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soxinem1
11-02-2006, 02:42 PM
This was a team I always thought was a bunch of troopers. They were expected to finish last and did, but in many ways, this team ranks as a key mark in club history because the franchise was able to survive such a just down right miserable season record-wise.

These guys put up with media bias in 1970 (sound familiar?), but had several players who had some fine individual accomplishments in this dreadful season, all of which received barely no coverage from neither the Sun-Times, Daily News, nor Cubune. They were too busy covering the Cubs 'rebound' season.

I have a scrap book my brother kept for the season and the cub crap outnumbers the White sox by nearly 4-1.

Some of the things you would have never known by reading Chicago news publications:

Tommy John led the staff with a 3.27 ERA, 12 wins, and 138 K's. HIs 269.3 IP were the second highest total of his career.

Bill Melton was sixth in the AL with 33 HR despite playing half of his games in the canyon otherwise known as Comiskey.

Future HOF'er Luis Aparicio was 12th in MVP voting for ranking fourth in hitting (.313) and establishing career highs in BA (and his only .300 season,) SLG, and OBP.

Wilbur Wood led the AL with 77 games and was sixth in saves (21).

While this team was doomed from the start, they did represent a turning point in team history. They only finished last twice since 1970, something I believe no other ML team can say. It also led to the hiring of Roland Hemond, who kept the franchise pretty competitive under the remaining Allyn/Veeck ownership years, and probably saved the team from being relocated.

TDog
11-02-2006, 04:17 PM
I loved this team, although it was a disaster. It didn't deserve the coverage of the contending Cubs. There were moments, like a 22-13 win in Fenway and coming from behind to beat the Red Sox later in the season with an 11-run 9th inning, but there was never any hope of contention. The 12-0 loss to the Twins on opening day wasn't even the worst loss of April. But Carlos May, coming back from his military injury, Bill Melton and Ed Herrmann were young players that would do great things for the Sox, who would get much better in a hurry. In the bullpen, there was Wilbur Wood. Despite having the worst defense in the league, there were two gold glovers. Ken Berry was recognized for his stellar defense for the first time, although one of his outfield assists was a fly ball dropped into the glove of Johnny "Pineapple" Matias. Like Matias, there was Syd O'Brien. The pitching was horrendous expect for Wood and Tommy John. Looie Aparicio, despite having his greatest offensive season, went home to Venezuela after breakng Luke Appling's record for games played at shortstop. The A's won 16 of 18 games against the Sox, cementing my eternal hatred for Oakland.

It was a miserable year for baseball. The Sox won only 56 games. Bobby Thigpen would someday record more saves than that in a season. But to a boy turning 13 who enjoyed watching the Sox every night and didn't have to worry about winning or losing, it was a memorable summer, after which I could never be anything but a White Sox fan.

SOXSINCE'70
11-02-2006, 04:39 PM
Now,you know why my board name is "Soxsince'70".
1970 was the first year I started watching White Sox
baseball.My dad,who lives in New Jersey, once told me
you could root for both the White Sox and the sCrUBS.
I still to this day say you either root for one or the other.

Lip Man 1
11-02-2006, 04:43 PM
Should the title of this thread be in teal?

That club was a walking disaster both on and off the field. Read some of the interviews with guys like Wood and Eddie Herrmann, they had some of the more amazing things I've ever heard professional athletes say about that club and time period.

Lip

Dick Allen
11-02-2006, 06:21 PM
A team that draws 490,000 fans (or whatever it was) is not going to get a lot of media coverage. The funny thing is, there were a lot of entertaining games that year, though not always for the right reasons. I was at one game where Tom McCraw, playing CF, dropped a fly ball which popped over the fence for a grand slam.

PKalltheway
11-02-2006, 07:03 PM
Even though it was the Cubs, they were a contender back then. A good one at that. A 106-loss team is not going to get a lot of attention. My Dad who grew up in Chicago (he's a Cubs fan btw), told me that he remembered vividly how bad the Sox were that year. He even told me about how he remembered how close they were to moving the team things were so bad for them.

TornLabrum
11-02-2006, 08:52 PM
My memories of 1970 will always be bittersweet since it was Gail Hopkins' final year in a Sox uniform.

Hitmen77
11-02-2006, 10:48 PM
It was a miserable year for baseball. The Sox won only 56 games. Bobby Thigpen would someday record more saves than that in a season. But to a boy turning 13 who enjoyed watching the Sox every night and didn't have to worry about winning or losing, it was a memorable summer, after which I could never be anything but a White Sox fan.

That is amazing.

Zisk77
11-02-2006, 11:29 PM
Another important milestone ocurred in 1970 ... I was born. I don't have a big ego, I'm way too cool for that :cool: .

Railsplitter
11-03-2006, 12:20 PM
Future HOF'er Luis Aparicio was 12th in MVP voting for ranking fourth in hitting (.313) and establishing career highs in BA (and his only .300 season,) SLG, and OBP.


