The Chicago White Sox were one of eight charter members of the AL in 1901. Three years later, the team officially changed its nickname to White Sox, but it has been based in Chicago throughout its history. In their 121-year history, the White Sox have won six AL pennants and three World Series titles. Up next as we continue our all-time tournament teams are the White Sox from the south side of Chicago.
White Sox All-Time Roster
Catcher – Carlton Fisk (1981-1993)
.257/.329/.438; .766 OPS and 109 OPS+; 1,259 H, 214 HR, 762 RBI, 4x All-Star, 3x Silver Slugger Award, Hall of Fame (2000)
Carlton Fisk is indelibly remembered as a Red Sox catcher because of his memorable homer in the 1975 World Series. However, most of Fisk’s Hall of Fame seasons and accomplishments came as a member of the White Sox. For this reason, he is in the franchise top ten for career games played (1,421), home runs (214), RBI (762), total bases (2,143), and Offensive WAR (29.2). Fisk was the eighth of eleven White Sox players to have their uniform numbers retired (1997). Fisk was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2000.
First Base – Frank Thomas (1990-2005)
.307/.427/.568; .995 OPS and 161 OPS+; 2,136 H, 448 HR, 1,465 RBI, 5x All-Star, 2x AL MVP, 1x AL Batting Title, 4x Silver Slugger, 1x Sporting News Major League Player of the Year, 1x World Series, Hall of Fame (2014)
Only four White Sox players have won AL MVP, and Frank Thomas is the only one to win it twice (back to back!). Uniquely, he is the franchise leader in HR (448), RBI (1,465), runs scored (1,327), on-base percentage (.427), slugging (.568), OPS (.995), doubles (447), walks (1,466), and extra-base hits (906). He also ranks in the top ten amongst White Sox players in most offensive categories, including hits (2,136), batting average (.307), and total bases (3,949).
Frank Thomas is the only player in MLB history to bat .300 with at least 20 HR, 100 RBI, and 100 BB for seven straight seasons. During that time, “The Big Hurt” averaged over 35 HR per season. The White Sox honored Thomas by retiring his number during the 2010 season. In 2014, Frank Thomas became a first-ballot Hall of Famer.
Second Base – Eddie Collins (1915-1926)
.331/.426/.424; .849 OPS and 133 OPS+; 2,007 H, 31 HR, 803 RBI, Hall of Fame (1939), 1x AL MVP, 2x World Series
Several baseball historians regard Eddie Collins as one of the greatest second basemen in baseball history – not just franchise history. Not only that, but Collins trails only Shoeless Joe Jackson (.340) in franchise batting average at .331. He is also top ten in franchise games played (1,670), plate appearances (7,415), hits (2,007), runs scored (1,065), RBI (803), on-base percentage (.426), doubles (266), triples (102), walks (965), and position player WAR (67.0). Collins is also the franchise leader in stolen bases (368), and he was the AL stolen base leader three times with the White Sox. The only reason that Collins never won a Gold Glove award and never played in an All-Star game is that those accolades started after Collins’ retirement. During his playing days, Collins was regarded as one of the best, if not the best, in the field at second base.
Third Base – Robin Ventura (1989-1998)
.274/.365/.440; .805 OPS and 117 OPS+; 1,244 H, 171 HR, 741 RBI, 1x All-Star, 6x Gold Glove
Robin had a long and steady career with the White Sox, winning one Silver Slugger and five Gold Gloves at third base. He ranks in the top ten team history in home runs (171) and RBI (741). Perhaps Ventura’s best season was 1996 when he belted a career-high 34 home runs with 105 RBI. He also won the AL Gold Glove award for third basemen that year.
Shortstop – Luke Appling (1930-1943, 1945-1950)
.310/.399/.398; .798 OPS and 113 OPS+; 2,749 H, 45 HR, 1,116 RBI, Hall of Fame (1964), 7x All-Star, 2x AL Batting Title
Luke Appling leads the franchise in games played (2,422), plate appearances (10,254), hits (2,749), and position player WAR (77.6). In fact, he is also in the top ten for batting average (.310), on-base percentage (.399), runs scored (1,319), total bases (3.528), RBI (1,116), doubles (440), triples (102), walks (1,302), stolen bases (179), and Defensive WAR (19.1). The seven-time AL All-Star shortstop also won two AL batting titles (.388 and .328 at Ages 29 and 36, respectively). Appling had over 200 hits and a team-record 27-game hitting streak in 1936 when he batted .388 – especially impressive since Appling played in only 138 games that season because of injuries. In this case, no AL shortstop before or since has matched Appling’s batting average that season. In 1975, Luke Appling became the first player ever to have his number retired by the White Sox.
