PDA

View Full Version : What If? Column


Lip Man 1
07-15-2007, 11:28 PM
What If? – Perhaps the two biggest words in the English language.

Everyone does it at some point, think back to what might have happened had circumstances led to a different outcome....either in their own life, the lives of family members, companies, nations, and yes, even sports teams.

In this case the White Sox.

In this column (you can find it on the main page) we take a look at some key moments in Sox history, what really happened and what might have happened.

Among the items discussed are:

* What If, the ‘Black Sox’ scandal never happened?

* What If, the White Sox signed Ernie Banks?

* What If, Bill Veeck hadn’t made all those trades after the 1959 season?

* What If, the Sox were successful in acquiring any of three perennial All Stars in the 1960's?

* What If, the Sox made better choices in their broadcasting decisions?

And lastly, something that has just come out, what if, it was the Sox who signed Fernando Valenzuela?

Something that I hope you’ll enjoy reading, and feel free to speculate about any of the above scenarios or others not discussed in this particular column!

Lip

jcw218
07-16-2007, 01:00 AM
Lip,

If you happen to write another one of these "what if" columns, another question that you can ask is what if the Sox sign Roger Clemens

Grzegorz
07-16-2007, 06:02 AM
Lip,

Of all the points you mentioned, and they're all relevant, the single most crippling mistake involving the Chicago White Sox was this:

"* What If, the Sox made better choices in their broadcasting decisions?"

The White Sox were frustrated with WGN so they moved to a UHF channel. The signal was weak so the picture and the broadcast were hard to receive.

Face it, the Cubs using Bozo as "lead in" programming just grabbed the golden ring. An ingenious use of television in the formulation of public taste and opinion.

Ernie Banks helped a great deal too. He was, and is, a great ambassador for the game.

LITTLE NELL
07-16-2007, 06:28 AM
The trades after the 59 season were horrible, but within a couple of years the Sox won over 90 games 3 straight years. The guys we traded, Callison, Battey , Mincher, Cash and a couple others were good but none of them Hall of Famers. You notice none were pitchers, we won all those games with pitching,defense, speed and timely hitting. We also had the best manager in Al Lopez.

hose
07-16-2007, 07:02 AM
What if addition : Denny McLain.

Frater Perdurabo
07-16-2007, 07:37 AM
Great column, as always. Thanks, Lip! :D:

Fenway
07-16-2007, 09:38 AM
Well done Lip

I suppose in a roundabout way you can blame the Tribune for the WFLD fiasco. They were able to pressure the FCC to not to allocate another VHF channel in Chicago while at the same time were able to get a license for Channel 11 in New York. In 1948 WPIX was low power as Channel 11 was also assigned to Providence only 140 miles away but then the FCC moved WJAR-Providence to Channel 10.

dickallen15
07-16-2007, 10:22 AM
Another what if, I read once that Babe Ruth was almost traded to the White Sox for Joe Jackson but the Red Sox owner had a Broadway play he needed financing for or something, so he took the Yankees deal.

Fenway
07-16-2007, 10:32 AM
Another what if, I read once that Babe Ruth was almost traded to the White Sox for Joe Jackson but the Red Sox owner had a Broadway play he needed financing for or something, so he took the Yankees deal.

The paperwork was done but Comiskey got cold feet.

Red Sox would have been screwed as Jackson would be banned.

Ruth would have been a superstar but nothing like what happened in New York.

soxrme
07-16-2007, 11:13 AM
How about discussing the saving of Billy Pierce for the 6th game of the 1959 series? Never forgave the Senor for that.

Fenway
07-16-2007, 11:20 AM
Lip you mention how Boston was not drawing in the mid 60's.

It hit rock bottom on Opening Day 1967 against Chicago 8,324

http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/1967/B04120BOS1967.htm

Lip Man 1
07-16-2007, 11:31 AM
Folks:

I'm glad you enjoyed the column. Yes we'll revisit it again at some point in the future.

Didn't know that by the way about Babe Ruth!

