View Full Version : Totally Biased Book Review: White Sox Glory

Baby Fisk
05-03-2006, 09:27 AM
White Sox Glory: For the Love of Nellie, Shoeless Joe and Konerko - edited by Alan Ross (2006, 246 pp.)

The cover of White Sox Glory may not be a work of art, but itís most certainly a beauty. For the first time ever, Joe Jackson, Nelson Fox and Paul Konerko are brought together -- Sox legends of the past united with the world champions of the present under the banner of GLORY.

This little paperback is a collection of White Sox quotes and anecdotes compiled by sports writer Alan Ross, and covers the team's history from 1900 to 2005.

Reaching back into the mists of time, it begins:

In 1900, despite the misgivings of James A. Hart, owner of the Chicago National League franchise, Charles A. Comiskey transferred his St. Paul franchise to Chicago's South Side. Hart finally agreed to this invasion by a minor league rival but drove a tough bargain. He won agreement that the Comiskey team would not play north of 35th Street, and he restricted it from using "Chicago" in its name. Comiskey, denied use of "Chicago," reactivated Cap Anson's old nickname, White Stockings.

The rest is a glorious 105-year history. In addition to spanning all of those years and capturing the team's major moments, White Sox Glory has chapters dedicated to all-time great Sox players, managers, rivalries, fans, amusing quips, and world championship rosters. It's a neat little introduction to the rich history of the south side team. Even longtime fans might learn something new, like:

step-by-step instructions on how to throw Big Ed Walsh's famous spitball
the reason why Ted Kluszewski wore that sleeveless, "Fred Flintstone" jersey
what pitcher Joe Horlen chewed on during games (it wasn't gum or tobacco)
who Bill Veeck's favourite player was
Donn Pall's eyewitness account of Disco Demolition Night in 1979
what Black Jack McDowell burned as a sacrifice to the Gods of Old Comiskey Park, after being rocked in the opening game at New Comiskey in 1991
and what exactly Orlando Hernandez told Jose Contreras in order to get him back on track after a slow start in 2005Is this the definitive White Sox book? No, but it is a nice little chronicle of accounts, memories and achievements. It's all about White Sox baseball, played on the south side of Chicago since the year 1900. Very few baseball teams have that much history to draw upon.

Here are some gems:

"I played in a brand new pair of shoes one day and blistered my feet. The next day, I tried it with my old shoes on and just couldn't make it, so I threw away the shoes and went into the outfield with my stockinged feet. I hit a long triple in the seventh, and as I pulled into third, some guy hollered, 'You shoeless sonofagun you!' They picked it up and started calling me Shoeless Joe all around the league (Carolina Association, 1908), and it stuck. I never played barefoot and that was the only day I ever played in my stockinged feet, but it stuck with me." -- Shoeless Joe Jackson

"Veeck was really a good man to play for. He'd do things for the ballplayers other owners wouldn't do. If you won a ballgame with a home run -- especially against a good club -- there'd be a check for you in the locker room for $200. He'd say, 'Go buy yourself a suit.' He was always doing something for the athlete to make him perform better on the field. He was so appreciative. He understood your ups and downs. He'd stay with you." -- Roy Sievers

"We don't need superstars. We need guys who worry about the name on the chest more than the name on the back of the uniform." -- Ozzie Guillen

I like books like these because, honestly, you can read this thing in a day or two. It's like a crash course in White Sox history and lore. Read this thing and you'll have plenty of material to impress your friends during the slower innings of the next home stand.

Let's go go go White Sox!


Lip Man 1
05-03-2006, 10:08 AM
The Pall Disco Demolition night and McDowell burning Radinsky's jersey were both mentioned in WSI interviews. They aren't that commonly known.


By the way Horlen chewed Kleenex. (also in WSI Interview....) That company sent him as truckload when they found out about it.


Baby Fisk
05-03-2006, 11:59 AM
By the way Horlen chewed Kleenex. (also in WSI Interview....) That company sent him as truckload when they found out about it.

That must taste awful. Also in this book Nellie Fox describes the one time he swallowed some of that tobacco he always had in his left cheek. He said it was like swallowing a volcano.

05-03-2006, 12:28 PM
I ordered me a copy today on Amazon, only $9.97!!