Four score–and nearly one more–years ago…

Howdy folks!

I just wanted to take a moment and thank you for putting in the work on the Sox that you do. I must say, your opinions on the team always provide a nice balanced approach to sox news and never seem to over- nor undersell the stories you tell and the takes you make. At the same time, you still give opinions one way or the other, while avoiding cop-out, meso-takes like—oh, I dunno—some “Michigan Wolverine” pledging his allegiance to the gold and blue while writing for the flagship of the black and white. Meh.

(That said, I’ll shout out to Josh for merely sneaking in his loyalty beyond the diamond—I’m not sure how many diehard White Sox/49ers fans you’ve met, but I, my friend, am right there with you)

Anyhow, I’m an Iowa guy who lives out in Northern California and looks forward to hearing your banter on the podcasts and reading your words as well. And I must say, what I initially intended to be a quick request for guidance on White Sox lore, turned into a bibliographical essay on why I fancy the south side. Somewhere in there lies a long-winded question for any of you folks at Sox Machine that know a thing or two about Sox history:

Growing up not far from Dyersville, Iowa, my connection to Kevin Costner, James Earl Jones and not long after—Frank Thomas—was naturally set in stone. Throughout the early 90’s, my folks drove us kids from eastern Iowa to Comiskey every year to watch The Hurt hurt baseballs. My knowledge beyond the player(s) named above wasn’t much at the time. In fact, I still have a barely-worn freebie Sox hat from a game I attended in ’94 after which I ran down a baseball player on the street to proudly earn an autograph under the brim from…

Nope—you didn’t guess it:  Jay Buhner (?!)

All I remember now is watching giant hands scribble something I still have trouble reading, but I’ll bet he was smiling—no, snickering—pretty wide that day. Once my adolescence started to develop real appreciations for the game—pitcher’s duels, farm clubs, batting averages and ERAs—I momentarily got curious about White Sox history. I finally began to fathom this “black sox” scandal as a real thing, but a problem remained: Ray Liotta looked nothing like Shoeless Joe Jackson! As vain as I must have been at 13, an image I found of the real Joe Jackson (you know, the one they use on Baseball-Reference) halted the interest I had in black and white pictures of ball players and the stories behind them.

Skip ahead through too many hard years of losing, a bit of out-of-nowhere winning, and throw in a no-hitter, a couple perfect games and a few Mark Buehrle tarp slides to boot…

And now here I sit, patience gone with no news on Manny Machado’s future and the ultimate trajectory of the White Sox rebuild. Not until recently did I realize we’ve nearly reached the century mark. It’s been almost 100 years since that scandal I refused to learn about took place, and I’m looking for some  opinions on where find the right stuff. I look to you all for reasonable opinions on the current south siders and wonder if anyone has recommendations for where to learn about the past? Eliot Asimov’s, Tim Hornbaker’s, or any of the other books out there on the Black Sox worth a read?

Or should I just go back to Terrance Mann?

Please help me get through this offseason before I fall off my seat and choke on a hot dog.

Thanks and keep up all you do.

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Just John
Just John
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Jim Margalus

“Eight Men Out” is good to read to understand the common understanding of the Black Sox, but “Burying the Black Sox” by Gene Carney is far more accurate.

Josh Nelson

I’m hoping that one day Jimmy Garoppolo throws a first pitch at a White Sox game.

sausalito pale hose

I also live in NorCal, in Sausalito and have been a Sox fan since 1950. My equal love is the 49’ers/ I hope Garappolo throws the first pass in a 49’er game. He should be back. Gene Carney’s book is more accurate; this is true. But, Eight men out is more entertaining.