Hose:

Interesting about Denny McLain although the Sox didn't miss him as much in the 60's as the hitters they traded away after 1959. The Sox pitching in the period from 1963 through 1967 was near the tops in baseball. After 1967 with so many holes on the team I don't think McLain would have made much of a difference.

From what I've heard from some folks Denny was simply a bad guy, period. According to Milo Hamilton in his WSI Interview, McLain was such a pain in the rear that Lopez wanted no part of him under any circumstances.

Lip

Hitmen77
07-16-2007, 01:36 PM
Great article. Interesting to read about decisions that could have changed the course of Sox history.

I'm glad you added some what-ifs at the end that actually went the Sox way. "What if the Sox didn't acquire Dick Allen?" I guess another question would be - what if the Red Sox didn't botch the Fisk contract deadline which allowed him to become a free agent? Does that mean no division title in '83? There are some more recent what-ifs that went well for the Sox too. What If the Angels didn't pull out of the Garland-for-Erstad trade at the last minute in Dec. 2001? What If Maggs didn't get injured and he and the Sox worked out a $14 mil/yr contract extension in '04? Do we still end up with a parade down LaSalle St. if either of those things happened?

Regarding the last "what-if" in the article about Jim Thompson's stadium deal in 1988. If the Sox didn't get that deal and left for Florida, there is no way in hell I could imagine MLB putting an AL expansion team to play in a crumbling Comiskey Park to go up against the Cubs. Chicago would just to the way of Philadelphia, Boston and St. Louis - two team cities in the old days where one team eventually squeezed the other out. The only markets that would even be considered for a replacement 2nd team are N.Y. and L.A.....and how would the Sox fare in the long run in St. Pete? Would Jerry and Eddie be witnessing crowds of 10,000 in that awful dome they have down there?

What if the Sox actually moved to Addison as they originally intended in the '80s? Remember, this was just before the trend back to urban ballparks. Would they be floundering now out in some sea of parking lots out in the suburbs while the Cubs completely owned the entire city?

Fenway
07-16-2007, 01:55 PM
Great article. Interesting to read about decisions that could have changed the course of Sox history.

I'm glad you added some what-ifs at the end that actually went the Sox way. "What if the Sox didn't acquire Dick Allen?" I guess another question would be - what if the Red Sox didn't botch the Fisk contract deadline which allowed him to become a free agent? Does that mean no division title in '83?

There was a Frontline special in 1983 that centered on Fisk. In it they show an infamous clip of Haywood Sullivan where he says LAUGHING

"Carlton Fisk has been declared a free agent...the bar is open"

What is "odd" about Fisk is he moved to Chicago and turned his back on his New Hampshire roots.

Every team has "What ifs?"

In Boston it is 2 words BABE RUTH

MDF3530
07-16-2007, 01:56 PM
http://imgsrv.670thescore.com/image/DbGraphic/200707/630470.jpg

"Where's my 'What If?' bell?"

Lip Man 1
07-16-2007, 06:08 PM
Fenway:

The Frontline special you are talking about aired on opening day, 1993. I have it on tape called, 'The Trouble With Baseball.'

Lip

getonbckthr
07-16-2007, 06:52 PM
What if we signed Barry Bonds instead of Albert Belle?

dickallen15
07-16-2007, 06:54 PM
What if we signed Barry Bonds instead of Albert Belle?
What if the Sox drafted Barry Bonds instead of Kurt Brown?

getonbckthr
07-16-2007, 06:57 PM
What if the Sox drafted Barry Bonds instead of Kurt Brown?
We probably would have never had Frank Thomas, and the Pirates would have never gotten as far as they did.

downstairs
07-16-2007, 07:10 PM
What if the Sox drafted Barry Bonds instead of Kurt Brown?

Well, the "what ifs" of the baseball draft are really never fair. The kids are just too young. Nearly every hall of famer was passed on by many teams in the draft. That's just life. Its a lot more random than basketball and football.

But the Bonds instead of Belle thing... that is very, very interesting.

From 1997 on, the White Sox were in second place or higher 8 out of 10 seasons (including 2005). How many of those would have turned into playoff entries and/or World Series victories?

