Results tagged ‘ Frank Thomas ’

SoxFest Day 2

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January 25, 2014

Talk About Dedication

You can’t make this up. Every year a family of Sox fans from Nebraska–a Dad, daughter and son–fly in for SoxFest. This year, however, they went above and beyond. They got in line at 2:00 a.m. this morning to make sure they were among the first to get Bobby Jenks’ autograph. Here’s Bobby during today’s autograph session, which began at 9:00 a.m.

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A Must-See For Sox Fans

The SoxSocial Lounge is a “must” destination while at SoxFest. Even GM Rick Hahn got into spirit by playing a game of Heads Up with a Sox fan.

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Something For Everybody at SoxFest

Here’s a mini-tour of the Exhibitor Hall/Gift Shop/Garage Sale:

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Count Hawk In

It’s been many years now since Hawk Harrelson anointed Frank Thomas with the nickname, The Big Hurt, after witnessing Frank’s prodigious talents on a daily basis. You could say that Hawk will be coming full circle with his connection with the new Hall of Fame electee this Summer when Harrelson will likely be part of the Sox traveling party to Cooperstown to witness Hurt’s induction first-hand.

“I tried to be there for Cal Ripken, George Brett and Robin Yount, guys I really respected,” Hawk said at SoxFest. ‘But I think I’m going to make it this time.”

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SoxFest Notes of Note

During this morning’s seminar featuring Rick and Robin, a fan asked about newly acquired third baseman Matt Davidson. Robin gave an answer that pleased the packed ballroom: “Joe Crede is a good comparison. That’s exciting. (You’re impressed) by (Matt’s) sheer size and how the ball comes off his bat.”

The Cuban Connection seminar featured Sox icon Minnie Minoso and current Sox stars Alexei Ramirez, Dayan Viciedo and Jose Abreu. The fans showed their love for Minnie with a lengthy standing ovation and some heartfelt comments. Alexei made a point of thanking Minoso for paving the way for Cuban players to play in the major leagues…One fan certainly did his homework and wished Jose a Happy Birthday (this Wednesday). Abreu, who said he has high expectations and wants to be thought of as a player who leaves everything on the field to help his team win, was asked if he had a nickname. He said he’s known in Cuba as Pito. What about dealing with cold weather, Jose was asked. He said this is the third time he’s been to Chicago and it’s very different this time–referring to the frigid temperatures. “I’ll have to talk to my teammates to get mentally prepared for the cold,” he added.

Sox VP Buddy Bell, Director of Amateur Scouting Doug Laumann and Director of Player Development Nick Capra had some interesting insights in today’s From the Draft to the Big Leagues seminar…Laumann on the Sox having the third pick in this June’s amateur draft: “There’s a certain degree of pressure and a challenge to get an impact type of player. It allows us to narrow the field to five or six potential candidates. It’s a very important pick for us. We’d like to think we’ll get it right. We’ve already talked to four of six potential candidates already. Our philosophy is to take the most impactful player available”…Bell on Sox prospect Micah Johnson: He’s a real interesting kid–a very good baseball mind and a real catalyst. He has the best range of any second baseman I’ve ever seen, but he can play just about anywhere but shortstop. He’s a very good player”…Capra acknowledged that outfield prospect Trayce Thompson may have taken a step back offensively last season, but still has the potential to be a superstar because he does so many things.

Laurence Holmes sat down with with Matt Lindstrom, Adam Eaton and Erik Johnson in the Movies, Music and More! seminar. Hilarity ensued. Among the tidbits we learned: The two main things Eaton takes on the road are his wife and his iPad, his favorite movies are Tommy Boy and Happy Gilmore and the player in history he’d most like to room with is Yogi Berra–”or just spend 10 minutes with him”…Matt Lindstrom loves to play Zombies Xbox 360, Forrest Gump is his favorite movie and his celebrity crush is Kate Beckinsale because she looks like his wife…Movie-wise, Erik Johnson is partial to Indiana Jones and Star Wars and is a huge San Francisco 49ers fan. And according to Lindstrom, Chris Sale is by far the best video game player on the Sox and excels in everything he does. Perhaps the funniest line of the seminar came when Eaton was asked about his celebrity crush. He answered, “Paul Konerko.”

