The White Sox are one of the most famous teams ever to feature in the annals of baseball. Their aptitude for the game is known both across America and around the world as being one of the very best in class – and it’s easy to see why.
But what many people forget is the extent to which the White Sox have an in-built power to surprise. From the 1926 success with Ray Morehart to the 1955 record-breaking Athletics match, White Sox history is littered with examples of the side confounding expectations in one way or another – leading to shocked faces on fans, gamblers and pundits alike. This blog post will explore some examples of occasions on which the White Sox have done something that defied what others thought would occur.
Against the Athletics, 1921
Those who enjoy gambling will know that unpredictability can be both a blessing and a curse. For fans who wager on the outcome of their side’s games, it’s pretty apparent that Chicago White Sox odds change all the time.
One example of a sudden reversal in chances and fortunes for the side happened long ago. Back in 1921, the White Sox took on the Philadelphia Athletics – and won by a huge and unexpected margin. They ended the game on 18 while the Athletics were on just one, which is the sort of margin that remains to this day the stuff of dreams for many.
Against the Tigers, 1926
The side pulled off a similar victory just a few years later when they took on the Detroit Tigers. The result was once again huge, with the White Sox ending the game on 19 and the Tigers winding up with only two.
But it was particularly surprising to many because their triumph was led in large part by someone who then disappeared from the history books. Ray Morehart was a 1920s player for the side, and shortly after this top game, he was sold to the New York Yankees, a team that is widely considered to be the greatest ever.
Before leaving for the Yankees, though, he managed to deliver a top score. He’d never secured a three-hit match in his entire playing life, but on this occasion, he somehow managed to pull off some amazing scores, including a 5-for-6 and a 4-for-4. Doubleheaders abounded and he was able to help the White Sox to a big – if unexpected – victory.
Against the Athletics, 1955
Fast-forward a few decades and the Athletics made another appearance in the list of White Sox twists and turns. This time, the Athletics produced a better score compared to their 1921 match: they ended this particular game on six. But the margin of victory for the White Sox was even higher than it was before, with them reaching 29.
This score can be attributed to some top players who were on the side at the time. These included names that Athletics fans with long memories may well consider some of their childhood heroes, among them Minnie Minoso, Chico Carrasquel and Sherm Lollar.
The whole season, 1983
The 1980s posed something of a challenge for the White Sox – and 1983 was no exception. Questions were raised about how the season would play out, thanks to the arrival of Tony La Russa, who was picking up his first-ever division title in charge of a team. But doubts about how this would play out and affect the team were ultimately forgotten when the team took the American League West top spot.
The whole season, 2005
Moving into more recent history, the White Sox had a fantastic season on the whole back in 2005, even though there were some question marks about whether or not they’d pull off such success. They managed to kick off the season well by snatching victory in the very first game, and they then managed to spend the main season snapping up just under 100 wins. In hindsight, it all looks so natural – but at the time, even diehard fans were unsure just how it would play out.
Ultimately, it’s clear that the Chicago White Sox are up there among some of the best teams to have ever graced the world of baseball. And with moments like defeat against the Tigers in 1926 and strong season-wide performances in the early 2000s under their belts, it’s also clear that the capacity for this team to shock, surprise and delight is strong – and far from over.