Would he have locked in a dynasty? No. But look at our history 1997-on... a few tweaks here and there may very well have made US the Yankees of the late 90's-early 2000's.

dickallen15
07-16-2007, 07:10 PM
We probably would have never had Frank Thomas, and the Pirates would have never gotten as far as they did.

I don't know how much a difference Bonds would have made in wins and losses his first few years, but even if it were just a few, the team drafting right behind the White Sox might have been selecting in front of them. What if that team took Frank Thomas? Although I doubt they would have as they were set at 1b. That team is the Cubs.

Railsplitter
07-16-2007, 08:15 PM
What if Bill Melton didn't have a season ending back injury in 1972?

Lip Man 1
07-16-2007, 10:23 PM
A few points:

1. Regarding Belle vs. Bonds. Before the Sox got Belle it was reported in the newspapers that JR went to Frank for his input. He basically asked him, 'if you could have one player in baseball for us to get who would it be?'

Frank answered 'Belle...'

That answer surprised Reinsdorf because he then said, 'you know Bonds is available...' (because the Giants were having financial trouble since they still didn't get approval for a new stadium deal)

Frank again said, 'Belle' and the rest is history.

2. I just heard from a reader who said they know what the Sox offered for Frank Robinson and why it was turned down. I can't confirm the accuracy of this (yet) but this is what the poster said:

"The Sox offered the Reds pitchers Eddie Fisher (All Star 1965), Johnny Buzhardt, and outfielder Floyd Robinson for Frank Robinson but Eddie Short (Sox G.M.) also wanted pitcher Jimmy O'Toole in the deal and the Reds wouldn't do it."

If this is true then the Reds really were stupid. Fisher, Buzhardt and Robinson were still productive players.

O'Toole went 3-10 with an ERA of almost 6 in 1965! Short probably wanted him to help draw because he was born and raised in Chicago but why Cincinnati wouldn't jump on that offer is beyond me. Especially considering what they got from Baltimore.

By the way O'Toole would go 5-7 in 1966 with an ERA of 3.55

Lip

WhiteSoxJunkie
07-17-2007, 01:20 AM
I often wonder what if AJ didn't run to first base in Game 2 vs the Angels.

chitownhawkfan
07-17-2007, 07:31 AM
Ruth would have been a superstar but nothing like what happened in New York.

Hitting 714 HR's in Chicago would've definitely lost him on the historical trash heap.


Thank God the Sox didn't go to WGN, can you imagine the same fan base the Cubs now have? No thanks, give me UHF or whatever it was any day.

TommyJohn
07-17-2007, 08:25 AM
I often wonder what if AJ didn't run to first base in Game 2 vs the Angels.

Or what if Eddings reversed himself and ruled AJ out.

HerzogVon
07-17-2007, 08:52 AM
What if Harry Caray hadn't come on board when he did? Would the Sox have continued to draw flies the way they did during the last years before?

Sure, I'll never forgive Harry for turning his back on Sox fans and going over to the hated Bozos of the north side, but the fact remains that the 70's without Harry are almost unimaginable. He re-energized the fan base and brought back pride back to Comiskey, right from that first game.

Oh, and I agree with a previous poster about WGN. We didn't need Brickhouse and his condescension another moment. We'd been second class citizens on WGN since at least the early 60's - if not longer - and it was time to get out.

Fenway
07-17-2007, 09:10 AM
Hitting 714 HR's in Chicago would've definitely lost him on the historical trash heap.




Ruth probably would have hit around 600 homers if he was with the White Sox as it was a far longer poke to right at Comiskey than Yankee Stadium.

Ruth became larger than life in Roaring 20's NY and was the first tabloid star in the Daily News. That would not have happened in Chicago, Boston or anywhere else.

Fenway
07-17-2007, 09:17 AM
Lip

From this picture it would appear that the WFLD deal came down in the off season of 1966-67

http://www.ballparktour.com/Comiskey_1967.jpg

Using the data on the scoreboard this picture was taken on Wednesday, May 17, 1967
http://retrosheet.org/boxesetc/1967/B05170CHA1967.htm

Given that you can see whay WGN-TV would have little interest to showcase the Sox in the 67 pennant race.

