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StatManDu
03-31-2008, 11:32 AM
MARCH 31ST

THE J to the O to the E to the Y … JOEY, JOEY, JOEY CORA
1991: The White Sox acquired second baseman Joey Cora and outfielder Warren Newson from the San Diego Padres in exchange for pitchers Adam Peterson and Steve Rosenberg. Cora and Newson both became key members of the White Sox American League West championship team in 1993. Cora was the team’s second baseman and sparkplug while Newson was the squad’s top pinch-hitter.

JORDAN BIRMINGHAM BOUND
1994: After a spring training which saw his every move dissected, Michael Jordan was assigned to the White Sox Double-A affiliate in Birmingham. Jordan was signed by the White Sox to a one-year minor league contract Feb. 7 and received a non-roster invitation to spring training. Jordan hit .202 with three home runs and 51 RBI in 127 games for the Barons in helping the Southern League set an attendance record. Jordan halted his baseball career shortly before the 1995 season.

MARCH SADNESS
1996: In their first regular-season game ever in March, the White Sox fell to the Seattle Mariners, 3-2 in 12 innings, before 57,467 at the Kingdome in Seattle. Frank Thomas gave the White Sox the lead in the first inning when his first swing of the season produced a two-run home run off reigning Cy Young winner Randy Johnson. That, however, was the extent of the White Sox scoring. Led by Johnson’s 14 strikeouts, five Mariner pitchers combined to fan 21 batters in the earliest Opening Day in the history of Major League Baseball.

FOR STARTERS, A MANUEL VICTORY
1998: The White Sox opened the 1998 campaign by making Jerry Manuel a winner in his managerial debut. The Sox topped the Texas Rangers 9-2 before 45,909 at the Ballpark in Arlington. The White Sox broke the scoreless game open with a seven-run fifth. Robin Ventura’s two-run homer ignited the rally. Jaime Navarro started and tossed six scoreless innings to earn the win. Shortstop Mike Caruso, who spent 1997 at Class-A, made his big league debut at age 20. Caruso became the youngest Sox player to make the White Sox Opening Day roster since 20-year old Johnny Callison accomplished the feat in 1959.

SAN FRANCISCO TREAT
2002: In their first game ever at San Francisco’s PacBellPark and possibly in San Francisco (???), the White Sox closed their exhibition season with a 5-2 win over the Giants before 32,459 fans. Jon Garland had his best outing of the preseason, giving up a run on three hits in five innings with five strikeouts. Hot prospect Corwin Malone, a lefty, tossed a trio of shutout frames before yielding a run in the ninth.

FOR OPENERS, A DUD
2003: The White Sox opened the 2003 season with a wimper in Kansas City. The Sox managed just three hits in a 3-0 loss at Kauffman Stadium. Mark Buehrle pitched well, giving up two runs on six hits in seven innings but absorbed the loss. This was Jerry Manuel’s last Opener at Sox skipper. Manuel finished 4-2 in season-starters.


Editor's Note: Information for these entries is gleaned from the author's files, retrosheet.org, various Internet sources, press reports of the day, White Sox media guides and the many White Sox books written by the great Rich Lindberg