It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the overwhelming majority of the Chicago White Sox all-time home run hitters have come recently.
The Chicago White Sox all-time home run hitter list reads like a who’s who of the team’s greatest batters — of the past 20 or so years. there’s a reason for that.
The White Sox played 80-plus seasons in one of baseball’s least friendly venues for home runs, toiling at Comiskey Park for their home games from 1910-90.
Prior to that the White Sox had played at wooden South Side Park for the franchise’s first nine-plus seasons (1901-10), moving into what was then called White Sox Park on July 1, 1910.
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While the White Sox moved out of Old Comiskey Park (known as White Sox Park from 1910-12 before being renamed for team owner Charlie Comiskey before it was returned to its original name from 1962-75). Bill Veeck brought back the Comiskey Park name when he purchased the club in 1976.
The 1976 season was also the year the artificial turf which had been installed in the infield in 1969, was removed and the field returned to being entirely grass (the outfield remained grass throughout the stadium’s tenure).
The second iteration of Comiskey Park opened for the 1991 season and was renamed U.S. Cellular Field in 2003. The naming rights changed hands in October 2016 and the new moniker, Guaranteed Rate Field, took effect for the 2017 season.
While the newer digs were more home-run friendly, the White Sox haven’t had a player lead the American League in home runs in nearly 50 years, with Dick Allen the last to do so in 1974.
It was the third time in four seasons a member of the White Sox topped the AL in long balls, after Bill Melton became the first player in franchise history to do so in 1971 and Allen repeated the following season.
Two other players led the AL in homers after beginning the season in Chicago but finishing elsewhere. The first, Braggo Roth, hit three homers in 70 games with the White Sox in 1915 before he was traded to the Cleveland Indians in August and hit four in 39 games with Cleveland to lead the circuit with seven (this was, after all, the dead ball era).
The second player to do so, Gus Zernial in 1951, played in just four games with the Sox before being dealt to the Philadelphia Athletics in a three-team trade and hit all 33 of his homers that season after going to the A’s.
The team’s single-season record-holder is not included among the top 15 career home run leaders. Albert Belle set the White Sox franchise mark with 49 home runs in 1998, breaking the mark set by Frank Thomas of 41 home runs in 1993.
Of the top 15 home run hitters in team history, all but one of them played for the franchise in 1968 or later. Let’s jump into the list.
White Sox all-time home run hitters – No. 15: Joe Crede
125 home runs from 2000-08
Crede was a Silver Slugger winner in 2006 for the White Sox and was named an All-Star in 2008 after slashing .252/.323/.463 with 16 home runs and 49 RBI in 86 games in the first half of the season before he was limited to just 11 games after the All-Star break before he was shut down due to back surgery.
Crede’s hit a career-high 30 dingers in 2006, also slashing a career-best .283/.323/.506. Crede hit 22 homers for the World Series champion White Sox squad in 2005, adding two more long balls in the ALCS victory over the Los Angeles Angels and hit a pair in the four-game sweep of the Houston Astros in the World Series.
Crede was a fifth-round pick by the White Sox from Fatima High School in Westphalia, Mo., in 1996 and signed with the organization on June 5, 1996. He made his big league debut a little more than four years later, on Sept. 12, 2000.
His first career home run came on Aug. 11, 2002, a solo shot off former White Sox right-hander James Baldwin of the Seattle Mariners in the bottom of the second inning of what was a 6-5 victory for the Sox. The first of his eight games with two homers for Chicago came a little more than two weeks later, on Aug. 27, 2002, against the Toronto Blue Jays.