A couple of years ago I poured over microfilm at the Harold Washington Library to find the exact date of the Channel 32 deal and could not find it. The Sun-Times microfilm for those years is incomplete and the only thing in the Tribune was that more Cubs game would be on. The Trib completly ignore any mention of WFLD.

kba
07-17-2007, 11:26 AM
A couple of years ago I poured over microfilm at the Harold Washington Library to find the exact date of the Channel 32 deal and could not find it. The Sun-Times microfilm for those years is incomplete and the only thing in the Tribune was that more Cubs game would be on. The Trib completly ignore any mention of WFLD.

Nov 11, 1966:

http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/chicagotribune/access/587132642.html?dids=587132642:587132642&FMT=ABS&FMTS=ABS:AI&date=Nov+11%2C+1966&author=&pub=Chicago+Tribune&desc=White+Sox+Sell+TV+Rights%3B+Switch+in+'68&pqatl=google (http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/chicagotribune/access/587132642.html?dids=587132642:587132642&FMT=ABS&FMTS=ABS:AI&date=Nov+11%2C+1966&author=&pub=Chicago+Tribune&desc=White+Sox+Sell+TV+Rights%3B+Switch+in+%2768&pqatl=google)

Fenway
07-17-2007, 12:04 PM
Nov 11, 1966:

http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/chicagotribune/access/587132642.html?dids=587132642:587132642&FMT=ABS&FMTS=ABS:AI&date=Nov+11%2C+1966&author=&pub=Chicago+Tribune&desc=White+Sox+Sell+TV+Rights%3B+Switch+in+'68&pqatl=google

Merci!!!

So the Sox were "lame ducks" on WGN-TV in 67 which explains why many games were missed.

In the end it was the Hancock Center being built that WFLD miscalulated on. A VHF signal like Channel 7 would be hurt as well but not nearly as much as UHF.

problem was there was no easy way for WFLD to move the tower as even to this day it is a long process with the FCC.

pythons007
07-17-2007, 12:34 PM
Lip,

Where can I find the article?

Fenway
07-17-2007, 12:35 PM
Lip,

Where can I find the article?

http://www.whitesoxinteractive.com/rwas/index.php?category=2&id=3435

pythons007
07-17-2007, 12:39 PM
http://www.whitesoxinteractive.com/rwas/index.php?category=2&id=3435


Thanks Fenway

esbrechtel
07-17-2007, 01:05 PM
Lip,
I would just like to say as a young fan of the sox (born in 1984) and as a future history teacher I absolutely love all of your posts about White Sox history, anytime I see that Lip started the thread I have to read it, keep up the good work!

kba
07-17-2007, 01:18 PM
http://www.whitesoxinteractive.com/vbulletin/images/attach/pdf.gif 32.pdf (http://www.whitesoxinteractive.com/vbulletin/attachment.php?attachmentid=5438&d=1184688254) (24.8 KB, 4 views)


Typical Tribune article. It's a story about the Sox moving to WFLD, but there are no quotes from anybody with the Sox or with WFLD. Instead, there are three paragraphs quoting the General Manager of WGN, including two references to the Cubs.

I suspect that million dollars a year from WFLD had a lot to do with Allyn's decision. Sounds like big money for 1966. The article doesn't tell us how it compares to what WGN was offering to keep the Sox.

Lip Man 1
07-17-2007, 01:18 PM
Esbre:

Thanks for the kind words. We all try to do our part to help make the site better then what it already is, and that's pretty good!

