With two positional Mount Rushmores in the books, we keep our attention on the right side of the diamond by looking at the Chicago White Sox candidates to be the faces for the mountain sculpture of first basemen.
This is a position that needs an important disclaimer. The late Dick Allen won the American League Most Valuable Player award for the White Sox in 1972 and led the AL in home runs in 1974. But mostly due to the broken leg that cost him more than half of the 1973 season, Allen fell 78 plate appearances short of the 1,500 required for inclusion here.
Besides the plate appearances, a player needs to have played at least half the time at the position. The White Sox have had 16 first basemen fit that description.
- Jose Abreu (2014-20)
- Zeke Bonura (1934-37)
- Bud Clancy (1924-30)
- Jiggs Donahue (1904-09)
- Jack Fournier (1912-17)
- Chick Gandil (1917-19)
- Frank Isbell (1901-09)
- Lamar Johnson (1974-81)
- Paul Konerko (1999-2014)
- Joe Kuhel (1938-43, 1946-47)
- Tommy McCraw (1963-70)
- Eddie Robinson (1950-52)
- Earl Sheely (1921-27)
- Mike Squires (1975, 1977-85)
- Frank Thomas (1990-2005)
- Greg Walker (1982-90)
Mount Rushmore of White Sox first basemen: Jose Abreu
The first current member of the White Sox to earn some face time on a Mount Rushmore, Jose Abreu hit like crazy for 10 seasons in Cuba’s National Series and hasn’t stopped hitting since arriving in Chicago for the 2014 season.
Abreu signed with the White Sox in October 2013 after defecting from Cuba two months earlier.
He was named Rookie of the Year in 2014, finishing fourth in the MVP voting, while also earning All-Star and Silver Slugger honors. He led the American League with a .581 slugging percentage en route to hitting .317 with a .964 OPS. He was tops in the majors with a 173 OPS+ and finished with 35 doubles, 36 homers and 107 RBI in 145 games and 622 plate appearances.
He’s made two more All-Star appearances since then (2018-19) to go with two additional Silver Sluggers (2018, 2020).
In 2017, Abreu led the AL with 343 total bases and has won consecutive RBI titles in 2019 (123) and 2020 (60 in the shortened 60-game season). He also led the AL with 76 hits, a .617 slugging percentage and 148 total bases last season en route to winning MVP honors.
That was the first season of a three-year contract Abreu signed in November 2019 to remain with the White Sox after becoming a free agent. He is signed through the 2022 season.
In seven years, Abreu has hit .294 with an .870 OPS, 198 home runs and 671 RBI over 961 games and 4,618 plate appearances. He is already fifth on the franchise’s all-time home run list.