Left Field – Minnie Minoso (1951-1957, 1960-1961, 1964, 1976, 1980)
.304/.397/.468; .865 OPS and 133 OPS+; 1,523 H, 135 HR, 808 RBI, Hall of Fame (2022), 6x All-Star, 1x MLB Gold Glove OF, 1x AL Gold Glove OF
It’s important to realize that Minnie Minoso broke the color barrier for the White Sox. In addition, he was also the first Latin-born player to play major league baseball since Jackie Robinson broke baseball’s color barrier.
Minoso is the only player to have played major league baseball in five different decades, starting in the 1940s and ending in 1980 at Age 54. He is #11 in games played with a .304 lifetime average for the White Sox and is in the franchise top ten in several categories. For example, Minoso is #5 in on-base percentage (.397), #8 in OPS (.865), #6 in runs scored (893), #9 in hits (1,523), #5 in RBI (808), #7 in total bases (2,346), #8 in doubles (260), #6 in triples (79), and #5 in position player WAR (41.5). The White Sox retired Minoso’s number in 1983 to honor the ‘Cuban Comet.’ Finally, Minoso became a member of baseball’s Hall of Fame in 2022.
Center Field – Jim Landis (1957-1964)
.250/.346/.385; .731 OPS and 101 OPS+; 892 H, 83 HR, 398 RBI, 1x All-Star, 5x OF Gold Glove Awards
Top candidates for All-Time White Sox center fielder included Johnny Mostil, Jim Landis, Chet Lemon, and Lance Johnson. Jim Landis’ career offensive statistics are the least impressive of this group, but he was one of the best defensive center fielders of his time. In his eight seasons, Landis won five Gold Glove awards and played in one All-Star game (1962). He was top five amongst AL center fielders six times for putouts, five times for assists, and seven times for double plays turned. Landis was in the AL top ten in triples five times and six stolen bases on offense.
Right Field – Harold Baines (1982-1989, 1996-1997, 2000-2001)
.288/.346/.463; .809 OPS and 118 OPS+; 1,773 H, 221 HR, 981 RBI in 14 seasons with White Sox (22 years overall)
Hall of Fame (2019), 4x All-Star, 1x Silver Slugger, 2x Edgar Martinez Award
Harold Baines ranks in the franchise top ten in games played (1,670), plate appearances (6,797), runs scored (786), hits (1,773), home runs (221), RBI (981), total bases (2,844), doubles (320), and walks (565). He has the distinction of wearing his familiar number three for four seasons after the number had been retired in his honor. The White Sox retired Baines’ number in 1989 while he was still an active player – one month after being traded to the Texas Rangers. However, Baines returned to the White Sox twice after that (in 1996 and 2000) and used his ‘retired’ number.
Designated Hitter – Paul Konerko (1999-2014)
.281/.356/.491; .847 OPS and 120 OPS+; 2,292 H, 432 HR, 1,383 RBI, 6x All-Star, 1x Roberto Clemente Award, 1x ALCS MVP
Paul Konerko was a reliable and consistent hitter for the White Sox throughout his 16 years. Konerko averaged 27 home runs and 86 RBI across 16 seasons. For one thing, he is second all-time in franchise games played (2,268), home runs (432), and RBI (1,383). Konerko is also #3 all-time in hits with 2,292, trailing only Luke Appling and Nellie Fox. He is also the all-time White Sox leader in total bases (4,010). That is to say; the accomplishment is awe-inspiring in that the White Sox have played 121 seasons, and over 1,400 men have made plate appearances for the team. In 2015, Paul Konerko became the tenth White Sox player to have his uniform number retired by the team.
Ted Lyons (1923-1942, 1946)
260-230 W-L (.531), 27 Shutouts, 25 Saves, 3.67 ERA; 1,073 K’s; 4,161 IP, 3.79 FIP, 118 ERA, Hall of Fame (1955), 1x All-Star, 1x AL ERA Title
Ted Lyons is the White Sox all-time leader in wins (260), games started (484), innings pitched (4,161), and complete games (356). He led the AL in wins in 1925 (21) and 1927 (22). Ted Lyons was elected to baseball’s Hall of Fame in 1955, and the White Sox also retired his uniform number in 1987.
