchise was changed.

* 1972 White Sox ‘Outhouse to Penthouse?’ The season that ‘saved’ the franchise. Dick Allen, Wilbur Wood, Chuck Tanner and the excitement that season generated.

* 1967 White Sox ‘The Last Great Pennant Race.’ Four teams fighting for the pennant in one of the final seasons with one and only one, league. How the Sox stayed in the fight despite a lack of hitting and what happened that final faithful week.

* 1963-65 White Sox ‘The Near-Miss White Sox.’ The story of those seasons where the Sox averaged 96 wins! Yet couldn’t win the pennant, losing out in 1964 by a measly one game.

Hopefully Dan will keep going with these. Again I highly recommend the 1977 book.

Lip

I picked up his book "Who's on Third" (I think he wrote it) in O'Hare 20 years or go or so. Great read. I read parts all the time.
How long is his book on 1 season?
Where can you buy it?

Trav
03-20-2006, 10:00 PM
I picked up his book "Who's on Third" (I think he wrote it) in O'Hare 20 years or go or so. Great read. I read parts all the time.
How long is his book on 1 season?
Where can you buy it?

Dan Helpingstein did not write Who's on Third.

Tragg
03-20-2006, 10:05 PM
Dan Helpingstein did not write Who's on Third.

Whoops - got my Sox author's mixed up.

It was Mark something - you're right.

Anyway, I like all Sox books. I'll have to read Dan's.

Lip Man 1
03-20-2006, 10:28 PM
Tragg:

That book was written by Rich Lindberg. And look above in this thread as Dan explains where you can get his book.

Lip

Tragg
03-21-2006, 07:08 AM
Tragg:

That book was written by Rich Lindberg. And look above in this thread as Dan explains where you can get his book.

Lip
Now I've confused 3 writers.

I guess I could have walked to my bookshelf and seen who the author was.

Rich wrote it. You're Mark (I think).

Didn' see Dan's post above; glad it's available through the big stores.