A rookie manager rarely equals huge success for the Chicago White Sox
Paul Richards - 1951
Paul Richards was a rookie White Sox manager during the 1951 season.
The 42-year-old Paul Richards, with general manager Frank Lane's help, helped transform White Sox baseball in 1951. The Sox finished 60-94-2 in 1950 under managers Jack Onslow and Red Corriden and attracted just 781,330 fans to Comiskey Park. It was their seventh losing season in a row.
The Sox in 1951 under Richards went 81-73-1 and set a franchise record attendance of 1,328,234 fans. It would turn out to be the the first of 17 consecutive winning seasons through 1967.
The Go So Sox excitement took hold in early June when 42,718 showed up for a doubleheader against the Boston Red Sox.
It boiled over for a three-day series with the New York Yankees when 53,940 showed up on a Friday, 24,726 returned on Saturday afternoon and 53,054 saw a Sunday doubleheader.
Richards, it seemed, arrived in Chicago at just the right time. Nellie Fox, Chico Carrasquel, Jim Busby and Eddie Robinson were all entering their second season with the team in 1951 and Billy Pierce was headed into his third year.
But the biggest boost came from rookie Minnie Minoso who scored 109 runs, hit 10 homers and 14 triples, drove in 74, and stole 31 bases.
The White Sox stole 99 bases under Richards in 1951 (they stole 19 the year before) and hit just 86 homers (93 the year before). The 1951 Sox were 20-5 in the month of May and went 26-4-1 from May 4 through June and found themselves in first place by 4.5 games.
Richards lasted just four seasons in Chicago, winning 89 games in 1953 and 91 in 1954. But he established a new, exciting small ball style of play with the White Sox that Fox and, later, shortstop Luis Aparicio (starting in 1956) literally ran with all the way to a 1959 pennant (under Lopez).