Bobby Thigpen (1986-1993)
28-33 W-L (.459), 0 Shutouts, 201 Saves, 3.26 ERA; 362 K’s; 541 IP, 4.07 FIP, 125 ERA+, 1x All-Star, 1x AL Reliever of the Year
Bobby Thigpen was the White Sox closer for six seasons and is the franchise leader in saves (201) and games finished (348). Furthermore, Thigpen’s best season was 1990, when he recorded 57 saves and was the AL Reliever of the Year.
Hoyt Wilhelm (1963-1968)
41-33 W-L (.554), 0 Shutouts, 99 Saves, 1.92 ERA; 521 K’s; 675 IP, 2.51 FIP, 171 ERA+, Hall of Fame (1985)
Hoyt Wilhelm came to Chicago as a premier relief pitcher in an era solely focused on pitching. From 1964-to-1968, Wilhelm went 41-33 with 99 saves and a 1.92 ERA in 361 games. He was the league’s oldest player from 1966 right up until the end of his career in 1972. His 99 career saves for the White Sox, good for fifth place all-time in franchise history. Also, he finished 239 games for the White Sox, the fourth-highest franchise history.
Wilbur Wood (1967-1978)
163-148 W-L (.524), 24 Shutouts, 57 Saves, 3.18 ERA; 1,332 K’s; 2,524 IP, 3.33 FIP, 116 ERA+, 3x All-Star, 1x Sporting News AL Pitcher of the Year
Wilbur Wood was primarily a reliever during his first four seasons with the White Sox and mainly a starting pitcher for the rest of his career. But he maintained the flexibility of starting or relieving throughout his career with the franchise. Although, Wood led the AL in games pitched from 1968 to 1970 while also leading in games finished for two seasons. Another critical point, Wood is fifth all-time in team history amongst pitchers in wins (163), third in games played (578), fifth in innings pitched (2,524) and strikeouts (1,332), seventh in games finished (174), and fourth in pitcher WAR (51.7).
Al Lopez (1957-1965, 1968, 1969)
840-650 W-L (.564), Hall of Fame (1977), 3x All-Star games
Al Lopez is second all-time amongst White Sox managers in a few categories. Seasons (11), games (1,495), and wins (840), trailing only Jimmy Dykes in each of those categories (13; 1,850; and 899, respectively). However, Lopez’s teams had a much better winning percentage (.564 versus .489). Lopez also led his team to an AL pennant and World Series appearance that Dykes’ teams could not achieve. Therefore, Al Lopez is the choice for All-Time White Sox manager. In 1977, Al Lopez was inducted into baseball’s Hall of Fame as White Sox manager.
White Sox Honorable Mentions
Nellie Fox, Luis Aparicio, Ray Schalk, Shoeless Joe Jackson
Second baseman Nellie Fox was a 15-time All-Star, three-time Gold Glove winner, one-time AL MVP. After making his debut in 1951, Nellie began an 11-season stretch of All-Star selections while playing in 1,691 games. During that span, Fox played in 798 consecutive games, the 11th longest in major league history. Altogether, Fox batted .299 with 561 walks while striking out only 146 times.
Shortstop Luis Aparicio was AL Rookie of the Year, six-time All-Star, seven-time Gold Glove winner. In 1959, “Little Louie” helped the White Sox to the World Series. He put up strong numbers, scoring 98 runs, 56 stolen bases while finishing second that year in AL MVP voting. Then, he would led AL shortstops in fielding percentage from 1959-to-1966 as he earned nine Gold Gloves during that span.
Catcher Ray Schalk was one of the best defensive catchers of his era. Schalk combined his sharp mind and work ethic to handle a wide variety of pitching styles. He would lead the AL in games caught seven times, including 151 of Chicago’s 154 games in 1920. Schalk was credited with catching four no-hitters in his career, but one of those was taken away in 1991 when the standards for no-hitters were adjusted.
Last but not least, Shoeless Joe Jackson is one of the best hitters and is the franchise leader in batting average at .340. Furthermore, Jackson, a left fielder, has the third-highest career batting average in major league history. Then, in 1911, he hit for a .408 average, the sixth highest single-season total since 1901.
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Carlton Fisk, Frank Thomas, Eddie Collins, Robin Ventura, Luke Appling, Minnie Minoso, Jim Landis, Harold Baines, Paul Konerko, Ted Lyons, Bobby Thigpen, Hoyt Wilhelm, Wilbur Wood, Al Lopez, Nellie Fox, Luis Aparicio, Ray Schalk, Shoeless Joe Jackson, Orlando Cepeda, Johnny Mostil, Chet Lemon, Lance Johnson, Ed Walsh, Jimmy Dykes