Saturday, July 11, 2015

Crossing Over - A Chicago Civil War

Well, yesterday kicked off the annual battle that takes over Chicago in the middle of each summer - Cubs vs. White Sox.  With all the controversy over flying the Confederate flag lately (don't fly it over government buildings), we now have another Civil War erupting here in the Midwest.

The series takes on some added importance this year seeing as the Cubs are actually in playoff contention,  The yearly match up had cooled somewhat over the past few years seeing as both teams had been relatively dreadful - but, now these games actually mean something.

Game 1 did not set a good tone for my Cubbies - I stewed in anger most of the way as they hit into 5 double plays and wasted a brilliant outing from Kyle "The Professor II" Hendricks in a 1-0 loss.  I most hate losing to the Cardinals. but secondarily to the White Sox.

In fact, it was a former Cub in Emilio Bonifacio that scored the winning run for the South Siders.

Why hath thou betrayed me, Emilio?!

At any rate, that got me thinking about just how many people have "crossed over" and played on both sides of Chicago.  According to Baseball Reference, the answer is a whopping 178!

Besides Emilio, that includes several people who were involved in this particular game - inlcuding Clayton Richard, Geovany Soto and....

"The Shark" - and not one of the ones currently terrorizing South Carolina either.

Thankfully for the Cubs, this "Captain of Attitude" will not be appearing in this series; he's turned his season around as of late.


The only person in Chicago who can induce more groans than an overdose of deep dish pizza.

It's fitting that the shadow from his cap in the card on the left makes it look like he's got a black eye, seeing as his time on the Cubs has pretty much been a black eye on his career.

 But, the familial ties extended beyond the field of play and into the broadcast booth as well:

Sooooo much 70's packed into two Steve Stone cards - that's the best white man 'fro ever depicted on cardboard and those collared White Sox jerseys are gloriously awful.

Anywho, the colormen of the White Sox TV and radio broadcast crews both played for each Chicago franchise  Bonus points for Stoney, who has manned the mic for both teams as well.

Additionally, some of the biggest names in Chicago sports have made appearances for each squad, including the guy who went the other way when the clubs swapped Stone:

Hmmm...those pictures TOTALLY don't look the same - I'm definitely fooled by the airbrush and tight crop.

It's often forgotten that this HOFer ended his career with the White Sox - for good reason, he was definitely finished after that lone season.  Also coming to Wrigley in that deal were Steve Swisher, Ken Frailing and Jim Kremmel - however, I don't have the appropriate cards to display here.

Yes, that is his in-person autograph on the left and it's my favorite signed card in my collection.  It was a gift from my health teacher in freshman year of high school.  Her friend was a hair stylist in the Mesa area who did a little (emphasis on a little) work for Ronnie and my teacher was able to acquire this for me after I noted that he was my hero.

That act of kindness left an impression on that teenage wallflower.

Slammin' Sammy definitely left his impression on the city.

With all the steroid push back and his crappy attitude towards the end of his tenure, it's been forgotten that the trade that brought him from the South Side to the North Side was probably the greatest in cubs history.

Say what you will about his personality and ethics; but, the stats don't lie.  All they had to give up for 545 homers over 13 years was:

An excellent permed mullet/afro mix and a year's worth of DH-limited, .217 production from this faded star and....

... the Boys in Blue even got a bonus middle reliever in the deal.  Not that Patterson did anything even remotely notable on either side of town. but I felt he should be included since I have a card for both of his stints in Chi-Town.

Speaking of which, here are the rest of the guys in my collection for which I have both a Cubs and White Sox card for, with minimal commentary to keep things moving along.  I try to pick them up when I find them; that said, you'll see that I am missing some significant names:

The collars make another appearance.  I only wish I had a card that showed off the ill-fated short shorts as well.

The last trade the two teams made was Neal Cotts for David Aardsma in 2006.  Not quite as significant as the Sosa or Santo deals.

The young Cub prospect got to be a part of the "Winning Ugly" White Sox upon being dealt.

This flash-in-the-pan gave American baseball one last brief shot across town before retreating back to Japan.

Something, something, back up catcher, something....

Greg provided the first throwback card in my collection with that fine nod to the White Sox of the early 20th century.

A playoff Cub will always hold a special place in my heart, seeing as though they are rare.  Lance was a part of the '98 Wild Card winners.

The Law had some of the best eye-wear in the league, this side of Kent Tekulve.  He's also one the extreme few men to see time in the post season with both teams - '85 White Sox and '89 Cubs.

One of the heroes of the 2003 Cubs playoff squad and a local boy at that.  The NW Indiana native has a ball field named after him in East Chicago that I drive past almost daily on my way to work.

Another recyclable middle reliever

Just an extra outfielder on both sides of town; at least I have an opp to show off this excellent team issued oddball on the left.  Sponsored by Red Lobster, the Cubbies gave these away in 1982.

Jaime Navarro is really only significant to me because he spells his name the same way as my sister.  you don't see "Jaime" spelled that way too often.

We close out the scan fest with Luis Salazar who was teammates with Vance Law on both the '85 Sox and '89 Cubs.  They must be good luck charms.

As for the aforementioned missing big names, not included are Goose Gossage, Glen Beckert, Phil Cavaretta, Johnny Evers, etc.  Unfortunately, I lack cards of these guys in black & silver.  In the case of the latter two, I'm not sure any exist.

Some more recent names left out include Juan Pierre, Will Ohman, David Aardsma & Scott Downs.

To wrap things up, my curiosity has been satisfied.  Fingers crossed that the rest of this bitter clash of Windy City tenants goes smoother than game one did.

Also, if that OTHER team wants to jettison Chris Sale in their inevitable fire sale come the trading deadline, I sure wouldn't mind adding his name to this list.

Hey, I can dream can't I?


  1. I still have to remind myself that Fukudome was on the White Sox at one point.

    1. It's definitely a jarring sight seeing him in that uniform!

  2. Sale better not be going anywhere. Just suck up the crappy season, fire Robin and be ready for 2016.