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
Great batter, and he deserves a mention for being the first catcher in the history of baseball to have ever stolen first base.
#8 Roberto Hernandez
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!