Looie was also voted to start the All-Star Game that year.

Orta 4-6-3
11-03-2006, 04:19 PM
Looie was also voted to start the All-Star Game that year.

And he (and Yaz) played all 12 innings of that famous (Pete Rose vs Ray Fosse) game.

TDog
11-03-2006, 06:14 PM
The two games against Boston are ones I would've liked to have seen. The
second one is especially noteworthy, they were down 5-2 going into the top
of the 9th.

The 22-13 game was on the last Sunday in May. Gary Peters was starting for the Red Sox, and the White Sox scored 6 in the top of the first. There was a stupid play where a Red Sox player jumped onto the rolled up tarp to catch a foul pop, but it dropped harmlessly in play. I think the only White Sox home run was a two-run shot by Bill Melton, and I remember it going into seats, so it must have been to right. Floyd Weaver in middle relief picked up his only major league win, and Buddy Bradford went hitless.

I was on a family vacation in Colorado for the August game with the record-setting 9th inning rally (tied by the surging Indians in 2005). I remember reading that Aparicio tied a record by getting two pinch hits in the inning, and Wilbur Wood hit a double, bouncing a hit down the line his first time up. A week later, I the Red Sox took a 5-2 lead into the ninth against the White Sox in Chicago and won the game, 5-2.

I got to go to a few games that year. I saw them lose to the Brewers on the first Sunday, 5-2. Carlos May hit his first post-injury home run, but it was too cold for the family to stay for he 16-2 loss in the second game. The Sox beat the Tigers on May 1, a game that featured a big fight. I still hate the Tigers. On my 13th birthday, July 17, Denny McLain started against Tommy John, and the Sox left the bases loaded in a 4-3 loss. On Aug. 23, Photo Day, Tommy John beat the Yankees 2-0 in the first game, but lost the second game. I don't remember if Barry Moore or Bob Miller -- a veteran of the 1962 Mets -- started that second game, but the Yankees starters, Fritz Peterson and Mike Kekich, would end up at the center of a peculiar story a couple of years later.

Problems abounded. Don Gutteridge, a former teammate of then-Cubs manager Leo Durocher, was not a leader. The front office didn't support the players. Aparicio was the highest paid, earning just $40,000. When Syd O'Brien broke a batting helmet, he was fined $17.50, which was the replacement cost at the time. The players established the O.B. Fund to raise the money to pay for it. Team treasurer Leo Breen even donated to it, not knowing what it was. When Bob Elson told a national news reporter that he still celebrated every White Sox win with a specific mixed drink, he added that it looked like it was going to be a dry summer. But you don't pick a team when you are a kid because you want to follow a winner. You become a fan, a true fan, because you bond with the team at an early age. In Munster, Ind., most kids were bonding with the Cubs, the perceived road to a quick championship. But I've never regretted bonding with the White Sox and waiting 35 years.

Wsoxmike59
11-03-2006, 06:48 PM
http://www.thedeadballera.com/TeamPhotos/1970WhiteSox.jpg

I too have an affinity for the 1970 Sox team. I loved that team because Luis Aparicio was my favorite player. Bill Melton was my 2nd fav. I remember I went to 11 games that summer and I just absolutely fell in love with the team and the game in a way that only a 10 year old boy in America can.

I remember seeing all my present day Sox hero's in their shiny blue uniforms under the bright lights of Sox Park as we called it back in the day.

I remember Jack Drees and Billy Pierce in the booth on snowy Ch. 32. Bob Elson and Red Rush (I think) on the radio. WMAQ 670 brought to you by Household Finance and friendly Bob Adams.

The radio ratings were so low for the Sox in 1970 that WMAQ didn't renew their contract with the Sox and the Sox were forced to move over to WTAQ FM in LaGrange for the 1971 -'72 seasons!

The game I remember best was the 22-13 shellacking the White Sox gave the Red Sox that year. I think Aparicio and Melton collected 5 hits each that day!

I can also recall a game the Sox won in the 9th inning with a Pinch Hit walk off 2 run HR by Bob Christian (I think it was against K.C.) and the Sox won 2-1 or 3-2.

I remember watching the game when the Angels troubled and surly slugger Alex Johnson connected for a titanic HR that landed in the CF bleachers some 450 feet away! Not too many balls went up there in Comiskey Park history.

But most of all I remember the players from my bubble gum cards coming to life right before my very eyes. It left an amazing impression on me, and the feeling I get when I walk in to the ballpark, it still gives me goosebumps on occasion.

So here's to the 1970 White Sox, whether they knew it or not, that tough luck team which always seemed to find a way to lose, but had a cast of character's that would create an indelible impression and make long lasting memories into the impressionable minds of many a Chicago yewt!

