The Chicago White Sox are an organization that has not done a lot of winning but it has had some very good players. However, there is one season in recent memory that stands alone as the year that great players helped them win the ultimate prize.
2005 will always be the most memorable year for anyone who saw it happen. It might even be the greatest year in the history of the franchise as they won the World Series for the first time in almost a century of trying.
There were a lot of amazing players on the squad. As far as pitchers go, few were as impactful as Mark Buehrle. There were pitchers that came before and after that may have had better stuff but nobody did the whole winning thing better than him.
Buehrle was the ace of the one staff that got it done for the White Sox in anyone's lifetime. As a result, he will always be a legend in town.
Mark Buehrle was so amazing with the Chicago White Sox for so long.
Following 12 years with the White Sox, he played one season with the Miami Marlins and three with the Toronto Blue Jays to end his career.
Buerhle finished his incredible run with a 3.81 ERA, 1.281 WHIP, and 1870 strikeouts over 3283.1 innings pitched. Clearly, he pitched to contact and allowed his defense to get the outs needed to win the game. He wasn't a flashy strikeout machine but he was a big-time winner.
In addition to being a five-time All-Star, he also won the American League Gold Glove for pitchers four times. All of his stats and accomplishments have earned his a career WAR of 59.1. He was truly one of the best of his generation.
It is Hall of Fame season again and times are tough. There haven't been too many players voted in over the last handful of years and there might be none again this year. However, Buerhle's name appears on the ballot once again as we get ready for the 2023 class.
This will be his third time on the ballot as he earned 44 votes (11 percent) in 2021 and 23 votes (5.8 percent) in 2022. It was a drop-off but he still earned the five percent needed to stay on the ballot for another year.
It will be interesting to see if he gets to stay on for another year. Seeing him jump from five percent to 75 percent to make it to the Hall of Fame feels impossible but it certainly would be fun. He pitched for contact successfully at a time when lots of players were juicing for strikeouts and home runs.
At a minimum, seeing Buehrle's name appear on the ballot every year will give White Sox fans a chance to publicly reminisce about his amazing career and all the joy that he brought. Hopefully, the results are somewhat kind to him in the end.