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Whenever you have a team that has a history stretching back more than 115 years, there is bound to be a rich story of their evolution along with the game and America from the early days to present times. The Chicago White Sox history includes major stories in baseball lore, iconic stadiums, players, managers, and World Series champions a century apart.
It all began in 1901 when Charles Comiskey relocated his team to Chicago and renamed them as the White Stockings. Members of the American League since its inception that year, they were also the inaugural champions, capturing the first ever American League pennant. The World Series, however, did not begin until 1903 so that was the end of the season for Comiskey’s team.
Their next pennant championship came in 1906 and they went on to play in their first World Series against their Windy City rivals, the Chicago Cubs. The White Sox prevailed to win their first championship after winning the series in six games. Another title would come in 1917.
The team returned two years later, infamously taking part in a plot to throw the World Series. Known as the Black Sox Scandal, the incident ultimately led to the permanent ban of eight players from the White Sox. Despite many requests over the years for reinstatement, the ban remains in effect.
The scandal completely derailing the team and the White Sox did not win another pennant until 1959. However, despite successful seasons in the 50s and 60s, the team did not have any other hardware to show for their performances. Ups and downs throughout the 70s and 80s kept them team from stringing together many winning seasons. The constant threat of being moved from Chicago kept the team in limbo.
A new stadium brought stability to the club in 1991 along with 12 winning records between 1990 and 2005. That year, after winning 99 games to take the AL Central title, the White Sox moved through the playoffs swiftly, ultimately winning the World Series by sweeping the Houston Astros.
Posting a record of 67-95 last season, the White Sox are still a team in transition. Manager Rick Renteria is shuffling around his lineup to try to bring the best out of this young squad. Bringing in veteran catcher Welington Castillo to call the game behind the plate should add a calming presence for the rest of the position players. First baseman Jose Abreu leads the team, while Yoan Moncada, Tim Anderson, and Yolmer Sanchez all have just a few years of MLB experience under their belts. The outfield is a similar story with veteran Avisail Garcia showing the ropes to young players in Adam Eaton and Nicky Delmonico. Right-handed hitter Matt Davidson is tearing the cover off the ball this season from the DH spot. If the youth of this team can grow into everyday players then Chicago might be able to soon turn the corner and become playoff contenders.
The young pitching staff are putting in solid work as they are still trying to navigate through the ebbs and flows of the game to improve on the mound. Chicago may have to make a move or two during the season to bump this group up to the next level of competitiveness.
Notable alumni stars of the White Sox franchise include Ozzie Guillen, Robin Ventura, Carlton Fisk, Mark Buehrle, Harold Baines, ‘Shoeless’ Joe Jackson, Ted Lyons, Eddie Collins, Paul Konerko, Minnie Minoso, Luis Aparicio, Nellie Fox, Luke Appling, and Frank Thomas. For more information about the history of the Chicago White Sox click here.