Today in White Sox History: September 26

No joy in Mudville: Ozzie, mighty Ozzie, struck out.


Sept. 26, 1905 — In a doubleheader at Boston, Sox pitcher Ed Walsh relieved starter Doc White in the first inning of the opener and got the win, 10-5. Walsh then started and won the nightcap game over the Americans, 3-1. Because White didn’t retire a batter in the opening game, Walsh got credit for a pair of complete-game wins.


Sept. 26, 1943 — The White Sox set the franchise record for the most runs ever scored in the fourth inning when they put 13 on the board against the Senators at Washington. The South Siders would win the game, 15-3. Future Sox star pitcher Early Wynn was the victim of the Sox uprising. Also of note in the 13-run inning was a triple-steal on one play, as Thurman Tucker, Guy Curtright and Luke Appling all swiped bases, with Tucker stealing home.


Sept. 26, 1984 — Despite a disastrous season on the field, the White Sox drew the last of their 2,136,988 fans to Comiskey Park to become the first Chicago franchise to draw at least two million fans in consecutive seasons.


Sept. 26, 1998 — White Sox outfielder Brian Simmons became the third player in franchise history to hit home runs from both sides of the plate in the same game. Simmons connected off Kansas City’s Brian Barber and Allen McDill, driving home five runs in Chicago’s 13-5 win.

Sept. 26, 2011 — He was considered the face of the franchise for eight seasons, but on this night after a 4-3 win over the Toronto Blue Jays, manager Ozzie Guillén announced he was leaving after owner Jerry Reinsdorf agreed to let him out of the final year of his contract. 

Guillén, who was the 1985 AL Rookie of the Year with the White Sox, won the World Series in 2005 and also got the club into the playoffs in 2008. He had five winning seasons in eight years as manager, and was named Manager of the Year for his work in 2005.

In that magical season of 2005, “Ozzieball” resulted in the Sox getting off to the best start in their history. With a perfect blend of pitching, speed, power and the ability to execute the fundamentals, the White Sox were in first place from wire to wire. Then they blitzed through the postseason, putting together an 11-1 record that was the third-best post season record in baseball history.

Guillén’s passion and enthusiasm for the franchise was unparalleled, but at times he was his own worst enemy.

Over his final years in Chicago, he became increasingly thin-skinned and defensive when criticism was directed his way, and he lashed out at Sox fans on more than one occasion. In one of his infamous rants against fans he said they could ‘‘turn off their TVs and stop watching the game if they don’t like the [bleep]ing lineup,’’ and another in May 2011 claimed Sox fans would not remember him (“as soon as you leave the ballpark they don’t care about you. They don’t. The monuments, the statues … they pee on them when they get drunk.”) On the afternoon of the day he left the team Guillén told reporters (including South Side Hit Pen’s Brett Ballantini, who broke the news that Guillén had published a blog announcing his move to the Marlins during that night’s game) that he would not want to return to fulfill his 2012 contract unless he got an extension and more money.

Ozzie’s relationship with GM Ken Williams also deteriorated over the final few years, as the two men had different viewpoints over how the roster should be constructed and the style to which the Sox should play. Guillén’s family didn’t help the situation, with social media comments derogatory White Sox players and Williams.

Many felt when Ozzie was hired in November 2003 that he was the right man for the right team at the right time, and for a few years he was. Unfortunately, the White Sox manager with the longest tenure since Al Lopez let some personal foibles override a good situation, and it was best for all that a parting of the ways took place.

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Lonchair
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Ozzie was the man! He could have been even more of a legend had he not gotten too full of himself. But that’s Ozzie & I still love him.