Lip

Fenway
07-17-2007, 01:34 PM
The radio situation in 1971 was brutal

an AM in LaGrange and a AM-FM in Evanston :o:

WTAQ 1300 AM sorta covered the South Side at night ( it is now Radio Disney )

There is no record of a WTAQ-FM in those days. The FM licensed to LaGrange today is for Lyons Township High School
WTAQ -- put on to serve the "Towns Along the Q" (the then-Chicago, Burlington and Quincy RR) in 1949. The 1300 in LaGrange was WTAQ all the way up to 12/98, when new owners Radio Disney dumped them for WRDZ.


http://radio-locator.com/pats/WRDZ_AM_LN.gif

The Evanston AM was worse at 1330 at night
http://radio-locator.com/pats/WKTA_AM_LN.gif

FM was fine as the station was the first on the Hancock, but nobody really had FM yet in those days It is now known as WOJO (Spanish)

kba
07-17-2007, 09:25 PM
The radio situation in 1971 was brutal

an AM in LaGrange and a AM-FM in Evanston :o:

WTAQ 1300 AM sorta covered the South Side at night ( it is now Radio Disney )

There is no record of a WTAQ-FM in those days.


There never was a WTAQ-FM. WTAQ-AM 1300 had their studio and towers off Mannheim Road near the Stevenson. In addition to Sox games, they had a lot of ethnic programming in those days - polka shows, shows in Croatian and Spanish, church services, etc. Ralph Faucher - who was Harry Carey's first sidekick on Sox games - was WTAQ's sales manager.

According to my 1971 Sox program, WTAQ was the only Chicagoland AM station on the makeshift White Sox radio network in 1971 (except for WAEW-AM, which ran some weekend games.) The other affiliates were WEAW-FM Evanston, WJOL-FM Joliet, WVFV-FM Dundee, and WLNR-FM Lansing. In an era when FM listening was minuscule, the weakness of that radio network really speaks volumes about how far the franchise had fallen.

Fenway
07-18-2007, 09:40 AM
The irony here is that the Boston Bruins moved their games to UHF in 1967 partly because of the White Sox deal. Channel 38 in Boston thanks to Bobby Orr became one of the most popular stations in the area. The Red Sox would finally move there in 1975.

It was not uncommon in the 69-70 season for a Bruins game to get a 30.0 rating for big games with Chicago and Montreal.

My mother who was a huge B's fan bought a color TV in April of 1968 just because it had a UHF tuner.

Same thing happened in Philadelphia with the Flyers on Channel 29 and the Phillies on Channel 17.

Hitmen77
07-18-2007, 10:25 AM
The radio situation in 1971 was brutal

an AM in LaGrange and a AM-FM in Evanston :o:

WTAQ 1300 AM sorta covered the South Side at night ( it is now Radio Disney )




That radio situation sounds amazingly bad for the Sox. How did a team that was often a pennant contender through '67 fall so far so fast? What radio station broadcast Sox games in the 60s? How many years were the Sox on the LaGrange station? Was it just '71?

My earliest recollection was the Sox being on WMAQ (670) during the mid to late 70s. (They were a country music station back then. Anyone remember their stupid slogan? "WMAQ is going to make you RICH!!"). Then for a few years, they moved to WBBM newsradio 78. (Does anyone remember the WBBM ads from back then? "Will Harry CARAY the Sox to a Pennant?" It was part of a series of ads - the other one I remember was "What has George DUNNE lately?".) Then at some point in the 80s they moved back to WMAQ and then in the 90s to AM1000....and then finally back to 670 (now "The Score") in 2006.

Fenway
07-18-2007, 10:34 AM
That radio situation sounds amazingly bad for the Sox. How did a team that was often a pennant contender through '67 fall so far so fast? What radio station broadcast Sox games in the 60s? How many years were the Sox on the LaGrange station? Was it just '71?

My earliest recollection was the Sox being on WMAQ (670) during the mid to late 70s. (They were a country music station back then. Anyone remember their stupid slogan? "WMAQ is going to make you RICH!!"). Then for a few years, they moved to WBBM newsradio 78. (Does anyone remember the WBBM ads from back then? "Will Harry CARAY the Sox to a Pennant?" It was part of a series of ads - the other one I remember was "What has George DUNNE lately?".) Then at some point in the 80s they moved back to WMAQ and then in the 90s to AM1000....and then finally back to 670 (now "The Score") in 2006.

Sox were on the small stations in both 71 and 72

before that they were on WMAQ ( from 67-70 ) and WCFL before that

They returned to WMAQ in 1973.

