After taking a look at the shortstop position, our look at the Mount Rushmore of the Chicago White Sox by position heads to right field.
Where fielding played a larger role in determining the four selections at shortstop, right field is centered very much on offensive contributions. Defense plays a factor as does baserunning and overall quality of play, but when you’re in a corner outfield spot, the odds are really good you are there because of your bat.
The White Sox have had 19 players meet the criteria for consideration on this particular version of Mount Rushmore. Those criteria are (a) the player has at least 1,500 plate appearances in a White Sox uniform and (b) at least half of their appearances for the club were in right field.
Two of those 19 right fielders are Hall of Famers, but one of them — Harry Hooper — played only five of his 17 seasons with the White Sox while turning in 12 years wearing a different color of hosiery in Boston.
The 19 qualifiers include:
- Harold Baines (1980-89, 1996-97, 2000-01)
- Bill Barrett (1923-29)
- Ivan Calderon (1986-90, 1993)
- Shano Collins (1910-20)
- Jermaine Dye (2005-09)
- Avisail Garcia (2013-18)
- Danny Green (1902-05)
- Ed Hahn (1906-10)
- Mike Hershberger (1961-64, 1971)
- Harry Hooper (1921-25)
- Pat Kelly (1971-76)
- Nemo Leibold (1915-20)
- Wally Moses (1942-46)
- Magglio Ordonez (1997-2004)
- Carl Reynolds (1927-33)
- Jim Rivera (1952-61)
- Floyd Robinson (1960-66)
- Walt Williams (1967-72)
- Taffy Wright (1940-42, 1946-48)
Mount Rushmore of White Sox right fielders: Magglio Ordonez
At a position where the bat is a key component, Magglio Ordonez bashed his way onto the Chicago White Sox right field Mount Rushmore. Over eight seasons with the White Sox, Ordonez was a four-time All-Star and won a pair of Silver Slugger awards.
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Ordonez unquestionably brought the thunder. He posted two consecutive seasons of at least 40 doubles and 30 home runs and was a homer shy of a third, while topping 300 total bases four straight years. Throw in the four straight campaigns with at least 30 homers and 100 RBI and one might start to think the guy was pretty good.
It was a slow climb to the majors for Ordonez, who was just 17 years old when he signed with Chicago in May 1991. The Venezuelan native was moved carefully through the organization, but when he left Triple-A Nashville in August 1997 for the White Sox, he was gone for good.
Ordonez took over in right field on a full-time basis in 1998 and stayed there until he was sidelined by torn cartilage in his left knee for much of the 2004 season. Following the 2004 season, Ordonez entered free agency and signed with the Detroit Tigers in February 2005. He played the rest of his 15-year career in Motown, winning a batting title in 2007.
In eight seasons for the White Sox, Ordonez hit .307 with an .889 OPS in 4,214 plate appearances, crunching 240 doubles and 187 home runs to go with 624 runs scored and 703 RBI. Not as much a slugger as he was a pure hitter with great power, Ordonez had a strikeout rate of just 10.2 percent for Chicago,
Mount Rushmore of White Sox right fielders: Harold Baines
Say the name Harold Baines and the first thing likely to pop into one’s mind is two letters. But Baines, at least his first time around with the Chicago White Sox, was much more than a DH and over the course of three different stints covering parts of 14 seasons, Baines played more than 1,000 games in right field while logging a little more than 600 as a designated hitter.
A Maryland native, Baines was selected first overall by the White Sox in June 1977 and after hitting .298 with 22 homers at Triple-A Iowa as a 20-year-old, Baines earned the starting right field job for the White Sox in 1980.
After struggling a bit as a rookie, hitting .255 with a .686 OPS, Baines improved rapidly and was an All-Star four times in five seasons between 1985-89, missing only in 1988. In 1984, Baines led the American League in slugging with a .541 percentage, while hitting at least 20 home runs six straight seasons from 1982-87, with a career-high of 29 in 1984.
He also topped 100 RBI twice before he was traded to the Texas Rangers in July 1989 in the deal that brought Wilson Alvarez and Sammy Sosa to Chicago. In December 1995, Baines returned to the White Sox as a free agent after spending time in Texas as well as with the Oakland Athletics and Baltimore Orioles and he re-signed with the Sox in January 1997.