Dick Allen
11-03-2006, 06:59 PM
I don't remember if Barry Moore or Bob Miller -- a veteran of the 1962 Mets -- started that second game, but the Yankees starters, Fritz Peterson and Mike Kekich, would end up at the center of a peculiar story a couple of years later.Ah yes, the old wife-swapping tale. I believe Kekich was the big loser. Peterson's wife wanted to go back, but Kekich's wife didn't.

TDog
11-03-2006, 07:29 PM
...The game I remember best was the 22-13 shellacking the White Sox gave the Red Sox that year. I think Aparicio and Melton collected 5 hits each that day!
...

Leadoff hitter Walt "No-Neck" Williams went 5-for-7, and Aparicio went 5-for-5. I believe they only had two 5-hit players that day.

I still have the 1970 Walt Williams baseball card among the toys near my computer.

Did you notice that the team picture caption has Johnny "Pineapple" Matias' name spelled wrong? And you have to wonder if any team with a uniformed batting practice CATCHER is built for success.

Vernam
11-04-2006, 01:33 AM
Cool thread . . . I loved those uni's, with the white stirrups and blue sani's. I do realize I'm probably alone in that!

In the team photo, note the black arm bands for Paul Edmondson (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Edmondson), potential stud pitcher who died in a car crash in the off-season. My dad always cited that (and Carlos May's thumb injury) as evidence the Sox were "jinxed." That was before the whole nauseating phenomenon of fake baseball curses.

I'm really grateful to have seen Looie back in a Sox uniform, not having seen him in his first stint.

Vernam

TornLabrum
11-04-2006, 05:52 AM
Household Finance and friendly Bob Adams.

"Friendly Bob Adams" was a trademark of General Finance. Household Finance (better known as HFC used the jingle):

Never borrow money needlessly
But when you must,
Borrow from the friendly company
From folks you trust.
Borrow confidently from H...F...C.

HFC emphasized the "folks you trust" while General Finance advertised their "friendly Bob Adams" service. We had a local office of General Finance in the Meadowview Shopping Center in Kankakee. I can still remember the picture of a faceless "friendly Bob Adams" painted on the glass door.

soxinem1
11-05-2006, 08:08 AM
"Friendly Bob Adams" was a trademark of General Finance. Household Finance (better known as HFC used the jingle):

Never borrow money needlessly
But when you must,
Borrow from the friendly company
From folks you trust.
Borrow confidently from H...F...C.

HFC emphasized the "folks you trust" while General Finance advertised their "friendly Bob Adams" service. We had a local office of General Finance in the Meadowview Shopping Center in Kankakee. I can still remember the picture of a faceless "friendly Bob Adams" painted on the glass door.

Amazing. I was a bit young and do not remember many commercials. Were there any other 'White Fence Farm', 'Beren's Lincoln Mercury' or 'Bushelle' - type commercials you remember from back then?

vegyrex
11-05-2006, 10:16 AM
1970 was my second year as a Sox fan.

What a train wreck of a season.

I remember on TV Jack Drees announcing the attendance at one game being 999!!

TornLabrum
11-05-2006, 11:49 AM
Amazing. I was a bit young and do not remember many commercials. Were there any other 'White Fence Farm', 'Beren's Lincoln Mercury' or 'Bushelle' - type commercials you remember from back then?

There have been a couple of threads about old commercials or jingles people remember in the Parking Lot. While you search keep this in mind:

Call MOhawk 4-4100
For CET
For Television.

johnr1note
11-06-2006, 08:43 AM
I was a lad of nine when I got to watch this team, the same age my son was in 2005. My Dad took me to many, many games that summer. When you're nine, your baseball heros are whoever is on the field for your favorite team. This White Sox team was bad -- but I cheered for them with child like faith. "Discrimination" against Sox fans was a spectator sport in my local grade school, because interest in the Cubs was so high. Dick Allen's arrival two years later would help restore some credibility.

This team had some interesting characters -- John "Pineapple" Mathias, Jerry "Wheat Germ" Janeski, Jerry Crider (I got his autograph!), and then some guys who could actually play, like Walt "No Neck" William, a solid defensive infield of Aparicio, Knoop, and Gail Hopkins, and Beltin' Bill Melton at third. Ken Berry was a gazelle in center field. Tommy John could have won the Cy Young Award if he'd been on the Orioles that year.

But my memories are clouded by the rose colored glasses of a nine year old baseball hero worshipping boy. In reality, I was at a lot of games where you could have fired a howitzer at the outfield stands and not hurt anyone.

Those home unis were great, but the road uniforms were the worst in team history. Powder blue lettering on a silver tinged shirt? You could barely read it.

This thread brought back some great memories of a very bad, bad team.

Dan H
11-07-2006, 05:00 PM
The best memory of that year was when Bill Melton became the first White Sox player to hit 30 home runs in a season. Other than that, I remember a whole lot of losing. Yet I still like that team for some reason.