Wednesday, March 29, 2006, 11:41 am
Thanks for all the feedback on Monday’s post. Kudos to Mark Newman and the guys (and gals) behind the scenes at MLBlogs for tying the video to my list. 2005 truly was amazing for all of us. Now, it’s time to start a new list.
I just compiled a chart of all the members of the White Sox family who passed away since last year’s Opening Day. We mention each on the scoreboard and Jeff Szynal, who runs our scoreboard room, and I always compare notes on the list. It’s sad and interesting at the same time. There are always some names on the list who I need to look up. And then there are the personal ones, like Chico, that bring a pause.
Here is our list for Opening Day 2006 (let us know if we missed anyone):
Bob Kennedy, INF, 1940s-50s
Pete Gebrian, P, 1947
Don Rowe, coach, 1988
Jake Wade, P, 1930s-40s
Sandy Consuerga, P, 1953-54
Carlos Martinez, 1B, 1980s
Chico Carrasquel, SS, 1950s
Al Lopez, MGR, 1950s
Pat Kelly, OF, 1970s
And some other notables … Ted "Double Duty" Radcliffe, Mark Staehly (a young Sox fan who became famous for his charitable efforts even as he fought a life-long battle with cancer), Charles Williams (a Chicago native who was the first Black to umpire a World Series Game), The Coach, Ray Meyer and Hall of Famer and Chicagoan, Kirby Puckett.
Some lived to see a White Sox World Series title, some did not.
The Legend of Boone Logan
So 21-year-old Boone Logan arrives in Tucson this spring in time for early instructional camp for Sox minor leaguers.
Once major league games start on March 1, extra pitchers are brought along just in case we run out of pitchers. Boone Logan gets to come to a game at Colorado.
In that game, every one of our auditioning left-handed relievers is awful. I happen to be sitting next to Ken Williams, Rick Hahn and Dan Fabian as inning after inning, our pitchers are not very good. Tentative. Afraid to throw strikes. It wasn’t pretty.
Around the eighth inning, we look down in the bullpen and see this tall left-hander warming up. "Put him in," Kenny says, half jokingly.
But Boone doesn’t pitch that day. That night, I go out to dinner with Kirk Champion, our minor league pitching coordinator.
"How about that game today?" he asks me and we laugh. "The kid in the bullpen threw better than all the others. We just had him up to get some work."
"Funny you should say that," I told Champ.
The next day, at the morning meeting, Boone Logan’s name was up for discussion. Quietly, he moved his uniform and locker into the big league clubhouse as a non-roster invitee.
Inning after inning this spring, he just kept getting people out.
One game, Rick Hahn, our assistant GM and I watched him throw while Kenny was at another game.
Kenny called. "How did he throw?" Kenny asked. "How did his stuff look?"
"Well," Rick answered. "He only threw six pitches in the inning. Tough to tell how good or bad his stuff was because he just kept getting guys out … quickly."
It was the story all spring. And now, he is going to be at U.S. Cellular Field for Opening Night.
Over the years, several Sox pitchers have made the jump from Class A ball to the majors. Rich Gossage and Terry Forster both did. Scott Radinsky (Rad Dog) did. And Carlos Castillo did as well in 1997.
But really look at what Logan has done. After spending his firs two years as a starter (with limited success) at Rookie League Great Falls (thanks to their website for this picture), Champion and Curt Hasler (Has) switched him to the bullpen and lowered his arm angle some.
Because of where he lets go of the ball, his stuff is sneaky quick. He throws strikes and keeps the ball down.
Last year, in 21 games at Rookie Great Falls, he went 1-1 with a 3.21 ERA, walked four and struck out 29 in 35.1 IP. He then was promoted to Class A Winston-Salem at the very end of the season and appeared in four games.
This guy really is jumping from Rookie ball to the major leagues.
It is a long way from Great Falls.
One of the fun things about this blog are the number of emails and comments I receive from people outside the United States.
For example, I understand one college student in Italy for the semester to "study" relies on this site for all her White Sox news (which is sad for her). So, it is kinda cool to know that this blog is being read around the clock.
But I do need to point out that if I was a young college student studying abroad in Italy, birthplace of Michaelangelo, Da Vinci, etc., home of Florence and Roma, I don’t think I would feel the need to take "spring break" in the Canary Islands.
But have a good time anyway, Jacqueline.