In July 1997, Baines was traded to the Orioles for a player to be named later. After a brief stint with the Cleveland Indians and a return to Baltimore, Baines came back to Chicago with catcher Charles Johnson in July 2000 for Brook Fordyce and three minor leaguers, helping the White Sox to the 2000 AL Central title.
Baines re-signed with Chicago in January 2001 but played in only 32 games that season. He retired after his contract expired that fall, ending a 22-year career.
In his time with the White Sox, Baines hit .288 with an .809 OPS in 1,670 games and 6,797 plate appearances. He clubbed 221 homers and drove in 981 runs while scoring 786. He was selected by the Veterans Committee for induction into the Hall of Fame in 2019.
Mount Rushmore of White Sox right fielders: Floyd Robinson
It took Floyd Robinson awhile to make it to the majors after signing with the hometown San Diego Padres of the Pacific Coast League the same day he graduated from San Diego High School in 1954. In 1957, then the PCL changed from being an open classification league and returned to minor-league status, Robinson’s rights were assigned to the Cleveland Indians.
The Chicago White Sox obtained his rights in 1960 when Robinson returned to the Padres after a two-year stint in the Marine Corps and he was called up in August of that year.
The 5-foot-9 Robinson may not have had classic power, but he had plenty of pop. Moving into right field full-time in 1961, he hit .310 with an .854 OPS in 132 games and finished third in the American League Rookie of the Year voting. He led the AL with 45 doubles in 1962 and drove in 109 runs despite hitting only 11 homers.
He slumped badly after a hot start in 1966 and was relegated to a part-time role while posting career-worst numbers with a .237 average and .655 OPS. In December 1966, Robinson was traded to the Cincinnati Reds. He played one year there before splitting the 1968 season between the Oakland Athletics and Boston Red Sox.
Released by the Red Sox after the 1968 season, Robinson played a final season with Triple-A Hawaii in 1969 before he was out of the game at age 33.
In seven seasons with the White Sox, Robinson hit .287 with a .786 OPS in 880 games and 3,509 plate appearances. He had 65 homers and 400 RBI while scoring 433 runs, with a walk rate of 11.0 percent and a strikeout rate of just 7.2 percent.
He went into business in San Diego upon his retirement, according to the Society for American Baseball Research, owning a liquor store and getting into real estate. In 2007, he and his wife established the Floyd Robinson Foundation in suburban San Diego, providing college grants to high school students from San Diego County.
Mount Rushmore of White Sox right fielders: Carl Reynolds
Carl Reynolds was one of those great stories from early 20th century baseball, a player who grew up on a farm in Texas, was a star player at a small high school and later starred in three sports at a small college, Southwestern University, in Texas.
According to the Society for American Baseball Research, a pair of Chicago White Sox scouts stumbled onto Reynolds quite by accident in June 1926 after going to a game in Waxahachie, Texas, to scout a pitcher from Trinity University. But Reynolds caught their eye and he was signed that day.
He worked as a football and basketball coach that winter before joining the White Sox in spring training in 1927. He spent the season with Class-D Palestine in the Lone Star League before getting the call from the White Sox in September.
He spent 1928 as a utility outfielder before taking over the right field job in 1929. In the offense-heavy 1930 season, Reynolds hit .359 with a .973 OPS while belting 22 homers and driving in 104 runs. He scored 103 times and banged out 202 hits.
In 1931, he regressed to a .290 mark with a .775 OPS in 118 games and was traded in December to the Washington Senators in a five-player swap.
In five seasons with the White Sox, Reynolds hit .322 with an .858 OPS in 485 games and 2,025 plate appearances, with 42 homers, 291 RBI and 311 runs scored, adding 68 stolen bases and 55 triples.
He later played with the St. Louis Browns, Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs, who released him in December 1939. He spent part of the 1940 season with the PCL’s Los Angeles Angels.
He spent one year as a scout and coach for the Angels in 1941 before leaving the game to return to Texas, where he had purchased a farm in 1934. He died in May 1978 at the age of 75.