Sporcle Saturday: Starting pitchers with 20+ wins

It was on this day in 1948 that a trade took place between the Chicago White Sox and the Detroit Tigers. A trade which Bill James called “the most lopsided trade of the decade”. This trade netted the Sox a pitcher who would ultimately anchor the rotation for years to come: one Billy Pierce. Pierce was traded for a catcher who was worth 2.9 WAR for the Tigers in 1949, but out of baseball two years after that. Not a bad swap for the Sox! While the trade was a surprise to Pierce, according to this SABR bio…

In November, I went over to my fiancée’s house. We turned on the radio and I learned from a disk jockey that I had been traded to the White Sox. I was traded for Aaron Robinson and 10 grand because the Tigers wanted a left-handed-hitting catcher who could take advantage of the short porch in right field. The Tigers wanted to give the Sox Ted Gray instead of me, but Chicago wouldn’t go for it. . . . It was a bad shock to be traded from Detroit.

…he would go on to win 211 games in his career, and 20 in a season twice with the White Sox. The number 20 is the focus of today’s Sporcle: throughout White Sox history [edit: this goes back to 1908, as that’s as far back as Baseball Reference’s Play Index goes), there have been 50 instances where a player recorded at least 20 wins with the team. Of those 50, how many can you name? Good luck!

Quiz Parameters

  • I’ve allotted 15 minutes for completion attempts.
  • For hints, I’ve provided the season and the number of wins.

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

  • Pitching to contact, or just a different era? Only six of these seasons saw the pitcher also record 200+ strikeouts that same season.
  • The average triple-slash against: .246/.298/.331.
  • The list’s 1908 season saw 40 pitcher wins. That’s second-most in a season in the modern era, behind only Jack Chesbro of the New York Highlanders (Yankees).

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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32/40. A lot of damned good pitchers never won 20, so the ones who did in recent years stick out. The latest date I drew a blank was 1962, and remembering

who was on the 1919 Black Sox
greatly increased my correct answers.

Joliet Orange Sox

I got 30/40 and did that pretty quickly. I then gave up and it was the right thing to do. Only one of the other answers (the one who did it in both 1919 and 1920 and no other years) has ever been in my brain and it left years ago. I feel pretty good about my 30/40 knowing asinwreck only got 32 and he often does great on these.
I think the scores all clumped around 30 or so because that’s the score you got if you got everyone from Pierce on missing 1962 and then got the guys who did it multiple times prior to that and dominate the Sox pitching record books. For those of us 55 and up, this was an easy C but a tough A (as an educator, my students hate exams like that).


29/40. Missed an easy one from the 20s.


26. Kicking myself for missing legend who won 40 games. Did u only go back to 1908?  I got the Sox pitcher who won 27 games in 1907 – always had tremendous ERAs, but I think Tyler Flowers was catching for him so, grain of salt. 

Right Size Wrong Shape

First time I ever got

in one of these! I’m so proud of myself!


Since the AFL recap has been skipped for a couple days: Robert 3-4 yesterday with a double, strikeout, and stolen base. None of the hits particularly impressive other than the footspeed displayed. Now second in the league in batting average.


According to Ken Rosenthal, the Astros would’ve traded Francis Martes for Avi at the deadline had Avi been fully healthy https://theathletic.com/646072/2018/11/10/rosenthal-astros-had-trade-in-place-for-bryce-harper-in-july-but-nats-ownership-said-no/


I’d’ve found a way to live with it.


I got 29. Missed the 1962 guy. My brother got 32 because he never goes outside the fucking loser.


31/40. I basically tapped out my White Sox knowledge.  It would’ve been nice to have “Chicago White Sox: A Visual History” to refer to. Most of these would have probably been mentioned in there.

Trooper Galactus

Years from now people will type Sale in and be shocked when he doesn’t appear on the list.

Patrick Nolan

I quit after getting to 19. Holy cow.