Chicago White Sox All-Time 26-Man Rosterby John Lepore January 5, 2022 1 comment
The Chicago White Sox franchise has been around for a long time. Despite only three championships in their history, there have been quite a few Hall of Famers to don the White Sox uniform. Of course, the Black Sox scandal remains a major part of baseball history as well. That was over 100 years ago though, and now the Southsiders have been to the playoffs in back-to-back years. Let’s take a look at who makes Chicago’s All-Time 26-man roster.
Make sure to check out all of our other All-Time Rosters.
Carlton Fisk, C
The original “Pudge” came to the White Sox in 1981. Over the next 10 years, he played 1,200 games, mostly behind the plate despite being 33 years old when he joined Chicago. He had a 3.5 rWAR per 600 plate appearances in that time and blasted 192 home runs. He was an All-Star three times and finished third in MVP voting in 1983. Although his better years were in Boston, Fisk played in more games for the Southsiders. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2000.
Frank Thomas, 1B
Thomas became the “Big Hurt” immediately upon his debut in 1990. He played 60 games that year but slashed .330/.454/.529. From 1991-1997, Thomas would have over 100 runs, 100 RBIs, and 100 walks each season. He also finished in the top 10 each year in MVP voting, including winning the award in 1993 and 1994. The first-round pick out of Auburn finished his White Sox career as the franchise leader in most offensive categories and was enshrined in Cooperstown on his first ballot in 2014.
Eddie Collins, 2B
Collins is a member of the 3,000-hit club. While he did play with the Philadelphia A’s for a part of his career, 2,007 of those hits came with Chicago. He had a .331 career average with the Sox and is still the franchise leader in stolen bases with 368. He helped the Sox take home its second World Series title in 1917 going 9-for-22 with three SBs. While he won his only MVP award with the A’s in 1914, he did finish as runner-up in 1923 and 1924 losing out to Babe Ruth and Walter Johnson. Collins was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1939.
Robin Ventura, 3B
The 10th overall pick in the 1988 draft, Ventura made his debut the following year. From 1991-1998, he was one of the best third basemen in baseball slashing .278/.370/.458 while averaging 21 HRs and 85 RBIs. He set a career-high in HRs in 1996 with 34. Ventura also won five of his six Gold Gloves during that stretch.
Luke Appling, SS
Appling played his whole 20-year career with the White Sox and if it weren’t for two years of serving in World War II, he likely would’ve reached 3,000 hits. Instead he settled for 2,749 which is still the franchise record. His big season came in 1936 when he led the league batting .388 and finished a close second to Lou Gehrig for MVP. He finished as the runner-up again the next time he led the league in batting in 1943. Appling was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1964.
Minnie Minoso, LF
Minoso was widely known for playing a couple of games for Chicago in 1976 at 50 years old and then again in 1980. Make no mistake though, the dude could play. In his career with the White Sox, the Cuban native slashed .304/.397/.468. Minoso also walked more than he struck out (658-427). He won two Gold Gloves with Chicago and finished exactly fourth in MVP voting four times. He is now known as a Hall of Famer as the Golden Days Era Committee recently voted him into Cooperstown
Chet Lemon, CF
Lemon is probably remembered more for his time in Detroit, but he made a name for himself in Chicago. Lemon put up an excellent five-year peak from 1977-1981. During that stretch, the centerfielder had a .380 wOBA and 136 wRC+. He was also an excellent fielder and averaged 5.6 rWAR/600. Lemon was an underrated player and was better than many people may remember.
Joe Jackson, RF
While Shoeless Joe played mostly left field for the White Sox, we need to get him in here so he gets the move to right field. He is also on the Cleveland Indians All-Time roster as he played six years with them as well. Jackson hit .340 in a Chicago uniform and in 1920 he had one of his best seasons blasting a career-high 12 homers along with 121 RBIs and leading the league with 20 triples. Unfortunately, Kenesaw Mountain Landis included Jackson in the Black Sox scandal and he has been banned from baseball since.
