Recently a friend challenged me to create my dream Chicago White Sox team. The stipulations were
1) I could only use players that were active during both of our lifetimes, and
2) at least one of us had have seen them play.
Fortunately for me, he didn’t know how many Sox games I had been to over the years. Unfortunately, I could only muster the cognitive strength to narrow down my selection to ten players I would want to draw from in this exercise, but the list is still pretty illustrious:
Top 10 Chicago White Sox Players
#1 Robin Ventura
Saw him play many, many times; Robin was a great overall fielder and batter. Mr. Ventura boasted a couple of seasons with over 100 runs and has five golden gloves — the league’s highest award for outstanding performance in the outfield — on his mantle.
#2 Aaron Howard
One of the most dedicated center fielders in the history baseball, let alone the White Sox. Howard put up respectable numbers and had a tenacity for catching balls that brought in the fans.
#3 Maglio Ordonez
I’d include Ordonez purely for the reason that his on-field feud with Ozzie Guillen was hilarious, but his Silver Slugger award and all-star ratings really seal the deal.
#4 Joe Crede
I hope you don’t fault me for relying too heavily on the 2005 World Series lineup, but Crede’s credentials in a crunch really clinches it for me; when you’re going for ‘all time’ picks, you really need to take into consideration the fact that you want players who are at their best in a championship situation.
#5 Harold Baines
Another 2005 Sox alumnus — as coach —, Mr. Baines is an obvious choice for any Sox Best-of List. He consistently had a .300 batting average, over 20 home runs per season, and was a leading homerun hitter for leftys during his career. Easy choice.
#6 Ray Durham
Like Barry Bonds, Willie Mays, and Hank Aaron, Durham was able to churn out over 20 steals, 100 RBIs, 15 or more homeruns, and a .450 slugging percentage consistently over a three year span. He’s in.
#7 A.J Pierzynski
Solid defensive player that still holds the American League record for most saves in one season.
#9 Frank Thomas
An obvious choice, Frank has had some stellar seasons with the Sox: over 500 career homers, consistently above .300 batting average, topped the league’s OPS charts four separate seasons; not to mention batted 40 plus homers for another four, Frank Thomas is on anyone’s dream-team list.
Compiling this list was tough; there are many honorable mentions that I’m sure a lot of fans would have argued into their own, but I am satisfied that I have hit upon all of the major icons of the Sox franchise. Now I just have to do this ten times over for each position and I’ll be able to capitalize on my original wager!