With inter-league play only beginning in 1997 the Cubs and White Sox have small sample size of players who have experienced this rivalry, but by no means does that mean the classic has seen no standout players. Here is my list of the top ten players to play in the Crosstown Classic.
10. Alfonso Soriano
Although Soriano by many Cubs fans standards has been a disappointment since the team signed him he has quietly produced solid numbers. Since his first season with the Cubs in 2007 he has managed to hit 20 homers in all of his seasons with the Cubs. Also considering his production of previous teams that is why he is number 10 on the list.
9. Carlos Lee
El Caballo was a member of the White Sox from 1999-2004. The Sox could always count on Lee to be a horse in the middle of their lineup. Carlos hit al least 20 homers in 5 of his six seasons on the south side , and drove in at least 80 runs in each of his six seasons. Like Soriano Lee is at number nine based on his production throughout his Career.
8. Mark Buehrle
Even though Buerhle doesn’t have those flashy k and era stats he gave the White Sox plenty to cheer about during his time there. Buerhle is an innings eater he gave the White Sox at least 200 plus innings in each of his seasons on the south side.He was always a fan favorite, and did so many things for the White Sox. He was a staple in the Crosstown Classic for so many years and that is why he is number 8 on the list.
Wood Basially spent his whole career on the north side. He still holds the record for most strike outs in one game and that will undoubtley be his crowining achievement. Kerry was a player who you could count on to give you quality start every day he took the bump. He was part of the classic for 12 seasons. During his time with the Cubs wood quickly became of of the most well liked Cubs of all time.His overwhelming fan popularity and solid seasons is why he is number 7.
6. Magglio Ordonez
Ordonez was on the White Sox during the inaugural season of the Classic in 97 and stayed a member of the team until 2004. Ordonez was definitely a fan favorite on the south side. During his teenier with the Sox chants of ” OHHH WEE OHH Magglio” could be heard throughout t the ball park. Magglio had the most productive seasons of his career on the south side. From 1999-2003 Ordonez managed to hit at least thirty homers and drive in at least 100 RBI’s.He fell short of achieving those marks in 2004 by one homer. Magglio’s numbers during his time wearing the black pinstripes is why he is number 6 on the list
Paul Konerko has been a white sock basically his whole career. He has been a reliable source of homers and RBI’s for the White Sox his whole Career. His involvement in the crosstown classic is unprecedented. He has played in the classic every year except the 1998, and 1997 seasons. He boasts some impressive numbers to back up his placement on the list as number 8. Konerko has 427 homeruns along with 1355 RBI’s in his career.
4. Jim Thome
Even though Thome only spent three seasons with the Sox he made his presence felt each of those three seasons. In each of his seasons with the Sox Thome managed to hit at least thirty homers and drive in at least 90 runs. Thome was one of the best pure mashers in the MLB during his career. He has 612 homers to his credit and also has 1699 RBI’s. His numbers speak for themselves and that is why he is number 4.
3. Gregg Maddux.
Even though Maddux made a name for him self in Atlanta he started his career with the Cubs. Maddux also played in the Classic in two season 2004 ,and 2005. Maddux was one of most durable pitchers in MLB history. He didn’t manage to start at least 30 games in only 2 seasons, his first two. His career ERA of 3.16 isn’t to shabby either. He won a gold glove each season from 1990-2008, 18 straight seasons! His number 31 is a retired number for both the Braves and the Cubs.
2. Frank Thomas
The Big Hurt was a staple in the middle of the White Sox line up for 15 seasons. He quickly became a fan favorite and still is an iconic image of the White Sox till this day. He could be counted on every day by the Sox to hit homers and drive in Runs. His best season came in 2000 when he mashed 43 Homers and drove in 143 runs. He also won the silver slugger that same year. The Hurts long teenier with the White Sox, and his great productivity during his time on the south side are the reason he is number 2.
1. Sammy Sosa
Sammy was one of the best if not the best power hitter during his time in the Major leagues. Sosa actually played on the Sox in 89 and 90, but definitely made a name for himself hitting balls onto Waveland with regularity. Sosa hit al least 35 homers in 9 of his 13 seasons on the north side. He tallied three seasons were he hit at least 63! His best of hi at least 63 home runs came in 1998 were his 66 home runs came with 158 RBI’s. He also won NL MVP the same season. Despite many steroid claims Sosa remains one of the
most loved and Iconic Cubs. His outstanding power numbers ,and flat out recognizability as a great player to play in the Crosstown Classic is why Mister Homerun Hop tops the list at number one.