Paul Konerko, DH
Jose Abreu may take this spot with a few more good years but since the production was close, Konerko gets the nod here on longevity. The former first-round pick out of High School is second in franchise history in HRs and RBIs to Thomas and actually is ahead of him in Total Bases at 4,010. Konerko averaged 30 HRs and 93 RBIs over a 14-year stretch from 1999-2012. He also played a huge part in ending the World Series drought for Chicago in 2005. In that postseason, the first baseman had five homers and 15 RBIs in just 12 playoff games and took home the ALCS MVP award.
Red Faber, RHP
Like Appling, Faber played his whole 20-year career with the White Sox. While he dealt with injuries for the final 11 years of his time in the big leagues, his first nine were impressive. From 1914-1922, he had a 2.58 ERA and won 151 games. He led the league in ERA in both 1921 and 1922 with a 2.48 and 2.81 respectively. While the second half of his career wasn’t quite as impressive, Faber finished with a 3.15 ERA and 256 wins in over 4,000 innings. He was enshrined in 1964 by the Veteran’s Committee.
Ted Lyons, RHP
Lyons pitched his whole 21-year career with the White Sox. He is the franchise all-time leader in wins with 260 despite playing for Chicago at a dismal time in their history. His 3.67 ERA may not sound incredible, but he pitched in the offensive era of the ’20s and ’30s, which is why his ERA+ is 118. A true workhorse, Lyons completed 73.6 percent of his games and in 1927, won nearly one-third of his team’s games (22 of 70) while leading the league in that category as well as IP and CGs. Lyons was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1955.
Chris Sale, LHP
Sale was drafted 13th overall in 2010 and made his MLB debut just two months later. He was a reliever at the time as was the case in 2011. In 2012 the White Sox decided to put him in the rotation and he immediately became their ace. From 2012-2016, the lefty won 70 games and pitched to a 3.04 ERA. Even more impressive was his more than five-to-one K/BB rate over that time. He has the single-season franchise record for strikeouts with 274 in 2015. Even with just 1,110 innings, Sale is sixth in franchise history in strikeouts with 1,244.
Ed Walsh, RHP
The all-time leader in ERA deserves a spot. Walsh’s 1.82 is the standard and likely will never be broken. Although most of his production came in seven seasons from 1906-1912, he absolutely dominated hitters. In just over 2,500 innings, Walsh had a 1.71 ERA. In 1908, the right-hander achieved the ridiculous. He led the league in IP with 464, but also led the league in wins (40) and saves (6) while amazingly not leading the league despite a 1.42 ERA. Times have certainly changed. Nevertheless, Walsh was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1946 by the Old Timer’s Committee.
Billy Pierce, LHP
Pierce gets this spot in a tough decision over Mark Buehrle and Eddie Cicotte. The southpaw was excellent from 1951-1958. During that span, he had a 2.89 ERA. He led the league in strikeouts in 1953 (186) and ERA in 1955 (1.97). Pierce won 15+ games seven times and got five All-Star nods. He won 186 games for the White Sox which is fourth on the franchise’s all-time list.
Hoyt Wilhelm, RHP
Wilhelm was a premier relief pitcher in the ’60s for the White Sox. Over six seasons, he had a 1.92 ERA, 0.935 WHIP, won 41 games, and saved 99. Not only was he extremely effective, but he also averaged nearly two innings per outing. While his years in Chicago were just a small part of his Hall of Fame career, they were probably his best. That is amazing considering they came after the knuckleballer turned 40.
Bobby Thigpen, RHP
Thigpen’s 1990 season will be remembered as the year he set the saves record at 57. It took 18 years to break it and that number is still tied for second even 31 years later. The right-hander was a good pitcher even before that season, saving 68 games over the previous two seasons. Unfortunately, Thigpen’s career would derail in 1992 and he was out of baseball at 30. Nevertheless, he goes down as one of the best relief pitchers the Sox ever had.
Bobby Jenks, RHP
Jenks was another closer who had a decent run as a very good closer and was done at 30. He made his debut in 2005 and saved four games in the postseason to help the Sox win their first title since 1917. Over the next five years, he saved 167 games for Chicago with a 3.48 ERA and a solid 3-to-1 K/BB rate.