Two of the greatest lefthanded pitchers in Sox history, Billy Pierce and Gary Peters, were the focus of the final seminar of Day 2. Billy talked about getting his first glove and ball as a prize for getting his tonsils out and the day he met Babe Ruth and had him sign a baseball that he still holds dear…Peters recalled having lunch with his father before making a start against the Yankees on a Saturday. He asked his dad, an avid Yankee fan, who he would be rooting for. After hesitating a moment, the elder Peters said he’d root for his son, but the Yankees on Sunday.

Tomorrow’s Schedule: 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Autographs and photos will continue on the final day of SoxFest. Here are the scheduled seminars: Prized Prospects (10:00-11:00 a.m.) with Erik Johnson, Marcus Semien, Josh Phegley and Micah Johnson; A Sluggers Roundtable (11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.) with Adam Dunn, Bo Jackson, Jim Thome and Harold Baines; A View from the Dugout (12:00-1:00 p.m.) with Robin Ventura, Don Cooper and Todd Steverson; From the Draft to the Big Leagues (1:00-2:00 p.m.) with Nick Capra, Buddy Bell, Doug Laumann and Dan Fabian; and Big League Laughs (2:00-3:00 p.m.) with Pat McGann, Adam Eaton, Nate Jones, Gordon Beckham and Tom Paciorek.

Photo of the Day

Bo Jackson’s in the house.

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Big Hurt to the Hall

Thursday, January 9, 2014

It was an exciting day in White Sox history yesterday as Frank Thomas was elected into the Hall of Fame. After the announcement, he stopped by U.S. Cellular Field to make his rounds and hold a press conference. Below are some of the pictures from the day.

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All photos Copyright 2014 Ron Vesely/Chicago White Sox

Dreaming of Cooperstown

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Baseball Hall of Fame & Museum in Cooperstown, NY announced its 2014 ballot today, and one very important White Sox star is front and center – Frank Thomas.

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The Big Hurt, who won consecutive American League MVP Awards in 1993 and ’94 and placed in the top three in the voting five times overall, finished his 19-year career with 2,468 hits, including 521 home runs. He drove in 1,704 runs, scored 1,494 and had more walks (1,667) than strikeouts (1,397).  Thomas ranks as the White Sox all-time leader in home runs (448), walks (1,466), runs (1,327), RBI (1,465), SLG (.568), total bases (3,949), doubles (447), extra-base hits (906) and OBP (.427).

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The ballot is being mailed this week to more than 600 voting members of the BBWAA.

Pitchers Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Eric Gagne, Thomas and second baseman Jeff Kent join 17 holdovers from the 2013 balloting that failed to produce a winning candidate for the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., for the first time since 1996.

Craig Biggio, who totaled 3,060 hits and was a seven-time All-Star while playing three positions (catcher, second base, outfield), topped the 2013 ballot with 388 votes – 39 shy of the 427 required for election. His total reflected 68.2 percent of the electorate, which consists of BBWAA members with 10 or more consecutive years of Major League Baseball coverage.

Players must be named on 75 percent of the ballots cast to earn election. Other players named on more than half the ballots were pitcher Jack Morris (67.7 percent), first baseman Jeff Bagwell (59.6), catcher Mike Piazza (57.8) and outfielder Tim Raines (52.2). Players may remain on the ballot for up to 15 years provided they receive five percent of the vote in any year. This is the 15th and final year of eligibility for Morris.

Maddux won four consecutive National League Cy Young Awards from 1992-95 and a record 18 Gold Glove Awards in a 23-season career in which he compiled a 355-227 record with a 3.16 earned run average and 3,371 strikeouts in 5,008 1/3 innings combined for the Chicago Cubs, Atlanta Braves, Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres. The righthander led the NL in ERA four times and won at least 15 games for 17 straight seasons, another record.

Glavine, a two-time NL Cy Young Award winner (1991 and ’98) and 10-time All-Star, was 305-203 with a 3.54 ERA over 22 seasons combined with the Braves and New York Mets. The lefthander was a five-time 20-game winner and won four Silver Slugger Awards. Gagne had 55 saves and a 1.20 ERA in 77 appearances with the Dodgers in his Cy Young Award season.

