Greatest Chicago White Sox Sluggers of All-Time
The White Sox are still sort of the redheaded stepchild in Chicago, but they have been around for a long, long time on the South Side. And this team has some very loyal and vocal fans. The Sox won it all in 2005, and it was their first title in decades. They also have a storied history, but surprisingly not a long history of sluggers. Here is a list of the Top 10 home run hitters in White Sox history:
Frank Thomas (448)-Frank Thomas is still one of the most imposing figures at the plate at the age of 40. When he was with the Sox, as he was from 1990 to 2005, Thomas was arguably the most feared slugger in the game. He hit 448 home runs while with the White Sox, winning MVP awards in 1993 and 1994. Thomas' best season overall was 2000, when he batted .328 with career highs in homers (43) and RBI (143).
Paul Konerko (277)-After starting out as a young phenom with the Dodgers, Konerko went to the Reds briefly and then landed in Chicago in 1999. He must be doing something right, because he is still there as of 2008 and ranks second in White Sox history with 277 home runs. Konerko hit a career high 41 homers in 2004 but his best season overall might have been 2006, when he batted .313 with 35 homers and 113 runs batted in.
Harold Baines (221)-Outfielder Harold Baines was a very steady hitter for the Sox and wound up playing for a few other teams in his 22-year career. Baines hit 221 homers for the Sox, ranking him third all-time for the franchise. His best season was 1984 when Baines hit .304 with a career high 29 homers and 94 RBI.
Carlton Fisk (214)-Everyone remembers Carlton Fisk for his time with the Red Sox, in particular that animated home run he hit in the 1975 World Series, where he willed the ball fair with his own arms. But Fisk played more seasons in Chicago (13) than he did in Boston (11). And despite a .238 batting average in 1985, Fisk had his best offensive output that season with 37 home runs and 107 RBI.
Magglio Ordonez (187)-Ordonez left the Sox in 2005, and they promptly won a title. But in his eight seasons with Chicago, Ordonez hit 187 home runs, ranking him fifth all-time for the franchise. Ordonez batted .320 with 38 homers and 135 RBI in 2002, making that perhaps his best season overall, but in 2007 he hit a scorching .363 while with the Tigers.
Robin Ventura (171)-Most people remember Robin Ventura for two things-charging the mound against Nolan Ryan, and that "grand slam single" he hit for the Mets in 1999. But Ventura also had a nice run in Chicago, where he played from 1989 to 1998. In 1996, Ventura had maybe his best season, hitting 34 homers and knocking in 105 runs while batting .287.
Bill Melton (154)-Back in the early ‘70's, 33 homers was a ton in a single season. Bill Melton did that for the Sox in both 1970 and 1971, and ranks seventh all-time in White Sox history with 154 long balls. Melton hit .263 with the 33 homers and a career high 96 RBI in 1970.
Carlos Lee (152)-"El Caballo" has always been able to hit home runs, and played for the Sox from 1999 until 2004, and he's currently an all-star with the Houston Astros. But Lee was very consistent as a Sox player, hitting 152 home runs during his stint there. His best season with Chicago was 2003, when Lee hit .291 with 31 homers and 113 runs batted in.
Ron Kittle (140)-Ron Kittle began his career with Chicago, was traded to the Yankees and then played a bit more for the Sox later in his career. All told, Kittle ranks ninth in team history with 140 home runs. In 1983, Kittle won the AL Rookie of the Year award, and that was also his best overall offensive season, with a .254 batting average, 35 homers and 100 RBI.
Jose Valentin (136)-Second baseman Valentin only played for the Sox for five seasons, but ranks tenth all-time in the home run department for the franchise with 136. Despite hitting just .216 in 2004, Valentin had a career high 30 homers that season, with 70 RBI-not bad output at all from the second base position.