Sporcle Saturday: White Sox rookie first starts

You may have heard that this past Tuesday, the White Sox debuted their top pitching prospect, whose name starts with an “M” and ends in “ichael Kopech”. Terrible joke aside, the weather, unfortunately, gave us just a short taste of what is to come from the young right hander from Texas.

Michael Kopech‘s debut planted the seed for today’s Sporcle, though: how have other White Sox rookie pitchers fared in their debuts? To rank these, I decided to use game score as the metric, so to qualify a starter needed to record a game score of at least 50 (average-ish). That gives us 44 names in White Sox history, dating back to 1908. How many can you name? Good luck (you’re gonna need it)!

Quiz Parameters

  • I’ve given you 15 minutes to attempt to complete the list.
  • This list counts only those pitchers whose first career appearance was a start that came as a member of the White Sox organization. So if a pitcher made an appearance out of the bullpen, then started later, they won’t be on this list. Likewise, if they started a game for a different organization and came to the White Sox later, they also will not be on this list.
  • For hints I’ve provided the date of the game, and the game score the pitcher logged.

Useless information to amaze, annoy, confuse, or confound your friends and/or family

  • The White Sox are 26-18 in starting pitcher debuts with a game score of at least 50.
  • Two pitchers on this list have pitched a complete game shutout, one in 1909 (against the St. Louis Browns) and the other in 1928 (against the Philadelphia Athletics).
  • The worst game score for a rookie debut with the White Sox –and I remember this game, if not the pitcher– was a -7 on June 19, 2004 against the Expos, logged by Arnie Munoz. The Sox lost, 17-14.

Direct link here
All data from baseballreference.com

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Ted Mulvey
Ted Mulvey

White Sox fan, homebrewer, academic librarian. Not necessarily in that order, but quite possibly.

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20/44, and I only got that with a bit of luck.

(Rube Peters
came up because I guessed
Gary Peters.)
Most proud of actually remembering the April 1982 pitcher, and I will always remember my anticipation of the 1990 game and what it meant for the future.


Oh this was fun, even if the rules disqualified

Wilson Alvarez’s magnificent first Sox start


13. This has to be my lowest percent of all time. Way to ruin my week, Ted. I remember being at the one on 9/2/91. One of the hottest tickets in town for another reason that day. But the starter stole the show. Went on to become a favorite of mine!  I was also at the 8/21/99 start. It was in tiger stadium. How does a guy that pitched 2 innings get a game score above 50 when he allowed four runners in those innings. A ridiculous stat.


It would not have changed my outcome. Had a tough time with this one. 


Only 12. Super Tough. Im disappointed that I couldn’t remember the 1978 guy—thought of everybody else of that era, but kept shooting blanks. The only other two that I should have gotten were the 1914 guy and the 2010 guy.

There’s not a lot of good on this list; here’s hoping that Kopech isn’t another

Gerry Janeski

Right Size Wrong Shape

12/44. I missed a lot of the recent guys.

Trooper Galactus

12/44. But I’ll only credit myself with 11/44 because I got 4/13/28 thinking of an entirely different pitcher who wasn’t even a starter.