White Sox: The Mount Rushmore of second basemen

Nellie Fox of the Chicago White Sox. (Photo by Robert Riger/Getty Images)
Nellie Fox of the Chicago White Sox. (Photo by Robert Riger/Getty Images) /
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Mount Rushmore of White Sox second basemen: Ray Durham

The Chicago White Sox drafted switch-hitting infielder Ray Durham in the fifth round in 1990 out of Harding High School in Charlotte, North Carolina, and within five years, he was a mainstay in the lineup.

The White Sox recalled Durham in late April 1995, installed him at second base and he was as consistent as a metronome for the next 7½ seasons. An All-Star in 1998 and 2000, Durham was a plus offensive player, making up for some defensive deficiencies.

Durham was most of all durable. Three times he topped 700 plate appearances in a season for Chicago and in 2001 recorded double digits in all three extra-base hit categories (42 doubles, 10 triples, 20 home runs).

He homered while going 2-for-10 in Chicago’s 2000 ALDS loss to the Seattle Mariners and finished in the top 10 in offensive WAR in 1998.

In July 2002 and on the cusp of free agency, Durham was traded to the Oakland Athletics. He later played with the San Francisco Giants and Milwaukee Brewers, retiring after his contract expired following the 2008 season.

In parts of eight seasons with the White Sox, Durham hit .278 with a .780 OPS in 1,146 games and 5,095 plate appearances. He had 106 homers and 484 RBI, scoring 784 runs while stealing 219 bases. After retiring, he returned to his native Charlotte.