Jeff Kent, the NL MVP in 2000 with the San Francisco Giants, also played for the Mets, Dodgers, Toronto Blue Jays, Cleveland Indians and Houston Astros in a 17-season career during which he slammed 377 home runs, 351 of which were as a second baseman, a major league record. The five-time All-Star had at least 20 homers and 100 RBI in eight seasons, the most by any second baseman in major-league history.

Hideo Nomo, the 1995 NL Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year winner and the owner of two no-hitters; and two World Series heroes, outfielders Moises Alou (1997 Florida Marlins) and Luis Gonzalez (2001 Arizona Diamondbacks), are also on the ballot for the first time. Joining them are righthander Mike Mussina, who had a .638 winning percentage (270-153) over 18 seasons with the Baltimore Orioles and New York Yankees; lefthander Kenny Rogers, whose perfect game for the Texas Rangers in 1994 was the highlight of a 20-year career; reliever Armando Benitez, the 2001 Rolaids Relief Man of the Year and first baseman J.T. Snow, a six-time Gold Glove Award winner. Other newcomers are relievers Todd Jones and Mike Timlin, first basemen Sean Casey and Richie Sexson, second baseman Ray Durham, catcher Paul Lo Duca and outfielder Jacque Jones.

Among others returning to the ballot are first basemen Don Mattingly, Fred McGriff, Mark McGwire and Rafael Palmeiro; outfielders Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa and Larry Walker; pitchers Roger Clemens, Curt Schilling and Lee Smith; shortstop Alan Trammell and third baseman-DH Edgar Martinez.

Writers must return ballots by a Dec. 31 postmark. Votes are counted jointly by BBWAA secretary-treasurer Jack O’Connell and Ernst & Young partner Michael DiLecce. Results will be announced at 2 p.m., EST, Wednesday, January 8, 2014, on MLB Network and the web sites of the Hall of Fame and the BBWAA.

Offseason Banter

The White Sox held a conference call today with Season Ticket Holders and coaches Don Cooper and Todd Steverson.  Below are a few quotes from the call you may enjoy:

DON COOPER:

On Thanksgiving plans: “Eat some turkey. Sit back, relax and enjoy my family and friends.”

On the mentality needed to be a closer: “You have to have something, either good stuff, or an individual pitch that people swing and miss at or not center up. Like Mariano Rivera’s cutter. You have to have a thick skin and you have to be tough.”

On White Sox left-handed starters: “I feel really good about our left-handed pitchers. I feel very good about the arsenal and equipment our left-handers have and I believe they will all have good seasons.”

TODD STEVERSON:

On Thanksgiving plans: “Get the family together, watch my brother make a fried turkey and sit and watch some football games.”

On using his hitting philosophy throughout the organization: “We are in the process of speaking with our minor league staff. We will be from top to bottom, throughout the system, implementing a process [of being aggressive in the strike zone].”

On Jose Abreu: “There is a lot of positive feedback on Abreu. The fact that he can use the whole field and is not just a home run hitter is a plus. He is a strong man. He has a good idea at the plate.”

On his baseball influences: “I loved to watch Andre Dawson. Dave Winfield was one of my baseball heroes as well. I’ve been able to meet and talk baseball with both of them.”

Happy Thanksgiving

Here’s to a wonderful Thanksgiving for White Sox fans everywhere.  May you be surrounded by family and friends with many reasons to be thankful …

White Sox vs. Cubs, Game 2

Tuesday, May 28, 2013
 
Today’s News
 
Tonight’s Game
 
White Sox vs. Cubs at U.S. Cellular Field (7:10 p.m., CT, CSN) in the second of the four-game Crosstown Cup Series. Starters: Chris Sale (5-2) for the Sox, former South Sider Edwin Jackson (1-7) for the Cubs.
 
Sox Starting Lineup: De Aza, CF; Ramirez, SS; Rios, RF; Dunn, DH; Konerko, 1B; Viciedo, LF; Gillaspie, 3B; Greene, 2B; Flowers, C.
 
Good to Have Him Back
 
Sale, who missed his last start due to tendinitis in his pitching shoulder, has a 23 scoreless inning streak–the longest by a Sox pitcher since reliever J.J. Putz in 2010 (27) and the longest by a starter since Mark Buehrle in 2001 (24.2). He is also on a four-game winning streak with a 1.18 ERA and .153 opponents average in his last five starts. 
 
Go Blackhawks!
 