But NOTHING in baseball history rivals the problems Oakland had in 1978 with radio

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oakland_Athletics

At one point during their championship years, the A's broadcasted their games on KALX (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KALX), a 10-watt college radio station run by the University of California, Berkeley (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_California%2C_Berkeley). Some fans nicknamed them the "Triple-A's." Finley nearly sold the team to buyers who would have moved them to Denver (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denver) for the 1978 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1978_in_baseball) season and New Orleans (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Orleans) for 1979 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1979_in_baseball). Not surprisingly, only 306,763 paying customers showed up to watch the A's in 1979, the team's worst attendance since leaving Philadelphia.


In April of 1978 KALX became the first college station in the world to act as a flagship for a major-league sports franchise. Larry Baer (now a VP with the San Francisco Giants) and Bob Kozberg broadcast the Oakland A's opening game from Anaheim, CA. By May of that year, A's owner and showman had found a commercial station to take on the broadcasts, and KALX bid farewell to the A's. It was an exciting time, running the board in the studio and answering the phone calls of irate A's fans who couldn't pick up our 10-watt signal in Oakland!

http://kalx.berkeley.edu/history.htm

kba
07-18-2007, 11:38 AM
But NOTHING in baseball history rivals the problems Oakland had in 1978 with radio


In 2000, the Expos had no TV and no English-language radio at all.

Fenway
07-18-2007, 11:59 AM
In 2000, the Expos had no TV and no English-language radio at all.

Well they could have but Loria was starting the push out of town.

Loria turned down a radio deal on 940News ( a 50,000 watt clear channel ) that was close to $2 million a year. The TV problem was at the time cable TV was controlled by Toronto media outlets and they didn't want to pay any kind of rights fees on RDS the french sports channel.

Lip Man 1
07-18-2007, 12:49 PM
Hitman:

After the three straight disasterous seasons 68 through 70, no mainstream radio station was willing to take on the Sox deal because they were so bad, and more importantly because the ratings were so bad.

Remember the Sox collapse after 17 straight winning seasons just 'happened' (typical White Sox luck) to coincide with the Cubs actually becomming pretty good.

Put all the above factors together and you have the Sox on FM stations. If not for Harry Caray it might have been longer then two years before someone decidied to take on their deal.

Lip

oldcomiskey
07-19-2007, 10:21 AM
Lip,

If you happen to write another one of these "what if" columns, another question that you can ask is what if the Sox sign Roger Clemens

they had clemens in camp and Schueler didnt sign him because he thought Rocket was over the hill, so who do they sign. Jamie Navarro.

oldcomiskey
07-19-2007, 10:26 AM
The paperwork was done but Comiskey got cold feet.

Red Sox would have been screwed as Jackson would be banned.

Ruth would have been a superstar but nothing like what happened in New York.

Jackson wouldve been banned only if he helped throw a world series in a RED sox uniform, unless it occured after the 1919 season

Fenway
07-19-2007, 10:27 AM
Jackson wouldve been banned only if he helped throw a world series in a RED sox uniform, unless it occured after the 1919 season

The deal was setup in November of 1919. Veeck of all people found the papers in the Comiskey basement.

oldcomiskey
07-19-2007, 10:32 AM
Well, the "what ifs" of the baseball draft are really never fair. The kids are just too young. Nearly every hall of famer was passed on by many teams in the draft. That's just life. Its a lot more random than basketball and football.

But the Bonds instead of Belle thing... that is very, very interesting.

From 1997 on, the White Sox were in second place or higher 8 out of 10 seasons (including 2005). How many of those would have turned into playoff entries and/or World Series victories?

Would he have locked in a dynasty? No. But look at our history 1997-on... a few tweaks here and there may very well have made US the Yankees of the late 90's-early 2000's.


Seems to Me I rememeber something about Mark McGwire almost being traded for but his low batting average the year before turned the Sox the other way. Just think of how much publicity the city wouldve had with two roid driven hitters chasing Maris

Lip Man 1
07-19-2007, 10:41 AM
Comiskey:

From Jack McDowell's interview:

ML: I’m not trying to place blame here but the Sox as good as they were, always seemed to be one piece short. Whether it was another starter or another big bat to go with Thomas and Ventura. Do you think the organization did everything they could to get to a World Series?