Roberto Hernandez, RHP
By the time Hernandez made his debut in 1991, he was 26 years old already. He came along just in time to give the White Sox a closer to take over for Thigpen. After a rough nine games in 1991, Hernandez spent the next five-and-a-half years with the White Sox racking up 161 saves with a 2.68 ERA. He struck out better than a batter per inning as well. Hernandez finished sixth in CYA voting in 1996 with a 1.91 ERA and 38 saves.
Keith Foulke, RHP
While Foulke may be remembered more for helping Boston break their curse in 2004, he established himself as a good reliever with the White Sox. From 1999-2002, Foulke had 2.58 ERA and 96 saves. He also had a 0.960 WHIP and struck out nearly a batter per inning. He was also a workhorse during that span appearing in 276 games and tossing 352 innings.
Wilbur Wood, LHP
Wood is in the bullpen, but he could be a starter as well. When the southpaw came to the White Sox in 1967 that’s exactly what he was: a reliever and spot starter. Armed with a knuckleball now Wood pitched seemingly every day. From 1968-1970, he led the league in appearances each year and racked up nearly 400 innings coming out of the pen. The next four years however saw Wood throw innings that would impress some deadball-era hurlers. From 1971-1974, the southpaw started 181 games, completing 85 of them, and tossed 1,390.1 innings. He finished in the top five of CYA voting three times and won 20 games each of those years.
Jose Abreu, 1B/DH
Abreu has been a great hitter for the White Sox since coming over in 2014. His eight-year stretch has been filled with a ROY, an MVP, and two RBI titles. The only reason he doesn’t get a starting spot is that Konerko had similar production for an eight-year stretch (2005-2012) but also had longevity. Abreu, with a few more good seasons, could see himself at the DH spot.
Nellie Fox, 2B
Fox was the best second baseman in baseball in the 1950s. He made the All-Star team each year from 1951-1960, won three Gold Gloves, and the 1959 AL MVP. During that span, Fox was old reliable as well, missing just 14 games and playing in 798 consecutive games at one point. Fox had a knack for putting the bat on the ball, never striking out more than 18 times in a season. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame by the Veteran’s Committee in 1997.
Luis Aparicio, SS
We have to have his double-play partner in here as well. Aparicio actually had two separate stints with the White Sox. To start his career, he led the league in SBs each of his first nine seasons, seven of them with Chicago. He won the AL ROY in 1956. Aparicio wasn’t a great hitter, but he was fast and had a great glove. He won five of his nine career Gold Gloves with the White Sox. The Venezuelan native was inducted into Cooperstown in 1984.
Magglio Ordonez, RF
Ordonez had an impressive six-year stretch with the White Sox from 1998-2003. In that time he had an .892 OPS while averaging 29 HRs and 109 RBIs. In fact, he had more extra-base hits than strikeouts in that span (413-401). He was an All-Star four times and received MVP votes in three different seasons. The Venezuela native also chipped in 81 SBs and averaged 3.9 rWAR.
Ray Schalk, C
We are going with defense here. Schalk was renowned for his agility behind the plate. He didn’t have much power but had a discerning eye and was quick on the bases. In 1916 he swiped 30 bags. It was the record for a catcher until 1982 when John Wathan broke it. In a time when stealing bases was a big part of the game, Schalk neutralized it. He gunned down 52 percent of would-be base stealers in his career and a whopping 72 percent in 1925. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame by the Veteran’s Committee in 1955.
Dick Allen, 1B/3B/LF
Allen may have only played three years with the White Sox, but he made them count. He won the AL MVP in 1972, leading the league in HRs (37), RBIs (113), walks (99), and OPS (1.023). Allen also put up a ridiculous 8.6 rWAR that season. He was an All-Star all three years with Chicago and had an insane .435 wOBA and 181 wRC+. The fact that he is still not in the Hall of Fame is an absolute travesty.
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