Good luck to the Blackhawks as they face the Red Wings tomorrow night in Game 7 at the United Center. A win and they advance to the NHL Western Conference Final against the Kings or Sharks, who play Game 7 in their series tonight.
 
Quote of the Day
 
Our Twitter campaign asking fans to send birthday wishes to Frank Thomas yesterday seems to have worked well. @TheBigHurt_35 tweeted back: “I just checked my Twitter Page!! So Thankful for all of you in my life!! #LOVE 
 
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Play of the Day
 
For the second day in a row, Dayan Viciedo nailed a runner at the plate. Last night against the Cubs he cut down former Sox outfielder Ryan Sweeney attempting to score from second in the seventh inning.
 
 
Tomorrow’s Schedule
 
White Sox vs. Cubs at Wrigley Field (1:20 p.m., CT, WGN) in the third game of the Crosstown Cup Series. Starters: John Danks (0-0) for the Sox, Scott Feldman (4-4) for the Cubs.
 
Did You Know…
 
…that Conor Gillaspie, hitting .292 on the season, is 6-14 (.429) in his last four games? This, of course, includes his walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth inning last Saturday night that gave the Sox a 2-1 victory over the Marlins.
 
Photo of the Day
 
Sale goes for win No. 6 tonight as the Sox look to even up the series and get back to the .500 mark.
 
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How Sweep It Would Be

Wednesday, May 22, 2013
 
Today’s News
 
Tonight’s Game
 
White Sox vs. Red Sox at U.S. Cellular Field (7:10 p.m., CT, CSN) in the final game of a three-game series–the first two won by our Sox. Starters: Hector Santiago (1-2) for the Sox, Clay Buchholz (6-0) for Boston. 
 
Santiago replaces Chris Sale, who is being held out of the rotation for precautionary reasons after experiencing shoulder tendinitis. Chris fully intends to make his next start.
 
Sox Starting Lineup: De Aza, CF; Ramirez, SS; Rios, RF; Dunn, DH; Konerko, 1B; Viciedo, LF; Gillaspie, 3B; Keppinger, 2B; Flowers, C.
 
The Streaks Continue
 
Alex Rios, with a single and run-scoring double last night, extended his consecutive game hitting streak to a career-high 16 games. Jesse Crain has now made 18 straight scoreless outings. He entered last night’s game in the seventh inning, relieving Jose Quintana with the bases loaded and one out and the Sox leading 2-0. All he did was strike out Will Middlebrooks and Stephen Drew to kill the rally.
 
Web Gem
 
Casper Wells makes this terrific catch despite the soggy conditions in the eighth inning of last night’s game. 
 
 
The Big Hurt to Represent Sox at June Draft
 
Frank Thomas will represent the Sox at the First-Year Player Draft on June 6. Frank will join other baseball notables who will be representing all 30 major-league teams. Joining Frank will be Kevin Coe, the White Sox manager of youth baseball initiatives.
 
 
What do movie stars Matthew McConaughey and Jennifer Garner have in common with Adam Dunn?
 
 
White Sox Volunteer Corps
 
Join our Volunteer Corps on Friday at the Greater Chicago Food Depository.
 
 
White Sox Day 
 
Tomorrow is “White Sox Day” on WGN, beginning with the WGN Morning News. Here’s the full schedule:
 
 
Play of the Day
 
Jeff Keppinger’s two-run fifth inning homer, his first blast of the season, in the 3-1 Sox victory.
 
 
Quote of the Day
 
Robin on Jose Quintana, who held the formidable Red Sox lineup hitless last night through 6.1 innings and earned his third win of the season:
 
“He’s a battler…Great job of going through that lineup a few times, not easy at all to do that…You know he’s always going to battle. That’s one thing you never question. He also has the talent and stuff to do it.”
 
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Tomorrow’s Schedule
 
Off-day. On Friday, White Sox vs. Marlins at U.S. Cellular Field (7:10, CT, CSN) in the first of a three-game series. Starters: TBA for the Sox, Tom Koehler (0-2) for Miami. 
 
Did You Know…
 
...that Addison Reed ranks second in the A.L. with 16 saves and is only one behind the great Mariano Rivera?
 
Photo of the Day
 
Ventura, Reed and Southpaw visited the Ann & Robert Lurie Children’s Hospital today.
 
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