JM: "That’s tough to say. I know that Mark McGwire wanted to come here. He called me three times in about a ten day period after the 1991 season. He asked me about the other guys in the clubhouse, about the coaching staff and about the city of Chicago. I honestly felt we were going to get him. I called Robin (Ventura) to let him know what was going on and I remember he was excited. He told me ‘alright...we’re going to kick ass.’ The Sox then asked Frank (Thomas) if he’d go to DH full time so that Mark could play first and he said no. One time I was talking with Jerry Reinsdorf and he told me the reason the Sox wouldn’t go out and sign any big name, big money free agents is because they were concerned about how I’d react to it. We had those contract issues all those years and they thought I’d get angry over it. I looked at him and said it wouldn’t bother me, especially if I was looking at my World Series ring! All I ever wanted to do was win, I didn’t care how much somebody else made."

Lip

oldcomiskey
07-19-2007, 10:42 AM
What if Bill Melton didn't have a season ending back injury in 1972?

then the Oakland dynasty would not have been. What if Dick Allen didnt break his leg in 73 or retire abruptly in 74?

oldcomiskey
07-19-2007, 10:45 AM
What if Harry Caray hadn't come on board when he did? Would the Sox have continued to draw flies the way they did during the last years before?

Sure, I'll never forgive Harry for turning his back on Sox fans and going over to the hated Bozos of the north side, but the fact remains that the 70's without Harry are almost unimaginable. He re-energized the fan base and brought back pride back to Comiskey, right from that first game.

Oh, and I agree with a previous poster about WGN. We didn't need Brickhouse and his condescension another moment. We'd been second class citizens on WGN since at least the early 60's - if not longer - and it was time to get out.

you can forgive Harry. The man was practically forced out according to his book

oldcomiskey
07-19-2007, 10:55 AM
That radio situation sounds amazingly bad for the Sox. How did a team that was often a pennant contender through '67 fall so far so fast? What radio station broadcast Sox games in the 60s? How many years were the Sox on the LaGrange station? Was it just '71?

My earliest recollection was the Sox being on WMAQ (670) during the mid to late 70s. (They were a country music station back then. Anyone remember their stupid slogan? "WMAQ is going to make you RICH!!"). Then for a few years, they moved to WBBM newsradio 78. (Does anyone remember the WBBM ads from back then? "Will Harry CARAY the Sox to a Pennant?" It was part of a series of ads - the other one I remember was "What has George DUNNE lately?".) Then at some point in the 80s they moved back to WMAQ and then in the 90s to AM1000....and then finally back to 670 (now "The Score") in 2006.
I rememeber you had to answer the phone if they called in that way. My mother always did when we lived in Lyons. Her neighbors would always remark that WJJD was gonna make her poor

Lip Man 1
07-20-2007, 01:16 PM
Fenway posted this in another location but because one of the items discussed in the 'What If' column was Hawk and 1967 I wanted to make sure a copy was also here:

"During the rain delay Hawk gave his verson of what happened after Charlie Finley fired him in 1967. Ed Short of the White Sox made the first offer at $100K and said "We don't want a bidding war." Hawk then decided a bidding war was a great idea. Boston bid $118K and Atlanta was high at $125K. Hawk chose Boston and finally signed at $150K. With KC he was making $12,500."
-----

I assume that the figures talked about were for a multi year deal since I simply couldn't see the Sox giving 100,000 for a single season back in 1967.

Lip

GoSox2K3
07-22-2007, 12:38 AM
Hitman:

After the three straight disasterous seasons 68 through 70, no mainstream radio station was willing to take on the Sox deal because they were so bad, and more importantly because the ratings were so bad.

Remember the Sox collapse after 17 straight winning seasons just 'happened' (typical White Sox luck) to coincide with the Cubs actually becomming pretty good.

Put all the above factors together and you have the Sox on FM stations. If not for Harry Caray it might have been longer then two years before someone decidied to take on their deal.

Lip

Also, I believe the Sox were hit hard by the way the neighborhood around the park deteriorated in the late 60s.