Don’t mention “former White Sox second baseman Ron Santo” to a Cubs fan; they’ll be sure to correct you on the man’s legacy as a North Sider.
Santo even quipped, “Let’s not talk about that,” in a radio commercial in his last decade, which mentioned a fact about his 1 year wearing the baby blue and red on the South Side.
Santo wasn’t the first, and certainly wasn’t the last member of Baseball’s Hall of Fame to end their careers in Unitas/Namath-like fashion with the South Siders. There were many good players who wore the Sox jersey at one time, and many don’t even know about it. Santo’s case is one of those situations were many people have heard about his brief stay.
Others have been forgotten by many casual White Sox fans.
Hall of Fame pitcher Tom Seaver’s recent death made many reminisce about his career. A great Met. A great Red. White Sox? Yep. He pitched more than 2 seasons at Old Comiskey. Then he ended his career with a change in Sox at Boston.
Seaver’s passing, the terrific year the White Sox are having right now, and additional trips to the baseball card room, made me think about good baseball players that many may not remember were White Sox at one time.
When your team is owned by guys such as Bill Veeck and Jerry Reinsdorf, these things are going to happen. Some also came aboard during the Arthur Allyn years and before Veeck.
A friend and I have recently been talking about the many brief-tenured White Sox players over the years, particularly those who lasted a season or 2. I looked up names, and recalled them to him. He rooted for the Sox when they won the West in 1983, so I figured he remembered that Sparky Lyle was a White Sox player in 1982. Nope.
Some of these names are quite obvious to the casual baseball fan. Others, not so much.
Out of that, here’s a list of some more former White Sox players who have played 2 seasons or less. Do you remember their tenures? If you could put together a starting lineup, who and where (they can’t ALL be designated hitters!)?
Roberto Alomar (two stints)
Ron Santo (nearly went to California before being traded, invoked clause)
Bobby Bonds (half a season, par for the course with him)
Ken Griffey Jr.
Steve Carlton (’86 player won his 300th game in a Sox uni)
George Foster (’86 player, not a single baseball card exists of him in a Sox uni)
John Kruk (who walked out on the team with a .300 career average)
Ellis Burks (played on the 1993 Western Division champs)
Dave Stieb (pitched 4 games in 1992, took 6 years off before a brief comeback with the Blue Jays in 1998)
Bobby Bonilla (played half his first big league season in ’86 before becoming a Pirate)
Jerry Reuss (a 200-win pitcher of recent memory who young folks don’t remember)
Norm Cash (0-for-4 in pinch hitting appearances with the 1959 Go-Go Sox)
Del Ennis (1,200+ RBIs)
Roy Sievers (300+ homeruns)
Don Larsen (World Series perfect game pitcher ended his career as a Cub)
NBA HOF’er Dave DeBusschere (best known for being a New York Knick)
Rocky Colavito (played one season, should be in the Hall!)
Tommy Davis (played for many team, including Pilots; 1,000+ RBIs)
Blue Moon Odom (A’s pitcher in the 70s 3-peat)
Bo Jackson (3 years, but 2 seasons after sitting out ’92 with his bad hip)
Chris Sabo (Corky was a DH in 1995)
Jim Abbott (two stints)
Ken Hill (1990s Cardinals pitcher had a handful of relief appearances)
Tom “Flash” Gordon
Phil Cavaretta (played most of his career with the pre-War Cubs)
Red Ruffing (HOF’er who was born in Granville in Putnam County, IL)
Chief Bender (HOF’er had 1 appearance after he retired)
Johnny Evers (of Tinker-to-Evers-to-Chance, HOF’er had 1 appearance after he retired)
Edd Roush (HOF’er started career in 1913 before playing in the Federal League and so forth)
Clark Griffith (White Sox 1st manager, best known for owning the Washington Senators)
Al Simmons (HOF’er known for his time with the A’s, played 3 years for the White Sox)
George Kell (HOF’er, same)
Dick Allen (His tenure is remembered by many (some say he saved the Sox!), but he only stayed with the Sox for 3 seasons. Like the aforementioned Colavito, should be in the Hall!)